In Memoriam: June 12

Dr. Kenneth L. Director, 70, Vero Beach

Dr. Kenneth L. Director, 70, of Vero Beach, passed away June 10, 2018, at Indian River Medical Center. He was born Jan. 15, 194, in Brooklyn, N.Y., to the late Sylvia and Murray Director.  He was raised in Shenandoah, Pa., with his two brothers, Richard and Jerry.

Ken graduated in 1973 from Albany Medical College with a Doctor of Medicine. He then went on to become an Associate Professor of Psychiatry with tenure at the University of Florida.  Dr. Director was selected by the UF class of 1982 to receive the Samuel D. Harris Award for outstanding Teaching and Psychiatry and demonstrating concern for students.

Dr. Director began his private practice in the early ’80s in Vero Beach.  Over the course of his 30-year career as a psychiatrist he helped over 30,000 people and saved many lives.

For more than a decade, Dr. Director gave countless presentations on humor as a positive force in health.  He was more than a doctor, he was a friend. And a comedian.

He leaves his memories to be cherished by his daughters, Deanna Sylvia Director, of New York, N.Y., and Caroline Mae Director, of Burbank, Calif., both pursuing comedic careers in his footsteps.

A graveside service will be held 10 a.m., Wednesday, June 13, at Crestlawn Cemetery, Vero Beach with Rabbi Birnholz officiating.


Edwin H. Johnson, 95, Vero Beach

Edwin H. Johnson, 95, died June 10, 2018, at 38 Pine Arbor Lane in Vero Beach. Ed was born in Naugatuck, Conn., and retired to Vero Beach to pursue his interest in baseball, boating, music, and dance.

Ed was a graduate of Bordentown Military Institute and UNC at Chapel Hill.

He was a veteran of WW II, serving in the US Army. After the war, he returned to UNC at Chapel Hill where he met and married a co-ed, Shirley, the love of his life. From there he forged his career in the automobile industry.

He was a third generation Rotarian serving communities in Connecticut and Florida coaching youth basketball for 50 years. He was also a member of the Power Squadron in Connecticut and Florida, the Bantam Yacht Club, Middletown Yacht Club, Baldwin Yacht Club, Essex Corinthian Yacht Club, Vero Beach Yacht Club, Irish American Club, and Chi Phi Fraternity.

Ed had a keen interest in the Codgers, the Art Museum and Theater in Vero Beach and of course the Dodgers. These rounded out his long active life. He left his family and friends with happy memories of his smile and that twinkle in his eye.

Survivors include his daughter, Shirley Anna Johnson, of Kissimmee, Fla.; and his romantic partner, Sally O’Rourke, and her family.

He was preceded in death by beloved wife, Shirley Newsom; infant daughter, Sarah Virginia; grandmother, Anna Grell; parents, Julianna and Kenneth Johnson; sister, Alice Talbot; and best friend, Lucille Teal.

The family suggests that memorial contributions may be made to the VNA/Hospice Foundation, 1110 35th Lane, Vero Beach, FL 32960.

A private committal service will take place at a Crestlawn Cemetery in Vero Beach.


Laurie Ann Melbourne, 53, Vero Beach

Laurie Ann Melbourne, 53, of Vero Beach, passed away on June 7, 2018.

The family will receive friends from 12-1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 13, followed by a Memorial Service at 1 p.m. at Cox Gifford Seawinds Funeral Home, 1950 20th Street, Vero Beach.

In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County, PO Box 644, Vero Beach, FL 32961-0644.


Ronald M. Slade, Sr., 84, Vero Beach

Ronald M. Slade, Sr., 84, of Vero Beach, passed away on Sunday, June 10, 2018.

Ron was a veteran of the United States Coast Guard.

Ron was the former owner of Clements Pest Control and was an active member of the Vero Beach Rotary Club. He loved all things in nature. Some of his greatest memories were of family vacations. He loved to fish and hike as well as kayaking.

Most of all he loved his family and will truly be missed.

He leaves behind Ronald Jr. (Susan), Timothy (Debbie, Christopher), and Kevin (Kim, Hunter and MacKenzie); as well as his beloved dog, Jennifer.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Jerrian.

In honoring Ron’s wishes there will be no funeral service. All arrangements have been made with Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home and Crematory.


Betty Jean Strickland, 87, Vero Beach

Betty Jean Strickland, 87, of Vero Beach, passed away June 12, 2018, at VNA Hospice House. Born Feb. 16, 1931, in Miami, to the late Burton and Evelyn Herndon, she lived in Vero Beach for many years.

She was a graduate of Barry University in Miami.

Betty was a homemaker, raising five boys. She was a strong, tireless, and capable woman.

Ms. Strickland was a member of First Baptist Church of Vero Beach.

Survivors include her sons, Eugene Strickland, of Bryson City, N.C., Dr. James Strickland, of Newport, N.C., and Roy Strickland, of Vero Beach; her sister, Mary Lee Watkins, of Allons, Tenn.; six grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her brother, Julian Herndon; her sister, Myrtis Herndon; and her sons, Gary Lee Strickland and Barry Lee Strickland.

The family will receive friends 10-11 a.m., Tuesday, June 19, at First Baptist Church of Vero Beach. A Memorial Service will immediately follow at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Baptist Church of Vero Beach, 2206 16th Ave., Vero Beach, FL 32960 or VNA Hospice, 901 37th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960.

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