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Date of Issue: October 19, 2006

Obituaries

Lavender J. Cochran

Lavender J. Cochran, 81, of Lavenham, Suffolk, England, and Holmes Beach, died Sept. 17.

She was the widow of Colonel Jim Cochran, USAF, one of the designers of the Key Royale golf course.

Memorial services were Sept. 28 in England. Memorial contributions may be made to Tidewell Hospice and Palliative Care, 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota FL 34238.

 

Lothar Geyer

Lothar Geyer, 71, of Cortez and formerly Suhl, Germany, died Oct. 5.

Born in Germany, Mr. Geyer moved to Cortez in 1955. He began performing with the circus at age 10. He performed on an acrobatic bicycle team. At age 17, he and his team were recruited to work for John Ringling and the Ringling Bros. Circus. He also worked for the Sealtest Big Top Show, appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the Latin Quarter in New York and on the Captain Kangaroo television show as the bear on the unicycle. After moving to Cortez, he began a hand-balancing act and later was a commercial grouper and snapper fisherman.

There were no services.

He is survived by wife Charlene and brother Peter Poster of Berlin, Germany.

 

Marion Haines

Marion Haines, 94, of Holmes Beach, died Oct. 2.

Born in New York City, she moved to Manatee County fulltime in 1986. She was director of window and interior displays for Best and Co.

Visitation was Oct. 6, and funeral mass Oct. 7 at St. Bernard Catholic Church. Burial will be at Palma Sola Community Cemetery, Bradenton. Memorial contributions may be made to Friends of the Island Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach FL 34217. Griffith-Cline Funeral Home, Island Chapel, was in charge of arrangements.

She is survived by niece Phyllis Keogh of Port Washington, N.Y.; nephews Harold Pastore of East Montpelier, Vt., Ralph Gorga of Annapolis, Md., and Roger Pastore of North Palm Beach.

 

William I. 'Bill' Mason

William I. "Bill" Mason, 69, of Holmes Beach, died Oct. 2.

Born in Mayslick, Ky., Mr. Mason moved to Holmes Beach from Tampa in 1997. He retired from owning Condenser Products in Brooksville. He was a graduate of University of Kentucky with a degree in electrical engineering. He was a member of the national board of directors for University of Kentucky and was named distinguished alumni in 1991. He was president of the Tampa Bay-UK chapter for many years. He was an accomplished singer.

Memorial services were Oct. 6 at St. Bernard Catholic Church, Holmes Beach. Memorial contributions may be made to Habitat for Humanity, 2067 Constitution Blvd., Sarasota FL 34231, or to the American Heart Association, P.O. Box 21475, St. Petersburg FL 33742. Griffith-Cline Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Barbara; sons martin and wife Monica, Daniel and wife DeDe, and David and wife Sarah; daughter Melanie Fielder and husband Jeffrey; sister Mary "Micki" Tucker and husband Donnie; and grandchildren Martin, Marcus, Trent and William, and Allyson and Brooke Fielder.

 

Walter Langford Pursley

Walter Langford Pursley, 88, of Fort Myers, St. Petersburg and Bradenton, died Sept. 29.

Born in Fort Myers, Mr. Pursley was a leader in the turf-grass industry, introducing several specialized grasses such as Seville St. Augustine. He holds a U.S. Patent for "Cashmere" grass. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corp as base commander at the Pinellas Airfield. He had a concession at Webb's City in St. Petersburg, floral shops there and eventually he opened nine full-service retail garden centers in the Tampa Bay area. He was involved in planned community developments in Pasco and Manatee counties, including Magnolia Valley in New Port Ritchie and River Club in Bradenton.

Private funeral services were held in Fort Myers.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Billie; daughters Linda Leckey of Tampa, Tricia of Pass-A-Grille Way; son Walter Jr. of Anna Maria Island; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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