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Date of Issue: September 17, 2008

Obituary

John Derek Benson

John Derek Benson, 57, of Anna Maria, died Sept. 3. He was born in Manchester, N.H., and came to reside on Anna Maria Island in 1975.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday Sept. 13, at Covell Funeral Home, 4232 26th St. W., Bradenton, with the Rev. Andy Toops officiating. Memorials for Mr. Benson may be made to TideWell Hospice & Palliative Care, 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota FL 34208.

He is survived by daughter Kara Benson; son Jacob Benson; sister Sally Benson; and seven grandchildren.

 

Elizabeth Harris Branch

Elizabeth Harris Branch, 87, of Bradenton, died Aug. 31. She was born in Montgomery, Ala., and her family resided in Holmes Beach for many years. She came to Manatee County from Jacksonville, Fla., more than two years ago.

She formerly worked as an acrobatic performer and appeared with Jimmy Durante in “Jumbo” on Broadway. She owned and operated a dance studio.

She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Episcopal Church of the Annunciation in Holmes Beach.

A service was held Sept. 1 at the chapel of Westminster Shores, Bradenton. Private inurnment will be in the memorial garden of the Church of the Annunciation. Arrangements were by Shannon Funeral Home, Town Chapel, Bradenton. Online condolences may be made at www.shannonfuneralhomes.com.

Donations in Elizabeth’s honor may be made to the Church of the Annunciation, 4408 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach FL 34217.

She is survived by three children, Ben and wife Hedy Wormer of Amherst, Mass., George and wife Elaina of Sunland, Calif., and Mary and husband Barry Cox of Interlachen, Fla.; brother George Harris and wife Sylvia of Holmes Beach; three grandchildren, Taylor Elizabeth Chrusiel, Benjamin Robert Branch and Shanti Hobbs; and three great-grandchildren, Ashley, Shelby and Eric Hobbs.

 

Elizabeth Ereg

Elizabeth Ereg, 85, of Holmes Beach, died Aug. 28, following a long battle with cancer. She was born in Ontario, Canada, and grew up in Rochester, N.Y. She moved to Holmes Beach with husband Peter in 1989.

She studied English and philosophy at Syracuse University. She served in the women's U.S. Navy Corps during World War II.

Beth played Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz" at Mercy High School, recorded an album with Good Shepherd Episcopal choir in Webster, N.Y., and sang in a production of "South Pacific." She began a real estate career in the 1960s in Webster. She and her husband owned Peter V. Ereg Realtors for 15 years.

She was an avid golfer, and played in several clubs and tournaments. She enjoyed a neighborhood book club and the Democratic club.

She was an early member of SAM Inc. (Save Anna Maria), an emergency room volunteer at Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, and she volunteered at the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce.

Donations in her honor may be made to the Humane Society of Manatee County, 2515 14th St. W., Bradenton FL 34205, or Tidewell Hospice, 2504 34th Ave. W., Bradenton FL 34205, or Planned Parenthood, 2055 Wood St., Suite 110, Sarasota FL 34237.

She is survived by her husband of 36 years, Peter; daughters Susan Brennis of Holmes Beach; Elizabeth and husband Edmund Gelgud of Charlotte, N.C.; Maribeth and husband Lance Tennison of Newport Beach, Calif.; and Cynthia Bernfield of Rochester, N.Y.; son Robert and wife Meg Brennis of Annandale, Va.; stepson Douglas Ereg and wife Linda of East Lansing, Mich.; stepdaughter Kathleen Magee of Rochester, N.Y.; 16 grandchildren and 10 great-children.

 

Donald F. Garneau

Donald F. Garneau, 80, Bradenton, died Sept. 3. He was born in Detroit and moved to Bradenton in 1987 from Dearborn, Mich. He served in the U.S. Army National Guard.

He was a member of Saints Peter & Paul the Apostles Catholic Church of Bradenton, American Legion Kirby Stewart Post 24 of Bradenton, and a volunteer for Meals on Wheels, Our Daily Bread and Sister Nora in Bradenton.

He was a retired design engineer for Ford Motor Co. of Dearborn.

Visitation and services were at Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory, 43rd Street Chapel, Bradenton. A memorial Mass was held Sept. 6 at Saints Peter & Paul the Apostles Catholic Church Chapel, Bradenton. Online condolences may be made online at www.brownandsonsfuneral.com

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, M. Jean; daughters Gail Garneau of Anna Maria and Sue Abinajem and husband Charbel of Estero, Fla.; sister Pat Whictman of Drayton Plaines, Mich.; brothers Fred and Ted, both of Garden City, Mich.; two grandchildren, Nicole and Mikhael.

 

Marie Petlowany

Marie Petlowany, 92, died Sept. 2 at Bradenton Health Care Center in Bradenton. She was born in Cleveland and lived in Parma, Ohio, before moving to Bradenton Beach.

Mrs. Petlowany was a homemaker who enjoyed gardening, cooking and sewing. She had also worked at Quality Catering Service in Cleveland and was an election poll worker in Parma and Bradenton Beach. She was a member of the Plain Dealer Gallon Club, having donated five gallons of blood in Ohio and Florida.

A funeral service was held Sept. 6 in the chapel of Skyway Memorial Gardens, Palmetto. Arrangements were by Fort Myers Memorial Gardens Funeral Home, Fort Myers.

Mrs. Petlowany is survived by husband Walter; two daughters, Judith Venaleck and husband Howard and Marie Pettis and husband Joseph; grandchildren James Venaleck, Kristin Roach, Rachel Doctor, Jeffrey Pettis, Debra Waricka and Jarrett Pettis; and 10 great-grandchildren.

 

Raymond Westbrook

Raymond Westbrook, 62, of Anna Maria, died Sept. 2 after a long illness. He was born in North Carolina and grew up in Birmingham, Ala.

Mr. Westbrook and wife Terri owned property in Anna Maria since 1999 and moved to the Island full-time in June 2007.

He was a successful real estate salesperson with New Homes.com Realty and won numerous achievement awards for sales. He was a Phi Delta Theta at Tulane University and earned a master’s degree in business administration from American Graduate School of International Management in 1976.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty of Animals at www.aspca.org, or to the Humane Society of Manatee County Inc. 2515 14th St. W., Bradenton FL 34205 or online at www.humanesocietymanatee.org.

He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Terri; and in-laws Myrt and Ted Huggins of Lakewood Ranch and Liane and Joe Wideman of Birmingham, Ala.

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