Walter J. Smith
Walter J. Smith, age 71, of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., passed away Monday, June 11, 2001, in his home after a courageous battle with cancer.
He was born on Dec. 13, 1929, in Front Royal, Va. He graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1952, where he received his commission in the U.S. Air Force. He served four years as a fighter pilot and flight instructor and flew F-80 and F-84 aircraft during the Korean conflict.
After serving his country in the Air Force, Walt attended the University of Florida Law School. He graduated No. 3 in his class and received the LLB in 1959 with honors. Walt was awarded Order of the Coif, was a member and Magistrar of Phi Delta Phi Legal Fraternity, was a member of John Marshall Law Society, and wrote for the University of Florida Law Review. Walt was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1959 and was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court in 1972. During his distinguished 42-year legal career he served as a member of the First Judicial Circuit Trial Court Nominating Council as well as numerous other leadership roles in the State and Local Bar Associations.
In 1961, Walt founded the law firm now known as Smith, Grimsley, Bauman, Pinkerton, Petermann and Wells. He served as city attorney for the city of Fort Walton Beach from 1961 to 1981. He actively practiced law until May 2001, during which time the firm has included five Circuit Judges. He was the first attorney in Okaloosa County to be awarded an AV rating by Martindale Hubbell, the highest rating bestowed on members of the legal profession. He was also listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.
Walt and Garlena split their residence between Baker, Fla., and Fort Walton Beach for the last five years. He was a member of First United Methodist Church in Fort Walton Beach.
Walt is survived by his loving wife, Garlena; four daughters, Lisa Smith of Atlanta, Kendall Smith-Sullivan of Tampa, Fla., Lauraline Congleton of Fort Walton Beach, and Ashley R. Smith of Fort Walton Beach; and four grandchildren. He is also survived by his sisters, Betty Jane Meyers of Arlington, Va., and Hazel Osborn of Sarasota, Fla.; and father-in-law, Clifford Coleman of Fort Walton Beach.
The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Emerald Coast Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be conducted at 10 a.m. Friday, June 15, at First United Methodist Church in Fort Walton Beach with the Rev. James T. Ross and Don Anchors officiating. Burial will follow in Beal Memorial Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to Hospice of Northwest Florida, 101 Hart St., Niceville, FL 32578; or to the American Cancer Society.
Emerald Coast Funeral Home, 113 Racetrack Road, Fort Walton Beach, is in charge of arrangements.
David Marshall Wardrop
David Marshall Wardrop, May 24, 1951 - June 8, 2001, of Navarre, Fla., and formerly of Olney Maryland.
Mr. Wardrop served as a corpsman in the U.S. Navy and later attended Troy State University.
He is survived by his son, David Marshall Wardrop II of Monroeville, Ala.; mother, Maggie Hinson Wardrop of Navarre; brothers, James M. Wardrop of Mary Esther, Fla., and Robert H. Wardrop of Olney, Md.; and sister, Janet W. Hogan of Silver Springs, Md.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, June 15, at 2 p.m. at Brooks Memorial Cemetery in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
McLaughlin Mortuary, 17 Chestnut Ave., Fort Walton Beach, is in charge of arrangements.
Velma R. Miller
Velma R. Miller, age 80, of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., passed away Sunday, June 10, 2001, at a local nursing home.
She was born in El Dorado, Ark., on Nov. 11, 1920, and lived in this area since 1980. Velma was a member of Cinco Baptist Church and was very committed to the Lord. She was a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was a good friend to many people and will be missed by all who knew her.
Mrs. Miller is survived by her son, Joe W. Miller Jr. of Texas City, Texas; grandchildren, Joe W. Miller III, Clifton Wayne Miller, and Chris Nicole Miller; and great-grandchildren, Candice Miller, Cheyne Miller, Hailey Miller, Jordan Miller and Kirra Wiley.
A visitation was held at McLaughlin Mortuary on Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m.
A funeral service was conducted at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home with the Rev. Doug Connell officiating. Burial will follow in Beal Memorial Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in memory of Velma Miller to the American Cancer Society.
McLaughlin Mortuary is entrusted with arrangements.
Anthony M. Hutnik
Anthony M. Hutnik, age 84, of Navarre, Fla., died June 3, 2001.
He is survived by his sisters, Helen Hutnik and Ann Hutnik Lazor; and brothers, Steve, Bill and Andrew Hutnik.
There will be a memorial service at 6 p.m. Sunday, June 17, at Midway Baptist Church.
Lewis Funeral Home, Navarre Chapel, is in charge of arrangements.
Eugenia D. Gruber
Eugenia D. Gruber, age 84, formerly of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., died Monday, June 11, 2001, in Pensacola, Fla.
She was born on Aug. 28, 1916, in Enfield, Conn., and moved to Fort Walton Beach in 1972 from Wiesbaden, Germany. She was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church and retired from civil service.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Alexander Gruber; and is survived by her brother-in-law, George Gruber of Tacoma, Wash.; and a host of friends.
Graveside services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Friday, June 15, at Beal Memorial Cemetery with Father Paul White officiating.
McLaughlin Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
Vivian H. Harrelson
Vivian H. Harrelson of Niceville, Fla., entered into eternal rest on Monday, June 11, 2001. She was 81 years old.
Born on Dec. 23, 1919, in Wilson, N.C., Vivian enlisted in the U.S. Army at age 22 to serve with the Nursing Corps during World War II. She proudly served her country, attaining the rank of captain, and received the Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon with one battle star. She left the Army after 10 years of faithful, devoted service. An Emerald Coast resident of 41 years, she will be deeply and sadly missed by family and friends.
Vivian was preceded in death by her loving husband, William, who entered into rest in 1996.
Survivors include her sons, William R. Harrelson of Houston, and John R. "Dicky" Harrelson of Valparaiso, Fla.; daughter, Vicki Marie Keider of Fort Walton Beach, Fla.; brothers, Nathan Howell of Raleigh, N.C., Milford Howell of Wilson, N.C., and Harold Howell of Norfolk, Va.; sisters, Agnus Hinnant, Helen Minchew and Eloise Ritch, all of Wilson; grandchildren, James R. Harrelson, Joshua Allen Harrelson, Sarah Elizabeth Harrelson and Jennifer Marie Harrelson; three great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Friday, June 15, at McLaughlin Twin Cities Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m., following visitation at the funeral home chapel with the Rev. Arnold Hendrix officiating. Interment will be in Liveoak Cemetery in Crestview, Fla.
The family requests, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made in Vivian's name to a charity of your choice.
Arrangements under the direction of McLaughlin Twin Cities Funeral Home in Niceville.
Dr. Jessie Mae McNeill
Dr. Jessie Mae McNeill, R.N., O.D., born Nov. 16, 1904, in Ariton, Ala., the daughter of the late Lewis Jasper Thompson and Lou Barnes Thompson passed away June 11, 2001, in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
She received her nurse certificate from Moody Hospital in Dothan, Ala. After a number of years in nursing and social work she wanted to expand her horizons. At the time when career opportunities were limited, Jessie Mae McNeill became the third woman to be licensed in Alabama as an optometrist. She graduated from Southern College of Optometry in 1948. She continued her optometry profession in Florala, Ala., and served people from surrounding communities in Alabama and Florida until her retirement in 1971.
Dr. McNeill was married in 1928 to Charles Berryman McNeill, a businessman and farmer well known in the Florala area. She and her husband were very active in the First Presbyterian Church of Florala. Following her retirement and the death of her husband, Dr. McNeill moved to Fort Walton Beach Westwood Retirement Center in 1986.
Survivors include her daughters, Jean McNeill Needham and husband William of Tallahassee, Fla., and Peggy McNeill Smith and husband Alto Frank Smith of Fort Walton Beach, Fla.; sister, Willie Ray O'Neal of Pensacola, Fla.; niece, Carolyn Allen of Pensacola, Fla.; six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 16, at Evans Funeral Home in Florala with Dr. William H. Tyson, Westminster Presbyterian Church of Fort Walton Beach officiating. Interment will be in the family plot in Greenwood Cemetery in Florala, Ala.
Evans Funeral Home, Florala, is in charge of arrangements.
Kathleen Ann Morse
Kathleen Ann Morse, age 57, of Mary Esther, Fla., passed away Saturday, June 9, 2001, after a long illness.
She was a loving mother to all who knew her and may God rest her soul.
Kathleen enjoyed sewing, the beach, and spending time with her animals.
She was preceded in death by her father, Peter Mazzone. Kathleen is survived by her five children, Mark, Kathleen, Brian and wife Edith, Chad and wife Michelle, and Jenny. She is also survived by her mother, Bernice; her lifelong companion, Chris McVay; sisters, Lois and husband Earl, Rebecca, and Sharon; brothers, Kenneth and wife Debbie, Joe and Tony; four grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service was held at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Emerald Coast Funeral Home with Deacon Charles R. Wolf officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the American Heart Association, in Kathleen's name.
Emerald Coast Funeral Home, 113 Racetrack Road, Fort Walton Beach, Fla., is in charge of arrangements.
Prouous "Prudy" Arzona Thomas
Prouous Arzona Thomas, formerly of Mobile, Ala., passed away on June 11, 2001, in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. The oldest of the eleven children of George and Ella Pearl Carlton, she is survived by a brother, Cruthers Carlton, and two sisters, Alice Rankin and Billie Burke Thomas, along with many nieces and nephews.
"Prudy" spent the last 62 years of her life sharing her faith as one of Jehovah's witnesses and was associated with the Mary Esther congregation of Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
A brief graveside service will be held at Magnolia Cemetery in Mobile, Ala on Thursday, June 14, 2001, at 2 p.m. A memorial service will be held at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses at 216 Jonquil Avenue in Fort Walton Beach on Sat., June 16, 2001 at 3 p.m.
The National Cremation Society is in charge of the arrangements.
Gabriel "Gabe" Filion
Gabriel "Gabe" Filion, age 68, of Destin, Fla., died Tuesday, June 12, 2001, at home with his family at his side.
Gabe was born in Montreal, Canada, on Sept. 18, 1932, to the late Romeo and Annette Filion. An electrician by trade, he came to the United States in 1951.
He soon enlisted in the United States Air Force and served proudly and honorably for 20 years, receiving numerous awards and decorations. He was a Vietnam veteran and a Bronze Star recipient.
He had been a resident of the Emerald Coast since 1971 when assigned to Eglin Air Force Base Field 2 Red Horse squadron. He retired in 1972 as a Chief Master Sergeant. In 1977, he founded and operated Gabe Electric Inc. as an electrical contractor. He serviced the Emerald Coast for almost 20 years until he retired for a second time in 1996.
He was a member of Resurrection Catholic Church in Miramar Beach; a member of 3rd degree St. Mary's Council 4444 and 4th degree Knights of Columbus.
He was preceded in death by a daughter, Lisa Anne Filion and a brother, Roger Filion of Montreal Canada. Survivors include his wife of 44 years, Monique Filion of Destin; daughter, Major Suzanne Filion of San Antonio, Texas; son and daughter-in-law Marc G. and Kathryn C. Filion of Lake Worth, Fla.; sisters, Lucille Dugal, Andree Chabot and Marcelle Filion of Montreal, Canada; and several longtime friends.
Visitation will be at Little Chapel Funeral Home at 910 N. Beal Parkway in Fort Walton Beach from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, June 14, with the rosary at 7 p.m. Funeral services will be conducted by Father Roy Marien at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Fort Walton Beach at 10 a.m., Friday, June 15. Interment will full military honors will follow at Beal Memorial Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made in Gabe's name to Resurrection Catholic Church Building Fund, 259 Miramar Beach Drive, Destin, Fla., 32550 or Hospice of the Emerald Coast, P.O. Box 459, Crestview, Fla. 32536