February 4, 2021
C. Blanche (Gillaspie)
Cora Blanche Milligan, of Altoona, PA passed away January 27, 2021 after a long and active life. She was preceded in death by her parents, Don and Ada Gillaspie, and her husband, Edward (Mike) Milligan. She attended the Coleman one-room school, Keith Jr. High, Altoona High, and Juniata College. After getting her master’s degree at the University of Florida, she taught for many years in Belleview, FL. She was a proud WWII Army veteran and a big influence in many people’s lives. Blanche and her husband spent over 30 summers as outdoor camping directors at Pine Forest Camp in the Poconos. Her nieces and nephews, as well as her great nieces and nephews, were very special to her. Her love of the outdoors and her active life-style helped her reach 102 years!
Blanche was a member of the Wehnwood United Methodist church in Altoona, PA where she attended with her sister Carolyn Snow.
There will be no visitation at this time. A celebration of life will be planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers, it is requested that donations be made to her alma mater, Juniata College, in Huntingdon, PA ‘in memory of Blanche’ or the Blair County Humane Society. Funeral arrangements are by the Myers-Sommers funeral home on 6th Avenue in Altoona, PA.
Mrs. Milligan was a much loved teacher in Belleview for 48 years. Anyone who attended Belleview schools from 1953 to 1972 knew Mrs. Milligan. If they hadn’t sat in her classroom they were in the room next door, or down the hall. She taught at Belleview School (now Belleview City Hall) grades 1-8 from 1953 until 1964 when the students were moved to the new Belleview Elementary School on 484. She eventually taught for many years at Belleview Santos Elementary. Mrs. Milligan never gave retirement a thought until the principal at Belleview Santos came to her and told her there was a state law that required teachers to retire at age 70.
Mrs. Milligan enlightened Belleview children with all the interesting things she would bring to the classroom, pictures,
exhibits, interesting looking creatures in glass bottles. Occasionally there would be different types of critters, some dead and some alive for the students to learning about. Fresh vegetables from her garden,and other materials she used to illustrate classroom topics.
She also taught every student how to plant and care for a tree which was almost a requirement in order to advance to the next grade.
Mrs. Milligan was active in community events and was almost always in the Belleview Christmas Parade with her old woody station wagon. She was a long time member of Belleview United Methodist Church and could be found in her usual seat each Sunday morning.
Mrs. Milligan moved back to Pennsylvania to live in the farm house she was born in with her youngest sister Carolyn Snow several years ago.
The above picture of Mrs. Milligan was taken when she was 98 in the yard of her home in PA. She was still actively planting flowers and pulling weeds the day the picture was taken.
Mrs. Milligan is somewhat of a legend in Belleview as being the greatest teacher ever!
Wilda L. Lee
Wilda L. Lee, 80, of Belleview, Florida passed away January 24, 2021 at Ocala Regional Medical Center Ocala, Florida.
Wilda was born in Oxford, Florida a daughter of the late Toses and Minnie Varnum. Prior to her retirement she was a seamstress and made custom dresses.
Wilda is survived by daughter, Wilda Eleain Avery of GA and a son, Roy Darren Lee of Belleview, FL and brothers, Jerry Varnum an his wife, Jean of Belleview, FL, , James Varnum and his wife, Naomi of Belleview, FL and sisters, Judith Bass and her husband Wade of Ocala, FL, Mary Beasley of Marion Oaks, FL. She was preceded in death by her, daughter, Elizabeth Darlene Worth.
A visitation was held on Friday, January 29, 2021 at 11:00 AM at the Souls Harbor Church, Belleview, FL. The Funeral Service began at 12:00 PM followed by interment in Oak Grove Cemetery, Wildwood, FL. Arrangements entrusted to Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services, 5946 SE Robinson Road, Belleview, FL 34420. Condolences may be left at Hiers-Baxley.com.
Thomas Ray “Tommy”
Thomas Ray “Tommy” Skinner, 73, of Summerfield passed away on Sunday, January 31, 2021 at Ted & Diane Brandley House in Summerfield.
Tommy was a native of Owensboro, Kentucky and moved to this area in 1971. He is a Veteran of the United States Army serving in Viet Nam. Tommy was retired from the phone company. He loved his church family at Community Harvest Baptist Church where he was a deacon. He loved the sport of baseball and was on several church soft ball leagues as well as recreational leagues. He enjoyed spending time with his family and especially his grandkids.
Survivors include his wife Darlene; sons, Chris (Landrea) Skinner, and Jeremy Skinner; daughter Kayla Jennings; brother Jimmy Skinner; sister Amy (Grady) Brown; several nieces and nephews; grandchildren, Gavin Skinner, Rylan Chubon, Brody Skinner, Kaylen Skinner, Brantley Skinner, Blakely Skinner, and Beckett Skinner.
A funeral service will be held at 11AM on Saturday, February 6, 2021 at Community Harvest Baptist Church, 14915 SE 36th Ave, Summerfield, FL 34491. A visitation will be held from 6-8PM on Friday at Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services, Belleview, 5946 SE Robinson Rd, Belleview. Memorial Contributions may be made to Community Harvest Baptist Church Building Fund. Online condolences may be sent at www.hiers-baxley.com
Patricia A. Stouffer
Patricia A. Stouffer, 67, of Belleview, Florida passed away January 25, 2021 at her home.
Patt was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania a daughter of the late Charles and Hilda Bryson. Prior to her retirement she was a Licensed Practical Nurse for 40 years. She was a Three Mile Island survivor, enjoyed Country music, gardening and hanging out with her dogs. She moved to Florida from Elizabethtown, PA in 1986.
Patricia is survived by son, Walter G. Auker and his wife Donna of Cumming, GA, daughter, Nycole M. Hill and her husband Jason of Belleview, FL, sisters, Hilda McClearen and her husband Bill of Denver, PA, Kathy Adams and her husband Scott of Lititz, PA. She was the grandmother of Harlie Dennis, Halie May, Michael Auker and Matthew Auker.
A visitation was held on Friday, January 29, 2021 at 12:00 PM at the Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services, 5946 SE Robinson Road, Belleview, FL 34471. Funeral service followed at 1:00 PM followed by interment in Forest Lawn Memory Gardens, Ocala, FL. Condolences may be left at Hiers-Baxley.com.
Blanche Milligan was such a loved woman. The best and most memorable teacher I have ever had. I was in her class at Belleview Santos in 1985. She was deserving of every moment she had on this earth and will be missed by many. May she rest in peace.