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Beare, Muriel Nikki Brink  
Muriel Nikki Brink Beare Nikki Beare of Havana, FL, 86, died Monday, November 10 in Tallahassee. She was born March 7, 1928 in Detroit to Stanley Brink and Dorothy Welch Brink. She graduated from Cass Technical High in1946. June 15, 1946, she married Richard A. Beare of Havana, and they moved to Traverse City, Michigan. Nikki Beare became an activist when she found limited library services. She got BookMobile services started and again when they moved to Miami. After moving to Islamorada, FL, Nikki began writing for the local paper. She discovered a love of journalism and continued reporting at the South Dade Free Press, the Miami News and Tallahassee Democrat as Gadsden County writer. She wrote three books: Pirates, Pineapples & People, Bottle Bonanza and Plants Poisonous to People. Nikki attended the third U.N. World Conference on Women in Nairobi in 1985, and attended the fourth U.N. World Conference on Women with daughter Sandi in Beijing in 1995. Nikki got her Bachelor of Arts from Skidmore College in 1980. She was one of the first female lobbyists in Florida in the 1960s and continued her activism until recently. Nikki fought for the ERA, and represented clients such as the Florida Hospital Association, Florida Bicycle Association, and Kodak. Nikki served on the Refuge House board of directors for many years. She co-founded the Havana Learning Center, was a founding member of NOW, National and Florida Women's Political Caucus and Veteran Feminists of America. Member of the Gadsden County Domestic & Sexual Violence Task Force. Nikki Beare is survived by husband Richard A. Beare, daughter Sandi Beare Schenker and son-in-law Rick Schenker, and grandchildren Jennifer Raulins Anderson, Robert Raulins, Andy, James, Beth, Sara and Ricky Schenker, and many nieces and nephews. A celebration of Nikki's life will be held on Sunday, November 23rd at 2:00 p.m., at 1st Presbyterian Church, 213 First Street NE, Havana. Condolences: Richard Beare/Rick and Sandi Beare Schenker, 303 First Street NW, Havana, FL 32333. A memorial fund has been set up to fund a scholarship in Nikki's name. Checks may be made to Sandi Beare Schenker with notation of Nikki Beare Scholarship Fund, to 303 First Street NW, Havana, FL 32333.
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Published in Tallahassee Democrat from Nov. 21 to Nov. 23, 2014
Edwards, Patricia Susan  
Patricia Susan Edwards Patricia Susan Edwards passed away November 11, 2014, in Panama City, Florida, after a brief illness. Known as 'Pat' or 'Patsy' by her family, she was born in Quincy, Florida, February 18, 1953, to Hershel and Lela Edwards. She attended Gadsden County Public Schools through eleventh grade and received her high school diploma from Robert F. Munroe Day School. Pat excelled academically throughout her school days and was an elementary, junior high, and high school band member, serving as majorette her sophomore and junior years. She was an accomplished pianist and organist and played piano for church events and weddings. She was baptized at Thomas Memorial Baptist Church in Quincy during her sophomore year in high school. As a child, Pat relished spending her summer months in Jackson County with her Granny Edwards as well as her many first cousins. Her mother always enjoyed dressing her in Peaches & Cream dresses purchased from the Mary-Booney's children's clothing store in Quincy. Pat also loved her Madame Alexander and Barbie doll collections as a young girl. During high school, she worked part-time for Layerd's Florist in Quincy where she demonstrated her artistic talents making floral arrangements and helping decorate for weddings. Pat also loved going to Carnes Playthings on the courthouse square in Quincy weekly to purchase the latest hits on 45 rpm records. Most recently, Pat lived in Port St. Joe, where she worked at the senior citizens center. Pat always had an affinity for helping for the elderly and thoroughly loved interacting with them at the center. She found her greatest peace living at the beach and spent time collecting seashells, starfish, and the like. Pat will always be remembered for her kindness and thoughtfulness. She is survived by her three children: Tracie Hood Clarke of Benson, North Carolina; Taylor (wife Jackie) Hood of Quincy; and Alice Clark Hobbs of Benson, North Carolina; six grandchildren: Christian, Chandler, and Chase Clarke of Benson, North Carolina, and Emily, Madison, and Ethan Hobbs of Benson, North Carolina; two brothers: Fuzzy (wife Dawn) Edwards of Bristol, Florida, and Rusty Edwards of Quincy; two sisters: Teresa Edwards of Jacksonville, Florida, and Ann (husband Scotty) Lewis of Bainbridge, Georgia; five aunts: Laverne Edwards Long of Trenton, Florida; Odene Dean Reilly of Tallahassee; Sarah Martel of San Diego, California; Mary Brock Henson of Clearwater, Florida; and Nelle Brock of Havana, Florida. She is also survived by a host of nieces and nephews and many first cousins. Pat is predeceased by her parents Hershel and Lela Brock Edwards and brother Mike Edwards. Visitation was held at Independent Funeral Home November 14. A private family service will be held at a later date.
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Published in Tallahassee Democrat on Nov. 23, 2014
Ferguson, Marjorie  
Marjorie A. Ferguson Marjorie Ann Ferguson, 65, of Tallahassee and formerly of Key West passed in Tallahassee on Wednesday, November 19, 2014. There will be a private Memorial service at 11 a.m. Tuesday, November 25, in the TILLMAN OF TALLAHASSEE CHAPEL (850) 942-1950. A retired food service technician for the U.S. Naval Station in Key West, Ms. Ferguson had been a lifelong Key West resident before recently moving to Tallahassee. Survivors include her daughters, Doretha (Ricco) Scruggs and Felicia McGee; grandchildren, Jaylaan Stubbs, Grenville Castillo and Sakeitra Morgan; great-grandchild, Jacye Petion; sisters, Betty and Carolyn Ferguson and Brenda Hopkins; along with a host of other relatives and friends.
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Published in Tallahassee Democrat on Nov. 23, 2014
Hall, Charles A.  
Charles A. Hall Charles A. Hall, 84 died Thursday, November 20, 2014 in Tallahassee. He will best be remembered for his many years of dedication to the firefighter brotherhood. Charlie completed the Trade Union Program at Harvard University in 1968 and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Labor and Manpower Studies from Florida International University in 1976. Charlie had a long career as a City of Miami Firefighter from 1952 to 1979, spending much of his career in Firestation 2 in Overtown/Downtown Miami. He was President of the Miami Firefighters IAFF Local 587 from 1966-1970, and was IAFF International District Vice President from 1968 to 1980. In that capacity, he represented all of the professional firefighters in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and the US Virgin Islands. Charlie successfully fought for the right to collectively bargain in Florida in 1969. He served as a Florida Legislator in the State House of Representatives from 1980-1982. He served on the Miami Firefighters and Police Officers Retirement Fund Board for 15 years. Charlie was also a professor at Florida International University and continued his labor arbitration throughout his life. He was one of the first members of the Miami Dade Commission on Ethics. Charlie is survived by his wife of 25 years Cindy, son Gary, daughter Sharon Hall Weiss and her husband Rodney, son Charles III and his wife Rana, stepdaughter Judy Hockensmith and her husband Bill, stepdaughter Shelley Gibbins, as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren who adored him. In lieu of a funeral, a Celebration of Life is being planned at a later date. Kelly Barber of Bevis Funeral Home ( www.bevisfh.com or 850-385-2193) is assisting the family with arrangements.
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Published in Tallahassee Democrat on Nov. 23, 2014
Meffert, John Christian "Chris"  
John Christian "Chris" Meffert Former Florida State Representative John Christian "Chris" Meffert, of Salt Springs, Tampa, and Tallahassee passed away at his home in Salt Springs on November 13, 2014. Born August 11, 1943 in Ocala, Florida, he graduated from Ocala High School in 1961 and from Florida State University in 1965. He was a member of the first graduating class of the Florida State University Law School, received his Juris Doctorate, and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1969. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Joyce Brown Meffert; his daughters, Mrs. Melissa Meffert Meador (Chip) of Chesapeake, Virginia and Ms. Amanda Meffert of Brooklyn, New York; his step-son Dr. Matt McDowell (Laura) of Apollo Beach and his step-daughter Ms. Kristen McDowell of Tampa; his four grandchildren: Caroline Meador, James Christian Meador, Liam McDowell, and Harper McDowell; and his brother Mr. Wellington Meffert (Cari), Tallahassee. He is preceded in death by his parents, Mr. George L. Meffert, Sr. and Mrs. Neil S. Swisher and his brother,Mr. George L. Meffert, Jr. Chris was a member of Kappa Alpha Order, Phi Delta Phi, The United States Army Reserves, First United Methodist Church of Ocala, The Ocala Elks Club, The Ocala Rotary Club, and The Tampa Bay Rough Riders. He began his legal career as an Assistant State Attorney General 1969-1970. In 1971, Chris returned to his native Ocala as an associate at Ayres, Swigert, Cluster, Tucker, and Curry, where he also served on the Board of Directors of the Young Lawyers Section of the Florida Bar. He was later a partner at Ayres, Cluster, Curry, Meffert, and McCall and at Fore, Meffert, and Futch. Chris continued to practice law, but his childhood dream was public service. He began his career of public service with his election as Mayor of Ocala in 1977. He was subsequently elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1980, and won reelection to four consecutive terms. Chris earned prestigious committee assignments as he progressed through his terms, as the Legislature addressed issues such as growth management, medical malpractice and workers compensation, and the services tax. One of his final committee assignments was as Chair of the Regulated Industries Committee where he played a key role in the drafting and passage of the Florida Lottery Act. After his tenure in the Legislature, he continued working in the political arena as a lobbyist. After a brief retirement, Chris was appointed as Executive Director of the Florida Boxing Commission by then Governor Jeb Bush. Chris loved being on and around the water, and treasured his retirement at home on Little Lake Kerr in the company of good friends and family. His sharp intelligence and ready wit will be missed by all who knew him. Funeral Services will be held at 1pm on November 25, 2014 at First United Methodist Church of Ocala. Dr. John Few will be officiating. Expressions of sympathy may be made online at robertsofdunnellon.com Those who wish may make memorial contributions to alsa.org
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Published in Tallahassee Democrat on Nov. 23, 2014
Newton, Palmer  
Palmer Newton Palmer Newton, age 84, went to be with his Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, on Saturday, November 22, 2014, after a brief illness. Palmer was born on February 19, 1930 in Savannah, Georgia. He was the youngest child of the late Thomas Marion and Elizabeth Ann (Loney) Newton. Palmer grew up in Tallahassee, Florida and attended Sealey Elementary and Leon High School. His strong desire to serve his country at the young age of sixteen took him to Korea, though he was underage, serving two years in the United States Army. Upon his honorable discharge, having attained the rank of Master Sergeant, Palmer was able to attend the University of Florida on the GI bill and graduated with a degree in Forestry. He continued his military service for years as an active member of the Army National Guard. After meeting Marilyn Brinkley, the love of his life, on blind date on July 4, 1948, they were married on December 29, 1950 at First Baptist Church in Tallahassee. Palmer's strong work ethic and desire to provide for his family began at the age of five when his father died. He began to sell boiled peanuts and newspapers in downtown Tallahassee after school and on the weekends and continued to work and excel at every opportunity given him growing up. After college graduation, Palmer began his career with the National Forest Service and was then hired by the Tallahassee Fire Department. After several years with the TFD, Palmer began his lifelong career with the Tallahassee Police Department as their first college graduate to be hired. During his years at the TPD, he served in many different capacities, including crime scene photographer, TAC team and after twenty five years of dedicated public service, he retired as the Director of Personnel and Training. Palmer was a founding member of the TPD Pistol Team and was an expert marksman. He was invited to attend the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia several times and was trained in Breathalyzer, Identification and attended their specialized bomb school. After retirement, Palmer immediately began working at the Law Enforcement Academy (now known as the Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy) teaching firearms and was instrumental in designing the academy's shooting range. After his second retirement from the Law Enforcement Academy, Palmer and Marilyn enjoyed traveling and spending time on their farm in Faceville, Georgia. The farm provided a wonderful gathering place for their family and for Palmer to pass on his love of the outdoors and God's beautiful creation to his grandchildren who lovingly called him "GaGa". He taught them about farming, growing fruit trees, timber, hunting, fishing and shooting. Palmer was a founding member of Northside Baptist Church, which became Canopy Roads Baptist Church and was currently a faithful member of East Hill Baptist Church. He was a charter member of the Rotary Club of Tallahassee Northside and remained an active member throughout his lifetime. Palmer was the epitome of a true Southern gentleman and his unwavering care and love for his family and his faith will live on through his precious legacy. Palmer was predeceased by his beloved wife of fifty-four years, Marilyn Brinkley Newton. He is survived by his loving daughters, Pamela Wade (and husband Kenny) and Nancy Ferguson (and husband Bill); six grandchildren, James Wade (and wife Beka), Joseph Wade (and wife Melissa), Elizabeth Wade Doster (and husband John), Jennifer Ferguson McFarland (and husband Doug), William Ferguson (and wife Caroline) and Andrew Ferguson (and wife Karly); and eight great-grandchildren, Scott Newton McFarland, Emma Ellen McFarland, Jack Major McFarland, Marilyn Grace McFarland, William Cooper Ferguson, Mercer Kate Ferguson, Brinkley Lewis Ferguson and Kenneth (Kent) James Wade, III. Palmer is also survived by his brother, Dewey Newton and was predeceased by his brother, Buck Newton, and sisters, Edna and Ethel. He will also be lovingly remembered by a host of cousins, nieces and nephews. A funeral service celebrating Palmer's life will be held on Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 11 a.m. at East Hill Baptist Church, 912 Miccosukee Road, Tallahassee, Florida. The family will receive friends an hour before the service from 10-11 a.m. downstairs in East Hill Baptist's Fellowship Hall. Burial will follow the service at Roselawn Cemetery with the Tallahassee Police Department Color Guard. Memorial contributions may be made to Community Christian School, 4859 Kerry Forest Parkway, Tallahassee, FL 32309 or East Hill Baptist Church, 912 Miccosukee Road, Tallahassee, FL 32308. Susie Mozolic of Bevis Funeral Home ( www.bevisfh.com or 850-385-2193) is assisting the family with their arrangements.
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Published in Tallahassee Democrat on Nov. 23, 2014
Poklemba, Stephen  
Stephen Andrew Poklemba Stephen Andrew Poklemba "Steve" or "Poky," 78 of Havana, FL passed away on November 17, 2014 while aboard a cruise ship with his wife and dear friends. Even though it was his heart that caused his death, he had a heart of gold and full of love. Steve was born in Donora, PA on April 10, 1936 to Late Steve and Late Helen (Chisar) Poklemba. He graduated from Donora High School in 1954. After High School he joined the US Navy and served for five years. He then graduated from Robert Morris Junior College (Now Robert Morris University) with a degree in Accounting. In 1961 he moved to Ft. Myers, FL and started his account career with a local Accounting firm. In 1964 he was hired by Naples Tomato Growers, later became Gargiulo, Inc., where he served as an Accountant and CFO for 32 years. Steve had a passion for the tomato business and farming. In 1967 he moved to Bonita Springs, Fl where he was active for many years in the Lions Club, Little League and Babe Ruth Baseball as a coach to many youth. He was loved and admired by his players. In 1969 he married his wife, Florence Powell. They moved to Naples, FL in 1973 and then retired to Havana, FL in 2005. Steve had a strong commitment to the Catholic Church. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus where he reached the 4th degree Knight designation. He loved sports, especially Florida State Seminoles and The Pittsburgh Steelers. He bled Garnet and Gold and was an avid tailgater at all home games. But, the most important in his life was family. He was the definition of "The Family Man." Steve loved life and lived it to the fullest. Steve is survived by his wife, Florence Poklemba, Havana; Daughters, Lee Ann (Tom) Harrington, Ft. Myers, FL; Diane (Jim) Kratt, , Ft. Myers ; Renee (Kevin) Zastrow, Longwood, FL; April Fletcher (Kenny Oliverio), Freeport, FL; Son, Stephen A. Poklemba Jr (Laura Bryce), Vancouver, BC; Grandchildren- Ethan Martinez, Ft. Myers, FL. , Lauren Zastrow (Chris), Ames, IA, Kyle Zastrow, Longwood, FL, Ryan Kratt, Ft. Myers, FL, Daniel Kratt, Ft. Myers, FL . Also his siblings, Jack Poklemba, Pat Jones, Ann Marie Poklemba (John Paschal), Helen Poklemba, Bob Poklemba (Bonnie), Joe Poklemba (Rhonda), Jim Poklemba. Along with several cousins, nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews, and in-laws. He is preceded in death by his parents, in-laws, sister, Monica Brant, brothers Dickie and Andy Poklemba, niece Tia Poklemba, and three brother in-laws The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday,, November 26, 2014 at Saint Louis Catholic Church 3640 Fred George Rd. Tallahassee, FL 32303 with a private family internment at Hillcrest Cemetery in Quincy, FL. A reception will follow at Havana Golf and Country Club (Club House) The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at Faith Funeral Home in Havana (850.539.4300 or www.faithfuneralhomme.com ) Memorial donations may be made to American Diabetes Association P.O. Box 11454 Alexandria, VA 22312
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Published in Tallahassee Democrat on Nov. 23, 2014
Shields, Betty Rogers  
Betty Rogers Shields, 92, Tallahassee, died 11-22-2014. Arrangements: Bevis Funeral Home.
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Published in Tallahassee Democrat on Nov. 23, 2014
Stephens, Clayton  
Clayton D. Stephens Clayton Daniel Stephens, 41, of Monticello, entered into eternal rest on November 19, 2014 at his home. Clay was born on September 14, 1973 in Tallahassee. He is the pastor of the Monticello First Church of the Nazarene and the founder of A Lighthouse Automotive Repair and Team Lighthouse. Clay leaves to cherish his memories his wife, Amanda Stephens; children, Caleb Stephens, DeQuon Simmons and Trinity Stephens; father, Harrell Stephens (Step-Mother Gloria Futch); mother, Pam Parker (step-father Jerry Parker); grandmother Greta Davis; brother, Derrick Stephens (Stacie); sister, Sarah Futch; nephews, Tyson Stephens, Devin Stephens and Sammy McCrae. Clay loved God with all his heart and was known for his kind and generous nature and loved serving God's people. Visitation will be held at Northwoods Baptist Church,3762 Capital Circle NW, Tallahassee, on Monday, November 24 at 1:00 pm with a Celebration of his life to follow at 2. Arrangements have been entrusted to Culley's MeadowWood Funeral Home 1737 Riggins Road, Tallahassee.
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Published in Tallahassee Democrat on Nov. 23, 2014
Thornton, Parthenia "Polly"  
Parthenia R. Thornton Parthenia "Polly" Richardson Thornton, 86, of Monticello passed at her home, surrounded by her loving family on Wednesday evening, November 19, 2014. Funeral services are 1 p.m. Tuesday, November 25, at Bethel AME Church, Monticello. Viewing-visitation is 3-7 p.m. Monday at TILLMAN OF MONTICELLO (850) 997-5553. Born in Tampa, Polly's roots were in Wacissa. She was a retired administrative clerk for the New York City Department of Health. Following the death of her husband, Willie, she moved to Monticello to be near her sister, Doris in 1988. She joined Bethel where she was a choir member. Treasuring her love are her children: two daughters, Pamela Thornton and Cynthia (Jerome) Smith; sons, Willie and Alfonso Thornton; sister Doris R. Tillman; niece/caretaker, Gail T. (Sylvester) Jones and their children who also were caretakers, Keonjala (Dustin) Randolph and Nyren (Freddreka) Jones; nieces, Joyce T. Franck and Kecia T. Hills; two grandchildren, Tarik M. Smith, Sr., and Ade` Jean Charles; one great grandchild, Tarik M. Smith, Jr.; and several other nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. She was also predeceased by her parents, Frank and Pauline Glenn Richardson; grandson, Taju` Smith and her sisters, Mable Lawson and Mary Lee London.
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Published in Tallahassee Democrat on Nov. 23, 2014
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