Month: October 2018

John A. Wright, age 85

Bartow- John A. Wright, age 85, passed away Thursday, October 25, 2018 in Winter Haven. Born July 26, 1933 in Fort Meade, Mr. Wright was the son of the late Robert David and Rita (Douglas) Wright. John attended the University of Florida before being called to service in the U.S. Army during the Korean War era. After his service, he went to work for Swift and Company in Bartow and retired from then Estech after 39 years of service as an Industrial Relations Manager. Mr. Wright was a longtime member of the First United Methodist Church of Bartow and the Masonic Tuscan Lodge #6 in Bartow, He was an avid Gator fan and longtime coach in youth baseball and football programs in Bartow. Mr. Wright also found great enjoyment in being a Citrus Grower in the Bartow area for many years. John is survived by a loving family that includes his wife of 65 years, Patricia R. Wright of Bartow, his children: Steven R. Wright (Cheri) of Winter Haven, Wendy A. Wright of Bartow, and David W. Wright (Dee Dee) of Bartow. He also leaves behind his grandchildren: Lindsey Replogle, Rachel Averett (Michael), John Reed Replogle, Steven R. Wright, II, Will Alderman, Jared Wright, Delaney Wright, Denice Wright and his great grandchildren: Allister, Caleb and Levi. The family will receive friends on Friday, November 2nd from 10am to 11am at the First United Methodist Church of Bartow, 310 South Broadway Ave. in Bartow. Funeral services will follow at 11:00am at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church of Bartow, 455 South Broadway Ave,, Bartow, FL 33830.


Phyllis Jerome “P.J.” Varn Black, 71

FORT MEADE – Phyllis Jerome “P.J.” Varn Black, 71 of Ft. Meade, Florida, passed away on October 12, 2018 surrounded by her family.

Phyllis, known to most as P.J., was born in Bartow, Florida to David Hugh Varn, Jr. M.D. and Ruth McEntee Varn on August 11, 1947. She graduated from Fort Meade High School class of 1965, where she met the love of her life, Norman Larry Black, Sr, D.V.M., known by longtime friends and family as Monk. She attended Gulf Park College for Women in Gulfport, Mississippi. P.J. and Larry were married on August 22, 1966 in Dothan, Alabama. She worked at Auburn University while her husband attended Veterinary School. After leaving Auburn, she worked alongside her husband in his veterinary practice for 39 years. She owned the Fort Meade Garden Center for several years and was a fourth-generation citrus grower and member of Peace River Packing Company.
P.J. was extremely proud of her family and devoted much of her life to raising her four children and instilling strong family bonds. She loved cooking, needlework, and had a passion for all plants and flowers. P.J. was a longtime member of the Fort Meade and Bartow Garden Club’s Planter’s Circle and attained the status of Accredited Master Judge in the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs. Her floral design talents were recognized when FFGC featured her design in their annual calendar. She attended numerous short courses and symposiums throughout Florida to further her knowledge of floral design and horticulture. P.J. was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Fort Meade, the American Needlepoint Guild and the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was an active volunteer in the community as a Girl Scout leader and at local schools.
P.J. is preceded in death by her parents, David Hugh Varn, Jr, M.D. and Ruth McEntee Varn, parents in law, Marvin David Black, Sr, and Edna June Peters Black, and sister in law, Joanne Black Welch.
P.J. is survived by her loving husband, Norman Larry Black, Sr, D.V.M., daughter Nikki Black Hayde (Michael), son Norman Larry Black, Jr. (Jenny), daughter Andi Dru Black, son David Hugh Black (Kaley), sisters Karolyn Varn Nunnallee (Jim) and Delia Varn Drohan (Tom), brother in law David Black (Pam), and nine grandchildren: Andrew Black, Emily Lovett, Varn Black, Sam Lovett, Julia Black, Joseph Hayde, Audrey Hayde, Dean Black, and Tyler Black.
A graveside service will be held at 10:30 am, Wednesday, October 17, 2018 at Evergreen Cemetery, Fort Meade, Florida with Dr. Jack Taylor of the First Presbyterian Church of Fort Meade officiating.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 176, Fort Meade, Florida or Camp Wekiva, the camp of the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs, 1400 S. Denning Dr. Winter Park, FL 32789.

Mrs. Lois P. Bennett, 103

FORT MEADE – Mrs. Lois P. Bennett, 103, passed away Tuesday, October 2, 2018 in Bartow, FL. Mrs. Bennett was born March 9, 1915 in Millport, Kentucky and moved to Fort Meade in 1970. She was a retired food service supervisor, and of the Baptist faith.

Mrs. Bennett was preceded in death by her parents, Ernest and Ida Mae Dossett Phillips; husband, Jesse Bennett; son, Gilbert Bennett; several brothers and sisters, and several grandchildren.
She is survived by her son, Harold Bennett and wife Linda, Ruskin, FL; daughters, Alice Bennett, Samson, AL, Linda Revlett, Bronson, FL; nineteen grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; and several great-great-grandchildren.
Private family memorial services will be held.