We are saddened to report the passing of Angelo Cretella, PDD from Port Orange Lodge #2723. He will be missed by us all.
We regret to inform of the passing of Anthony “Tony” Dodge of Naples Lodge #2010. Tony had been ill the past several months and passed on Saturday, October 22nd.
Tony was the Auditor to the SSW District DDGER. He was the State Vice Chair of the Lodge Activities Committee and was Lodge Chair of Interlodge Visitation.
He will be missed!
Naples Elks Lodge #2010 will be holding a Memorial Service & Celebration of Life for Tony Dodge on Saturday, October 29, 2022, at 4 p.m. in the Lodge Room.
Questions please contact Ronald Heldebrandt, PDD at firstname.lastname@example.org
May - August
On Wednesday July 6th, 2022, Past District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler Dennis B. Squires of the Gainesville, Florida, Lodge #990 passed away along with his long-time significant other Randye Tucker, who passed away the day before. Both passed away independently of different emergency medical situations before being able to return home from the Grand Lodge Convention in Atlanta.
Dennis was a 34-year member of Gainesville Lodge #990, and served as an officer in all positions of the Lodge. He served as Exalted Ruler in 1996 and PDD in 2006. He has served as the Lodge Advisor since 2012. Two of his most significant roles in the Lodge were serving as its Treasurer for many years, as well as its longtime Ritual Coach, where he ensured that Ritual's traditions remained strong in the Lodge and encouraged it throughout the Order. He was a Certified Ritual Judge and was honored to judge at the National level, along with numerous State and District contests.
He was a proud Army Veteran and gave back and supported innumerable veterans activities in the Gainesville community.
He served the Florida Elks State Association as District Vice President in 2005, served as the State Ritual Chairman for 3 years, most recently during the last 2 years. He spent 6 years on the Florida Elks Youth Camp Board of Directors with a term as the Board’s President. He has also been a member of the Business Practices Committee the past few years.
All of us in Dennis’ Elks family will miss him and Randye dearly.
There will be a service on August 27, 2022, at 1 pm at Milam Funeral Home (311 S. Main Street, Gainesville, Florida 32601) followed by a reception/celebration of life to be held at the Elks Lodge (2424 NW 23rd Blvd., Gainesville, Florida 32605).
May they rest in peace together, until we meet again.
JoAnn Copperman, 81, was born December 7, 1940, to Dean and Clarice (Parsons) Benjamin in Morgan County, OH. JoAnn entered into eternal life with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on July 9, 2022. JoAnn was raised in Pennsville, OH, by her Grandparents Daniel C. And Coral Parsons. She was a member of Pennsville Church of Christ.
In 1958 after graduation from Pennsville High School, JoAnn moved to Columbus,Oh, and worked for the State of Ohio until she married her beloved husband of 47 years, Lawrence A. (Larry) Copperman and moved to Medina,Oh. JoAnn worked at Medina County Hospital for many years before moving to Lakeland, FL. She was employed as an office manager by Equity Lifestyle in Lakeland Harbor. she was a member of Lakeland Elks #1291 and former State President of the Florida Ladies of the Elks.
JoAnn retired to Bonita Springs, FL, in 2014 where she became a member of Bay Presbyterian Church. She was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles.
joAnn is survived by her daughter,Jean Ann (Craig) Hoffman, of Bonita Springs, FL, brother Ronald (Rosie)Benjamin of El Paso, TX, and sister, Coral Allwein of Bonita Springs, FL. Along with several nieces and nephews.
JoAnn is proceeded in death by her husband Larry, sister Sara, brothers Daniel Benjamin and Dennis Benjamin. JoAnn is dearly loved by her family and many friends. She is sorely missed by all who knew and loved her. We will miss your welcoming warm smiles, laughter and hugs. A memorial service will be scheduled at Bay Presbyterian Church in Bonita Springs at 26911 S. Bay Dr., Bonita Springs, Florida. 34134.
It is our sad duty to announce the passing of Past State President Wm. Larry Henley. Larry passed away this past weekend. Always a gentleman, Larry was respected by one and all! On behalf of all the Elks of Florida we send out to his wife Pam, sister-in-law Sherry Brown, and all the family, our most heartfelt condolences and sympathy.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, July 16, 2022 at 2:00 pm at the Tallahassee Elks Lodge, 276 N. Magnolia Dr., Tallahassee, FL 32301. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Florida State Elks Association Harry-Anna Investment Fund, Inc., P.O. Box 49 Umatilla, FL 32784-0049 or Tallahassee Elks Lodge #937.
Wm. Larry Henley, 80, passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday, June 18, 2022.
Larry was born September 18, 1941 in Fulton, KY. He and his family lived in Fulton, until moving to Thomasville, GA, later moving to Marianna, FL and eventually to Port St. Joe, FL. Larry attended and played football for Port St. Joe High School graduating in 1959. He graduated from Chipola College and attended Florida State University, where he developed his allegiance to FSU football. He was the owner of Meridian Management & Realty, Inc., a real estate management company, which he built into a successful business, from 1969 until his retirement in 2017.
Larry was a member of Tallahassee Elks Lodge #937, having joined in 1969 and was voted an Honorary Life Member in February 1994. He was active on the local, district, state and national levels of the Elks. He served in all positions, including Exalted Ruler in 1977-78. He was the All American Esquire in 1974; Elk of the Year 1978; District Vice President 1981-83; Vice President at Large 1988-89 and was the State President of the Florida State Elks Association in 1989-90, raising a record amount of money for the Harry-Anna Trust Fund. He also served as the District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler 1983-84 and was the Grand Esteemed Lecturing Knight 2017-18.
Larry dearly loved his house on the Ochlockonee River and the many weekends he and Pam spent there relaxing and boating. Two travel highlights for Larry and Pam were a trip to Alaska and their mule ride to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
He enjoyed sailing, FSU football, BBQ/brisket, riding his Harley, southern cooking, and gardening. He was a bee-keeper and a pilot. His travels included numerous trips to Denver and Salt Lake City to visit his daughters and grandchildren, whom he truly cherished.
He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Pamela Henley; his daughters, Courtney N. Henley, M.D. (Matt Peterson, M.D.) of Salt Lake City, UT and Brandy Henley Radey (Jay Beatty) of Denver, CO; his grandchildren, Magnus Peterson, Viveca Peterson, Piper Radey and Jack Radey; sister-in-law Sherry Brown, brother-in-law Kent LeBlanc and nephews, Jeff Brown, Chris LeBlanc and Chad LeBlanc.
Larry is predeceased in death by his parents Glyn Henley and Francis Thacker Henley; his sister Peggy Henley; his sister-in-law Jennifer LeBlanc, brothers-in-law Ben Brown and Dwight Maston.
It is with the greatest of sadness that we deliver to you today, June, 9, 2022, the heartbreaking news of the death of a great Elk and friend, Ben Brown, PSP. Ben passed away yesterday morning. On behalf of all the Elks of Florida we send out to Sherry, Pam, Larry and all the family, our most heartfelt condolences and sympathy.
A memorial service will be held Thursday, June 16, 2022, at 1:00 P.M. at the Suntree United Methodist Church located at 7400 N. Wickham Road, Melbourne, FL 32940.
Ben S. Brown, Jr., January 24, 1942, passed June 8, 2022. He was the beloved husband of Sherry, father of Jeffrey and grandfather of Scott Brown and Casey Brown Schillinger. Also, brothers, Michael (Diana) Brown and Russell (Tami) Brown of Sarasota, sister-in-law and brothers in law, Pam and Larry Henley, Kent LeBlanc, nephews, Ryan, Evan and Trevor Brown, Christopher and Chad LeBlanc and niece, Jenna Ferrell, together with a network of wonderful friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ben S. Brown, Sr., and Dorothy Bassett Brown, son, Gregory Brown, sister-in-law, Jennifer LeBlanc, and brother-in-law, Dwight Maston. He graduated from Sarasota High School in 1960 and attended Florida State University, Seminole State College, and Rollins Crummer School of Business.
He and Sherry were married 50 years. After ten years working as a stockbroker, he was hired by the Florida State Elks Association in 1975 where he worked for 40 years in 3 capacities. He was the state secretary from 1976 to 1983. He served as the administrator of the Florida Elks Children’s Hospital from 1983 – 1999. When the hospital was closed, the project was transformed into a mobile physical and occupational therapy program. Ben was charged with development of this new project, traveling to California and Washington to model their programs. It initially began with two therapists and grew to 25 therapists upon his retirement in 2015.
Ben joined Eustis Elks lodge 1578 in 1975 (honorary life member) and was elected exalted ruler in 1983, district vice president in 1985-86, district deputy in 1986-87. He served as state president of the Elks Association 1991-1992 and was a Grand Lodge officer in 2003-2004. He attended every state and national convention, all quarterly meetings, and many other events throughout the state for 40 years.
Ben discovered a love of golf and shared many good times with Jeff and friends.
Upon his retirement in 2015, the Board of Trustees (where he served as an 18-year member) created a scholarship in his honor – Ben Brown Physical/Occupational Therapy Scholarship, PO Box 49, Umatilla, FL 32784-0049 to which memorial donations may be made.
Special thanks to the wonderful caregivers at Vitas Hospice and Autumn House.
We learned this weekend that Albert A. “Al” Reker had passed. Al was a PDD having served as the DD is the South District in 2005/06. He was the Lodge Advisor to Miami Lodge #948 and was the current South District Director on the Therapy Services Board having served on that board for 11 years. Al was always a true gentleman, he was friendly and outgoing!
He will be dearly missed!
Services and a Celebration of Life for Albert (Al) Reker will be held Monday, April 25th at 4:00pm at the
Al was a 25+ year member of the Elks, served as Exalted Ruler, South District Past District Deputy, Lodge Advisor and was Honorary Life Member of Miami Lodge 948.
He proudly served 4 years in the Air Force and was most proud of serving as crew chief on a B-47 Stratojet.
He is survived by his wife Barbara of 69 years.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to:
Al will be laid to rest in his Missouri hometown at a later date.
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Miami Lodge #948 Chairman of the Board, Leading Knight, Otto Fresneda.
There will be a Lodge of Sorrow held on Feb. 16, 2022 at 7:30pm.
Please keep his family in your prayers.
We regret to inform you of the passing of PDD Ken McStravic. Ken passed away yesterday at the age of 91. He was living with his daughter and son-in-law. Ken was District Deputy in 1978-79 and was a member of the Fort Myers Elks Lodge # 1288.
There will not be any services at Ken’s request.
He was a great friend to many. He will be missed!
Here is more information provided by Tiffany on the services for Jesse Collins. Tiffany is the daughter of PSP Carl & Cathy Gerace.
There will be a Celebration of Life for Jesse on February 27, 2022 at the Rotonda Elks Lodge #2710 from 1pm to 3pm.
In lieu of flowers Tiffany asks for donations to be made to Narcotics Anonymous in his name.
Here is Jesse’s obituary:
We regret to inform you of the passing of Dolores L. Casella, the Exalted Ruler of Melbourne Lodge #1744. Dolores was also a Past State President of the Florida Ladies of the Elks (FLOE) having served as Lady President in 2006/07.
Dolores is survived by her husband “Sam” Casella who is the Melbourne Lodge Secretary.
Dolores was a very elegant lady and always had a smile on her face. She will be missed!
A visitation for Dolores will be held Sunday, February 13, 2022 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM at Life Event Center At Florida Memorial, 5950 S US Highway 1, Rockledge, FL 32955, followed by a funeral service from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM. She will be laid to rest in the Chapel of Peach at Florida Memorial Gardens on Monday February 14th at 11:00AM. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.FloridaMemorialFH-Gardens.com for the Casella family.
It is with deep sorrow we announce the passing of PER Chuck Rooney, PER Delray Beach #1770. His vision and leadership played an integral role in the growth and success of his lodge. He was a true and loyal Elk. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.
We regret to inform you of the passing of Raleigh W. Whiteman, Jr. PER
Editor Emeritus of the Florida Elks News. Raleigh was a member of the Lake Placid Elks Lodge # 2661.
Raleigh had a long and storied career as an air traffic controller and with the Elks. Here is a link to his biography:
Raleigh became Editor of the Florida Elks News Newspaper Publication in 1996 and served in that capacity for 20 years until 2017. Throughout his tenure the news publication received many awards!
Raleigh attended many Elks events over the years and always had his camera taking pictures. He was a friend, a gentleman, and a great Elk!
He will be dearly missed.
I will pass along services information once received.
Condolences to his wife and family:
An Elks Memorial Service for Raleigh Whiteman will be held this Saturday, January 29, 2022, at 3:00 p.m., at the Lake Placid Elks Lodge located at 200 CR 621 E., Lake Placid, FL 33852.
Questions to Marge Holbrook, Lodge Secretary – email@example.com
It is our sad duty to report that Joe Deckelman PDDGER of Ormond Beach Lodge # 2193 passed away yesterday afternoon (1/3). We do not know all of the details yet, but Joe was a good, dedicated Elk for over 40 years. He was a very important part of his lodge and in the district. As soon as more details are available, we will let you know. He will be missed.