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August 10, 2017 Obituaries

Mrs. Josie Hatch Allen

Mrs. Josie Hatch Allen, 93, of Cross City passed away July 31, 2017.

Mrs. Allen was born August 31, 1923 to the late George and Josephine Hatch in Old Town, and spent all of her life in the Dixie County area. She had been a member of the Grey Ladies and in her spare time enjoyed collecting dolls. Mrs. Allen was a Charter Member and at the time of her death was the oldest member of the Cross City Church of God, and had been a Sunday School Teacher there in the past.

Mrs. Allen is survived by her sons Leon A. (Pat) Allen and Joe Hubert Allen, a daughter Phyllis  (Charles) White, a daughter-in-law Barbara F. Allen, seven grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren, three great-great-grandchildren, and other extended family members. She was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years Leon P. Allen and a son Dennis Allen.

Funeral services for Mrs. Allen were held 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, August 2, 2017 at the Cross City Church of God, Pastor Joe Brooks and Reverend Charles White officiated. Interment  followed in Old McCrabb Cemetery outside of Old Town. The family received friends at the church one hour prior to the service.

Arrangements were placed under the care of Rick Gooding Funeral Home, Cross City and Chiefland. Please sign the online guest book at rickgoodingfuneralhomes.com.

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Mr. David Wayne Cannon

Mr. David Wayne Cannon, 56, of Lake City, passed away at his home on Tuesday, August 1, 2017 after a courageous battle with cancer.  He was born September 7, 1960 at Patrick AFB, the son of L.C. (Lawrance) and the late Juanita (Garner) Cannon.

After he graduated from Chiefland High School he served 4 years in the U.S. Navy, and then served in the U.S. Air Force until he retired in 1998 with 21 years of service.  David and his wife, Debbie, moved to Lake City where he worked for the Camp Weed and Cerveny Conference Center in Live Oak for seven and one-half years, and then went to work for the U.S. Postal Service in Lake City.  He loved golfing and enjoyed playing with the “Good Ole Boys” at the Country Club of Lake City.  His other passion was hunting and he enjoyed sharing his hunting stories with anyone who would listen.  David was cherished by his family and friends for his loving personality, his great sense of humor and his love for life.  He will be dearly missed.

David was predeceased by his mother Juanita. He is survived by his loving wife of 28 years, Debbie Cannon of Lake City; his father, L. C. Cannon and stepmom, Amelia of Chiefland; two brothers, Bruce (Judy) Cannon and Melton (Dawn) Cannon; one sister, Donna (Walt) Carlisle; one stepbrother, Jesse Coleman; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held 2:00 p.m., Saturday, August 5, 2017 at Hardeetown Baptist Church, Chiefland. Interment followed at Antioch Cemetery in Chiefland. The family received friends at the church one hour prior to the service.

Flowers were accepted, but memorial donations may be made to Haven Hospice, 311 NE 9th Street, Chiefland, FL  32626.

Arrangements were placed under the care of Rick Gooding Funeral Home, Chiefland and Cross City. Please sign the online guest book at rickgoodingfh@me.com.

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Mrs. Connie J. Gardner

Mrs. Connie J. Gardner, 66, of Trenton, passed away on July 25, 2017 in the care of Haven Hospice. She was born on April 26, 1951 in Port Huron, Michigan, to her parents, Jack L. Burns and Betty Jefferson. She is preceded in death by her parents. She leaves behind her loving husband, Terry Gardner, her daughter, Tracy  Maloy (fiancée Mike Rochon) of Hawthorne, her son, Richard Gardner of Waco, Texas, and her daughter-in-law, Roanne Gardner. Her siblings, Deb, Carol, and Rick. She also leaves behind her grandchildren, Tracy’s children, Ashley Gardner, Terry Richard Gardner II, Maryellen Farrell, Samantha Gardner, and Richard’s children, Matthew Gardner, Jarod Gardner, and Evan Gardner. As well as her great-granddaughter, Ashley’s daughter, Raelynn and, Maryellen’s daughter, Nevaeh. She will be greatly missed by all who loved her.

Arrangements are in the care of Milam Funeral and Cremation Services, Gainesville, www.milamfh.com.

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Mr. Joe L. Hayes

Mr. Joe L. Hayes, 79, of Old Town passed away August 4, 2017.

Joe was born January 8, 1938, to the late Joe and Elizabeth Hayes of Chattanooga, Tennessee, but had lived in the Old Town area for over 15 years after moving here from Naples. He retired from the United States Marine Corps after serving two tours of duty in the Vietnam War, he also maintained the minefields at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba during his service. Following his retirement from the Marines, Joe worked as a commercial fisherman and as a carpenter for several years. In his spare time he enjoyed fishing, dancing, and listening to music. He was a member of the Suwannee River Baptist Church and the American Legion Post 383, both in Old Town.

Joe is survived by his wife of 52 years, Shirley Hayes, his only son Floyd Hayes, his daughters Janet (Randy) Smith, Melody (Larry) Maybin, and Melissa (James) Worthington, his sister Jessie, seven grandbabies, and many other extended family members and friends.

A memorial service was held in honor of Joe at 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 9, 2017, at the Rick Gooding Funeral Home Cross City Chapel, with Pastor Bobby Lindsey officiating.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Haven Hospice of Chiefland.

Arrangements were placed under the care of Rick Gooding Funeral Home, Cross City and Chiefland. Please sign the online guest book at rickgoodingfuneralhomes.com.

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Mr. Larry Eugene Jones

Mr. Larry Eugene Jones, Our Beloved, passed away peacefully on July 28, 2017. He was a lifelong resident of High Springs. He is preceded in death by his parents Bennett Edgar Jones and Frances Elizabeth Sapp Jones. He is also proceeded in death by three infant siblings and the mother of his children, Melody Jones Wiggins.

Larry was a “Larger than Life Character”, being a lifelong farmer and a genuine old school Cowboy. He was respected by most, loved by many and will be missed by all. He graduated from Santa Fe High School in 1964. Football was his game. He attended college after high school. He served honorably in the United States Army and retired from the City of Gainesville Fire Rescue after thirty years of successful service, having received numerous exemplary commendations and awards for his bravery. He was a member of the Executive Board serving twenty years as Vice President of the Gainesville Professional Fire Fighters IAFF Local 2157.

Larry is survived by his longtime companion, Nancy Baxter, his son and daughter-in-law, Troy and Molly Jones, his daughter, Sherry Jones-Garretson, his five grandchildren Thomas Jones, Krissy Keen, Travis Jones, Heather Whitesides, Sherry Garretson, four great grandchildren, and his sisters Pam (Howard) Palmer  and Fran (Joe) Smith.

Funeral services for Larry  were held 2:00 p.m. Saturday, August 5, 2017 at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church outside of High Springs. Interment followed in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery. The family received friends at the Church one hour prior to the service.

Arrangements were placed under the care of Rick Gooding Funeral Home, Chiefland, and Cross City. Please sign the online guest book at rickgoodingfuneralhomes.

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Mr. Herbert “Herbie” Harper Raker, Jr.

Mr. Herbert “Herbie” Harper Raker, Jr., of Cross City, passed away at the age of 58 at North Florida Regional Hospital Friday, August 4, 2017.

Herbie was a member of Lydia Baptist Church where he served as Deacon, Sunday School Teacher and Recreations Director for Awanas. He loved Jesus and was a faithful servant, never missing a day spending time in God’s Word.

Herbie graduated from Dixie County High School in 1976.  He was very active in sports, playing football and basketball, and was president of his senior class.  After graduating, he attended the University of Florida.  He became the owner and operator of Raker Land Surveying in 2000, taking over the family business for his father who started the business in 1979. Herbie was known for always treating everyone with honesty and integrity.  He enjoyed hunting, spearfishing, boating, Dixie County Bear and Florida Gator football and playing basketball but above all he loved his family and church family.

He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Suzanne Miller Raker; son, Dillon Tyler Raker and daughter, Alexandria Breanne Raker; sisters, Penny Robson, Dianne Koschatzky and Judy Hatcher.

A Celebration of Life Service was held at Lydia Baptist Church in Cross City on Sunday, August 6, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. with Rev. Jarrett Thomas officiating.

Arrangements were placed under the care of Rick Gooding Funeral Home, Cross City and Chiefland. Please sign the online guest book at rickgoodingfuneralhomes.com.

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Mr. Richard “Rick” Tony Ridenour

Mr. Richard “Rick” Tony Ridenour, age 64, of Trenton, fought his battle of cancer for 10 years before finally going home to be with our Lord on July 30, 2017 at his home surrounded by his family.

Born on August 20, 1952 in Indianapolis, Indiana, he then moved to Tampa when he was 12 years old and grew up fishing and boating. At 19 years old he served in the Vietnam War as a door gunner on a Chinook Support Helicopter.  Rick started in the Fire Sprinkler business after the war and found his passion in Fire Safety.  In 1983 he married the love of his life, Lori, and in 1989 they moved with their two children to Trenton.  He built his own house piece by piece and it became a labor of love all while being Mr. Mom while Lori worked.  Rick worked for the University of Florida for 8 years and for Alachua County Fire Rescue for 5 years) as a Fire Inspector.  He always strived to be the best he could be and that brought many awards including: the Fire Inspector of the Year award for the State of Florida in 2003, State of Florida Davis Productivity Award, an award from the Incentive Efficiency Program at UF in 1996 and he also achieved the title of Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS) during his time as a Fire Inspector.  He was also an active member of several organizations including: Florida Fire Sprinkler Association, American Fire Sprinkler Association and Florida Fire Marshals & Inspectors Association.  Rick went to work for Gator Fire Equipment Co. as Operations Manager in 2005 and retired in 2014.

Rick was a devoted husband, father and Poppi. Rick loved the outdoors, boating, swimming, fishing and kayaking.  He always had a project going on around the house, always building or fixing something. He also helped a lot of family and friends with projects. He loved sitting on his deck looking at the lake, spending time with his family and being the BEST Poppi to his grandkids.

Rick was preceded in death by his mother Hazel Hardy, father John Ridenour, brothers Johnny Ridenour and William “Billy” Ridenour and his mother-in-law Sharon Schwieterman. He is survived by his loving wife of 33 years, Lori Schwieterman Ridenour, daughter Brittny (Kenny) Keeling, son Jarod (Megan Mathis) Ridenour, grandchildren Karlee and Kelton Keeling, Saydee and Kash Ridenour, and Skye Mathis, step-father “Pop” Bruce Hardy of Trenton, sisters Sue Peppers of Trenton and Mary (Roger) Perdue of Trenton, father-in-law Bob Schwieterman of Trenton, beloved nieces and nephews and many extended family members. Rick’s quick wit and loving hugs will be deeply missed by his friends, family and all who knew him.

A Memorial Service will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, August 11th at Watson Funeral Home at 426 W. Wade St. in Trenton with Pastor Andy Cook officiating with the family receiving friends for 30 minutes prior to the services.

Memorial Contributions can be made to Trenton Animal Hospital “Max’s Fund, 603 N. Main St., Trenton, FL 32693.

For on-line condolences, please visit www.watsonfhtrenton.com

Arrangements under the care of Watson Funeral Home.

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Mr. James “David” Welch, Jr.

Mr. David Welch, Jr. passed away peacefully, surrounded by family and covered in prayer, on Saturday, August 5, 2017, after two weeks in the hospital.  He was born November 4, 1935 to Jimmy Welch and Ruth Webb Welch in Micanopy.  Mr. Welch and his siblings recently visited their family home, telling stories and giving thanks for the good name that was left to them, a tradition they have continued.

During his 81 years, Mr. Welch was a forester, a cowboy, a potential pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, and an honest, Godly man. He graduated from Trenton High School in 1953. David married Vivian Matthews on Labor Day weekend in 1955.  After finishing Forest Ranger School in Lake City, the couple moved to follow employment opportunities, but moved back home to Gilchrist County as soon as they could.  Mr. Welch worked as a Forester for the State of Florida. He was Ranch Manager for Two Rivers Ranch in Zephyrhills for 17 years.  After leaving the ranch, Mr. Welch retired from Georgia Pacific, building lifelong friendships with each new job.

Mr. David and Mrs. Vivian raised three children, and have been BB and Granny to four grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren, all of whom live in Gilchrist County. Their marriage of nearly 62 years has been an example of true love and devotion.

Mr. Welch is survived by his wife of almost 62 years Vivian, aunts Christine (Ed) Wood and Helen Coppack, his siblings Bill Welch, Wimpy (Linda) Welch, and Ruth Anne (Ben) Bennett, daughters Mary Ann (Carl) Johnson and Wini (Toby) Weeks, son Jim Welch, grandchildren Jason (Denett) Johnson, James (Jennifer) Johnson, Joshua (Ashlee) Johnson, Taven (Colby) Bennett, and “mighty fine” great-grandchildren Bryson, Landon, Jenny-Lynn, Jonah, Isaac, Rylee, Zane, Canaan, Reina, Mayree, Elise, little Carlee, and baby Johnson. He also leaves behind nieces, nephews, friends, and his church family at Cherry Sink Church of Christ.

Mr. Welch was known for eating slowly, singing loudly, and visiting Ayers Nursing Home. He had a bass voice, a firm handshake, and prayers that echo in our minds. In honor of Mr. Welch’s memory, the family asks that you follow God’s Word, pray for your family each night and morning, watch out for the rip tide and rattlesnakes, cheer at a ballgame, crack a whip, drive slow on the backroads, shoot an armadillo, go visit friends, never be late, watch the Gilchrist County full moon come up, and love unconditionally.

Graveside services were held on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at Cherry Sink Cemetery, Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery in Trenton, with Mr. John Zellner officiating.

For  on-line condolences,  please visit www.watsonfhtrenton.com.

Arrangements under the care of Watson Funeral Home,  Trenton.

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Mrs. Donna
Whittington

Mrs. Donna Cecile O’Connor Whittington, 86, of Tampa and Gainesville, passed away on July 29, 2017 after a long battle with dementia.

Mrs. Whittington was born to Mary and Joseph O’Connor of Susquehanna, Pennsylvania on January 1, 1931. Her parents and younger siblings Adrienne O. Herbert of Susquehanna, Pennsylvania and John J. O’Connor of Greensboro, North Carolina predeceased her. She graduated from Laurel Hill Academy at age 17 and then received her nursing education at St. Joseph Hospital in Elmira New York. She afterward received her RN certification and worked 3 years as a maternity nurse. She subsequently married Richard Harmon Whittington, a career US Army officer. They were married 55 years until Colonel Whittington’s death in 2007. During her twenty seven year stint as a model ‘army wife’, she and her husband raised five children: Brigadier General Matthew (Beth Gilbert) Whittington of Tempe, Arizona, Michael (Judith Kensler) Whittington of Cross City, Ellen (Major Rafael Caraballo) Caraballo of Wesley Chapel, Kathy (Scott O’Steen) O’Steen of Steinhatchee, Richard  (DeAnne Sheffield) Whittington, Jr. of Trenton, Michael C. Whittington also predeceased her.

Upon retiring to Tampa, Mrs Whittington worked several years as a health insurance claims representative. Mrs. Whittington ‘Meemaw’, in this period, greatly enjoyed watching her seven grandchildren Cecil Hall, Dorry Roberts, Joey Whittington, Ric Whittington, Caroline Whittington, Mary Whittington, Alice Whittington and numerous great-grandchildren; while they were growing up. She also enjoyed watching Tampa Bucs games with her family.

Funeral Services were held 12:00 noon on Saturday, August 5, 2017 at Forest Meadows Funeral Home Chapel, with Father Rowland Julien officiating. A visitation was held one hour prior to services.  Interment took place at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, August 7, 2017 at Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell.  Arrangements were under the care of  Forest-Meadows Funeral Home, Gainesville.

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