In Memoriam: Jan. 25

Stella Wood Hill, 85, Vero Beach

Stella Wood Hill, 85, of Vero Beach, died peacefully with her family on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, in Vero Beach. She was born in Vero Beach on May 21, 1932.

She married Jack Hill after they met while he was stationed in Orlando while in the Army and she was in nursing school. At the tender age of 20, she bore Jack a son, Michael in Vero Beach. They soon moved back to Jack’s hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, where he had worked as a plumber.

In Ohio, Sandy and David were born. She moved back to Vero Beach in the old Duncan home directly next door to her parents, F. Bart Wood and Rosa. This homesite is now the location of the Vero Beach Police Department.

Poignantly, her father, Bart Wood was the first Chief of Police for Vero Beach. Jack was tragically killed in 1982 when a truck ran a stop sign.

Stella loved sewing, reading, her beagles, and her children. She was a life-long member of the First United Methodist Church, joining in 1941. She was the Butler/Spotswood Circle FUMC Treasurer for a term. She was a Past Matron (1965) of the Order of Eastern Star, joining in 1960. She was also the Treasurer of the United Methodist Women.

She was the loving mother of Michael J. Hill (Candace), of Tallahassee, Sandra L. Hill, of Jacksonville Beach, and David B. Hill, of Vero Beach. She had one granddaughter, Heather I. Hill, from Michael and Candy.

Stella is preceded in death by her parents, F. Bart and Rosa Wood; her brothers, Stanley Wood (Grace), Rev. Bill Wood (Lois); and her husband, Jack Hill.

A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 27, at Crestlawn Cemetery on Old Dixie Highway where she will be buried alongside her husband, Jack.


Carolyn Virginia Cuppett Thornton, 79, Vero Beach

Carolyn Virginia Cuppett Thornton, 79, died Jan. 21, 2018, after a valiant fight against cancer. Born Nov. 30, 1938, in Jacksonville, Fla., she grew up in Jacksonville, and lived most of her life in Vero Beach after moving there in 1971.

She was proud to be a “G.R.I.T.S.” (Girl Raised in The South).

On a full academic scholarship, Carolyn graduated cum laude from Florida State University with a BS in Education, and membership in national honor societies, Phi Betta Kappa and Alpha Lambda Delta. She was president of her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega and, consequently, passed on to her children the love of a good theme party.

After getting married and having kids, she went back to school to earn her M.Ed. in Educational leadership at Florida Atlantic University – forcing the family to endure many a “crockpot” meal.

Carolyn loved education and children (particularly her grandkids). Teaching was natural for her – especially for her favorite – second grade! She taught school in Duval, Alachua, Miami-Dade, and Indian River Counties from 1960-2014. She taught in the elementary classroom setting and understood and worked with the unique needs of children with Early Specific Learning Disabilities, Exceptional Student Education, Hospital/Homebound Instruction, ESOL.

Survivors include her son, Daniel Lines Thornton, Jr. (and partner, Adrian Rodriguez), of Miami; daughter, Allison Thornton Stonis (and husband, Luke); and two grandchildren, Jack Thornton Stonis, Adeline Mae Stonis, all of Columbus, Ohio; ex-husband, Daniel Lines Thornton, MD, of Vero Beach; and ferocious feline, Sunshine.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph Ashby Cuppett and Georgia Mae Cuppett; and her sister, Margaret McIlvaine, all of Jacksonville.

Visitation will be held from 10-11 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 27, at the Evergreen Funeral Home, Jacksonville. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 27, at Evergreen Funeral Home, followed by Ceremonies and Gathering of Remembrance.

Interment will be in Evergreen Cemetery, Jacksonville.

In memoriam donations may be made to, where you can select a public-school teacher and a classroom project in need.

Arrangements are all by Evergreen Funeral Home.


Martin Van Putten, 90, Vero Beach

Martin Van Putten, 90, of Vero Beach and Dayton, Ohio, passed away peacefully on Jan. 20, 2018.  Born in 1927 in Utrecht, Netherlands, with three older sisters, he experienced hardships that would serve to motivate him.

He came to America with his bride, Margie in 1953.  A natural salesman, he also trained as a medical assistant and pharmacist. They came with only $200 and some knowledge of the language, working hard to live the American Dream.

Martin worked 25 years in Dayton at Lowe Brothers and Sherwin Williams Paint Company in sales and management before retiring at only 55.  He owned several House of Fabric stores and continued as a self-employed entrepreneur to raise three kids through college and have homes in both Ohio and Florida.

He loved the hunt of garage sales and flea markets always buying and selling for a profit.

Martin, Margie and a small group of families founded the Holland American Club and later worked on the ground floor start of the Dayton International Festival.  He was also part of the Edelweiss German Club where they were often found dancing the night away.

After being retired in Ohio with three Children living in Florida, Martin and Margie followed their children as snow-birds for over 30 years until she passed in 2012. Their children are James Van Putten, of Fort Lauderdale, Judy Davis, of Vero Beach, and JoAnna Fallin, of Coral Springs, with spouses Danny Davis and David Fallin; grandchildren, Collin & Devin Davis, Taylor Fallin and Tara Fallin Gilbert.

Martin moved into the One Lincoln Park Independent Apartments of Kettering Ohio in 2015 and finally moved south to Harbor Chase of Tamarac Florida in 2016.   He spent every day waking up happy and bringing a smile to those around him.

The family will host a Celebration of Life on Sunday, Feb. 4, at his Vero Beach home from 2-4 p.m.

In lieu of flowers you may wish to make a donation to one of his favorite charities, Doctors Without Borders.

Comments January 26, 2018

I guess the family isn’t doing anything in Ohio. I’ve known the Van Puttens since I was in 1st grade. Thankful Margie is now reunited with Martin. Paint the heavens and find happiness with endless flee markets. Love to you both Lisa Phipps.

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