Lt. Col. Harold Byrd, U.S. Air Force retired, of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., passed away Wednesday morning, March 15, 2000, at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center.
Lt. Col. Byrd served 28 years on active duty, including Korea. He was born in Reynolds, Ga., and was a Methodist by faith. He had resided in this area for the past 39 years. Lt. Col. Byrd was a member of the Ham Radio Operators Club in Fort Walton Beach and an avid computer operator.
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Carol Byrd. Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Laura E. Byrd of Fort Walton Beach; son, Bill Byrd and wife Derinda of Jacksonville, Fla.; sisters, Nell Wainwright and Ruby Fuller, both of Reynolds, Ga.; grandson, Trevor Byrd; grandchildren, Terese English and husband Jason; and two great-grandchildren, Kallie and Dalton English, all of Jacksonville.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at McLaughlin Mortuary.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, March 17, at McLaughlin Mortuary Chapel with a U.S. Air Force chaplain officiating. Interment will follow in Beal Memorial Cemetery.
Floral contributions are acceptable.
McLaughlin Mortuary, 17 Chestnut Ave., Fort Walton Beach, entrusted with arrangements.
Mary Ruth McCracken
Mary Ruth McCracken, age 81, of Niceville, Fla., passed away peacefully in her sleep at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center on Monday afternoon, March 13, 2000. Her death will be noted with great sorrow by her many friends and relatives.
She was born on Oct. 18, 1918, to Charles Chester McCracken and Frances Cleo (Fulton) McCracken in Columbus, Ohio. Survivors include her sister, Janet May McCracken, with whom she has resided for many years; brothers, Charles William McCracken and James Edward McCracken and his wife Ruth Wylie McCracken, all of whom live in the local area; nieces and nephews, Janet M. McCracken Tripp and husband Tom of Maynardville, Tenn., Thomas Charles McCracken and wife Elaine of Oakwood, Ga., Charles Collins McCracken and wife Faith of Hilton Head, S.C., William James McCracken of Tallahassee, Fla., Lynne McCracken Vige and husband Handlee of Brandon, Fla.; three grandnieces, Katherine McCracken, Rebecca McCracken and Beth Vige; four grandnephews, Geoffrey Klein, Tim Klein, Michael McCracken and Tim Vige; a great-grandniece, Nina Klein; and two great-grandnephews, Geoffrey Klein and Benjamin Klein.
Mary Ruth was awarded an interdisciplinary masters degree in botany and art from the University of Pennsylvania in 1940. She is a highly-regarded, published scientific illustrator, botanist and artist. Her works have been created in all mediums, including watercolors, oils, acrylics, egg tempera and thru pottery and wood carvings.
Her published works are too numerous to list, but include: a multi-plate publication on Florida wetlands, which was sponsored by the Lake County Water Authority for distribution to junior high school students in Central Florida, plus related posters for broader distribution; artistic and technical illustrations and articles for the publications of The Florida Native Plant Society; creation and donation of all illustrations for the 1995 book "The Flowering Dates of Florida's Wildflowers" by Dr. Fanny-Fern Davis; plus so many other donated illustrations and designs for friends, family and organizations throughout the state, including the design of the seal of Okaloosa-Walton Junior (now Community) College.
In addition, she has taught art and biology at both junior high and high school levels; has created published textbook and classroom charts and illustrations; has exhibited extensively, including at the Selby Gardens in Sarasota, Fla.; and has been the director of the Lyman Goodnight Native Plant Photographic Collection for many years.
Most of all, Mary Ruth will be remembered by friends and family for her love of others and for her buoyant spirit and creative talents.
There will be graveside services at Pine Forest Cemetery in Mount Dora, Fla., with Pastor C. Handley Vige officiating. No local services will be held. Appropriate flowers at the gravesite will be arranged for by the family.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of Mary Ruth McCracken to the Florida Native Plant Society, P.O. Box 690278, Vero Beach, FL 32969-0278, or to the donor's favorite charity.
Josephine "Jo" Hunt of Niceville, Fla., passed away March 12, 2000, at the Manor in Bluewater Bay. Jo was 93 years old.
Jo was preceded in death by her daughter, Carolyn Hunt Bailey. She is survived by her daughters, Elsie Hansel of Orlando, Fla., Peggy Stultz of Niceville, and Jo Thornton and son-in-law Jim Thornton of Kennesaw, Ga.; and her son, Bobby P. McCullough and daughter-in-law Imogene McCollough of Harriman, Tenn. In addition to her children, she is survived by 10 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson.
Jo was formerly of Harriman, Tenn., where she lived most of her life. She moved to the Niceville area 12 years ago and was very active in the Valparaiso Senior Citizens Club.
Graveside services will be held at Heritage Gardens Cemetery in Niceville at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 18, with Pastor Joe Palmer of Niceville Church of Christ officiating.
Helen Bettis Higley
Mrs. Philip I. (Helen Bettis) Higley, age 97, died in her home at Westwood Retirement Community in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. on Tuesday, March 14, 2000.
She was born on March 1, 1903, in Rochester, N.Y. She graduated from Cornell University in 1925 and was married on Sept. 28, 1928.
She was preceded in death by her two sisters. Survivors include her husband; sons, Philip I. Jr. of Tucson, Ariz., and John P. of Munster, Ind.; daughters, Mrs. Russell Langs of Petoskey, Mich., and Mrs. Pamela Cushing of Bellingham, Wash.; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Prior to her marriage she was a dietician at Sage College Women's Dormitory, Cornell University. She was a member of PEO. For many years she was a member volunteer in hospital auxiliaries, including 24 years at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Heart Association or to the Salvation Army.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 18, at McLaughlin Mortuary Chapel in Fort Walton Beach.
Richard Andrew Lumsden
Richard Andrew "Dick" Lumsden of Niceville, Fla., died peacefully at home on March 13, 2000, after a brief and courageous battle against kidney cancer. He was 63 years old.
He was the son of the late Richard A. Lumsden Sr. and Frances Adeline Mills, and, following in his father's footsteps, was destined to excel in the hotel industry. Richard grew up in the family-owned Parker House in Boston, then attended Barrett High School in Canadensis, Pa., where his father managed the Inn at Buck Hill Falls. He graduated top of his class from Pennsylvania State University's school of hotel administration and was hand-picked by Sheraton as one of the first management trainees.
His reputation for excellence and innovation was firmly established by age 25, as manager of the first hotel on Hilton Head Island, S.C. Later, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., he leased the Gideon Putnam Hotel and Performing Arts Center from the state of New York, hosting the summer society, the New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He served as president of the Saratoga Springs Chamber of Commerce.
He developed an avid interest in trotting horses and had many successes on the racing circuit. During his exciting career, Richard managed hotel divisions, resorts and restaurants around the entire country. Eighteen years ago he came to Bluewater Bay and was director of operations and marketing for nine years. He managed the former Sheraton Inn in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., before deciding to make a career change to real estate salesman/broker. Again, he built a most successful business and enjoyed the many people whom he met and with whom he worked.
Richard served as deacon and congregational president of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Niceville. He derived tremendous delight from children, and, together with his wife, taught a Sunday school class for three- and four-year-olds. He was co-founder of the Emerald Coast chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association and southeastern director of the House of Lumsden Association, his Scottish clan of which he was so proud.
Richard is survived by his loving wife, Carol; daughter, Heather Metts and son-in-law Mike; grandchildren, Rachel, Marc and Kelsey of Niceville; daughter, Amy James; grandchildren, Grant and Nicholas of Memphis, Tenn.; son, Scott Lumsden and daughter-in-law Danielle; grandchildren, Andrew and Sage of Roseto, Pa.; sisters, Carole Harrington of Boston, Lynn Benedict of Lewisburg, W.Va., and Diane Stillman of Red Rock, N.M.
In accordance with Richard's wishes, Pastor John Underdahl will conduct a private service for the family at St. Paul Lutheran Church on March 20.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts in honor and memory of Richard Andrew Lumsden be made to the building fund at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Niceville.
Bill Greene, age 79, of Crestview, Fla., passed away in a local nursing home on Friday, March 10, 2000.
He moved to the Crestview area 30 years ago from Palm Beach, Fla., and was a retired heavy equipment operator. Bill was an avid fisherman, hunter and outdoorsman.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Eddie B. Greene; and a son, Broward Greene.
Survivors include his sons and daughter-in-law, Ronald and Rita Greene of Webster, Fla., Alvin Greene of Daphne, Ala., and David Greene of West Palm Beach, Fla.; daughters and sons-in-law, Jan and Allan LaMotte of Coronado, Calif., Evelyn and Jerry Jones of Niceville, Fla., and Marti Greene of San Clemente, Calif.; brother, Bobby Greene of Bushnell, Fla.; sisters, Mina Carter Lebert of Barstow, Calif., Mary Gibson of Bushnell, and Faye Ancell of Summerfield, Fla.; nine grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 18, at Whitehurst Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Fran Picker officiating.
Whitehurst Funeral Home, Crestview, is in charge of arrangements.
Doris E. Mills
Doris E. Mills, age 60, of Crestview, Fla., died Wednesday, March 15, 2000, in a Pensacola, Fla., hospital.
She was born in Stafford, Conn., and was a resident of the Crestview area since 1978. Mrs. Mills was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Niceville, Fla.
Survivors include her husband, Jimmy D. Mills of Crestview; sons, Marty Truax and Kelby Truax of New York; stepson, George Mills of Crestview; stepdaughters, Carolyn Bludsworth of Alabama, and Paula Perry of Crestview; two grandchildren; five stepgrandsons; and five stepgranddaughters.
The family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.
Graveside funeral services will be conducted in Mills Cemetery on Jenkins Road, Crestview, at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 18, with Pastor John Underdahl officiating.
McLaughlin-Aultman Funeral Home, Crestview, is in charge of arrangements.
Charles W. Miller II
Charles W. Miller II, age 41, of Columbus, Ohio, and formerly of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., passed away Wednesday, March 15, 2000, in Doctors North Hospital.
He was employed by Time Warner Communications.
Mr. Miller was preceded in death by his father, Charles W. Miller I. Survivors include his mother, Mable Miller; sister, Christine Miller; brother, David Miller, all of Columbus; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Friends may call at the funeral home from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday, March 19.
Funeral services will be conducted at 1 p.m. Monday, March 20, at the funeral home with the Rev. Tom Pauquette officiating. Interment follows in Concord Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Central Ohio Diabetes Association; or to The Capital Area Humane Society.
Schoedinger-Norris Chapel, Grove City, Ohio, is in charge of arrangements.
Charles Moore, age 67, of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., passed away in a local hospital Thursday, March 16, 2000, after an extended illness.
He was born on June 18, 1932, in Jackson County, Fla., and was a resident of this area since 1974, when he moved here from Dothan, Ala. He was Baptist by faith with membership in Memphis Baptist Church in Dothan. He honorably served his country in the U.S. Army; was a combat veteran of the Korean conflict; and retired from the Green Beret, 20th Special Forces Group, Mobile, Ala. He also worked for and retired from Sprint Telephone Co.
Mr. Moore was preceded in death by his wife of 42 years, Holly M. Moore; and a son, Charles E. Moore. Survivors include his daughters, Debra (D.J.) Williams and Christa Holly Moore, both of Fort Walton Beach; foster brother, Johnnie Mack Curaton of Dothan; sisters, Aline Halstead and Betty L. Tew of Dothan; grandchildren, Paul Charles McCarthy and Tamara Andrea Williams of Fort Walton Beach; several nieces and nephews; special friends, Bill and Dyanne Cole of Seagrove Beach, Fla., Art and Gloria Bailey of Fort Walton Beach, Baker and Beverly Scott, and C.J. and Geneva Kisser.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, March 20, at Little Chapel Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be conducted at 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, at Little Chapel Funeral Home with Minister Thomas E. Barnes officiating. Following services, burial will be in Beal Memorial Cemetery, with U.S. Army military honors.
Pallbearers will be special friends from CHAP XLIV Special Forces Association.
Little Chapel Funeral Home, 910 Beal Pkwy, Fort Walton Beach, entrusted with arrangements.
Betty Ruth Ferris
Betty Ruth Ferris, age 72, of Mary Esther, Fla., passed away Friday afternoon, March 17, 2000, at the Fort Walton Beach Medical Center. Betty was born in Flat River, Mo., to the late William Franklin and Glendora Fraser Scott. She was a homemaker and was an active member of the Emerald Coast Church of Christ. Betty was also a member of the T.O.P.S. club, was a former extension homemaker, and had resided in this area for the past 31 years.
She is survived by her husband of 44 years, Joseph M. Ferris, Jr. of Mary Esther; her sons, Stephen Joseph Ferris and wife Beate of Navarre, and Matthew David Ferris of Mary Esther; her sisters, Lillie Windle of St. Charles, Mo., and Norma Harke and husband Roy of O'Fallon, Mo.; her three grandchildren, Jason Matthew Ferris of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Jessica Leigh Ferris and Janine D. Ferris, both of Navarre; a close family friend, Clarence Sutton of Mary Esther, and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends at the McLaughlin Mortuary in Fort Walton Beach on Wednesday, March 22, 2000, from 5 to 7:30 p.m.
Funeral services will be held at the McLaughlin Mortuary Chapel on Thursday, March 23, 2000, at 2 p.m. with Pastor Cecil Belk officiating. Internment will follow in Beal Memorial Cemetery, Fort Walton Beach.
Floral contribution are acceptable.
McLaughlin Mortuary, Fort Walton Beach, entrusted with arrangements.