OBITS - Page  5




> EVELYN ALPINE YOUNG HIELSCHER -  88  - Postmaster of Alturas US Post Office
BARTOW - Evelyn Alpine Young Hielscher,passed away on March 24, 2018 in Bartow, FL. She was born on May 8, 1929 in Baker, FL. She was the daughter of the late William Henry Young and Flora Lee Peacock. She was married to the Late Merlin R. Hielscher, for 49 years, who passed away exactly 15 years ago to the day. Evelyn was a proud 1947 Graduate of Summerlin Institute, as well the Salutatorian. Her classmates were very important to her and many of them remained life-long friends. Evelyn was one of the 69 charter members of the First Baptist Church of Alturas and just celebrated her 65th year as a member and Sunday School teacher. She lived a devoted Christian life and daily followed Christ's example of 'loving one another.' She loved gospel music and had a lovely singing voice. In her younger years, she and her husband, Merlin; sisters, Raymurl & Flora and brother-in-law, Carl formed the Merry Melodies Quartet. She loved her little community of Alturas and was an active civic member; she was the PTA president of the Alturas Elementary and helped with many of the Halloween Carnivals. She was the president of the Alturas Women's Club.  Evelyn was the Postmaster of the Alturas US Post Office for 33 years. She took pride in a job well done. In 1989, she was sent to Washington DC to receive an Energy Efficiency Award from the Post Master General. Many Alturas community members would go to the Post Office just to visit with Evelyn or to seek her guidance and/or friendship. She was a simple lady, but a very smart woman with a strong belief in Christ and had a strong commitment to her church and family. Her family and friends affectionately called her 'Sister.' She was a fun person that loved to laugh, sing and TALK.
 She was the oldest sister of 8 siblings and her favorite celebration was Christmas morning where all her siblings and their families met at her brother Leland's barn. Her daughters, Dee and Sherry and their families adored her and were proud to call her Mama or Grandmama. She always made each of them feel loved and VERY special. She leaves to mourn her passing two daughters, Delores Elaine 'Dee' Sowell (Elon) of Bartow, FL and Cheryl 'Sherry' Maberry (Wayne) of Alturas, FL., two brothers, Leland Young of Alturas, Florida and James Young (Martha) of Clayton, Alabama; two sisters, Flora Conley (George) of Bartow, Florida and Donice 'Donnie' Bennett of Lakeland, Florida.  She leaves four grandchildren: Rick Sowell (Ashley), Jarrod Sowell, Beth Maberry (Jody Kaplon) of Temple Terrace, Florida, Amy Maberry of Alturas, and seven great-grandchildren: Jenna Sowell, Kyndal Sowell, Raelyn Sowell, all of Bartow, Asher and Brax Kaplon of Temple Terrace, Brook and Amber Palacios of Bartow and many special nieces and nephews and a HOST of friends.  
Funeral Services will be held at the First Baptist Church of Alturas on March 29, 2019 at 11:00 am. with burial at the Lake Buffum Baptist Cemetery. Time of visitation with family and friends will be Wednesday evening March 28, 2018 from 4:30 to 7:00 at Whidden-McLean Funeral Home in Bartow. Condolences to the family at Whidden-McLean Funeral Home: Bartow, Florida (FL)  -   -   Ledger, March 27, 2018
> PAULA J. HIELSCHER - 67 -  Librarian - Haines City Florida
BARTOW -- Mrs. Paula J. Hielscher, a librarian of more than 25 years at the Bartow Public Library, died of complications of cancer Tuesday (March 11, 2003) at home."The people who knew her -- the library staff and everybody that I have talked to, including the people at Moffitt -they loved her for her. She was a trouper," said her daughter, Melanie Hielscher Smith of Bartow. Born in Bartow on Feb. 3, 1936, she graduated from Summerlin Institute.  Mrs. Hielscher, who spent the majority of her life in Polk County, worked in the library in Haines City before she began working at the public library in Bartow in the mid1970s. An avid reader herself, Mrs. Hielscher was still working as a librarian when her health began to decline and she went into the hospital. "My father and her had a place that was awesome. Everyone who saw it said it was a little paradise. It was beautiful, decorated with a lot of trees that bloomed, a lot of roses and bougainvillea's on two acres, and Daddy made a big pond," Smith said. "She was an incredible woman. My mother was my best friend -- since high school if not before. "Mrs. Hielscher was a member of Bartow First Presbyterian Church. >She was preceded in death by her husband of 47 years, Grady Hielscher, in 2001. In addition to Smith,>  she is survived by her daughter, Sarah Hielscher, Bartow; son, Eric G. Hielscher, Bartow; and four grandchildren. Graveside services will be at 2 this afternoon at Wildwood Cemetery, Bartow. Whidden-McLean Funeral Home, Bartow. - Ledger, March 13, 2003
> EDNA MERLE GODWIN - 90 - Alturas Packing
BARTOW -- Mrs. Edna Merle Godwin of Bartow died at home Wednesday (June 8, 2005) of natural causes associated with old age. She was born on July 2, 1914, in Fort Meade, she was a She was alongtime resident of Bartow. fruit packer for Alturas Packing Co. She was a member of McLeod Memorial Presbyterian Church in Bartow. > Mrs. Godwin was preceded in death by her husband, A.L. Godwin. > She is survived by her brother, Sherrod Edwin Miller, Sebring; sisters, Marjorie Emma Osborne, Bartow, Sue Lee Wiggins, Reno, Nev., and Betty Ann Graham, Lake Worth; one grandson; and one great-granddaughter. Visitation will be Sunday at McLeod Memorial Presbyterian Church, 695 W. Stuart St., Bartow. Services will follow at 3 p.m. at the church. Burial will be at Wildwood Cemetery. Whidden McLean Funeral Home, Bartow. Ledger, June 10, 2005
> ODIE D. "RONNIE" GODWIN - 70 - Retired Publix
BARTOW - Mr. Odie D. "Ronnie" Godwin, passed away in Winton Salem, NC July 17, 2012 of heart failure. Mr. Godwin was born in Bowling Green, FL on July 27, 1941 and was a longtime resident of Bartow. He was retired from Publix Supermarkets after 37 years of service and worked as an Assistant Produce Manager. Mr. Godwin was a member of the Garden Grove Church in Winter Haven, a U.S. Army Veteran, and a graduate of Fort Meade High School . > Mr. Godwin was preceded in death by his parents, Odie Huron Godwin and Elsie Cowart Godwin.  >  He is survived by his wife, Alliene W. Godwin, Bartow, FL; sons, DeRon Godwin, Auburndale, FL, Wes Godwin and wife Christina, Winter Haven, FL; daughters, Beth Caraway, Bartow, FL, Robin Stringer and husband Darryl, Stephen City, VA; brothers, Jim Godwin and wife Virginia and David Godwin and wife Deborah, all of Coker Creek, TN; sister, Carol Sue Waters and husband Chester, Lakeland, FL; five grandchildren, David Godwin, Jonathan Godwin, Makenna Caraway, Brenna Stringer and Brooke Stringer. Visitation will be held Sat., July 21, 2012 at Hancock Funeral Home, 945 E. Broadway, Fort Meade. Funeral services will be held 3:00p.m., Sun., July 22, 2012 at the First United Methodist Church, Fort Meade with Rev. Frank Hawley officiating. Interment will follow in Evergreen Cemetery, Fort Meade. Condolences may be sent to the family at Hancock Funeral Home, Fort Meade  863-285-8171 - Ledger, July 20, 2012
> MONA LEE GREEN  -  Teacher -  Ledger, Nov. 2, 2017
LAKELAND - Mona Lee Green passed away peacefully Friday, October 27, 2017 surrounded by her family.  Mona was born on July 16, 1932 in Fort Meade, Florida to Morris Rowell and Meda  Albritton Rowell. Mona graduated from Summerlin Institute in Bartow where she was a cheerleader and glee club member. Mona was loved by her classmates, many of them remaining lifelong friends. She married Oliver Green, Jr., the love of her life, on September 3, 1960 at All Saints' Episcopal Church. Mona enjoyed traveling and took many trips with Oliver and their three daughters, Jacki, Mary Catherine, and Miriam. Mona was active with the Campfire Girls for many years. She loved gardening and watching hummingbirds and butterflies that her gardens attracted. Mona and Oliver were PTA presidents seven times at five different schools.  All Saints' Episcopal Church was a big part of their life. They were both very active members. Their three daughters were baptized there. After raising her children, Mona received a Bachelor's degree in teaching from Florida Southern College. Thereafter, she taught at Highland City Elementary School and Scott Lake Elementary School. Her students always loved her, and she cared for them as if they were her own. Oliver frequently attended her class and helped her with projects. Her family and friends were particularly proud when the Tampa Tribune newspaper featured her in a glowing article about teachers, that was published on February 26, 1995.  The unconditional love and support of her children and her husband had no boundary.  Mona never met a stranger and had loyal friends that she cherished. Her smile and patience made her friends and family know her love. Mona was her husband's biggest supporter. She loved hosting Christmas parties and entertaining friends and colleagues at their home.  Mona and Oliver were recognized by the Lakeland Bar Association in 2014 with the first Spirit of Giving Award. The annual award, which was also named in their honor, represented their years of dedication and commitment to their professions and the community. > Mona is survived by her husband Oliver. They were married for 57 years. She is also survived by their three daughters: Jacki Hill (Mike), Mary Catherine Green, and Miriam Patrice Green, three grandchildren, Allison Hill Hinkle (Dan), Michael Hill, Jr. and Margaret Mona Janutolo, two great grandchildren, Riley Abigail Hinkle and Grant Oliver Hinkle, Sister, Miriam Barrett (Archie), sisters in law Nancy Poole, Patricia Armistead and extended family members. > She is preceded in death by her first husband, Jack Estabrook, who met an untimely death in a military aircraft accident, and her parents, Morris and Meda Rowell. Celebration of life will be held on Saturday, November 4, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. at All Saints' Episcopal Church, 202 South Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, Florida, 33801. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to: All Saints' Episcopal Church Building Fund, 202 South Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, Florida, 33801, Cornerstone Hospice, 2445 Lane Park Road, Tavares, FL 32778 or American Parkinson Disease Association, 135 Parkinson Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10305. Condolences may be sent to the family at
BARTOW - Harry Conner Griffin of Lakeland, FL passed away to be with his Lord and Savior on January 20th, 2017 at Lakeland Regional Health. Harry was born in Bartow on March 24, 1938 and lived in Bartow and Lakeland his entire life. He married his wife of 56 years, Betty Watson Griffin of Tifton, GA, in 1960. He was a loving husband, father, son, uncle, cousin, brother, grandfather and loyal friend to many. Harry graduated from Summerlin Institute in Bartow in 1956. He earned an Associate's degree from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, GA and a Bachelor's degree from Florida Southern College. Harry began his professional career with the Florida Department of Agriculture. After almost a decade with the state, Harry took a leap of faith and began his career in Real Estate. In the early 1970s, he opened Harry C. Griffin & Associates Real Estate in Bartow, FL and served as a Realtor for almost 50 years. Harry also worked for the Polk County School Board as a property acquisition specialist. Harry was very active in the Bartow and Polk County community. He was a life-long member of the First Baptist Church of Bartow, where he was a Deacon Emeritus. He also served as the church treasurer for 16 years. Additionally, Harry was very active in the Kiwanis Club of Bartow and the Bartow Chamber of Commerce. Harry was a member of the Bartow and Lakeland Board of Realtors. He served several terms as President of the Bartow Board of Realtors and was awarded Realtor of the Year on several occasions. Harry also served in the National Guard for almost a decade. Harry enjoyed camping in his RV, traveling, fishing, and football. He also enjoyed several agricultural pursuits including dairy and citrus farming and raising cattle. Throughout his life he cherished time spent with family and friends. > Harry is survived by his loving wife, Betty Watson Griffin. He is also survived by his three children, son Garry Harrison Griffin of Gainesville (wife Mindy Miller Griffin), daughter Amy Griffin Gary of Bentonville, AR (husband Chris Ray Gary), and son Harry Conner Griffin, Jr. of Orlando (wife Evelyn Elizabeth Griffin). He is also survived by his 6 cherished grandchildren, Alan Ray Gary, Jonathan Harrison Griffin, Rebecca LeeAnne Gary, Joshua Michael Griffin, Harry Conner Griffin, III and Michelle Grace Griffin. He is also survived by his brother James H. Griffin, Jr. > Harry is preceded in death by his father, James H. Griffin, Sr., his mother Lucy Conner Griffin, and his brother Edward M. Griffin.
Services are Saturday, January 28th, 2017 at First Baptist Church of Bartow, FL. Visitation will be at 10 am, with the service at 11 am, followed by interment at Wildwood Cemetery in Bartow, FL. Condolences to family at - Ledger, Jan. 24, 2017
> JOHN  R. "BOBBY" GRIFFIN  - 74 - Cattle/Citrus Industry - Circle B
LAKELAND - John R. "Bobby" Griffin of Lakeland, Florida, formerly of Bartow, Florida, passed away as a result of heart failure on February 11, 2009. He was born in Bartow on November 20 1934 and retired in 1998 from Florida Citrus Mutual as Marketing Director.  Bobby was raised on E. F. Griffin Road and graduated from Summerlin Institute.  Bobby and his brother Sonny cleared the land now known as Circle B and raised pure bred Brahman cattle there. They worked long hours in the family citrus groves in Lake Placid, Lakeland, Bartow and Alturas. Bobby was paramount in the formation of the Lakeland Lighthouse Mission and was a member of the CBMC for many years.  Bobby gave his life to Jesus Christ at the age of 32 and served at the First Baptist Church of Bartow and Lakeside Baptist Church of Lakeland, for many years, as a Sunday school teacher and deacon. He also taught financial planning to many young couples as a part of his ministry. > Mr. Griffin is survived by his wife of 37 years, Bonnie Griffin; 5 daughters, Dee Wade of Bartow, FL, Linda Griffin of Nashville, TN, Dawn Griffin, Melinda Liddy and Karrie Stinson all of Lakeland, FL; a brother Sonny Griffin of Bartow, FL; 13 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. The family will receive friends Sunday, February 15, 2009, from 4-6pm at Gentry-Morrison Funeral Home Southside Chapel at 1727 Bartow Road, Lakeland, FL. Funeral services will be conducted Monday, February 16, 2009, at 11am at Lakeside Baptist Church at 1736 New Jersey Road, Lakeland, FL. Interment will follow at Oak Hill Burial Park. - Ledger, Feb. 14, 2009 
RONNY P. HALL - 74 -  Fl. DOT
BARTOW - Ronny P. Hall passed away Thursday, January 17, 2019 at Bartow Regional Medical Center. Born February 10, 1944 in Bartow. Mr. Hall was a lifelong resident of Bartow.   He was a District Estimate Coordinator for the Florida Department of Transportation for over 41 years.  He later was employed with Atkins Consulting Group for over 10 years.
He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Bartow serving on the properties committee for the Church, and a graduate of Summerlin Institute, Class of 1962. He was a former member of the Florida National Guard. >He is survived by his wife of 52 years: Dianne Hall, a daughter: Wendy Lee Hall, two sisters: June Garrett and Beverly Hall (Earl); two grandchildren: Tanner Schaill and Madison Schaill, all of Bartow. > Family will receive friends Monday January 21, 2019  at Whidden-McLean Funeral Home, Bartow. Funeral services will be held Tuesday January 22, 2019 at 10:00 A.M. at the funeral home. Interment will be held at Wildwood Cemetery, Bartow. Memorials may be made to the Properites Committee of the Bartow First Baptist Church, 410 E. Church Street, Bartow 33830. Condolences to family at - Ledger, Sat. Jan. 19, 2019
> IVAN E. RICHARDSON - 89 -  Swift & Company
BARTOW - Ivan E. Richardson of Bartow, FL, passed away Friday, November 30, 2018, at Good Shepherd Hospice in Auburndale, FL.  Born in East Chicago, IN on November 29, 1929 to Ivan E. and Pearl Goodson Richardson. Ivan's family returned to Eustis, Fl. before the end of 1929 and he attended schools in Eustis and Leesburg, FL through the seventh grade, coming to Bartow in 1941 to become a proud member of the Summerlin Institute Class of 1947.  Ivan's career spanned four years with Swift & Co., twenty-one years with International Mineral & Chemical Corp, and twenty-one years with Mobil Mining & Minerals, retiring in 1996 from Mobil.  He was active in several professional societies and organizations throughout his career. He was one of the founding members of Cosmet, a large dragline/ shovel, owner/ operator organization, whose members came from all over North America. He served as president of Cosmet in 1992.  Ivan served several years as Director and Treasurer of IMC Employees Federal Credit Union. He served 16 years in the Florida National Guard and the US Army Reserve. He was active in Boy Scouting, serving as Asst. Scout Master, Neighborhood Commissioner, Round Table Commissioner and District Commissioner for the Lake Wales Phosphate District, Gulf Ridge Council, Boy Scouts of America and a member of the Order of the Arrow, B.S.A. After retirement Ivan enjoyed developing his family's genealogy. He was a frequent Writer of letters to the Editor of the Polk County Democrat and the Lakeland Ledger on many subjects. He was very active in the Summerlin Institute Class of 1947 reunions through the years. He served on the City of Bartow Charter Review Committee to update the city charter in 2007 and 2008. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Bartow. > He was preceded in death by his mother and father, sons, Scott and Douglas Richardson, daughter, Nancy Ann Davis, brothers: Keith and Dr. Kenneth W. Richardson, sister Gail Baildon. > He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Glenda Minshew Richardson, daughter Patricia Carol Billings (Charles) of Tallahassee, five grandchildren, Sarah Davis, Andrew (Ashlyn) and McKenzie Richardson, Scott and Phillip Billings, sister-in-law Joan Richardson and daughter in law, Teri Richardson.Funeral services were held Monday, December 3, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. at Whidden-McLean Funeral Home, Bartow. Interment will follow in Bartow Wildwood Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Good Shepherd Hospice, 105 Arneson Ave, Auburndale, 33223 or First Baptist Church of Bartow, 410 E. Church St, Bartow, 33830. Condolences to family at - Ledger, Dec. 1 & 5 - 2018
> VIRGINIA MERLENE BUZZELL - 72 - Marshalls - Born in Bartow  - Ledger, Feb. 5, 2015
EATON PARK - Virginia Merlene Buzzell  passed away on January 27, 2015, due to heart failure. Virginia was born on November 6, 1942, to Jess and Helen McCeldry  in Bartow, FL.  She graduated high school at the Summerlin Institute in Bartow. She worked retail most of her life, retiring from Marshalls as assistant manager. She worked at the Election Voting Precinct for many years. She loved to work in her garden, anything to do with flowers and mostly her family. >Virginia was preceded in death by her husband Levi Stanley Buzzell, Sr. and >survived by her sons, David and William McCrary; step sons, Levi and Donnie Buzzell; 4 grandchildren; and 2 great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 7, at 10:00 am, at Gentry-Morrison Funeral Home, Southside Chapel with a graveside service at Oak Hill Burial Park following the service. -
> JACKIE M. BLOCKER, SR  - 77 - Jacks Taxidermy & Gun Shop
BARTOW - Jackie M. Blocker, Sr.  passed away Monday, December 19, 2016 at his residence in Bartow. Born March 29, 1939 in Bartow, Mr. Blocker was a lifelong resident.  He was a Crop Insurance Adjuster for many years. He was the owner of Jack's Taxidermy and Gun Shop and operated a Ligustrum nursery for many years. He was a graduate of Summerlin Institute and Florida Southern College with a degree in Citrus and Business. Jackie was an Elder with McLeod Memorial Presbyterian Church. He served in the Florida National Guard and the Army Reserve. He was active in the Dixie Youth League and was an avid hunter and fisherman. >Jackie is preceded in death by his parents: J.C. Blocker & Anna Snow, his sister: Ardice Randall. > He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Kay M. Blocker; daughter: Jeannie B. Stepner (Rick), Whitehouse Station, NJ; son: Mark Blocker ( Lisa ), Fort Pierce, FL; two grandchildren: Samantha and Ty Stepner. Family will receive friends Thursday, December 22, 2016 from 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM at McLeod Memorial Presbyterian Church, Bartow. Funeral services will follow at 11:00 AM at the church. Interment will be at Gandy Cemetery, Connersville. Memorials may be made to McLeod Memorial Presbyterian Church, 695 West Stuart St., Bartow, FL 33830 or the Parkinson's Foundation at Condolences to family at - Ledger, Dec. 20, 2016
> ABNER V. COKER, Jr. - 68 - Department of Transportation
BARTOW - Abner V. Coker, Jr. died Monday, June 23, 2008, at Palm Terrace Hospice of Lakeland of cancer. Born July 11, 1939 in Townes, GA, Mr. Coker was a lifelong resident of Bartow. He was an engineer with Florida DOT for 14 yrs & retired from Polk County Engineering after 26 yrs. He was presently with Keith & Schnars Engineering of Lakeland. He was Chairman of Board of Deacons & Sunday School Director & teacher at the First Baptist Church of Bartow. He was Past Master of Tuscan Lodge #6 F&AM, Bartow. He served with the Florida National Guard. He was a graduate of Summerlin Institute, Class of 1957. >He was preceded in death by his mother Pauline Coker.  >He is survived by his wife: Pat Coker; daughters: Cathy & husband Dr. Randal Whitten of Granbury, TX, Chris & husband Mario Cabrera of Lakeland, Candi Greene of Bartow, Father A.V. Coker Sr. of Bartow; brother: Bobby Coker & sister Judy McDonald, both of Tallahassee; grandchildren: Geoffrey & Ryan Whitten, Sydney & Jacob Cabrera, Kathleen & Emalee Greene & several nieces & nephews. Family will receive friends Wed. June 25, at Whidden-McLean Funeral Home, 650 E. Main St. Bartow. Funeral services will be held Thurs, June 26, 2008 at First Baptist Church, 410 E. Church St, Bartow. Memorials may be made to: Bartow First Baptist Church, 410 E. Church St, Bartow 33830; or American Cancer Society, 809 S. Fla. Ave, Lakeland 33801. Condolences to family at - Ledger, June 25, 2008
BARTOW - Our loving Wife and Mother was called home because God requires another Angel in heaven. Mary is deeply missed, and will live in our hearts and minds forever. Born on January 13, 1943 in Bartow, Mary passed on November 8, 2018.   >She is preceded in death by her parents Rob Brown and Maudella  Hester Brown, two brothers, Bennie and Robbie Brown.  >Mary is survived by her husband, C. Wayne Guest, sister Gladys Johnson, two sons, David (Heather) and Ben (Sarah) and six beautiful grandchildren: Yancey, Robyn, Mason, Kaylyn, EV, and Sawyer. Mary grew up in Bartow, graduating from Summerlin Institute (High School), Class of 1961. Mary began her working career at Bartow Ford. She married Wayne in 1963, and became an Army wife as Wayne was drafted soon after. Mary traveled the world including the Middle East, Europe, Canada as well as every state within the USA. She even worked in the White House addressing Christmas cards for the First Family and helped with decorations. In 1981, Mary served as Hostess at Key Bridge Marriott Hotel for Hollywood entertainers attending President Reagan's Inauguration. During this time, she was a devoted Army Officer's wife and loving mother as she worked to improve the life styles for soldiers and their families as well as her own. Upon retirement from a career as an Army wife, Mary finished college by graduating from USF with a degree in teaching and began a teaching career with the Polk County Public Schools. She taught Business Education and Computer Technology courses at her alma mater, Bartow High School. Mary greatly enjoyed the student Work/OJT program with Mid Florida Credit Union. She especially loved teaching the children of her high school classmates. Her retirement plans began when she started to have her classmates' grandchildren in her classes. Mary loved traveling, particularly the National Parks. Her favorite was Bryce Canyon Park in Utah. Mary was a true Gypsy when it came to traveling. She loved the traditional summer family vacation to Anna-Maria Island. A Celebration of Mary's life will be held at 3:00, on Tuesday, November 13, at the First Baptist Church, 401 East Church Street, Bartow, FL. Reception will be held in the Ministry Center after so family and friends can gather and share memories while enjoying dinner. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Mary's name may be made to Summerlin Institute Alumni Scholarship, c/o Polk Education Foundation, PO BOX 391, Bartow, FL, 33830. Condolences at - Ledger, Nov. 11, 2018

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