POLK COUNTY
Obits - page 5
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> MARY E. ODUM – 61 -  Homemaker  - Ledger, Nov. 20, 2003
PLANT CITY -- Mrs. Mary E. Odum of Plant City died of cancer Tuesday (Nov. 18, 2003) at South Florida Baptist Hospital. She was born in Lakeland on April 1, 1942, she came to Plant City from Lakeland in 1985. She was a homemaker. She was a member of Gapway Baptist Church.  >Mrs. Odum is survived by her husband, Herman Odum; sons, Joey Odum, Dade City, Chris Odum, Plant City; brothers, Jimmy Kaley, Plant City, Bob Kaley, Lakeland, Richard Kaley, Lake Wales, Ronnie Kaley, Jacksonville; four grandchildren. > Visitation will be this evening at Lanier Funeral Home, 717 W. Griffin Road, Lakeland. Services will be at 10 a.m. Friday at the funeral home chapel. Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, Polk County Unit West, 809 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland, 33801. 
> ONA JEANETTE MEADOWS ODUM -  83 - 
LAKELAND - Mrs. Ona Jeanette Odum, passed away on Monday, October 26, 2009 from heart failure. She was born on December 19, 1925 in Hartford, Alabama and was a resident of Lakeland for 68 years. Mrs. Odum was a member of Highlands Baptist Church in Lakeland. >She was preceded in death by her husband of 55 years, Conrad Odum, Jr.; parents, Lewis T. and Eula Mae (Hall) Meadows; sisters, Edna Mae DeShazo and Elnora Fearrand. > Mrs. Odum is survived by her sons, Rick (Jenny) Odum of Georgia and Mike (Joanie) Odum of Florida; sisters, Thelma Dean and Inez Shiflett Pritchard, both of Florida; 6 grandchildren; and 6 great grandchildren.> Family will receive friends on Thursday, October 29, 2009 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, with a service at 11:00 AM at Highlands Baptist Church, 4210 Lakeland Highlands Road, Lakeland, Florida 33813. Interment will follow at Lakeland Memorial Gardens. Online guestbook available at www.lakelandfuneralhome.com . – Ledger, Oct. 2, 2009
> ROSEMARY MILDRED ODUM - 82 – RN
LAKELAND - A Memorial Service will be held for Rosemary on Saturday, September 15, 2012. Visitation with the family will be held in the small Chapel at the First United Methodist Church, Lake Morton Drive, Lakeland  At 4:00 pm, June Edwards, Pastor, will conduct a Formal Service in the small Chapel. After seven and one half years of fighting a courageous battle, Rosemary succumbed to the complications of Ovarian Cancer.> She passed away in her home, surrounded by her loving daughter, Mimi Jenko; son, Dick Odum; and Bill Odum, her husband of 57 years.
She had been under the care of Oncologists at the Watson Clinic and the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston. While she held various positions as an RN in her professional life, her true calling was family; and she left an impressive legacy. Mimi, RN - U. of F., MN -Emory U., and, along with a Professorship in the BSN Polk State Science Program, the start of a Doctoral Program at Duke U.; Dick, BS - Ga. Tech, DMD - Medical College of Ga. and LSU. Grand children: Kevin, graduated from Furman U.; Students in school: Keith, Emory U.; Julia, Ga. Tech; Kyle, Clemson U., Ginger, 12th grade, Sequoyah HS, Ga. Rosemary took great joy in the accomplishments of her family, and they, in turn were proud and pleased at her ability to rise above the rigors of cancer treatment with grace, and a determination to lead a normal life in her home. She had a reputation for her considerable use of the Internet, her up beat conversations on her cell phone, her humor, her working the daily NYT crossword puzzle, enjoying music from Jack Teagarden Jazz to Mozart Concertos, keeping up her appearance, being a great cook. Her family could go on and on. They will miss her terribly. In lieu of flowers, Memorial contributions may be made to the Rosemary Mildred Odum Nursing Scholarship Fund at: Polk State College Foundation, 999 Avenue H, N E, Winter Haven, FL 33881-4299. Our thanks to the Cornerstone Hospice and the Home Instead Senior Care, who helped make the last weeks bearable. Condolences may be sent to the family atb.odum@verizon.net – Ledger, Sept. 12, 2012
> RUTH  ASENATH  ODUM – 95 – Homemaker
LAKE PLACID -- Mrs. Ruth Asenath Odum of Lake Placid died of complications following a stroke Monday (April 5, 2004) at Lake Placid Health Care Center. She was born in Sale City, Ga., on March 7, 1909, she lived in Lakeland for 50 years before moving to Lake Placid three years ago. She was a homemaker. She was a Baptist. >Mrs. Odum was preceded in death by her husband, E.B. "Bonard" Odum. >Graveside services will be Thursday at Oak Hill Burial Park in Lakeland. Lanier Funeral Home, Lakeland. – Ledger, April 7, 2004.
> JAMES WALTON GRIFFIN – 94 - Atlantic Coastline, CSX Railroad
LAKELAND - James Walton Griffin, of Lakeland, died on Thursday, June 4, 2015, at his home. He was born on February 23, 1921, in Spring Hope, North Carolina. He was a member and deacon at Southside Baptist Church and was also a member of First United Methodist Church of Lakeland. >He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Matalie; son, Wally Griffin; parents, Carrie and Henry Griffin; sister, Virginia Sellers; brother, Edwin Griffin. > He is survived by his daughter, Jamie Lou Griffin of Lakeland; sisters, Francis Orrell (Bobby) of Wilmington, North Carolina, Becky Greene of Raleigh, North Carolina, and Betty Williams (Bill) of Hope Mills, North Carolina. A visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 9, 2015, at Heath Funeral Chapel. A graveside service will be held on Wednesday, June 10, 2015, at Oak Hill Burial Park with a celebration to follow at First United Methodist Church, Lakeland. Memorial donations may be made to the Moffitt Cancer Center, 12902 Magnolia Drive, Tampa, FL 33612. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.heathfuneralchapel.com . – Ledger, Sun., June 7, 2015
> DR. JOHN 'JACK' D. CRAMER – 61 – Child Phycology
MARIETTA, GA. - Dr. John D. Cramer, of Marietta, GA, recently gave his last full measure after a battle with multiple myeloma cancer. He graduated from LHS '72, SEU '76, Rollins and ultimately UF with a PHD in Phycology '89. Jack had an illustrious high school and collegiate basketball career and never lost his love for the game. Dr. Kent Ingle, President of SEU stated, 'I am saddened to hear of the passing of one of our all-time greats. Jack's athletic prowess in leading the Fire is truly legendary. Upon graduating he was the all-time leading scorer in our history. His teammates knew him most for his humbleness, modesty and love for them.' He moved to Atlanta with his loving wife where he started his practice as a child psychologist. He selflessly helped countless youth. Jack loved reading, classic rock music and being physically fit. He was a Christian, a good and faithful servant and had an amazing memory. Dr. Ingle said, 'We celebrate his life, alongside you, and hold him up as a shining beacon to all those in the Fire nation.' Most of all Jack loved and adored his wife and daughter.> He is survived by his wife, Chris Oshima, his daughter, Jessica Lia Cramer, his mother,( Now deceased Eleanor Cramer) in Lakeland, and his brother, David Cramer in Lakeland. A celebration of life service was recently held in the Atlanta area. –Ledger, Wed. Sept. 23, 2015
> MARK ALLEN SHECK – 46 - Ledger, Tues. Sept. 22, 2015
LAKELAND - Mark Allen Sheck, passed away on Wednesday, September 16, 2015, in Carlsbad, California. Mark was born in Framingham, Massachusetts on February 26, 1969. He was a Catholic. He was a 1987 graduate of Lakeland Senior High School. >He is survived by his parents, Allen and Pat Sheck; brother, Ryan Sheck (Julie), Bradenton, Florida; and a niece, Sarah Sheck; and a nephew, Clayton Wilkinson. Also his maternal grandfather, Leo Gullage and his paternal grandmother, Ann Sheck. >He is predeceased by his paternal grandfather, Stanley Sheck and his maternal grandmother, Sally Gullage. There will be a Mass on Friday, September 25, 2015, at 11am at Resurrection Catholic Church, 3720 Old Highway 37, Lakeland. A short reception will follow. Interment will be at a later date in Massachusetts. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to All Children's Hospital, P.O. Box 3142, St. Petersburg, Florida 33731-3142. –Ledger, Tues. 
> LUELLA  HALL “PAT” DINKINS – 65 - Schoolteacher - in Manatee Co., Fl.
LAKELAND -- Mrs. Luella Hall "Pat" Dinkins of Lakeland died of cancer Tuesday (Feb. 14, 2006) at Lakeland Regional Medical Center. Mrs. Dinkins was a middle school and high school teacher in Manatee County. She attended Mount Gilboa Missionary Baptist Church. >Mrs. Dinkins is survived by her husband, the Rev. B.B. Dinkins; daughter, Tracey Taylor, Lakeland; sons, Franklin Taylor Jr., Chicago, Albert Whitehead and Bernard Dinkins Jr., both of Fort Washington, Md.; daughter, Edie Whitehead, Fort Washington; brothers, Gene Evans, Bradenton, Richard Cobb, Atlanta; one grandchild. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at H.W. Oldham Funeral Home, Lakeland. Services will be at noon Wednesday at Pilgrim Rest Freewill Baptist Church. –Ledger, Feb 20, 2006
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LAKELAND -- Visitation for Mrs. Luella "Pat" Hall Dinkins - 65 -  of Lakeland, who died Feb. 14, 2006, will be from 5 to 7 this evening at Pilgrim Rest Freewill Baptist Church. Services will be at noon Wednesday at the church. Burial will be in Oak Hill Cemetery. H.W. Oldham Funeral Home. – Ledger, Feb. 21, 2006
> JEFF 'SCOTTY' CAMPBELL – 61 - Landscaper/ Publix Print Shop/ Organic Market Farmer
 LAKELAND - Jeffrey Scott Campbell, crossed over on Wednesday, March 2, 2016. He was born in Big Springs, TX, moved to Ft. Lauderdale, FL, when he was 7 years old.  In 1996, while in his early 40 s, he moved to Lakeland, FL fulfilling a lifelong dream of living in the country. A landscaper for his early years, he also enjoyed immensely working for Publix Printing Services for 8 years before 'retiring' to grow organic vegetables and sell them at the Downtown Lakeland Farmers Curb Market for another 8 years. He taught Organic Gardening from his place in the country, Barefoot Creek, and wrote his first book 6 months ago: Central FL Monthly Vegetable Planting Guide. He was an avid music listener with an extensive collection, enjoyed photography and artistically creating works of art with his camera and computer and especially loved animals. He was a Co-founder of the Lakeland Chapter of the New World Celts and the Barefoot Gardeners of Central FL and a member of the Cherokee FL Wolfe Clan where he was given the name Mystic Coyote. >Jeff was preceded in death by his parents, David and Laura Campbell. > He is survived by his wife, Peggy, his stepchildren Sharon Sharabi and Jeff Tooley, 12 grandchildren, 1 great grandchild, sister Linda Bonelli, brother Stephen Campbell, 2 nephews and 2 nieces. A Celebration of Life will be held from 2-5 p.m. on Sunday, March 20, 2016, at Kimberly's Art & Music Venue, 938 E. Main St. Lakeland, FL. Donations for the Barefoot Gardeners in memory of Jeff will be accepted on Sunday or anytime. Contact info is at the website: www.http://thebarefootgardener.org /  – Ledger, March 13, 2016 – Sunday
>JAMES "JIM" WILBUR CLARK – 83 - Ledger, March 3, 2013
LAKELAND - James "Jim" Wilbur Clark of Lakeland, Florida, relinquished life on March 2, 2013. He was born in Lakeland, Florida on December 15, 1929 to Carl and Olive Clark of Lakeland. Jim graduated from Summerlin Institute (Bartow High School) in June 1947. He studied agricultural engineering at the University of Florida and later chemical engineering. He had a long career with International Minerals and Chemicals and CF Industries. Jim was a faithful member of Grace Lutheran Church of Lakeland. He had a deep devotion to his family and a great love of farming and nature. >Jim was preceded in death by his parents Carl and Olive Clark, his brothers Bert and Oliver Clark, and his first wife Katherine Stott Clark, the mother of his children. >Jim was survived by his wife June Olsen Clark, his children Carla (Roy) Johannesen, Nellie (Vernon) Childress, Owen (Jan) Clark and Fritz (Cheryl) Clark. Jim was also survived by his nine grandchildren, nine great grandchildren, his brother Arthur Clark of Middleburg, and sister Anna Dell Thompson of Valrico. Funeral arrangements will be held 11:00am, Thursday March 7,2013 at Grace Lutheran Church, 745 S. Ingram Avenue, Lakeland. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Grace Lutheran Church, 745 S. Ingram Avenue, Lakeland, Florida 33801 or Good Shepherd Hospice, 105 Arneson Avenue, Auburndale, Florida.
>JANE ANN SCHUTTE COOPER – 64 – Retired - State Farm Insurance
LAKELAND - Jane Ann Schutte Cooper passed away after a courageous battle with cancer on 3/21/16 at Good Shepherd Hospice in Lakeland, FL. She was born to Loretta Bowman Nelson and Albert Schutte on April 6, 1951 in Evansville, IN. She moved to Lakeland, FL in 1963 and attended St. Joseph's Catholic School, Southwest Jr. High, and Lakeland High School. She graduated in 1969 from LHS. She was of Catholic faith. She retired from State Farm Insurance in Duluth, GA. She went on to receive a medical degree with Emory University and worked in claims for Progressive and United HeathCare while living in GA. She moved back to Florida in 2002 and worked at Lakeland Regional Medical Center. She often said that her proudest achievements were her children. >She was preceded in death by both parents and her husband John Allen Cooper. > She is survived by daughter Tammy Strickhorn (Paul) and son William 'Billy' Morris, Jr. (Desiree), both of Winter Haven, FL, sisters Frances Winget (Lenwood) of Winter Haven, FL, Angie Hendrickson, Linda Gamblin (Terry), and Beth (Mike) Carlin of Evansville, IN, brothers Albert 'Butch' and Mark Schutte of Evansville, IN, step-mother Betty Schutte of Evansville, IN, grandchildren Kristen Morris, Justin Schoenauer, Jason L. Piper, Harley Morris, and great grandchild Harlow Morris, all of Winter Haven, FL, and several nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, and uncles.> The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Joseph's Catholic Church Chapel on Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 1:00pm. Following the service, friends and family will meet at the Knights of Columbus, 3308 Avenue W NW, Winter Haven, FL, 33881. – Ledger, Sunday, April 10, 2016
>JAMES 'JIM' EDWARD LANE -  83 -  Ledger, Sunday, April 10, 2016
LAKELAND - James E. Lane passed away on April 4th , 2016, in St. Petersburg, FL. Jim was born in Winter Haven, FL on May 18, 1932, and moved to Lakeland shortly after where he graduated from Lakeland High School in 1951. Jim then spent four years in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. >Mr. Lane was preceded in death by his parents and daughter, Carolyn Lane Gilmore of Fort Scott, KS. > He is survived by his sons, Jimmy Lane, Jr. of Port Orange, FL, Joe (Lynn) Rogers of New Smyrna Beach, FL, and Dana (Kathy) Rogers of New Bern, NC; eight grandchildren; and sister, Barbara Lane Anderson of Lakeland. Services will be held at Bay Pines National Cemetery at a later date.
>FRANK M. DICESARE – 49 –  Health Care - (  B: 7-10-1964 - D: 8-31-2013 )
VESTAVIA HILLS - Frank Mario DiCesare passed away peacefully on Saturday, August 31 after a long, courageous battle with leukemia. > Frank was preceded in death by his father Thomas DiCesare. > He is survived by his wife Jan, his son Trey Hardee, his daughter Eden Keever and her husband Josh, and their two children Wyatt and Reagan. He is also survived by his mother Anna Maria DiCesare, his brothers Joseph and his wife Susan, Tommy and his wife Katie, his sister Rosanna Edmonds and her husband Bill and eight nieces and nephews Thomas DiCesare, Julia DiCesare, Isabella DiCesare, Roman DiCesare, Dominic DiCesare, Alena Edmonds, Marina Edmonds and William
Edmonds. He is also survived by an aunt Rosa DiCesare and uncles Vincent Sica, Frank Sica, and Jerry Sica.
 Frank was raised in Lakeland, Florida and graduated from Lakeland High School. He attended the University of Florida and graduated from Troy State University where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. Frank worked in healthcare for the last 24 years, most recently as the Senior Vice President of Operations at Centerre Healthcare. Frank was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend to many. He was an inspiration to all who knew him and an example of integrity, character, and selflessness. The family is forever grateful for the care of the medical staff and nurses at M. D. Anderson in Houston, Texas and the nurses at The Bruno Cancer Center at St. Vincent's Hospital, as well as the love, prayers and support of our friends and neighbors during the last year and a half. >There will be a graveside service for the family in Lakeland, Florida, on Thursday, September 5, 2013, and a memorial service in Birmingham, Alabama, at Ridout's Valley Chapel, on Saturday, September 7, 2013. As in usual Frank fashion, business casual attire is requested. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Flatwater Foundation at www.flatwaterfoundation.org  or www.treyhardee.com/page/golf-tournament  .Condolences may be sent to the family at www.heathfuneralchapel.com  . –Ledger, Sept. 5, 2013
>PAMELA DUNCAN – 59 - 
RIVERVIEW - Pamela Duncan, of Riverview, FL, passed away on Wednesday, November 19, 2012, in Brandon Regional Hospital due to respiratory failure. Pamela was born to Bob and Betty Floyd on August 18, 1953 in Lakeland, FL and graduated from Lakeland High School. >She is survived by her husband of 28 years, Phil Duncan, Riverview; sister, Terri White; brother, Vance Floyd, both of Lakeland; daughter, Kristen Heyser, Tallahassee, FL and was >preceded in death by her son, Sean Thomas.  Pamela had a great career as a representative of several food companies among which were Eatem Foods of New Jersey, Custom Foods of Tennessee, and Southern Mills of Rome, GA. She belonged to both the American Culinary Federation and Sertoma. She became interested in cooking and became quite a gourmet chef over the years, making many interesting and fine meals for family and friends. She always loved to travel and had done so extensively with her husband. The Caribbean was one of her favorite destinations, and they made many trips to that area. A small family memorial will be held to honor her and to remember her life. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation. Please sign guestbook at www.SouthernFuneralCare.com. – Ledger, Nov. 30, 2012
> MARY ANN (DELONEY) DYE – 75 – Educator
CLEARWATER - Mary Ann (DeLoney) Dye, of Clearwater, FL., died Monday, August 11, 2014, at Belleair House in Clearwater. Born on March 2, 1939, to Robert D. DeLoney and Thelma (Griffin) DeLoney in Washington D.C., she was married to Jerry W. Dye, also of Clearwater, FL. >She was preceded in death by her parents. She graduated from Lakeland High School in 1957 where she was active in the Civinettes, Honor Society, Highlander Staff and Student Council. She attended the Florida State University where she was active in the Alpha Xi Delta sorority. That is where she met the love of her life when Jerry asked her to be his 'sweetheart of Sigma Chi!' They were married in Lakeland in 1959. She graduated in 1961 with a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. Mary Ann started her teaching career at Carolyn Brevard Elementary School in Tallahassee, FL. When desegregation started in Tallahassee, she volunteered to transfer schools with both of her boys and start teaching at the historically African American John G. Riley Elementary school. The friends and memories that she built in those schools played a major role in the rest of her life. Mary Ann was a voracious reader and strongly believed that reading skills were a fundamental requirement for a happy life. As her own boys moved on to high school and beyond she left the public school system for a short time and opened her own private 'Reading Center' to try and reach a new group of potential readers who were not getting what they needed in a traditional school setting. >  In 1982, when the last of her boys started college, Mary Ann and Jerry decided to follow the sun and headed south to Orlando. After a time trying new things (working on a political campaign and developing marketing campaigns for Super Seminole Greyhound Park). Mary Ann returned to her sons in Tallahassee and returned to public schools, this time teaching high school at Jefferson County High School in Monticello. In 1986, when her boys both had degrees from her beloved Alma Mater, FSU, Mary Ann and Jerry felt the tug of the southern sun again and left Tallahassee for good, this time settling in Tampa Bay. She finished her public school teaching career at Sligh Middle School in Tampa and finally at Lutz Elementary in Lutz, FL. Now that retirement was truly ready for her, and she ready for it, she and her Sigma Chi sweetheart found their dream home at the Cove Cay Condominiums in Clearwater, Florida. The condo was on the back nine of the local country club and fronted Old Tampa Bay. Mary Ann and Jerry were in heaven! Her final years were spent with her congregation family at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Largo, traveling with Jerry and hosting her boys, their wives and her grandchildren at her slice of south Florida heaven. Even with her life exactly as she had always wanted it, she could not give up on her passion for teaching children to read. Even after retirement, Mary Ann returned to Sylvan Learning Center part time... She had to be with the kids. >Mary Ann is survived by her loving husband, Jerry, and sons Ron Dye (Beth), Rick Dye (Lea Ann), 3 grandchildren, Todd, Ryan, Daniel and many loving friends and relatives. >Inurnment will be at Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park, Peacefield Mausoleum, 2860 Sunset Point Rd, Clearwater on Friday September 5th at 4:00 pm with a reception of friends to follow at Cove Cay, Village 1 Clubhouse. Sylvan Abbey Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements. –Ledger, Aug. 24, 2014
> A. DALE DOUBERLY – 80 – Retired Blue Cross & Blue Shield
JACKSONVILLE - A. Dale Douberly, passed away July 8, 2015, at Earl Hadlow Hospice after a long, extended illness. He was born and raised in Lakeland, Florida and attended public schools there, graduating from Lakeland High in the class of 1952. Dale moved to Jacksonville in 1968, and lived there ever since with his family. He was a retired employee of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida and was a member of Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church. Dale was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, serving during the Korean Conflict. He held a B.S. Degree in Economics from Florida Southern College in 1959, and received his M.B.A. Degree from Rollins College in 1966. Dale was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha social fraternity. During his life, Dale was an avid student of the Japanese Sword and held International membership in the Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai, Tokyo, Japan, as well as the Japanese Sword Society, U.S. and was a member of the Florida Token Kai, Japanese Sword Study Group. > He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Martha; his daughter, Lissa and son-in-law, David Skelton; son, Shannon and daughter-in-law, Glenda Douberly; five grandchildren, Sean Skelton, Shelby Skelton, Jessica Douberly, Jenifer Douberly and Matthew Douberly. There will be a Memorial Celebration of Dale's life in the auditorium at Westminster Woods, 25 State Road 13, Saint Johns County, today, Saturday, July 11, 2015  with a reception following. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, 4266 Sunbeam Road, Jacksonville, Florida, 32257, or American Diabetes Association , 1701 N. Beauregard St. Alexandria, Virginia, 22311. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home of Mandarin, 11801 San Jose Blvd. Jacksonville, FL, 32223, www.hgmandarin.com , 904-288-0025. –Ledger, Friday, July 10, 2015
GREEN B. HARRISON, Jr. - 81 -
> BETTY SMITH MILLER  - 89  - Years Loved - 11/06/26 - 2/12/16
LAKELAND - To have known Betty Smith Miller is to have loved her. For 89 years, she shared her unending enthusiasm for life with family, friends and those she had yet to meet. On February 12, 2016, surrounded by family, she winged her way to be with the Lord. We are grateful that she no longer hurts, sad, because she is gone from here, and truly thrilled to have shared her magic for as long as we did. The second of five, close-knit Smith children born to Grace Ross Smith and Levie D. Smith, Sr. Betty grew up the acclaimed peacemaker with an infectious belly laugh and a wide, competitive streak-traits that never left her. She played both tennis and the clarinet with equal fervor, helped her Dad tend the rose garden on Columbia Way-and loved her family with a passion. From Levie, Sr. came a love of people and music, the knack of growing championship roses, and an unquenchable inner joy. From Grace, her mom, Betty absorbed a love of family, her gracious Southern manner, and the ability to listen and hear without judgment. Ever. This tiny lady, with her warm heart and endless smile, was bigger than life for us all.  Betty was a whirlwind of positive energy a tireless Gator enthusiast, a fierce tennis competitor and a lover of all things children. When she met 'her' Tommy Miller, a handsome, self-made young man, both were equally smitten. The couple married June 6 of 1951. Tommy pretended to call the shots and Betty pretended to let him, it was a match made in heaven! When the couple's two sons, Bobby and Ricky were born, their life felt complete. As the boys grew, their friends came to know and love Mrs. Betty's piercing whistle and bottomless pantry candy jars. Her intense, 'Let's go, team!' got immediate action, always and who didn't love hearing that cheerful bellow, 'Is everybody happy ' When Tommy died in 2007, Betty's world skewed on its axis, but like others in her greatest generation, she tucked the hurt inside and carried on.
 Remembering Betty S. Miller brings a smile for the cards with underlined words sent on special days, a grin at her shrieks of happy encouragement across the courts, a nod for Thanksgiving celebrations held with incomparable gusto, and amazement at the 56 years spent playing the piano for First United Methodist Sunday Schoolers. If you are one of her three generations of young singers, thank you for the joy. You mattered. And oh the personal achievements!> Betty was a 1945 LHS graduate who played clarinet in the marching band, a proud 1949 Florida Southern College graduate, president of her Alpha Chi Omega chapter, and secretary of the Lakeland Jr. League. She was also an early member of First United Methodist Church and had one of the strongest tennis serves in her league she'd gladly have played a set if you dared! . In 1972 Betty quietly earned the highest accolade offered by the Imperial Polk Rose Society, Queen of the Show, with her Garden Party rose. She most likely never mentioned these accolades, but we do it with loving pride! Betty exuded a fun filled peace that reached out to all those around her, never realizing the wisdom she possessed and the influence she wielded. She placed no expectations on others, but chose happiness, peace, and joy for herself with a lot of dark chocolate along the way! >Betty is predeceased by her we are sure still-smitten husband and favorite Gator fan, Robert 'Tommy' Miller, the world's best parents, Levie D. and Grace Ross Smith, her brother, Levie D. Smith, Jr., her sister, Lenora Templin, and brothers-in-law/friends, Tom Hagler and Herman Templin. >She is survived by two incredible sisters, Billie Joyce Hagler and Caroline Sparks Don , two handsome and brilliant sons, Bob Miller Maggie and Rick Miller Betty Kay , seven grandchildren, five great grandchildren, 12 nieces and nephews, 23 great nieces and nephews and 24 great, great ones. Her family was her pride and her joy-they were all her favorites. Friends and others that Betty would love to have met can visit with her family at the Tribute Center at Heath Funeral Chapel on Friday, February 19, 2016  with a celebration of her life on Saturday, February 20, 2016 at First United Methodist Church. Over these last weeks, it was a special delight for Betty to be so loved by family and friends who visited, called, wrote and sent sweet thoughts, rest assured that she knew. To our Givers of Care who became family, special thanks for the happiness you brought. Thank you all, for loving her so well. Mom, we miss you. We love you the most. In lieu of flowers, please reach out a hand to help a child in Betty's memory Shriners Hospital for Children in Tampa, 2900 Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, FL .,33607. Shrinershospitalsfor children.org.  Condolences may be sent to the family at www.heathfuneralchapel.com . Ledger, Feb. 16, 2016

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