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Florida Elks- Sickness & Distress
"An Elk is Never Forgotten, Never Forsaken"



Angelo CretellaWe are saddened to report the passing of Angelo Cretella, PDD from Port Orange Lodge #2723. He will be missed by us all.




Tony DodgeWe 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

May - August

Wm.-Larry-Henley-PSP-PGELECTK.jpgOn 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 CoopermanJoAnn 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.

Wm.-Larry-Henley-PSP-PGELECTK.jpgIt 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.

Memorial Service
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.

Brown_-Ben-2.jpgA 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.


Al RekerWe 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!

Condolences to:

Barbara Reker
11357 SW 86th Lane
Miami, FL  33173-4226

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

Miami Elks Lodge 948
10301 SW 72nd St
Miami, FL 33173

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:

Florida Elks Youth Camp.


Al will be laid to rest in his Missouri hometown at a later date.


Otto FresnedaIt 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.

Miami Elks Lodge #948
10301 SW 72nd St
Miami, FL 33173

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!


Ronald & Julie Weller
6540 Chabot Ave
Fort Myers, FL 33905



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:


Tiffany Collins
22126 Gatewood Ave
Port Charlotte, FL  33952

Dolores Casella

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 for the Casella family.


Samuel Casella, PER
1255 Harbor Town Cir
Melbourne, FL  32940-1912

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

Raleigh Whitman

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:

Joya Whiteman
45 Grandview Blvd
Lake Placid, FL  33852-7787

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 –

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.



We regret to inform you of the passing of Louis C. “Lou” Wise, PDD – St. Augustine Lodge # 829 on November 27, 2021

Louis C. Wise, PDD and longtime former secretary of St. Augustine Lodge # 829. Lou served as DDGER in 1996/97. His wife Elizabeth served as the State President of the Florida Ladies of Elks in 2004.

Condolences to:

Elizabeth Wise
3102 Watermark Dr
Wesley Chapel, FL  33544-7803

Ronald T. “Ron” Brown, PDD Ronald T. Brown, PDD and longtime ritual person of Tallahassee Lodge # 937 passed on November 30. Ron served as DDGER in 2006/07. He will be missed.

Condolences to:

Dorothy Brown
211 Johns Drive
Tallahassee, FL  32301-2919


It is our sad duty to report that Lou Wise, PDD from St. Augustine Lodge # 286 passed away this past Saturday (11/27)

We regret to inform you of the passing of PDD Roy C. Kronenberg. Roy was a lifelong member of Pompano Beach Lodge #1898 and served on the Hoop Shoot committee for many years, several of those as its chair. He served the SSE District as its District Deputy in 2003/04.

He will be missed!


Marilyn Kronenberg, PDD
251 S. Cypress Road – Apt. 148
Pompano Beach, FL  33060


Earl O. Irvin was initiated in Lake City Lodge# 893 February 9, 1966 and served as Exalted Ruler.  He was Northeast District Vice President in 1973-74.  He dimited to Tallahassee Lodge #937 in 1987.  He was an Officer of the Year and Elk of the Year and was voted life membership.  He had the distinction of being married to two FLOE presidents.  Earl passed away at his daughter's home September 14 at the age of 9. A memorial service was held at the Tallahassee Lodge on September 25.


John Lesko, PDDJohn Lesko, PDD from Merritt Island Lodge # 2650 passed away late last night from COVID complications. John served as the East Central District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler (DDGER) in 2003/04.

He was the Lodge Advisor to the Merritt Island Lodge, and was the East Central District (ECD) Chairman for Elks Training. His wife, Marcie, is a member of the Merritt Island, Ladies of the Island Elks organization, and they have both attended many state Elks functions over the years. We missed seeing John and Marcie at the recent Florida Ladies of Elks (FLOE) conference. John’s membership number was 431 and although we don’t believe he was a charter member of his lodge, when it was formed in 1982, he was indeed a longtime member of the lodge. We remember too that John was an avid collector of guns and I often heard stories of his vast collection and knowledge.

He will be dearly missed.


Marcie Lesko
285 Viscount Avenue
Merritt Island, FL  32953-4639

Services for John Lesko:

Services for PDD John Lesko will be held at the Wylie-Baxley Funeral Home, 1360 North Courtenay Parkway, Merritt Island, FL, 23953, (321) 452-6565, on Friday, October 15th.

Private viewing at 3 pm

Public viewing at 4 pm

Service at 6 pm

Merritt Island Lodge will hold a celebration of life for John on Saturday, October 16th at the Veterans Memorial Center, 400 South Sykes Creek Parkway, Merritt Island, FL, 32952. The celebration will start at 2 pm.

Peggy McClellanPeggie McClellan, wife of Past State President (PSP) Vic McClellan, passed away late last night. She had been battling cancer. Peggie was warm & loving, a very caring & sharing person, a true southern lady. She will be dearly missed. I will send more information once it is received.

Vic McClellan
930 N. Lakewood Terrace
Port Orange, FL  32127


Services for Peggie McClellan:

Graveside services will be held for Peggie McClellan, wife of PSP Vic McClellan, on October 29, 2021 at the Alabama National Cemetery, 3133 SR-119, Montevallo, AL  at 2:00 PM.

On November 7, 2021, a Celebration of Life will be held at the Ormond Beach Elks Lodge, 285 Wilmette Ave, Ormond Beach, FL from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM. The Elks Funeral Service will be conducted at 3:00 PM. Those attending the Celebration of Life are requested to RSVP Debbie Brozyna at

In lieu of flowers the family is requesting donations to the Army of Hope, Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services, or the Florida Elks Youth Camp.

Army of Hope checks payable to Florida Elks Charities

(please note on check  lodge name if affiliated with a lodge)

P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL  32784-0049

Therapy Services or Youth Camp checks payable to Harry-Anna Investment Fund

(please note on check  lodge name if affiliated with a lodge)

P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL  32784-0049

Robert "Bob" RussellWe received word Tuesday that the current Exalted Ruler of Aripeka Lodge # 2520, Robert R. “Bob” Russell, had been struck by a car and killed while out walking that morning. Our condolences to his wife Jacqueline and all the family.

Jacqueline Russell
14923 Potterton Circle
Hudson, FL 34667-4192
A wake will be held today, October 1st, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Dobies Funeral Home
9944 Hudson Avenue
Hudson, FL 34667

On September 19th, the mother of Florida Ladies of Elks (FLOE) PSP (2020), Adella Ashton, passed. Lucy Colli had suffered a stroke. Mrs. Colli was 99 years young and was eight weeks from her 100th birthday. There were no local services.

Adella & Richard Ashton
7756 W. Mesa LN
Homosassa, FL 34448

Donations may be made to the Harry-Anna Trust Fund:

Harry-Anna Trust Fund
P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL 32784-0049


PDDGER Linda J. “Lynn” BaileyWe regret to inform you of the passing of PDDGER Linda J. “Lynn” Bailey – East Polk Lodge #2882 – Southwest Central District. Lynn was Lodge Advisor to her Lodge and most recently served as a District Director of the Florida State Elks Association Board of Directors. Lynn was DDGER in 2011/12. She was also instrumental in the institution of the East Polk Lodge. Lynn had been suffering with ALS.

Lynn is survived by her husband Joe Bailey. Joe informs that a memorial service will be held in approximately one month.

She will be missed!

There will be a Celebration of Life for PDD Lynn Bailey on Sunday, September 26, 2021 at the East Polk Elks Lodge located at 4198 Dundee Road, Winter Haven, FL  33884.

The Lodge opens at 1pm and at 2pm they will hold an Elks service.  After the service there will be finger foods and cake.


Susan LockeKarolyn F. Lind, 76, passed away on Friday, March 26, 2021, at home in Lake Placid, Florida. She was born on Oct. 1, 1944, in Yonkers, New York to William and Frances Spangenberger. She moved to Florida in 1955. Karolyn worked as a surgical oncology medical assistant, retiring in 2007. She enjoyed travel, gardening and was an avid reader. She was a member of the Lake Placid Elks, The Lake Placid Women’s Club and volunteered at the chamber of commerce. She was also a cancer counselor for the American Cancer Society, being a survivor herself.

A memorial mass will be held on Tuesday, April 6, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. at St. James Catholic Church located at 3380 Placid View Drive, Lake Placid, FL 33852. A celebration of life and Elks service will follow at the Lake Placid Elks Lodge located at 200 CR621, Lake Placid, FL.

She will be dearly missed!

Jim Lind
111 Murray Court NW
Lake Placid, FL 33852

PDD Donna Berkowitz from the West Palm Beach Elks Lodge lost her son John Proctor on March 27th after a brief illness. No additional information is available at this time. Please also keep Donna and her family in your prayers.

Donna Berkowitz
347 Lake Dora Drive
West Palm Beach, FL  33411-2371

Susan Locke


We regret to inform you of the passing of Susan Locke, wife of Ron Locke, PDD – Eustis Lodge #1578 and State Chair of the Army of Hope Fundraising Committee and State Soccer Shoot Chair.

Anytime Ron was volunteering for the Elks you could count on Susan being with him and helping! Susan was also a very active member of the Eustis Anna Miller Circle and over the years she has helped to send countless numbers of deserving kids to the Florida Elks Youth Camp. She was kind and always has an encouraging but soft-spoken word for you!

A viewing is being held on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Harden-Pauli Funeral Home located at 1617 South Bay Street, Eustis, FL 32726.

The funeral service will be held Wednesday, March 10th at 11 a.m. at the funeral home followed by a graveside service at the Sorrento Cemetery located at 33606 Copperhead Road, Sorrento, FL 32776. This will be followed by a gathering at the Eustis Elks Lodge located at 2450 Dora Avenue, Tavares, FL 32778.

She will be missed!

Ron Locke
P.O. Box 240
Sorrento, FL  32776-0240


We are saddened to report the passing of Norm Mandel, Pompano Beach #1898.

Arthur L Kozy, age 94, passed away on February 27, 2021, in Naples, Florida. Arthur was born on July 10, 1926 in Cleveland, Ohio, and was
the son of Anthony and Valeria Kozlowski. He is survived by his two sons Bill, and his wife, Carol; and Tom, and his wife, Sharon. He was the proud grandfather to 4, and the great grandfather to 8 at the time of his death. Art's death was preceded by his wife, Lanila, in 2009, whom he was married to for 58 years, and his siblings, Frank, Jean, Walter, and Cazu.

Art graduated from Benedictine High School in Cleveland, and then joined the U.S. Navy where he served in Okinawa from 1944-1945. Upon returning home, Art attended Miami Universiy ( of Ohio) and graduated with his degree in Physical Education which created a 32-year career in teaching at the high school level. He also enjoyed coaching basketball and eventually served as the Director of Athletics. His teaching career and_ athletic department leadership was primarily at Cloverleaf High School in Lodi, Ohio, with a special emphasis on Diversified Cooperative Training helping those kids seeking a vocation coming right out of high school. He had many favorite student stories, including a cook who eventually served as Chef at the White House, and many oters who ended up owning and successfully creating local businesses in Auto Repair, and Food Management. He loved sporting events and 4-is favorite was always the NCAA Collegiate Basketball Tournament. He also loved seeing his grandchildren compete in sporting events and ws an avid fan, to say the least. He saw his grandson, Ben, compete in track for the J].S. Naval Academy, grandsons TJ and Jon on the basketball court, and granddaughter Deborah on the softball field. They always knew he was there.

Art retired to Naples in 1987 and became active in the community. He served on the Board of the Immokalee Child Care Center for many years, and was also a very active member of the Naples Elks. Art was the Exalted Ruler of this Naples Elks chapter, and also served on the State of Florida· Drug Awareness initiative back in the 90s, representing the Naples Elks organization on this key effort. He particularly enjoyed the social events of the Elks, traveling on occasion to many, including visits to New Orleans, Chicago, and other large U.S cities. He lived in both the Lakewood area of Naples, and then moved to Aqualane Shores for several years prior to moving to Aston Gardens at Pelican Marsh a few years ago.
A memorial service will be held on April 2 at Fuller Funeral East, 4735 Tamiami Trail East, Naples, FL 34112 at 11:00 am.
The family requests no flowers - but any donations should be directed to the Avow Hospice, 1095 Whippoorwill Lane, Naples. FL 34105. The entire family extends its deepest appreciation to tp.e team at Avow, the thoughtful nursing group from McKenney Home Care, and the dedicated staff at Assisted Living at Aston Gardens.
For online condolences visit www.FullerEastcom.


With deep sorrow, we report that Frederick E. "Fred" Bennington, PDD passed away on Monday, January 4, 2021.
He was DVP and DDGER with Sandalfoot Lodge No. 2741.Upon its closure, he transferred his membership  to Boca Raton No. 2166.
He was a very active and integral member of the Florida Children's Clinic (formerly the Lower East Coast Clinic), until it ceased operation.
May he rest in peace.


We regret to infom our members that Orange Park #2605 PDD, William “Bill” Ruffian Sr., passed away on December 27th. Bill was 87 years old.

We are saddened to report the passing of Peggie McClellan's mother, Cumi Luckie, overnight. Her mother has been in a nursing home. She was 96 years old.

The funeral service and burial will take place in Alabama.

Please send condolences to:

Vic & Peggie McClellan
930 N. Lakewood Terrace
Port Orange, FL  32127


As most of you are aware, our Inverness #2522 Club Steward, Kathy Cariel, has contracted the Covid 19 Virus.  She has been hit hard but is recovering at home and is not hospitalized. We have had several others in our Lodge that have become infected.

Regrettably, PER, Ray Fink passed away late last night. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Judy Flegle and Ray’s family. He was an integral part of his lodge for many years and his steady hand and clear thinking will be greatly missed by all who knew and admired him.


It is with a heavy heart that we pass on the news received this morning regarding another of our members who has passed away this week. I was informed this morning that Lodge Advisor Bill Wilson, PDDGER, Jacksonville Lodge #221, passed away yesterday while in the hospital. We were informed that Bill had been hospitalized a few days ago with breathing issues which worsened very quickly it seems. 

We do not know anything yet regarding the funeral services for Bill but as more information becomes available, we will share that with you. Please keep his family in your prayers and hearts. He will be truly missed.

We regret to report the passing Barbara Fournier, PER and Bernie Gordon, PER.

Memorial Services will be held on Sunday, November 8, 2020, to honor two of Holiday Isles #1912 Past Exalted Rulers who have recently passed.




Contact PER Rhonda Smith at 727-742-5782 for questions.


Elmer "Smitty" Messerschmidt. PDDWe regret to report the passing of Elmer “Smitty” Messerschmidt, PDD. Smitty was from Brandon Lodge having served as DDGER in 1998/99. His wife is Beverly Messerschmidt a past state president (2008) of FLOE. He was 77. An Elks Memorial Service is scheduled for 1:00 PM on Friday, October 16th at the Brandon Elks Lodge. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Harry-Anna Trust Fund.

Brandon Elks Lodge
800 Centennial Lodge Drive
Brandon, FL  33510
Beverly Messerschmidt
5702 Stockport Street
Riverview, FL  33578
Harry-Anna Trust Fund
P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL  32784-0049


Frank Hayes, PSPWe are saddened to learn of the passing of Past State President, Frank Hayes this morning.

Frank was a member of Crestview Lodge # 2624 in the Northwest District. Frank was State President of the Florida State Elks Association in 2011-12.

Frank will be dearly missed!

Arrangements have not yet been announced.

Condolences to:

Linda Hayes
2026 Blue Sky Drive
Pensacola, FL  32506


Phil AlbaranoIt is our sad duty to report the passing of Sarasota South Lodge #2495, Phil Albarano, PER.

There will be a memorial service at Saraota South Elks Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 1:00 p.m.
5680 Rosin Way
Sarasota, Florida 34233
There will be a Funeral Mass at St. Thomas More Catholic Church
Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at 9:30 a.m.
2506 Gulf Gate Drive
Sarasota, Florida 34231
Everyone is invited to both services
A special little note:
September 13 was Elaine's Mother's birthday. September 15 was Phil's Mother's birthday




Joseph B. "Joe" Bryant, PDDIt is with the heaviest of hearts that we inform you of the passing today of Joseph B. Bryant, a Past State Treasurer of the Florida State Elks Association. Joe was a member of the Sebring Lodge # 1529 and was a Past District Deputy in 1979/80. Joe served the FSEA as the State Treasurer for 33 years going emeritus in 2018. Joe’s wife Nancy Faye is a Past State President of the Florida Ladies of Elks.

Joe will be dearly missed as he was a friend to everyone, a mentor to many and even a father-figure to a few!

Condolences to:
Nancy Faye Bryant
302 Sparrow Avenue
Sebring, FL  33870-0138

Funeral services will be held at Bible Fellowship Church located at 3750 Hammock Rd., Sebring, FL 33872 this Friday, June 12, 2020.

The services will begin with a viewing at 10:00 AM, the Elks service at 11:00 AM performed by the officers of the Sebring Elks Lodge and a church service immediately thereafter. This will be followed by a military burial at the Bougainvillea Cemetery located at 591 US Highway 27 N. in Avon Park.

Lunch will be served at the Sebring Elks Lodge located at 2618 Kenilworth Blvd., Sebring, FL  33870 after the cemetery.

Arrangements are being handled by the Stephenson-Nelson Funeral Home, Sebring/Avon Park.



It is our sad duty to report the passing of Inverness Lodge #2522, Bob Holt, PER

Phil Albarano

We were saddened to learn of the passing of Phil Albarano, PER from Sarasota South Lodge #2495. Phil passed away at 4:55 a.m. this morning (April 29, 2020).

"First please let me say thank you for your support and prayers during this unbelievable journey. I could not have made it through without all of you.

Mr. Phil passed away at 4:55 a.m. this morning. There were tow nurses in the room with hium an they were praying the rosary. This is all very comforting to us. knowing that he did not pass away away alone.

Yesterday we did Facetime with two nurses in POhil's room, our son and daughter-n-law Rob and Tatsiana from Mew Jersay and our daughter Renee was with me at the house. We talked for about 40 minutes and told Phil that we all loved him and wanted him to be at peace. ROb toasted him with his favorite glass of scotch and Renee reminded him that Happy Hour starts at 4:30p.m. in heaven!

Thank you again for all your support and prayers.





We were saddened yesterday to learn of the passing of W. Dennis Osborn, PDD of Brandon Lodge#2383.Dennis was Southwest Central District Vice President in 2012/13 and served as District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler in 2013/14. Dennis has also been a member of the Florida State Elks Association Business Practices Committee since 2014.
Dennis lost his wife of 37 years, Viola, in December of 2018.
Dennis had many friends and he will be sorely missed.
Services for Dennis will be held at the Brandon Elks Lodge on Friday, September 27, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. preceded by visitation at 10:00 a.m.
The lodge is located at:
800 Centennial Lodge Drive
Brandon, FL 33510
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Lois J. Harmes of Sarasota South Lodge # 2495. Lois was the special friend of Lawrence “Larry” Hildebrand also a member of Sarasota South Elks Lodge.

Arrangements have not been released at this time.

It's our sad duty to report the passing of Mrs Jacqueline DiCosmo, Mother of Denise Smith, Exalted Ruler of the South Lake Lodge and the Mother-in-Law of Russell Smith, PER, North Central District Vice President.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Denise and Russ and their family.

It is with a sad heart that we inform our members the passing of Joan Fritz, FLOE PSP from Port Orange Lodge #2723. Please keep her family in your prayers.


We regret to inform the passing of DDGER Michael F. Scholdbauer's Mother, Risha Schodlbauer.

Dear fellow Elks, Friends of Elks and Neighbors,
It is with a heavy heart that The Naples Elks announce the sudden and unexpected passing of our Exalted Ruler Sherry Hensley

Funeral arrangements shall be in Kentucky at the Carman Funeral Home 2301 Argillite RD. Flatwoods, KY. 41139. Tel.# (606) 836-5833

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Delray Beach Past Exalted Ruler, Michael Rodriguez. Mike passed away this morning in Delray Medical Center ending his battle with cancer.

We were advised this morning that PER Joe Slatton, St. Petersburg Lodge #1224, passed after a long battle beginning with prostate cancer that spread through his body.  Joe recently was sent home from Bill Young VAVS (Bay Pines) Medical Center for home Hospice Care.  Joe was surrounded by his loving family, great friend, PER Judy Schmickle, and his two dogs when he died.  

Joe Slatton was a Korean War Veteran who continued his service to our nation by being an active participant with the Korean War Auxiliary Honor Guard and a very active Elk. Joe was a speaker representing the Korean War Veterans in Washington, DC for the 2017 Parade of Heroes. 


Sal LentineWe regret to inform you of the passing of District Vice President Sal Lentine. Sal was the Vice President of the Southeast Central District and was a member of Port St. Lucie Elks Lodge #2658. Sal had been hospitalized as of late with serious heart complications. Just this week we were notified of Sal’s inability to continue as District VP and Tom Carns was appointed as interim DVP. Sal was also the State Chairman of the Community Projects & Activities Committee.

Arrangements as well as next of kin contacts are pending.

Sal Lentine was born in New York City in 1953 and grew up in Queens, N.Y. He moved to Port St. Lucie, Fla., in August 2006.

He graduated from L.I.C. High School in Queens, N.Y., in 1971 and attended the NYPD Police Academy for six months in 1982 studying law, police science and social science.

Lentine worked in the automotive field for 10 years before joining the NYPD in January 1982 as a police officer. He was a first responder to 911 and retired as a detective in February 2002.

In 2006, Lentine became a member of Port St. Lucie Elks Lodge #2658. He had been a snowbird for two years prior to moving to Florida and met a few Elks in a golf league. They would take him to whatever lodge was near the golf course as a guest for lunch. Once he moved to Florida permanently, a friend of his from New Jersey who was an Elk for many years sponsored him and also demitted to Port St. Lucie Lodge.

He has served as Leading Knight and Exalted Ruler and has been a volunteer cook, bartender and assistant bar manager. He served on the House Committee and as a trustee before becoming chairman of both. He is a member of the state First Responders of the Year Award Committee. He was District Chairman of Lodge Activities and Vice Chairman of Community Projects & Activities.

In addition to the Elks, Lentine is a third-degree knight of the Knights of Columbus and a member of the Sons of the American Legion. He enjoys shooting sporting clays and spending time with family and friends.

Lentine has a daughter, Cheryl, and a son, Robert. Both live in New York.

We regret to inform you that Roy Markham, PDDGER passed away this morning. Roy was a very active Elk at Lake City Lodge #893 and he will be missed by many.

He and his wife Eleanor ( his first wife) were dedicated to supporting the State and National Elks.

We regret to inform you of the passing of Brother Tom Ryan.

A visitation and service will be held on Saturday, July 6th at:

TM Ralph Funeral Home
7001 NW 4th Street
Plantation, FL, 33317

The visitation will take place from 9:30 – 11:00 am with service following immediately at 11:00 am.

The interment will be at 12 Noon at:

Forest Lawn Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens
2401 SW 64th Avenue (Davie Road and I-595
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317


A Celebration of Tom’s life will be held beginning at 1:30 pm at:

Renaissance Hotel
1230 South Pine Island Road
Plantation, FL 33324

In lieu of flowers, a scholarship fund has been set up in Tom’s name at Eckerd College.


Vincent Gough JrWe regret to inform you of the passing of Brother Vincent "Vinnie" Gough Jr., which occured on May 12th, 2019. Services are being held at Clymer Funeral Home at 39 Old Kings Road North Palm Coast, FL 32137 on Thursday, May 16th at 5:00 p.m.. Funeral Mass will be held on Friday May 17th, at 11a.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church at 4600 Belle Terre Parkway Plam Coast, FL 32164.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Vincent's memory to:

Coastal Florida Police & Fire Pipes & Drums
P.O. Box 353203
Palm Coast, FL 32135 

C. Valentine Bates

It is with the greatest of sadness that I deliver to you today the heartbreaking news of the death of a great Elk and friend, Val Bates. Val died peacefully at home this afternoon surrounded by his close family and his loving wife Claudia. On behalf of all the Elks of Florida we send out to Claudia and the family, our most heartfelt condolences and sympathy. 




Elks PDDGER Lee Bennett 2

It is our sad duty to report the passing of our good member Past District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler Lemieul “Lee” Bennett, Sr.  Lee passed away on January 21st, 2019.  Eulogy was held during our regular scheduled meeting of January 22, 2019. 

Lee was an Elk member for over 36 years.  He was initiated in 1982 and quickly expressed an interest in serving Elkdom and his lodge.  He served as Inner Guard, Chaplain, Esquire, Loyal Knight, Leading Knight, Exalted Ruler and 4 years as a Trustee.  During 1992 he served as the North District Vice-President representing the Florida States Elks Association and in 1993 he was the North District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler.  His contribution through the years are greatly appreciated and he will be missed.

Elks PDDGER Lee BennettLee was a very much respected member of our community serving as a member or officer of more than one civic organization and most importantly as the Chairman of the local Chamber of Commerce.

Lee is survived by his mother Mrs. Frances Bennett, one son Lem Bennett (Rebecca), one daughter Tiffany French (Nathan), two brothers Ricky and Daniel Bennett, and one grandchild Jeremiah Lee French.

He cared about his family, his community, our Veterans, our youth….Rest in Peace … “to our absent member”