Obits page - 7


> ETHEL COSTINE MILLER  - 80 - Proof Operator
LAKELAND - Ethel Caroline (Costine) Miller passed away from heart failure at home on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 surrounded by her loving family and faithful dog Chico. She was born Saturday August 1, 1931 in Kathleen, FL. She was proud to be a "Strawberry Girl" born, raised and deceased on the family farm land. She graduated from Kathleen High School in 1949 where she was a cheerleader and member of the girls basketball team. As a teenager, she worked in the Kress dime store in downtown Lakeland. >In March 1951, Kress lost their candy counter girl the day Bill Miller stroled in wearing his Air Force uniform. It was love at first sight and in August they eloped to Georgia. After retirement from the banking industry, she enjoyed reminiscing about her younger years, sharing her Costine and Bryant family history, cooking meals and spending time with her family. Her grandchildren
and great grandchildren were her pride and joy. >Mrs. Miller was preceded in death by her loving husband William Miller; parents Henry Leonard and Susan (Bryant) Costine; siblings Henry, Horace, Eugene, Edith (Gagnier), Edna Sue, L.V. and grandson Christopher Roy Miller.> She is survived by her sons William "Bill" (Robbie) Miller and Dudley Miller; grandchildren William Shawn (Michelle) Miller, Kristy (Jasson) Drinkard and Rebecca (Christopher) Curran; great grandchildren William Pryce Miller, Christopher Riley Miller, Jayden Drinkard and Brynn Curran; brother-in-law Duane (Mary Ellen) Miller. The family would like to thank the awesome caregivers of Good Shepherd Hospice. A funeral service will be held Monday, March 12 at 11:00 am at Lanier Funeral Home with the visitation one hour prior to the service.- Socrum CemeteryLedger, March 11, 2012
LAKELAND - Mrs. Joannah Williams Costine passed away on November 19, 2012 due to congestive heart failure. She was born on March 29, 1929 in Moore Haven, FL. She was a life-long resident of Lakeland.  Mrs. Costine attended New Home Baptist Church and was a member of the Polk County Cattleman's Association and Florida Farm Bureau. She obtained her Bachelor degree from Florida State College for Women now Florida State, and got her Master's degree from University of Florida. She also spent her entire life in the cattle business and taught school for 38 years. Most of her time teaching was spent at Lakeland and Seth McKeel Junior High Schools.
>Mrs. Costine is preceded in death by her husband, John Wilton Costine. >She is survived by her son, Joseph C. (Harriet) Costine of Lakeland. Visitation will be held on Friday nOV. 23, 2012 at Lanier Funeral Home Chapel. A funeral will take place at 10:00 AM on Saturday (11/24) at Socrum Cemetery. Interment will be in Socrum Cemetery.- Ledger, Nov. 24, 2012
> LESLIE WALTER COSTINE - 89 - A True Cracker Cowboy
LAKELAND - Mr. Leslie Walter Costine passed away November 22, 2018. Mr. Leslie Costine was born in Lakeland, FL on February 12, 1929 to Walter and Exa Costine. He served in the US Army and was a member of the VFW for 55 years. He was a proud member of the Florida Cattleman's Association and was a true Florida cracker-cowboy. He loved his cows and his puppy, Lucky. He enjoyed growing vegetables in his garden.> He is survived by the children that adopted him Faye, Beverly, Pat, Wayne, Emmette, and Byron, many cousins, nieces, and nephews.> He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Exa Costine; wife, Pauline Costine; brothers, Winefred and Alfred (Buddy) Costine, and long-time life companion Maxine Johnson. A graveside service will be held Monday, November 26, 2018 at 11am at Socrum Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider making donations to Cornerstone Hospice.- Ledger, Nov. 2, 2018
> NANCY ANN COSTINE - 80 -  Homemaker
PLANT CITY -- Mrs. Nancy Ann Costine of Plant City died following a stroke Sunday (March 9, 2003) at the Good Shepherd Hospice Wing at Grace Healthcare. She was born in Macclenny on Nov. 9, 1922, she came to Plant City from Zephyrhills in 1937. She was a homemaker.> Mrs. Costine was >preceded in death by her husband, Earnest Costine.  
>She is survived by her daughters, Shirley Ann Morgan, Plant City, Christine Sue Freeman, Manassas, Va., Dorothy Laverne Baggett, Marie Jeanette Costine, both of Lakeland; 10 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren. Services at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Interment will be at Socrum Cemetery, Lakeland. Memorials may be made to Good Shepherd Hospice, 105 Arneson Ave., Auburndale, FL 33823. Lanier Funeral Home, Lakeland. - Ledger, March 11, 2003
>  WINFRED L. COSTINE - 93 - Life Insurance Sales
LAKELAND - Winfred L. Costine passed away July 18, 2018 of natural causes in Jacksonville, Florida. He was born in Lakeland, Florida August 10, 1924 and lived in Lakeland until 2 years ago. He went to Kathleen High School where he graduated with the class of 1941. A Veteran of World War II, served in European Theatre II, Armored Division 3rd Army under General Patton. He sold life insurance for 35 plus years. He was a long time member of Bethel Baptist and served as a Deacon for many years before moving his letter to Eastside Nazarene Church. >Winfred was preceded in death by his wife Sylvia Costine, father Walter and mother Exa, brother Alfred (Buddy) Costine.> He is survived by his brother Leslie W. Costine, Lakeland, daughter Vickie R. Forrest, Lakeland, two sons Herman (Carmen), Jacksonville, Gary (Susan), North Carolina. He had 8 grandchildren, Jason, Chris, Jennifer, Michael, Phillip (Elizabeth), Ben (Cynthia), Eric (Nicole) and Brittney (Sven), 10 great grandchildren and 1 great great granddaughter. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to The Dementia Association or Bethel Baptist Church. Interment will be at a later date. A Memorial Service will be held on Tues. August 21 at Bethel Baptist Church; Visitation will be at 10 a.m. Service at 10:30 a.m. with Pastor Harry Rhoads officiating. A luncheon will follow.- Ledger, Aug. 15, 2018 - Burial in Socrum Cemetery.
>  NAOMI "NANNY" ASHLEY  - 77 - Childcare Worker
LAKELAND - Mrs. Naomi "Nanny" Joy Ashley of Lakeland passed away Friday, Nov. 9, 2007 at LRMC due to cancer. She was born Nov. 18, 1929 in Wyatt, W.V. She moved to Lakeland in 1960 from Clarksburg, W.V. Mrs. Ashley was also a Christian. >She was preceded in death by her husband, Melvin R. Ashley; and her sister, Ona Pearl Buchanon. >Survivors include, son, Richard P. Ashley of Lakeland; daughter, Dianna Ashley Bozeman of Lakeland; son, Jerry L. Ashley of Lakeland; son, James R. Ashley of Lakeland; son, Mark D. Ashley of Lakeland; brother, Herbert Halpenny, Jr. of Wyatt, W.V.; sister, Dottie Kishbaugh of Clarksburg, W.V.; 24 grandchildren and 44 great grandchildren. The visitation will be Tuesday from 6-8 P.M. at the Gentry-Morrison Northside Chapel. Graveside services will be Wednesday at 10 00 a.m. at Socrum Cemetery. - Ledger, Nov.13, 2007
> VERGIL LEE BOWEN - 83 - Amx/Greyhound
LAKELAND - Mr. Vergil Lee Bowen passed away Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at LRMC due to complications of Alzheimer's. Mr. Bowen was born January 20, 1930 in Rockledge, Florida to James and Lizzie Bowen. He was a member of Bethel Baptist Church and a lifelong resident of Polk County. >Vergil was preceded in death by his parents, James and Lizzie Bowen; siblings, Vernon, Cecil and Grady Bowen, Lessie Bridges, Zephy Goodman-Dunn, and Trudy Beall. >Survivors include his wife, Elaine Bowen; daughter, Katherine Little (Eric); son, Paul Bowen (Tina); two grandchildren, Alex Bowen and Ava Little. A visitation will be Friday from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Gentry-Morrison Funeral Homes Serenity Gardens Chapel. Funeral services will be Saturday at 11:00 AM at Bethel Baptist Church with interment to follow at Socrum Cemetery. Gentry-Morrison at Serenity Gardens in charge of arrangements. - Ledger, Nov. 27, 2013 
> HOWARD BELLEW - 93 - Polk Co. School Board
SEMINOLE - Howard Bellew formerly of Lakeland, passed away Thursday, August 27, due to heart failure in Seminole, FL. He was born in Cleveland, AL and moved to Lakeland in 1957. He retired from the Polk County School Board where he worked in the transportation division. He was a member of the Parkview Baptist Church in Lakeland, FL. His son, James William Bellew of Palm Beach Gardens; daughter, Glenda Braun of Seminole, FL; four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren survive himGraveside services are scheduled for 11:00AM on Monday, August 31, at the Bethel Cemetery (3125 W. Socrum Loop Road, Lakeland, FL.) to sign his guestbook.- Ledger, Aug. 29, 2009 - Socum Cemetery
> PEGGY BLACKMON  - 94 - Healthcare Secretary
LAKELAND - Peggy Blackmon of Lakeland passed away on November 6, 2017. She was born in Clevis England to Richard and Sarah Metcalfe. Peggy was a healthcare secretary but her true love was spending time with family and volunteering at Bethel Baptist Church. >Peggy is preceded in death by her husband Thomas Blackmon. >She is survived by son Robert C. Hunt and wife Susan, daughters: Anne Ebdrup and Evelyn Elliott and husband Daniel, eight grandchildren, eighteen great grandchildren and four great-great
grandchildren. Graveside service will be at Socrum Cemetery, 3125 W Socrum Loop Rd, Lakeland, FL on Friday, November 10 at 11am. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make donations to Good Shepherd Hospice, 105 Arneson Ave., Auburndale, FL, 33823-3229.-Ledger, Nov. 9, 2017
> WALTER LEON MELTON - 89 - Retired Journeyman Electrician -h/o-Faye Melton
BONIFAY - Walter Leon Melton of Bonifay, Florida (formerly of Auburndale) passed away Monday, December 24, 2018. He was a native of Booneville, Arkansas, born March 29, 1929, Walter moved to Bonifay in 1981 from Auburndale. He was a retired Journeyman Electrician, and a former member of the I.B.E.W. >Walter was preceded in death by his loving wife of 69 1/2 years, Faye Melton, his mother Retha Smith James, and his son-in-law Bob Narramore.> He is survived by his daughters Leonda Faye Narramore of Winter Haven, FL, and Kathryn Rogge (Drew) of Petaluma, CA; his grandchildren: Anne Wilson (Tony), Matthew Rogge (Katie Simpson), Marina Standland (Matthew), and Carey Bussell (Alyssa); and his great-grandchildren: Michelle Wilson and Graham Bussell. Graveside services will be held 1:00 PM Saturday, February 23, 2019 at Socrum Cemetery in Lakeland, FL. Flowers are welcome, or a donation can be made to: Emerald Coast Hospice, 1330 South Blvd., Chipley, FL 32428. Immediately following the services, there will be a gathering of friends and family at the clubhouse of Ariana Harbor, 164 Harbor Way, Auburndale. Condolences to the family can be sent to: - Ledger, Feb. 17, 2019
> JERRY BRYAN  - 79 - City of Lakeland    -  Ledger, June 30, 2014
LAKELAND - Mr. Jerry Bryan of Lakeland, went home to be with the Lord, June 28, 2014 due to heart failure. He was surrounded by his loving family. Mr. Bryan was born in Lakeland, Florida on December 9, 1934. He graduated from Kathleen High School in 1953 and worked 36 years for the City of Lakeland. Jerry was an active member of Bethel Baptist Church and enjoyed farming and gardening. He also loved Gospel singing, taking trips to his cabin in the Smokey Mountains and spending time with his family and grandkids. > Jerry was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Mary Lou Bryan; parents, A.M. and Jewel (Lindsey) Bryan. >He is survived by his son Jerry Jr. and his wife Virginia, a daughter Jeri Lynne O'steen and her husband Alan; brother, Donald Bryan and his wife Shirley; sister, Linda McQuaig and her husband George; grandchildren Jason Bryan and wife Ellen, Bryan O'steen and wife Susan, and his three great grandchildren Eve Bryan, Nolan and Hannah O'steen. The Celebration of his life will be held on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. from Bethel Baptist Church with burial to follow in Socrum Cemetery. Friends are invited to the visitation at the church on Monday, June 30, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The family has requested that donations could be made to Bethel Baptist Church or the Florida Baptist Children's Home. Arrangements by Gentry-Morrison Funeral Home at Serenity Gardens.
> DONALD BRYAN, Sr. - 78 -  Truck Driver for Publix -  Ledger, May 2, 2015
LAKELAND - After fighting the good fight, Donald Bryan, Sr. finished his race (2 Timothy 4:7) here on earth April 28, 2015, as God called him to his eternal home. For nine years he courageously battled cancer. Finally, after much prayer he made the choice to not pursue any other treatments and to spend his last weeks at home where friends could visit and family could lovingly care for him. Don was born on November 7, 1936, in Lakeland, FL, to A.M. 'Chuck' and Jewel Bryan. His parents were farmers so he learned the value of hard work at a young age. For 37.5 years he worked for Publix Supermarkets as a truck driver. Daddy loved life! He loved to travel, garden and spend time at his home in Bryson City, NC. He worked hard, cared for his family, stayed involved in church and continued to serve others for all his days. He was a giver. Lots of people know our father and call him friend. Many lives were impacted along the way as we shared Daddy's journey with cancer. Even towards the end of his life he was thinking of others. 'Don was very loving and generous man. We so enjoyed traveling, spending time in the mountains and being a part of our kid's lives. He loved people and fought a good fight to the end. In a few months we would have celebrated our 55th wedding anniversary. Love you forever!' 
> His wife, Shirley 'My best friend and father has left this earthly life for his new home in heaven. What he has left behind is a legacy to his life lived for Christ. I am thankful that I got to live and learn from him. One of the things I have learned is how to live life and enjoy our time here. He taught me to keep my priorities straight and everything else will fall in place. Because of his influence and character, I have become who I am today. He always put Christ first, then others and then himself. Even till the end he was more concerned about others than himself. For this, I am grateful. Dad, I love you and will see you in heaven.'
> His son, Doug > 'There are so many things I could share about my daddy, but I think the last nine years of his life will be most impactful. I watched him endure numerous treatments, visits to the doctor and test after test without complaining - Optimist. He cried when he shared his story and when a new friend, Renee, came to know Christ as her Savior because he was in the hospital - Loved people. I saw him continue to walk when he was in severe pain so he could go to church - Strong faith. He continued to drive until he was no longer able - Determined (or stubborn!). My Daddy always made sure my Mom was taken care of and loved her dearly - Good husband. My father was not afraid to die. He told me that 'he made peace with God a long time ago.' Daddy's faith was built upon the solid rock of Jesus Christ and his courage, strength and endurance came from Christ alone. I love my Daddy and already miss him. I praise God that one day I will see him again and we will spend eternity worshipping Jesus.
> His daughter, Kathy >'I remember Dad as a quiet man who always loved God, worked hard and taught us to enjoy vacation time with friends and family. He has left a legacy of God first, be a man of your word, help others, and live a life that is a Godly example. We will miss you dad, but so happy you are free from pain.'
> His daughter, Lori > His grandsons said they admired their Grandpa's work ethic and love for people. Our prayers are answered. His long (9 year) journey with cancer is finally over. God beat cancer! Praise God he now has a body free of pain and disease. >He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Shirley, a son Doug (Karen) Bryan, daughters Kathy (Chris) Medlin and Lori Bryan; grandsons, David and Jason; a sister, Linda (George) McQuaig. Please join us in celebrating our father's life as we give God glory for all He did in and through him. His Celebration of Life will be held May 2 at 11:00 am at Kathleen Baptist Church followed by lunch for family and friends in the fellowship hall. Graveside service will be held at Socrum Cemetery at 2:30 pm. In lieu of flowers and in honor of our father we ask that you make a donation to the building fund at Victory Baptist Church. Gifts should be mailed to P.O. Box 1027, Bryson City, NC, 28713. 
> MARY LOU GRIGSBY BRYAN  - 78 - Winston Elementary School Cafeteria
LAKELAND - Mary Lou Bryan of Lakeland, went home to be with the Lord, Feb. 15, 2014. She was surrounded by her loving family. Mary Lou was born in Cullman, AL, but grew up in Lakeland. She graduated from Kathleen High School in 1955, and worked in the Winston Elementary School cafeteria for 25 years, retiring in 1993. She loved Gospel singing, taking trips to her cabin in the Smokey Mountains, and spending time with family and her grandkids. >Mary Lou was preceded in death by her father and mother, William Clyde and Nina Grigsby, and by her birth mother, Azalee Grigsby and her brother, William Richard Grigsby. >She is survived by her husband of 59 years, Jerry Bryan, her son Jerry Jr. and his wife Virginia, a daughter Jeri Lynne O'steen and her husband Alan; a sister Carolyn Ritter and husband Jerry, a brother James R. "Bama" Grigsby and wife Deborah, her grandchildren Jason Bryan and wife Ellen, Bryan O'steen and wife Susan, and her three great grandchildren Eve Bryan, and Nolan and Hannah O'steen. A Celebration of her Life was held on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 at 2:00 pm at Bethel Baptist Church with burial to follow in Socrum Cemetery. Friends were invited to a visitation that was held at the church on Monday, Feb. 17 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. The family has requested that donations could be made to either Bethel Baptist Church, or, Good Shepherd Hospice. The family is deeply grateful during this difficult time for all the love, prayers and support during the passing of Mary Lou. Arrangements by Gentry-Morrison at Serenity Gardens.- Ledger, Feb. 17, 2014
> CLINTON D. BUTLER - 72 - Florida Tile  - h/o- Bobbie Jean Butler
LAKELAND - Mr. Clinton Butler died at home in the loving care of his family and Good Shepherd Hospice on Saturday, September 13, 2008 from heart failure. Mr. Butler was born in Lakeland on December 1, 1935 and was a lifetime resident. He was a press operator for Florida Tile and was of the Pentecostal faith. >He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Bobbie J. Butler of Lakeland; son, Charles (and Jane) Butler of Canton, North Carolina; daughter Joan (and Daniel) Ford of Kathleen; six grandchildren; and six great grandchildren. Visitation will be held on Tuesday September 16, 2008 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. and Wed., September 17, 2008 from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. Funeral services will be held Wed., September 17, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. at Lakeland Funeral Home with Interment following in Socrum Cemetery. An Online Guest Book is available at . - Ledger, Sept. 16, 2008
> BOBBIE JEAN BUTLER - 79 - w/o- Clinton D. Butler
KATHLEEN - Bobbie Jean Butler of Kathleen, FL passed away May 3, 2017 in Canton, NC. She was born June 3, 1937 in Florence, AL. She was a devoted Christian, active in the Assembly of God Church throughout her life. >Bobbie is preceded in death by her husband Clinton D. Butler. >Left to treasure her memory are her children Charles Butler (Jane) of Canton, NC and Joan Tew (Larry) of Kathleen, FL; 7 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; 3 brothers and 3 sisters. A visitation will be held at 10AM on Wednesday, May 10 at the Lakeland Funeral Home with a funeral service at 11AM. Interment will follow in the Socrum Cemetery, Socrum Loop Rd., immediately following the service. - Ledger, May 9, 2017
> MISS MORGAN MICHELLE BRYANT - 9 -   Sonrise Christian School
LAKELAND -- Miss Morgan Michelle Bryant, the daughter of Ronnie and Carla Bryant of Lakeland, died of injuries sustained in an auto accident Monday (Feb. 20, 2006, in Lakeland. She was born in Lakeland on April 23, 1996, she was a lifelong resident. She was a fourth-grade student at Sonrise Christian School. She was a member of Sonrise Cathedral Church of God. In addition to her parents, Miss Bryant is survived by her grandparents, Carl and Annis Coker, and Irvin and Joyce Bryant, all of Lakeland, and her great-grandmother, Hattie E. Coker, Lakeland. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Countryside Funeral Chapel. Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at Sonrise Cathedral Church of God. Burial will be in Socrum Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Sonrise Christian School.- Ledger, Feb. 23, 2006

> MARTHA LEE COSTINE - 78 - Owner/Operator Floriday Fashions
LAKELAND - Martha Costine passed away peacefully August 2, 2011 at Good Shepherd Hospice House in Lakeland due to pulmonary disease. Martha Lee was born in Lakeland on August 26, 1932 to Roscoe and Rena (Grimes) Costine. She owned and operated Floriday Fashions in Tampa for over 25 years.  She was a Baptist who loved to travel. Her favorite place to visit was New Orleans for the friendly people and good food. She loved scuba diving in the Cayman Islands. >Martha was preceded in death by her mother and father and half brothers Ray, Clarence and Elwin Costine. >She is survived by half sisters Hilda Combee, Bernice Buchanon, and Betty Whitehead, all of Lakeland, Marie Smith of Wrightsville, GA, Velma Tidwell of Winter Haven, and half brother Earlow Costine of Lakeland. >Also Aunts Mary Grimes of Lakeland and Cora Thompson of Ormond Beach; and nieces and nephews all around Florida. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Good Shepherd Hospice, 105 Arneson Ave., Auburndale, FL 33823.Condolences may be made to the family at - Ledger, Aug. 5, 2011

> ALICE 'PEGGY' P. HORAK  - 78 - First National Bank
LAKELAND - Alice 'Peggy' Horak went home to be with The Lord on Saturday, January 9, 2021. She was born in Masontown, WV and moved to Lakeland in 1969 from Baltimore, MD. Alice began her banking career in 1970 at First National Bank and worked her way up to Vice President of Operations. She retired in 2012 at Mid Florida Credit Union with 42 years. Alice was a member at Kathleen Baptist Church for 50 years. She served on several committees and taught Sunday School. Her love for the Lord was mentoring in the Youth Department where she used her positive influence. >She was preceded in death by her husband, Elmer F. Horak in 2010.  > Peggy is survived by her children,  Elmer (Susan) Horak, John Horak, David (Carole) Horak, Kelley Horak; brother, Glen Frank Combs; grandchildren, Devin, Colin, Kayla, Rachel and John Robert. Visitation will be Saturday, Jan. 16th from 10:00 - 11:00am with services to begin 11:00am at Kathleen Baptist Church. Interment will follow at Socrum Cemetery. Ledger, Jan. 13, 2021 -

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