Thomas Benjamin Briody, 73, passed away Wednesday, May 25, 2016. He was born in Brooklyn, NY on February 4, 1943 to the late John and Doris Briody. His family includes his wife Brenda, son James Hickey, daughter Katherine Briody, grandson Andrew Hickey, granddaughter Elizabeth Bull and his beloved dog Leon. He was preceded in death by his brother Dennis Briody.
Graybill B. “Grabe” Harman took his final flight on 15 May 2016, just hours before his 94th birthday. Born in Chillicothe, Ohio, on 16 May 1922, he was the first son of Howard and Grace Harman. He is survived by his brother, Frederick, of Reading, Pennsylvania, but was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Frances Glashine Harman. Grabe retired as a WWII Navy Flying Boat Pilot and Squadron Commander. He married Frances Glashine in 1944 and they set up housekeeping at NAS Banana River, Florida, where he was a Navy PBM Flight Instructor. This was followed by a tour of duty in the Philippine Islands, flying throughout the Western Pacific. Following WWII he continued his flying career in the Naval Air Reserve, flying numerous naval aircraft and commanding a West Coast P2V “Neptune” squadron. Grabe took his aviation skills into the aircraft industry, where he worked with North American Aviation/Rockwell in Columbus, Ohio, and Downey, California. He then transitioned into the space industry as he joined the effort to “put a man on the moon.” The family returned to the Cape Canaveral area in 1963 with the advanced Apollo Launch Team. After Apollo, he also participated in the Skylab and Shuttle Programs with McDonald Douglas, Lockheed, and the United Space Alliance. Grabe is survived by two sons and a daughter, Richard Lee Harman of Camano Island, Washington; Thomas Howard Harman of Miami, Florida, and Susan Camille Harman of Flagstaff, Arizona; three grandchildren, Ben, Meredith, and Allison; and two great grandchildren, Annelise and Oliver. Grabe’s wife, Frances, predeceased him in 2000 after 56 years of loving marriage. Grabe was a member of several National Military organizations and was active on the Board of Directors of the Mariner/Marlin Association and the PBY Catalina International Association. Locally, he was a life member of American Legion Post 359 of Port St. John, with over 60 years of participation. For many years, Grabe ushered in the drive in worship service of the First United Church of Cocoa, Florida. To our extended family at Buena Vida, please join us as we raise a toast to Grabe! And what a fine fellow he has been! Aviator, husband, father, space engineer and now, cub reporter for the Buena Vida “News, Views and World Guardian!” Cookie maker. Outing organizer. Cumshaw artist. Patriot. Who else raises and lowers his own veranda flag each morning and evening? …And indeed, an all-around good guy! Dad was born 94 years ago on May 16, 1922 in Chillicothe, Ohio, the first of two youngsters born to Howard and Grace Harman. His dad, a 1911 medical school graduate, joined the Army and spent with Grace the war years (WWI) in the Philippines. Dad and his brother suffered the loss of their mother in 1936, when Dad was 14. Both were sponsored to a high school education at Culver Military Academy. With the outbreak of WWII, Dad joined the Navy; his younger brother, the Army. Grandfather Harman was recalled and the Harman house in Chillicothe sported three silver stars for the duration. Dad was the first Harman to join the Navy since the War of 1812 (or so the story goes). He was the first Harman to become a pilot and Designated Naval Aviator. Because of his Culver training, he was a 21 year old Ensign “plane commander” and traveled to Alameda, California to receive a crew and a brand new PBY flying boat. Some 20 hours later, he and the crew landed in Hawaii; a fairly amazing feat given the circumstances of the day (no GPS). Dad’s navy career included flying all over the Pacific in the PBM seaplane, doing air/sea rescue and anti-submarine patrols. He became a reservist and continued flying large naval aircraft: ending as Commanding Officer of a P2V Neptune Squadron. He retired from the Naval Reserve as a Commander. Dad met our mother, Frances, in 1943 and married in 1944. They raised the three of us: Dick, Tom, and Suzy. Born and dubbed “Graybill Burger Harman” prompted NO family names for us! We lived in Columbus, San Diego, and Cocoa. They did their best to raise us to be honorable, productive citizens. Daughter-in-law Barbara (Tom’s wife) and Judy (Dick’s) have made Dad a grandparent three times (Ben, Meredith, and Allison!). Dad and Mom enjoyed nearly 56 years of life together, Mom passing in 2000. Of particular note is Dad’s care of my mother during the five years of her illness, a gift to us children that we can only now begin to appreciate. Dad’s professional career was in aviation, first (and it turns out last) at North American. He helped bring about the T-28 Trojan, the F-100, and the AJ Vigilante in the early days and then transferred to Cape Kennedy in 1964 to help put men into outer space. Dad scoffs at the “steely-eyed missile man” characterization but, indeed, he was one of those gents. We used to watch the Apollo and Space Shuttle launches from the roof of our house. Dad received a letter of “thanks” via NASA, signed by some 36 original Astronauts. Typical of many “ho-hum” engineers, he cut the letter down to fit the size of the frame he happened to have on hand, cutting the bottom of the “g” in Neil Armstrong’s signature! Pure Grabe. There are many, many interesting stories. So he retired. Or did he? Post retirement, Dad couldn’t slow down and was asked by his Navy buddy, fellow engineer and friend, Jim Pearce, to lend a hand at Jim’s new business, American Marine. AM developed and continues to make containment booms that float around oil spills anywhere in the world. At “Marine,” he was always happy to be “a part of the gang,” especially the production crew, most of whom he knows by name. Well, after being parent-to-the-children for so many years, the time finally came for the sons and daughters to become “parent” to the dad. For several years, Dad’s eyesight was failing due to macular degeneration. For years, his ophthalmologist son exhorted him to stop driving. As you may have already determined, as the saying goes: “You can always tell a Naval Aviator but you can’t tell him much!” Two fender-benders later, a search was made and Buena Vida discovered! Leaving the ancestral family of home of nearly 50 years, the rest is history. It was gratifying to hear “why did I wait so long” to find such a dandy place? Warm to all comers, activities galore, new places to see and people to meet. The move to Buena Vida genuinely added years of life to our remarkable dad, a founding member of “the Greatest Generation”.
Alfreda âFritzâ Kawohl, 86, of West Melbourne, FL passed away on May 19, 2016. She was born on July 16, 1929 and in Detroit, MI. She moved to Florida in 1968 from Woomera, Australia. Fritz served her country for two and a half years, during the Korean War, in the Womenâs Army Corp (WAC). She established the Space Coast chapter of the WAC Veterans, held each office, attended local and national conventions, and organized and marched in every local parade that included the military. In 2015, she was honored with the prestigious Honor Flight to DC, which was an escorted trip from start to finish. Fritzâs love for volunteerism spanned her entire lifetime. She began assisting in the Meadowlane Elementary School library, 44 years ago, where her positive attitude was enjoyed by thousands of children. She continued until April 2016. She also sat on the Planning and Zoning Board of West Melbourne for well over 20 years. Many organizations benefited from her passion, such as King Center, Pro-Health & Fitness Center, Board of Elections, and Salvation Army, where she organized bell ringers with the WAC Veterans. Her stories of traveling and living all around the world will be greatly missed but have created wonderful memories for her family and friends. She also had a great love for animals even making a special trip out to Utah to visit the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Fritz is survived by her children, Mike Kawohl, Kim Diehl, and Kris Kawohl; her grandchildren, Tiffany Kawohl, Marc (Fe) Kawohl, Kasey Diehl, and Carole Diehl; her great-grandchildren, Kasey Diehl and Matthew Kawohl; daughter-in-law, Linda (Ken) Marriott; niece, Claudia (Scott) Sprague; and other close family and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Walter; parents; brothers, Gerald and Merrill Benninger; sister, Jeanette Musall; and son-in-law, Gary Diehl.
Edward J. Murphy, 69, passed away Sunday, May 22, 2016. He was born in Dover, NJ on September 26, 1946 to the late Edward and Florence Murphy. He was a past Grand Knight in the Knights of Columbus at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Palm Bay and a founding member of the Knights On Bikes, Orlando Dioceses. His family includes his sons Mark A. Murphy and James Cassidy; daughter Colleen Wherrity; brother Michael Murphy and grandchildren Frank Wherrity, Ryan Wherrity, Carly Murphy, Declan Cassidy, Claire Cassidy, Caleb Murphy and Katie Bonanno.
Effie G. Ulmer, 96, died on Sunday May 8, 2016 at Indian River Center, Melbourne, FL. Born in Georgetown S.C. Effie lived in North Charleston, SC for 60 years prior to moving to Satellite Beach, FL in 2009 to live with her daughter and son-in-law. Effie was the mother of three children. Son, David T. Ulmer, resident of Lexington, NC, Daughter, Jessie L. Johnson resident of Satellite Beach Florida, and Robert W. Ulmer, Deceased 2009. Effie loved gardening, bird watching, and garage sales. She was naturally talented as an artist who could draw beautifully both in pencil and acrylics. Effie never had an art lesson. She used her talent to draw portraits of her relatives and wildlife. Effie leaves a legacy of very strong faith in God. She hosted an in home prayer meetings for years that ministered to many women of the church. No matter what problem presented to Effie, she would always go to prayer. Her favorite quote was âThe Highways and byways are my ministry.â She spent many years visiting the sick and shut-in. Her phone was always available as a prayer line. Effie is survived her two sisters, Amiee Herald, and Dorothy Brown and her younger brother Dick Goude; two children, daughter, Jessie Johnson; son, David Ulmer; six grandchildren Cindy Morrow, Gordon Johnson III, Sherry Ulmer, Brian Ulmer, Chris Ulmer, Kevin Ulmer. Effie adopted several families, Fred and Lorelle James and their children Shannon and spouse, Kalle and Cheryl, also, Edna and Allen Hiott and their son Justin. Great-grandchildren Deonna Bettis, Brande Holm, Samantha Morrow, Virginia Hankins, Amanda Payne, Jacob Johnson, Hannah Phillips, Megan Johnson. Great-Great-grandchildren Ansleigh Holm, Alexia Holm, Dahlia Holm, Violet Holm, Eden Holm, Sawyer Holm, Sienna Bettis, Evelyn Bettis, Miles Bettis. Harper Payne, Asher Payne. Effie was predeceased by her son, Robert W. Ulmer.
Rosemary Lyons, 85, passed away at home on Tuesday, May 17, 2016. She was born December 25, 1930 to Elva and Conrad Esslin, in Farmington, Michigan. Rose Marie met and married Doug McLeod and moved to DeTour Village, Michigan in 1957. She relocated to Melbourne Florida in September of 2015. Rosemary loved to travel and was always around to lend a helping hand anyone who needed help. Rosemary is survived by daughters Paula Adams, Patti (Art) Kavanaugh, Anne (Jackie) Beckwith, and Mickie (Jeff) Nagel; grandchildren Cari Adams, Jason (Chrissy) Adams, Dara Freeman, Alex, Gabrielle, Lauren and Blake Nagel, Danielle (Alex) Turnipseed, Jacob (Merissa) Beckwith, Dana (Aubry) Beckwith, Nathan (Shenika) Beckwith; great grandchildren, Allison and Ryan Adams, Mason and Connor Freeman, Ava and Jackson Beckwith, Celeste, Korbin, Ashley and Devin Beckwith, Lyric, Harmony, Melody and Symphony Beckwith; and sisters Virginia Smith and Genevieve Patrick. She was preceded in death by her deceased husbands Douglas McLeod, and Richard Lyons. Also, her very special friend Lew Fountain. Parents Conrad and Elva Esslin; several brothers and sisters and Granddaughter Staci Adams. She will be lovingly missed by all.
Robert âBobâ V. Johnson died peacefully in Melbourne, Florida at the age of 87. Bob is survived by his wife Faye; his children Bill Pollard, Tony Johnson, Jim Johnson, Beth Johnson Brackett; brothers and sisters Christine, Elaine, Mary Ann, Kay, Blaine, Carolyn, Wilma, and Tommy; grandchildren Lazar, Amanda, Tyler, Avery, Gracie, Ashley, Jessica, Shana and great grandchild Aston. He was the fourth oldest of 13 brothers and sisters. Bob was born on April 28, 1929 in Johnson City, Tennessee. He joined the Navy when he was 17 with an 8th grade education as submariner. Bob volunteered for submarine duty and served 8 years. After the Navy he attended East Tennessee State University and Memphis University where he earned his Bachelorâs degree in Accounting. Bob opened the first IRS office in Brevard County in 1955 and started his own accounting practice in Eau Gallie in 1966. Bob was very active in community service. Some of Bobâs many affiliations and accomplishments included: Melbourne Citizen of the Year in 1969, Melbourne City Councilman for six years, City of Melbourne Beautification Committee, Harbor City Volunteer Ambulance Squad Board Member and Chairman, Melbourne Airport Authority Board Member, Lionâs Club Member, Snug Harbor Submarine Veterans Member, USS Diablo Member and Reunion Coordinator, and Florida Trail Association Member. Arrangements entrusted to Ammen Family Cremation and Funeral Care, 1286 S. US 1, Rockledge, FL (321) 632-1350.
Bryan S. Bailey, age 80, passed away peacefully on May 11, 2016 in his Sebastian, FL home. Born on May 13, 1935, Bryan was a former native of Elmira Heights, New York, and worked at Thatcher Glass. Bryan served in the U.S. Air Force. He was a fun loving husband, father, and grandfather who enjoyed his music, puzzles, and quality time with his family. In his younger years, Bryan enjoyed outdoor activities such as boating, fishing, hunting, and camping. Bryan was predeceased by his wife of 41 years, Lena H. Bailey. He is survived by daughter Cindy Harding and boyfriend Richard Rockwell; son Jeffery Bailey; and grandchildren Ashley Harding, Jeremy Harding, and Jessica Phigpen. Bryan will be truly missed by all.
Ted Rogalis, 57, went to his Heavenly home on Thursday, May 12, 2016. He was born in Hollywood, FL on April 3, 1959 to Theodore Victor and Eleanor Mary Adamson Rogalis, Sr. He loved to laugh and cook; he worked in the flooring trade for 36 years. Ted married Charis Booth on September 15, 2004. She survives, along with his sons Cameron and Mason Rogalis; mother Ellie Rogalis; sisters Traci Mellinger and Susan Rentz. He was a devoted son, father and brother; and a loving husband to his wife. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Amanda Charis and his father Theodore. Arrangements entrusted to Ammen Family Cremation and Funeral Care, 1001 S. Hickory Street, Melbourne, FL (321) 724-2222.
Jacob Newman, 92, passed Thursday, May 12, 2016 in Palm Bay, Florida. He was born June 2, 1923 in Bronx, New York to Nathan and Dorothy Newman. Jacob was a World War II Army veteran. He was honorably discharged with several awards, including the American Service Medal, Asiatic Pacific Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and World War II Victory Medal. Jacob was a hard working and dedicated father who shared his love of life and generosity to all who knew him. His quick wit and warm smile will be missed by all. He was the beloved husband of Rosemary Newman and Tiki; beloved father of Daniel, Robert, and Joni; beloved grandfather of Jason, Jennifer, Sara, and David; beloved great grandfather of Brady, Gabriel, Sienna, and Harper; and beloved uncle of Patricia, Mary Alice, Barbara, Mathew, and Michelle. Thanks Jack for staying with us for all this time. You will be truly missed but never forgotten. Heaven has gained a good man.
Christin Thompson, 31, passed away Saturday, May 14, 2016. She was born June 20, 1984 in Melbourne, Florida to Deborah Lynn Grodecky and Rebel Thompson. Even though she will not physically be here with us, Christin will live within our hearts forever. She was full of love and wit, personality and compassion. She had the ability to make anyone laugh, keep you on your toes, and throw caution to the wind. I was envious of her free spirit and artistic outlook on life. Her appreciation for sunsets and rainbows always made me want to see them through her eyes. She will be missed tremendously and remembered forever. She was a daughter, sister, aunt, niece, and friend. We are left with great memories that will be cherished until we see her again. Christin is survived by her mother, Deborah Lynn (Jerry) Grodecky; father, Rebel (Teresa) Thompson; sisters, Jackie (Ben) Campbell, and Cassie (Jason) Fuoco; and brothers, Corey (Lori) Grodecky, Jerry (Robin) Grodecky, and Bryan Grodecky. Sister. She is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities. She is your witness, who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway.
Ruth Joy Koelling, 84, died Friday, May 13, 2016 in Melbourne, Florida. She was born March 2, 1932 in Chicago, Illionois, to Rudolph and Ruth Ammer. Ruth is survived by sons, Keith Lee (Margie) Koelling, and Bruce George (Diane) Koelling; daughter, Malia (Phil) Norman; grandchildren, Tony, Johnny, Leanne, Aaron, Anna, Angela, and Eric; and great grandchildren, Tristen, Riley, Lily, Leila, and Mila.
He is survived by his wife Nancy; two daughters, Cynthia Scherr (Saadiquh) and Anna Beckley-Scherr; three grandsons, Jesse and Justin Brownson and Jordan Beckley-Scherr; two great grandchildren, Jayden and Jasmine and other relatives and friends.
Patricia Lang Jones, age 82, passed away on May 4, 2016. She was born in Portsmouth, Virginia on June 9, 1933. Pat grew up in Dover, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Dover High School in 1950. . Patricia and her family moved from Pennsylvania to Eau Gallie, Florida after her high school graduation. She met her husband, Charles Jones, while working at the PX at Patrick Air Force Base. They were married on August 9, 1953. In Pat’s younger years she enjoyed drawing, painting, square dancing and pinochle. She was active in church for many years, teaching children’s Sunday School and participating in church activities. Pat and Chuck were members of Eau Gallie Christian Church and later Palm Bay Christian Church. Pat was always very enthusiastic about healthy food and natural medicine. She was always reading about research and new developments in this field. After the children left home, Patricia and Chuck enjoyed traveling to various state parks in their camper. She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles Jones, after 60 years of marriage. She is survived by her brother, David Lang, her three children: Richard Jones (wife-Geni-Deck), Robert Jones (wife-Martha), Patty Taylor (husband-Terry); her seven grandchildren (Robert, Adam, Caleb, Candace, April, Amanda and Amy); and fourteen great grandchildren (Kyle, Ethan, Michael, Mason, Christopher, Alexandra, Chase, Joslyn, Rigel, Micah, Eva, Theo, Lily and Rose).
Our beautiful daughter, Karen Ann (Chirico) Walser, lost her battle with cancer on May 11, 2016. Karen was born in Hazleton, Pennsylvania on January 31, 1976. She lived in Melbourne and had attended Melbourne High School. She was employed at Anchor Painting in Indian Harbour Beach. Karen loved to shop and do things spur of the moment. Most of all, she loved spending time with her children. They were her pride and joy and she was so very proud of them. Survivors include her son, John Walser Jr of Melbourne, daughter Jasmine Walser of Melbourne, parents Anthony and Judy Chirico of West Melbourne, brother Tony Chirico of Palm Bay, sister Arlene (Ken) Stebbins of Palm Bay, niece Stephanie (Kyle) Rumsey of Colorado Springs, CO, great-niece Kinsley Rumsey and great-nephew Leo Rumsey, both of Colorado Springs, CO, and aunts Georgette (Harry) Roinick of Nescopeck, PA, Angela (Ken) Calabrese of Kissimmee, Fl.Â and Anita (Thom) Masteller of Hazleton, PA.