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> JONES, WILLIE  CHESTER - 92 -  Kathleen High School
 Lakeland - Mr. Willie Chester Jones of Lakeland, died of heart failure, March 19, 2003, in Lakeland. Willie was born in Ocala, he came to Lakeland from there 40 years ago. He was a custodian for Kathleen High School, working for the Polk County School Board more than 22 years. He was an Army veteran of WWII and served in Normandy, Northern France, the Ardennes, the Rhineland and Central Europe. He was in the 4049th. Quartermaster Truck Company and recieved the EAMETO medal. Good Conduct Medal, and WWVictory II Medal. He was a member of Greater Refuge Church of Our Lord.
 Willie is survived by his grandchildren, Eddie Cottle 3rd.,  Kim Cottle Stephens, Jonathan Cottle, all of Lakeland, 3 great grandchildren.
 Visitation was Friday at Oldham Funeral Home, Lakeland.  Services were Saturday at Greater Refuge Church of Our Lord. 
>
ALBRITTON, DOROTHY "DOT" - 76 - Polk County School Board
FORT MEADE - Dorothy "Dot" Albritton, 76, a lifelong resident of Fort Meade, FL. died Tuesday, February 20, 2007 at Lakeland Regional Medical Center of Heart Failure. She was born on April 1, 1930 in Hialeah, FL. Mrs. Albritton was employed by the Polk County School Board for 21 years. She worked in the cafeteria, serving lunch to children at Lewis Anna Woodbury Elementary, Fort Meade Middle/Senior High School, but most of her career was spent at Riverside Elementary in Fort Meade. Mrs. Albritton was a member of St. Thomas Catholic Church in Bartow, FL.
 She is preceded in death by her husband, Philip Albritton ( died; Oct. 27,1995), and her son, Harvey Albritton ( died; March 9, 2000 ).Mrs. Albritton is survived by her daughter, Phyllis V. Ellis of Fort Meade; sister, Rose Mary & Harrell Whitehurst of Lancaster, Ohio; 4 grandchildren, Robert Ellis, Philip "Howie" Albritton, and Heather Pierce of Fort Meade and Crystal Albritton of Bartow, 6 great grandchildren and nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends Thurs., Feb. 22, 2007  at the McLean Funeral Home. Funeral service will be on Fri., Feb. 23,  at McLean Funeral Home, 306 E. Broadway, Fort Meade. Interment will follow at Watson Cemetery in Fort Meade. ( Ledger, Feb. 22, 2007)

THIGPEN, Mary -  70 -  School Bus Driver
LAKELAND -- Lakeland resident Mrs. Mary Frances Thigpen, who died of respiratory failure at the age of 70 on Saturday (June 9, 2001), was aware of the awesome responsibility that came with her job driving a school bus. "I think the days in bad weather, when it was foggy or rainy, were really stressful to her," said her son, Jerry Thigpen of Lakeland. "But she was a mom at heart." Her motherly nature may have helped Mrs. Thigpen keep not only her own children in line, but also the children she supervised on her bus route. "If you did something wrong (on the bus) she would raise Cain a little bit, and if you continued, she would write you up," her son said. He also recalled his mother's discipline at home.
"If my little brother or I got into trouble at school we always had to prepare ourselves for her at home because we knew she would know," he said. The children who were her passengers often grew up to be her friends, Thigpen said. "Every year she would get graduation announcements. She was real friendly," he said. "I still go shopping and see kids who rode her bus, and they always ask about her." Born in Plant City on Feb. 6, 1931, Mrs. Thigpen lived in Lakeland all her life. She retired in 1998. Thigpen, who lived next door to his mother, said he learned an important lesson from her growing up, a lesson he has tried to instill in his own children. "I try to pass along that they should be friendly and to hang on to their friends," he said. "My mom always had a lot of friends." Mrs. Thigpen also tried to teach her son to be self-efficient, something he was grateful for as an adult. "Her thing was 'you might want to watch what I'm doing because you might have to cook for yourself someday,' " Mr. Thigpen said. "I was single for a while, and I did have to cook for myself. She always taught me how to do a meatloaf right." Mrs. Thigpen was a Baptist.
 In addition to her son, she is survived by her husband, Ernest Thigpen; brother, Gerald Barlow, Plant City; and three grandchildren.
 Visitation will be from 6 to 8 this evening at Lanier Funeral Home. Graveside services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Oak Hill Burial Park.

>WEEKS, MARY CATHERINE - 87 -
AUBURNDALE - Mrs. Mary Catherine Weeks, age 87, of Auburndale passed away Tuesday, October 9, 2012 in Winter Haven due to heart failure. Mrs. Weeks was born August 25, 1925 in Winter Haven, Florida. She retired in 1992 after 24 years with the Polk County School Board as a Paraprofessional at Auburndale Central Elementary School. Mrs. Weeks was a member of the First Baptist Church of Auburndale having served as Music Director, a Sunday School Teacher and W.M.U. President. She was a lifetime member of the Ladies Aux. of
VFW Post 4945 having served as President. Mrs. Weeks and her family spent many summers in Ridgecrest, N.C.
 She was preceded in death by her husband, Bryant Weeks and parents, Lawton & Lessie McCullough. She is survived by her daughter, Ann (Ron) Heintzelman, son Donald (Bobbie) Weeks, a granddaughter, Kristin Heintzelman and a brother Lawton McCullough.
 Services will take place Monday at the Kersey Funeral Home, Auburndale with visitation following.
Those so desiring may make memorial contributions to the Florida Baptist Children's Homes. P.O. Box 8190, Lakeland, Fl. 33802.
 ( The Ledger, Friday, Oct.12, 2012 )

>JASSO, BETTY -  81 - Teachers Aide
WINTER HAVEN- Mrs. Betty Jasso, age 81, died Thursday, December 13, 2012 due to renal failure. She was born October 25, 1931 in Bartow, FL the daughter of Marvin Lloyd Lanier and Reecy Leona (Thomas) Lanier. She was a Teacher's Aide with the Polk County School Board. She was a member of New Life Assembly.
In addition to her parents, Betty was preceded in death by her husband Max Jasso (1987).
 She is survived by her daughters, Cheryl Presley, Cynthia Jasso and Debi Silver-Jasso; sisters, Opal Trusskey, Sue Lanier, Vivian Jasso, Elizabeth Patton and Janet Lopez; 5 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild.
 Memorial Services are Friday, December 21, 2012 at the New Life Assembly of God, 1951 Rifle Range Road S., Wahneta, FL.
- (Ledger, December 16 & 17, 2012 )
>HANKE, BETTY LYNN BRANTLEY  84 - Spook Hill Elementary
LAKE WALES - Betty L. Brantley Hanke, 84, passed away Wednesday, January 09, 2013, at Grace Health Care due to cancer.
She was born August 17, 1928, in Mooresville, North Carolina, to the late Edward Lynn Brantley and Elizabeth Hartness Fisher, and has been a resident of Lake Wales for 53 years, moving here from Concord, North Carolina. She was a retired Lunch Room Manager of 25 years mostly for Spook Hill Elementary and was of the Methodist Faith.
 Betty was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth E. Hanke.
 Survivors include her son, Ken (Shonsa) Hanke of Black Mountain, NC; sister, Lynda Parker of Charlotte, NC; granddaughter, Elisabeth Hoffman of Ft. Pierce, FL.
 Funeral Services will be held Monday, January 14, 2013, at the Marion Nelson Funeral Home with Rev. Bill McCloud officiating.
Interment will be held at the Lake Wales Cemetery. Family will receive friends on Sunday, January 13, 2013, Memorial contributions may be made to the ASPCA. – Ledger, Friday, Jan.11, 2013
>OPERHALL, DOROTHY CLOWES – 56 - School Bus Driver
MULBERRY - Dorothy Clowes Operhall, 56, of Mulberry, FL, passed away on April 28, 2013 due to an accident. She was a bus driver for Polk County Schools for over 19 years.
 She is preceded in death by her father, Gerald Clowes, her husband, Richard Operhall, a brother, Gary Clowes, and a boyfriend, Leonard Simmons.
 Dorothy is survived by her mother, Dorothy Clowes, a son Mitchell Operhall, daughters, Jeanette and Melissa Operhall, Pam Tributino, and Alicia Simmons, six grandchildren, Kiersten, Jayden, Kori, Isabelle, Jordyn, and Adalynn, many aunts and uncles and bus driver friends.
A memorial service will be held at a later date - Ledger,Thur.,May 2, 2013
> MULBERRY - Memorial service for Dorothy Operhall, who died 4/28/13 from an accident, will be Thurs. 5/9/2013 at 6:00 pm at St. John Newman Catholic Ch., 501 E. Carter Rd.  -  Ledger, Tuesday, May 7, 2013
>ERVIN, LOUISE  E. -  83 - Polk Co. School Board
BARTOW - Mrs. Louise E. Ervin, age 83, passed away from complications of Alzheimer's disease Friday, May 10, 2013 at home in Bartow.
Born March 26, 1930 in Mayo, FL, she was the daughter of the late Dan and Ruby (McRae) Wimberly. Mrs. Ervin was a longtime member of McLeod Memorial Presbyterian Church in Bartow. She retired from the Polk County School Board, where she worked as a Lunchroom Manager.
Louise is preceded in death by her daughter, Elizabeth Moore.
 She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Roland H. Ervin of Bartow, her daughter, Susan Donahue of Bartow, and her brother Wilbur Wimberly of Cross City.
 Arrangements are being handled by Whidden-McLean Funeral Home in Bartow where the family will receive friends Sunday May 12th, 2013. A graveside service will be held Monday May 13th, 2013 at Wildwood Cemetery in Bartow.
 In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to McLeod Memorial Presbyterian Church, 695 West Stuart St., Bartow, FL 33830 or Compassionate Care Hospice, 2393 E.F. Griffin Road, Bartow, FL 33830. Condolences at www.whiddenmcleanfuneralhome.com  -Ledger, May 11, 2013- Sat.
>PEARL ELIZABETH HOAGLAND GUEST – 92 – Educator Polk Co.
WINTER HAVEN -- Mrs. Pearl Elizabeth Hoagland Guest's teaching credentials and respect for education led to a very involved life in the communities where she lived. Mrs. Guest died of an extended illness, followed by heart failure Thursday (July 17, 2003) at Integrated Health Services, Auburndale.  Born Dec. 13, 1910, in Mercer County, Pa., she came here from State College, Pa., in 1967. She graduated from Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa., with a bachelor's degree in mathematics, and taught in Pennsylvania public schools. Mrs. Guest went on to receive her Ph.D in psychology from Penn State in 1954 while holding various teaching jobs at the school.
 When her husband relocated to Winter Haven, she became involved in local education programs. She taught at Polk and Hillsborough community colleges and oversaw Polk County Public School's psychometric testing. She was a member of the Florida Psychological Association, AAUW, LWV, Friends of the Winter Haven Library, Keep Winter Haven Beautiful, Lake Region Yacht and Country Club and the Winter Haven chapter of AARP. For serving the senior citizens in her community, Mrs. Guest received the Louella Dirkson Community Service Award in October 1984. Her daughter, Lynne Guest of Richboro, Pa., says her mother was a reserved yet engaging person who made an impression on people because of her views and personality. "Many people use the word remarkable to describe her," she said. "People who encountered her remembered her." Her mother's line of work called for a professional attitude, her daughter says, but when given the time she had a wonderful sense of humor.
 In addition to her daughter, Mrs. Guest is survived by her son, Philip H. Guest, New York; caretaker, Brenda Ming; and one granddaughter. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to AAUW Education Foundation, 1111 16th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036, or to a charity of your choice. Ott-Laughlin Funeral Home, Winter Haven. -
>BONCILE L. BENNETT – 87 - School Bus Attendant
WINTER HAVEN - Mrs. Boncile L. Bennett, died of natural causes Tuesday, February 3, 2015. Born in Lockhart, AL, on Oct. 31, 1927, after moving from Florala, AL, in 1947, she came to Lakeland from Bartow in 1963. She was a school bus attendant and a member of Parkview Baptist Church.> Mrs. Bennett was preceded in death by her husband Paul R. Bennett; son Donell See, and brother Farris Lindsey. >She is survived by her daughter Janet Raleigh, Pembroke Pines, FL; sister Eloise Whitman, Bartow; 2 grandchildren; 5 great grandchildren. Visitation will be from 1 to 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015, at Lanier Funeral Home Chapel. Services will follow at 2 p.m. at Lanier Funeral Home Chapel. Interment will be in Oak Hill Burial Park. – Ledger, Feb. 4 & 5, 2015
>THOMAS 'WOODY' WATERS – 74 - School Bus Driver
LAKELAND - Thomas 'Woody' Waters, of Lakeland passed into the arms of Jesus Christ our Savior on October 11, 2015, surrounded by his loving family at Good Shepherd Hospice in Lakeland. Woody was born on February 15, 1941, in Winter Haven, Florida.
He was preceded in death by his parents Betty J. Waters and Jack B. Waters of Winter Haven, granddaughter Amber Murphy and one brother. Woody graduated from Winter Haven High School Class of 1959 and worked for Jack and Betty's Drive-In Restaurant and The Longhorn Restaurant followed by Polk County Correctional Officer, D.O.T, and Polk County School Board as School Bus Driver. He was also the Co-Owner of Waters Produce for 35 years.
Woody loved fishing, hunting, and Gator Football. He is survived by his wife Helen Durrence Waters, the love of his life for 54 years, daughters Misty Waters-Maloney Leonard , Wendy Waters-Smith, Crystal Waters Murphy Jerome and granddaughters Brandi Murphy Masters Brian , Jennifer Uhl, Jailen Maloney, and 10 great-grandchildren, all of Lakeland, one brother of Auburndale. A visitation will be held at Gentry-Morrison Funeral Home Southside Chapel, 1727 Hwy 98 South on Thursday October 15, 2015. A funeral service will immediately follow at 11 00 am. In lieu of flowers the family ask that donations be made to Good Shepherd Hospice of Lakeland. – Ledger, Wed. Oct. 14, 2015

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