Polk County, Florida
Obits Page - 2 -


>JOE H. THOMAS – 81 - Gas Station Owner & Former Mayor of Eagle Lake - Husband of Erma F. Thomas
BARTOW - Joe H. Thomas, died of cancer Tuesday (June 10, 2008). Mr. Thomas was a lifetime resident of Florida and former mayor of Eagle Lake.  He was the owner/operator of a gas station. > He was preceded in death by his son Ronald Thomas, granddaughter, Karen, and brother Clyde Hubert, & R.D. Thomas >  He is survived by his wife Erma Faye Thomas, Bartow; son, Randall Thomas (Jeri), Lutz, daughters, Sandra Richey, Winter Haven, Deborah Sawyers, Auburndale; 9 grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren; sisters Hazel, Eagle Lake, FL., Bernice, Bartow, Betty, McMinnville, TN.  Visitation was held Wednesday, June 11, 2008 at Steele's Family Funeral Services chapel. Services will be held Friday, June 13, 2008 at Steele's Family Funeral Service chapel. Burial will follow at Church of Christ Cemetery in Eagle Lake. – Ledger, June 12, 2008
>ERMA F. THOMAS – 78 -  Wife of Joe H. Thomas
BARTOW - Erma F. Thomas, died on Saturday, July 2, 2008 of heart failure. She came to Eagle Lake from Luverne, Alabama on 1945. She was of the Protestant faith. > She was preceded in death by her husband, Joe Thomas; parents, Clifford and Annie Dean; brothers, Huel, Harvey and Floyd Dean; sisters, Eula McKinney and Ruby Bees; son, Ronald Thomas and granddaughter, Karen Thomas. > She is survived by her son, Randall Thomas of Lutz, FL; daughters, Sandra Richey of Winter Haven and Debra Sawyers of Auburndale; sister, Opal Wolfe of Eagle Lake; brother, Dwayne Dean of Salado, Texas; 9 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2008 at Steele's Family Funeral Services Chapel. Funeral service will be on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2008 at Steele's Family Funeral Services Chapel with Pastor Farrer officiating. Interment will be at the Church of Christ Cemetery in Eagle Lake, FL. – Ledger, Aug. 3, 2008
>R.D. - THOMAS – 82 -  U.S. Army -  Brother of Joe H. Thomas
ORLANDO - Mr. R.D. Thomas, died Sunday, March 19, 2007 of heart failure. R.D. Thomas was born the fourth of seven children on April 27, 1924 in Citronelle, Alabama. In ninth grade, he dropped out of school and worked to help support his family. At the age of eighteen, he joined the Army, proudly serving for three years during WWII. While stationed in the Pacific Islands, he played baseball with Hall-of-Famers like Joe DiMaggio. Thomas earned a passionate, driven reputation as a ball player, and was asked to play for the New York Yankees. He declined so he could play ball and raise his family in Polk County, Florida.  In, 1947, he married Jean Williams, to whom he was married for 50 years. In 1951, their family moved to Miami, where Thomas worked until retirement, before moving back to Central Florida.
>  Preceded by his wife, Jean, and son Ray Thomas. >Survived by his two daughters, Sharron Sanchez of Jacksonville and Lynette Diane Snowden of Orlando, as well as five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Visitation will be Saturday, at Ott-Laughlin Funeral Home, Winter Haven. Funeral service to follow. – Ledger, March 22, 2007
>JEWELL H. DENHAM - 94 -  White's Men Shop - Ledger, Feb. 29, 2012
BARTOW - Mrs. Jewell H. Denham, passed away from natural causes, Sunday, February 26, 2012. Mrs. Denham was born on December 18, 1917 in Gadsden, Alabama, and graduated from Summerlin Institute in Bartow. She was a longtime member of the First Baptist Church of Bartow, Bartow Crickette Club, Bartow Daisy Girl Scouts, and was also active in the Bartow Chamber of Commerce, as well as, many City of Bartow projects. Mrs. Denham worked for White's Men Shop for many years. > She is preceded in death by her husband, Pete Denham. > She is survived by a loving family that includes two daughters: Sue and husband L.R. Vaughn, Lyn and Joseph Pepper, all of Weston, MO. She also leaves behind her grandchildren: Scott D. and wife Jaci Vaughn, Bradford Vaughn all also of Weston, MO, Carolyn S. Pepper of Chicago, IL, Michael Pepper of Madison, MS, and Parke Pepper of Senatobia, MS. > Arrangements are being handled by Whidden-McLean Funeral Home, 650 East Main Street in Bartow where the family will receive friends Thursday, March 1, 2012, Funeral services will follow at 11:00 AM at the funeral home chapel. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church of Bartow, 410 East Church Street, Bartow, FL 33830. Condolences to the family –
>JOHN E. "JACK" DAVIS, Jr. - 72 - Polk Co. Clerk of Courts  -  Ledger, March 17, 2012
BARTOW - Jack Davis, of Bartow passed away Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at Memorial Hospital of Tampa from complications of diabetes. Born July 14, 1939, in Ft. Wayne, Indiana from , Jack was the son of the late John E. Davis, Sr. and Marian E. Davis of Bartow. He moved to Bartow with his parents from Clearwater, Florida, in 1953, and graduatedSummerlin Institute in 1958. Jack retired from the Polk County Clerk of Courts office in 2003 after 40 years of service. After his retirement, Jack volunteered at the Bartow Chamber of Commerce as a Chamber Diplomat, and was named "Diplomat of the Year" in 2007. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Bartow. > Jack is survived by his partner, Jeff Clark of Bartow; caregiver, Ruth Harrison of Bartow; cousin, Betty McDonald of Fayetteville, North Carolina; and cousin, Jimmy Davis of Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Jack will be remembered fondly by his many friends and acquaintances for his outgoing personality, sense of humor, and his acts of kindness, generosity and compassion. He loved helping people, and was always willing to lend a hand to anyone in need. Family will receive friends Sunday, March 18, 2012, at Whidden-McLean Funeral Home, Bartow. Funeral services will be held Monday, March 19, 2012 at 11:00 AM at the First United Methodist Church, 310 S. Broadway Ave, Bartow. Interment will follow at Bartow Wildwood Cemetery. Condolences to family at – 
>MARGARET "PEGGY" DRIGGERS - 80 - Polk County Tax Assessor's Office
BARTOW - Margaret "Peggy" Driggers,  died Sunday, August 2, 2009, at her residence in Bartow of respiratory failure. Born June 8, 1929 in Auburndale, Mrs. Driggers has been a longtime resident of Bartow, moving from Mulberry. She was a 1947 graduate of Summerlin Institute.  Mrs. Driggers was an administrative assistant for the Polk County Tax Assessor's office for many years when it was located in the old Bartow Courthouse, later opening her own business, Diversified Services in Bartow. She was active in Zonta International, serving as Governor of Southern District 11 for several years. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Bartow. > She is preceded in death by her parents, Roy & Burenice Mims, and her husband, Bill Driggers. >  She is survived by two daughters: Deborah & husband Ernie Roberts, Betty & husband Charles Wood; a sister: Betty & husband Hubert Whitten all of Bartow; a brother: Larry & wife Blair Mims of Palm Harbor; three grandchildren: Kim & husband Andrew Bedient, Charles Wood, Jr. & wife Christie, and Christopher Wood; three great grandchildren: Steven Bedient, Becca Bedient & Grahm Wood all of Bartow. Family will receive friends Wednesday, August 5, 2009 at Whidden-McLean Funeral Home, Bartow. Funeral services will be held Thursday at the funeral home. Interment will follow at Wildwood Cemetery, Bartow. Memorial Contributions may be made to Zonta International Foundation, Attn: Development, 4837 Pay-sphere Circle, Chicago, IL 60674 or Hope Hospice, 9470 Health Park Circle, Fort Myers 33908. Condolences to family – Ledger, Aug. 4, 2009
>WINNIE BRADFORD MOODY - 83 - Southern Bell Telephone
LAKELAND - Winnie B. Moody, passed away at St. Petersburg General Hospital on Monday, Sept. 17, 2012, due to heart failure. Ms. Moody was born in Bartow, FL, on April 17, 1929 and moved to Lakeland from Miami in the early 1980s. She formerly lived in Fort Meade for many years and was a retired telephone supervisor with Southern Bell Telephone. Ms. Moody also worked at the Polk County Courthouse as a receptionist, and she was a graduate of the Summerlin Institute in Bartow.  >  Ms. Moody is survived by her sons, Dennis Moody and wife Eilleen, Fort Meade, FL, Buddy Moody and wife Diane, St. Petersburg, FL; brother, Jim Bradford, Smyrna, TN; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Visitation will be held, Thurs.,Sept. 20, 2012 at Hancock Funeral Home, Fort Meade. Funeral services will follow in the funeral home chapel. Interment will follow in Bethlehem Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family at .Hancock Funeral Home, Fort Meade 863-285-8171.– Ledger, Sept. 19, 2012
>CECIL  E. “PETE” WIGGINS – 79 – Swift & Company – b/o Charles
MULBERRY -- Mr. Cecil E. "Pete" Wiggins of Mulberry died of lung failure Sunday (Dec. 18, 2005) at Bartow Regional Medical Center. He was born in Bartow on Nov. 12, 1926, he came to Mulberry from Bradley Junction. He was a dry mill operator for Swift and Co. for 35 years. He was an Army veteran of World War II.  >Mr. Wiggins was preceded in death by his wife, Betty Wiggins. > He is survived by his daughter, Sharon Bowden, Bartow; son, Ronald W. Snow, Bartow; sisters, Irene Ford, Bartow, Ernestine Parker, Winder, Ga.; three grandchildren; three great-grandchildren. Visitation will be this evening at Whidden-McLean Funeral Home, 650 E. Main St., Bartow. Graveside services will be  Thursday at Wildwood Cemetery, 900 W. Stuart St., Bartow. Burial will be in Wildwood Cemetery – Dec. 21, 2005
>CHARLES  L. WIGGINS – 82 -  W.R. Grace Manager- b/o Cecil
BARTOW -- Mr. Charles L. Wiggins of Bartow died of lung failure Wednesday (May 7, 2003) at Lakeland Regional Medical Center. He was born in Bartow on Jan. 23, 1921, he was a lifelong resident. He was an accounting manager for W.R. Grace Co. in Bartow for 38 years and a member of the National Association of Accountants. He was an Army Air Corps veteran of World War II.  He was a member of St. Thomas Catholic Church in Bartow. >  Mr. Wiggins is survived by his wife, Virginia M. Wiggins; daughters, Patricia Lowery, Bartow, Mary Wells, Tampa, Jeanne Young, Lakeland; sisters, Gertrude Moss, Hampton, Va., Irene Ford, Bartow, Ernestine Parker, Winder, Ga.; brother, Cecil Wiggins, Bradley; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren.  Visitation will be this evening with a Rosary at Whidden-McLean Funeral Home, Bartow. Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at Saint Thomas Catholic Church, 2180 S. Kissingen Ave., Bartow. Burial will be in Wildwood Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the American Diabetes Association, 1101 N. Lake Destiny Road, No. 415, Maitland, 37251. – Ledger, May 9, 2003
>ABE ALLEN -87 - Teacher Union Academy, Bartow  - Ledger, Jan. 28, 2010
BARTOW - Abe Allen, passed away Friday, January 22, 2010 due to heart failure. He was born in Homeland, FL on December 20, 1922. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was a teacher at Union Academy in Bartow, FL and retired from the Polk County School Board after 35 years of employment. >  He was preceded in death by his wife, Yvonne Allen; son Kenneth Allen; brothers Clifford & Ernest Allen; & sister Dorothy Allen. > Loved ones left to cherish his memories: son Gary Allen, Bartow, FL; daughters Deborah Curtis (Reginald), Bartow, FL, and Kimberly Allen-Okonkwa, Tallahassee, FL; brothers Arnett Allen, Ocala, FL, Morris "Billy" Allen (Mary), Kissimmee, FL; sisters Maxine Mitchell, Lake Worth, FL, and Theresa Burton (Andrew), Bartow, FL; grandchildren: Brandy Allen, Orlando, FL, Aaliyah Allen, Ft. Myers, FL, Malea "April" Pinkston (Ken), Lakeland, FL, DeMiya & LeVell Curtis, Bartow, FL, Camille, Jared, & Philip Okonkwa, Tallahassee, FL; great-grandchildren: Amaia Dickey, Orlando, FL, Azariah, Tatianni, & Kalayah Pinkston, Lakeland, FL; and a host of loving nephews, nieces, cousins, and sorrowing friends. > Visitation will be from 5-7pm Fri. at Mt. Gilboa M.B.C. Funeral service will be at 2pm Sat. at the church. Williams Funeral Home. – 
>JOHN H. BRAGG, Sr. – 60 - Maintenance and Machinery Erectors -  Ledger, Jan. 21, 2012
BARTOW - John H. Bragg, Sr.,  passed January 19, 2012 at the Good Shepherd Hospice in Auburndale, FL from lung cancer. > He is survived by his children: John H. Bragg, Jr. (Mandy) of Bartow, Braxton Bragg of Bartow, Christopher Bragg (Brandy) of Lakeland, four grandchildren, and siblings: Kae Mercer, Kathryn Bragg, Tim Bragg and Mike Bragg all of Bartow.  John was of the Christian faith and was born on May 16, 1951 to John Howard and Jo Howell Bragg. He attended the Summerlin Institute and was a member of the Bartow Jr. High School Band. Mr. Bragg worked for Maintenance and Machinery Erectors in Mulberry many years. He was an avid fisherman and gardener that will be greatly missed by his family.  The family will receive friends at Whidden-McLean Funeral Home in Bartow on Monday, January 23,2012. As an alternative to giving flowers, please consider giving donations to Good Shepherd Hospice, 105 Arneson Ave., Auburndale, FL 33823. Condolences at 
>MELVIN  E.  ALLEN  - 83 -  Retired Phosphate industry  - Ledger, July 3, 2016
LAKELAND - Melvin Eugene Allen Sr. went to be with Jesus on 6/18/16 due to complications from a stroke. Mr. Allen was born in Deland, FL, February 10, 1933. His family eventually settled in the Highland City area. He graduated from Summerlin Institute in Bartow.  Melvin served in the Navy during the Korean War. He was in the Army National Guard until 1985.  He retired in 1995 after 43 years in the phosphate industry. > Mr. Allen was preceded in death by his wife Katherine Wall Allen, son Melvin Eugene Allen Jr., and granddaughter Brandy Souvannarath.  >He is survived by his loving family including his daughters Sharon Schwarzkopf (Steve) of Lakeland and Karen Hielscher of Bartow; sweetheart Linda Carlton of Lakeland; six grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and many beloved in-laws, nieces, nephews, and cousins. Visitation will be Saturday, July 9, 2016, from 10-11 am with services to follow at 11 am at Gentry-Morrison Southside Chapel in Lakeland. 
>JAMES ALLEN - 85 - Phosphate Industry
LAKELAND - James Allen went to be with Jesus on 8/22/10 due to complications from Alzheimer's. Mr. Allen was born in Blakely, GA October 1, 1924. His family moved to Florida and eventually settled in the Highland City area. He graduated from Summerlin Institute in Bartow and served in the Army Air Corps at the end of WWII. He retired from the phosphate industry. > He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Stella "Jean" Allen; daughters Chloe Melton of Lakeland, Janice Carlson and husband Rich of Riverview FL, and Susan Turchi and husband John of Houston TX; brother Melvin Allen of Highland City; grandchildren Dr. Brittany Turchi (Allyn) Greer, Brandt Carlson, Adam Carlson, and Madison Turchi; two great-grandchildren; and many beloved in-laws, nieces, nephews, and cousins. Visitation will be Friday, August 27, 2010, from 10-11 am with services to follow at 11 am at Gentry-Morrison Northside in Lakeland. Interment will be at 2 pm at Sunset Memory Gardens 11005 N US Highway 301, Thonotosassa, FL. - Ledger, Aug. 25, 2010
>BETTY HALL WAUGH - 93 - Teacher -( 1910 - 2003 )
BARTOW -- "Live long, laugh often and love much."Those were the words that Mrs. Betty Hall Waugh lived by."She always kept that little verse by her all the time," said her daughter, Betty Fitzgerald of Bartow. "And that was really my mother."Mrs. Waugh, a retired teacher, died of complications from a stroke Sunday (Nov. 16, 2003) at her Bartow home. She was born July 26, 1910, in Plant City, she was a longtime resident of the area, moving to Bartow 89 years ago.  Mrs. Waugh was devoted to teaching and loved to travel.She taught at Bartow Elementary for 25 years and at Alturas Elementary for two years."We would always run into people at the grocery store and they would say `Ms. Betty, do you remember me?' and she would turn to me and say `That was a 70-year old asking if I remember teaching them,' " Fitzgerald said.Debra Gravitt was Mrs. Waugh's caregiver for more than a year."She was more like a grandmother to me," Gravitt said. "She took me around Bartow and showed me all the historic places. She knew everyone around. We went to the dentist one day and he was one of her students. I always felt honored to be with her."Mrs. Waugh loved to see new places."She loved to travel all over the world," Fitzgerald said.Mrs. Waugh, her older sister and her younger brother would travel in her brother's motor home. "The three of them would get in his motor home and drive all over the country and into Canada. They'd be gone for months at a time.> "Mrs. Waugh was a member of PEO Sisterhood, the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Historical Society of Polk County. She was a volunteer at Bartow Memorial Hospital. She was a member of First United Methodist Church in Bartow.  > Mrs. Waugh was preceded in death by her husband, Albert A. Waugh. >  She is survived by her daughter, Betty Fitzgerald, Bartow; son-in-law, Bob Fitzgerald, Bartow; and two grandsons. Visitation will be  Wednesday at Whidden-McLean Funeral Home, 650 E. Main St., Bartow. Services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at First United Methodist Church, 455 S. Broadway, Bartow.Memorial contributions may be made to First United Methodist Church, 455 S. Broadway, Bartow or LifePath Hospice, 3010 W. Azeele St., Tampa, FL 33609. Whidden-McLean Funeral Home - Ledger, Nov. 18, 2003
LAKELAND - Bradford "Louise" Perritt Bivens of Lakeland, FL, went to be with the Lord January 26, 2011. With courage and strength, she battled breast cancer for seven years. As a wife, mother, grandmother and a devoted friend to many, Louise will be remembered for her strong spiritual conviction and her loving dedication to her family. Louise was born January 31, 1940 in Lake City, Florida. She moved to Polk County as a child. Louise was a graduate of Summerlin Institute, Bartow FL, Class of 1957. She will always be well remembered for her years of dedication to St. Joseph's School Girl Scout Troop 245 in organizing cookie sales and donating orchids that the troop sold at Mother's Day and Easter to fund a trip to Washington DC. She was a member of the Catholic Women's Club, a volunteer with the Guardian Ad Litem Program, and a member of the Polk County Chapter of Hadassah. > She is preceded in death by her father, William "Bill" Perritt and mother, Ruby Westerfield Perritt.  >She is survived by her husband of 53 years, James Alfred, sons, Jeffrey (Karen), Anthony (Alicia), David (Kimberly), Stephen (Amy), Michael (Stacey); daughters, Cathryn Carter and Jennifer Danforth (Keith); stepmother, Margaret Perritt, Daytona; step-sister, Joan Flaherty, Fort Lauderdale; and 22 grandchildren. Visitation will be held at Heath Funeral Chapel Monday, January 31, and a  Funeral Mass will be held at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Tuesday, February 1, at 10:00 a.m. Condolences may be sent to the family at: - Ledger, Jan. 29. 2011
CHICORA - Barbara 'Bobbie' Alderman passed away peacefully in her sleep on April 22, 2017.  She was born in Agricola, Florida on February 25, 1940 and was a lifelong resident of Polk County, a proud Fifth Generation Floridian, as well as a Real Florida Artist. She was a member of Gateway Assembly of God, Bowling Green, Florida. Bobbie graduated from Summerlin Institute. She was an avid Florida Native Artist. She loved people and animals of all types. She was devoted to her family and friends. She was known for her kind and generous spirit and a smile that could light up a room. She loved the Lord above all else. > She is preceded in death by her father, William Raymond Young and mother Julia (Mann) Young. Bobbie is survived by her husband of 59 years Donald Wayne Alderman, daughter Arlene (Mark) Barnes, son Kenneth (Dru) Alderman, two very loved grandchildren Darryl Alderman and Mandy Barnes Bartlett, brother William R. 'Bill' Young, two nieces Beverly (Steve) Hartsaw and Carol Young. The family will receive friends Wednesday April 26, 2017  at Seigler Funeral Home-Chapel. Funeral services will follow at 2:00 P.M. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Bethlehem Cemetery Fund, (6190 Albritton Road, Mulberry, Florida. 33860). Arrangements have been entrusted to Seigler Funeral Home, Mulberry, Fl. -Ledger, April 25, 2017

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