Vero News

In Memory: Feb. 3

From Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory

Ronald Eli Arnold, 61

October 13, 1961 – January 06, 2023

Ronald Eli Arnold, age 61, passed away January 6, 2023 in Stuart, Florida.

He was born October 13, 1961 in Vero Beach, Florida to Tilmon and Elizabeth Arnold.

Survivors include his mother, Elizabeth, Arnold; sisters, Lynn Kruger and Sharon, Sperry, and twin brother Donald Arnold.

He was predeceased by his father.

Arrangements are by Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory, Vero Beach.

From Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory

David Henderson Bankston, 72, Vero Beach

March 29, 1950 – January 13, 2023

David Henderson Bankston, 72, of Vero Beach, Florida died peacefully at his home on January 13, 2023 after a brief but valiant battle with brain cancer. David was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend and touched the lives of everyone he met.

David was born to the late Henderson and Dorothy Bankston on March 29, 1950 in Atlanta, Georgia. He was a proud graduate of the University of Georgia. He retired to Vero Beach after working 39 years for E I Dupont in Wilmington, Delaware.

David was preceded in death by his parents and loving wife Linda Bankston. He is survived by his daughter Jennifer Bankston Danze (Harrison), granddaughter Brooks, and step-sons Matthew Langdon (Marisa Kirwan) and Christian Langdon (Arielle Waller). David is also survived by his brother Michael Bankston (Charlotte), niece Jessica Black (Tim), and great-nieces Anna Grace and Caroline.

David enjoyed walking on the beach with his two dogs Josie and Jesse. He was always the life of the party and loved hosting dinner parties for his Vero family of friends. He was also an avid volunteer with the March of Dimes. His kind heart and quick wit made him truly one of a kind.

A Visitation will be held on Friday, January 20, 2023 from 5:00-7:00 pm at Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory, Vero Beach.

A Memorial and Celebration of Life will take place on Saturday, January 21, 2023 at David’s home from 2:00-6:00 pm.

David will be laid to rest with his beloved wife, Linda at Arlington Cemetery, Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in David’s name to the March of Dimes or to the charity of your choice.

Arrangements are by Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory, Vero Beach.

From Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory

Pamela Gail Phelps, 69, Sebastian

August 12, 1953 – January 15, 2023

Pamela Gail Phelps was born on August 12, 1953, in Vero Beach, Florida to Wilford & Carole Phelps.  Pam passed away on Sunday, January 15, 2023, after a brave battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

She was preceded in death by her adoring parents and her loving brother, Edward Phelps.  She is survived by her daughter Kara Lawson (Tim), son Ryan Krueger (Alyssa) and her grandchildren Logan, Austin and Shaelee.  She is also survived by her two nephews, Cory Thomas and Casey Phelps, both of whom reside in Kentucky.

Pam grew up in Sebastian, Florida with a large extended family of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins nearby.  She attended Sebastian Elementary and graduated from Vero Beach High School in 1971.  While in high school, she played percussion in the marching band and was a majorette with a gift for baton twirling. She headed up her own baton twirling squad named “Pam’s Patriots” and served as a baton twirling coach at the local YMCA.  She also owned and operated her own floral shop in Sebastian for several years.

She began her long legal career working at a law firm in Vero Beach after high school and served as a judicial assistant to Circuit Judge Charles E. Smith for 17 years until his retirement.  She went on to assist Circuit Judges Kenney, Geiger, McCann and Makemson before her retirement in 2014, having served with the 19th Judicial Circuit for nearly 34 years.  She loved her work and was highly respected by her peers.

Pam was a talented person, channeling her creativity into her hobbies, which included floral design, quilting, crafting, drawing and poetry, just to name a few. She had an immense love for dogs and had many who were fortunate to be cared for by her over the years including Bambi, Tashia, Roxy, Shane, Dolly, Scout, and Lola.

The ultimate hostess, she threw many gatherings in her home for holidays, birthdays and just because.  She loved shoes and shopping and reveled in all things girly.  She never had a hair out of place, always dressed to the nines and made sure to have her lipstick on, like the true Southern belle she was.

Pam’s radiant smile and huge heart will be desperately missed by her many friends, family and loved ones.

A gathering of friends and family will be held 10:00 am – 11:00 am on Saturday, January 21, 2023, at Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory.

A Memorial Service will follow at 11:00 am, Saturday, January 21, 2023, at 11:00 am at Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Coastal Boxer Rescue ( or to the Alzheimer & Parkinson Association of Indian River County ( in her memory.

Arrangements are by Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory, Vero Beach.

From Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory

Olske Van Zonneveld Forbes, 76, Vero Beach

September 21, 1946 – January 11, 2023

Long-time Vero Beach resident, Olske Van Zonneveld Forbes, passed away peacefully on January 11, 2023, at age 76 with her two children by her side, of complications related to Parkinson’s disease.

Olske was born in Sassenheim, Netherlands, on September 21, 1946, to Cory and Bill Van Zonneveld.  The family immigrated to the United States in 1948 and settled in Florida, moving to Vero Beach in 1953. Olske lived in Vero Beach ever since.

As a teen Olske was active in church and school activities and was a member of the Dolphinettes synchronized swim team.  Olske married Dennis Forbes in 1970 — she balanced raising her family, working full-time, and hosting family and friends.  In particular, she loved entertaining her many Dutch and Canadian relatives and friends.

Olske started a real estate career in the late 1970s and maintained an active real estate license for over 40 years.  In the late 1980s, Olske and Dennis founded Ironside Press.  After Dennis’s passing in 2002, Olske led the company until her son acquired it in 2008.

Olske owned commercial properties in Downtown Vero Beach that were originally locations of the Vero Beach Press Journal and the A&P grocery store.  Over the last two decades, revitalizing and advocating for Downtown Vero Beach was one of her primary interests, earning her the “Very Vero Award” in July 2021 from the Main Street Vero Beach organization.

Olske was predeceased by her husband, Dennis Forbes; her parents, Cory and Bill Van Zonneveld; and her brothers, Fred and Paul Van Zonneveld.  She is survived by her daughter Beth Forbes of Greenwich, CT, and her son, Bo Forbes (Jennifer), and granddaughters, Olivia and Phoebe of Vero Beach.

In addition, she is survived by her sister Birgit Robbert (Al) of Arlington, VA and her brother Hans Van Zonneveld (Dede) of Vero Beach; niece Lieske Renz of Arlington, VA; and nephews Drew Robbert of Alexandria, VA, and Will Van Zonneveld of Vero Beach and their respective families.

A service celebrating Olske’s life will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, January 28, 2023 at the First Presbyterian Church of Vero Beach followed by a reception at the Vero Beach Heritage Center.   In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Olske’s memory to the Olske Van Zonneveld Forbes Foundation, currently being established to support the revitalization of Downtown Vero Beach.

Arrangements are by Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home and Crematory, Vero Beach.

From Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory

Dr. Stephen J. Faherty, Sr., 83

January 07, 1940 – January 17, 2023

Dr. Stephen J. Faherty, Sr. died on January 17, 2023 after a multi-year battle with Interstitial Lung Disease.

He was born and raised in St. Louis, MO, where he graduated in 1962 from St. Louis University (BS-biology/chemistry) and attended a year of law school. He moved to Washington D.C. in 1963 and joined the US Internal Revenue Service where he drafted, interpreted, and implemented various tax laws.

During the next 15 years, he also obtained an MBA (financial analysis, accounting, and management) from George Washington University, was selected as a Presidential Fellow in Economic and Systematic Analysis at the University of Maryland, and completed the requirements as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP).

He became a Federal Executive with the US Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) in 1977 where he held various positions for 20 years as Director of Operations and of Special Projects, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Office, and Treasurer responsible for its multi billion portfolio. He completed a Doctorate (Public Administration) from George Mason University with a focus on taxation and pensions, writing a Dissertation comparing the Retirement Systems in five countries. During this time, he also became a Certified Retirement Administrator and Certified Retirement Counselor and served on a number of non-profit boards.

After retirement in 1998, he was a consultant for six years to Federal, State, and Local governments, and unions on Pension, Financial, and Auditing matters.

While working, he taught English as a Second Language (ESL) in Northern Virginia and after retirement at Indian River State College. He also served on various County committees in Northern Virginia and in Indian River County and had been active since 2007 in local utility issues and protection of outside City utility ratepayers.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Joyce; daughter, Jane and grandson, Rocco of Columbia, SC; son, Stephen, Jr. and daughter-in-law, Cristina of Indialantic, FL; and his grandchildren, Connor, Regan, and Piper.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be contributed in his name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

A Graveside Service will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, January 27, 2023 at the Columbarium of Crestlawn Cemetery, 1216 14th St, Vero Beach, FL 32960.

Arrangements are by Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory, Vero Beach.

From Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory

Diana Anderson Jaggers, 78, Vero Beach

April 28, 1944 – January 21, 2023

Diana Anderson Jaggers passed away January 21, 2023, at 7:13 a.m. at Solaris Senior Living under combined care with Hospice, after a long battle with dementia.

Diana was a native of Vero Beach, born on April 28, 1944, the youngest of 12 children.  She graduated from Vero Beach High School in 1962 and worked as a secretary at Piper Aircraft.  She married in 1966 and continued working until 1973 when they started a family.  She stayed home to raise their children and returned to the workforce once they were older.  She worked at DuBose jewelry, the County Attorney’s office, and finally settled in at the Fire Prevention office.  She retired from there in 2009.

Diana enjoyed God’s beautiful creation, especially the beach, dolphins, and sunsets.  She enjoyed spending time with family and friends.  Whether it was hosting family dinners at her house or enjoying outings with the girls, she was always smiling and happy to be in good company.  She loved decorating for Christmas, including her 8-foot Christmas tree, which she devoted many hours to perfecting each year.  She was very patriotic, even adorning her master bedroom in all red, white, and blue.  She certainly has an American flag flying outside her mansion in glory.

She was a long-time member of First Baptist Church and was very involved in Sunday School and many other activities there.

She is survived by her daughters Lori Jaggers Ross and Merica Jaggers Jones (Dwight); son Jimmy Jaggers; Grandchildren DiAndre Mayes, Camile Mayes, and Morgan Ross; siblings JD Anderson (Shirley), Carol Heilman (Jim) and Barbara Smith; sister-in-law Shirley Anderson; and many loving cousins, nieces, and nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents John Henry Anderson and Florida Olive Anderson (Sapp); son-in-law Jody Ross, siblings Lodney Anderson, Lomey Lane, Susan Thomas, Kosette Clark, Olive Hamilton, Gerald Anderson, Phillip Anderson, and Farrel Anderson.

Diana requested no services.  Instead, she would like everyone to remember her as she was in life and cherish the good memories.  Donations may be made on her behalf to Indian River Fire Fighters Benevolent Association (

Arrangements are by Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory, Vero Beach.

From Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory

Franklin Thomas Perkins, 80, Vero Beach

July 14, 1942 – January 17, 2023

Franklin Thomas Perkins, 80, passed away on January 17, 2023, from complications arising from Parkinson’s Disease. Frank was born in Mt. Holly, New Jersey, but was a resident of Vero Beach, Florida, for more than forty years. He was predeceased by his wife, JoAnn Perkins (1947-2004) and is survived by his two children Franklin Perkins Jr. (a professor of philosophy at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa) and Suzanne Perkins (a health care executive living in Boca Raton), and by his partner, Rosemary Orr.

Frank was a carpenter and general contractor who took great pride in doing careful, high-quality work. He built his first house when he was 26 years old and went on to build 18 more, doing almost all of the construction with his own hands. Through his hard work he provided a better life for his children and encouraged them to pursue education and follow their dreams. He loved to build things, to fish and hunt, to play bingo, to have a cat on his lap, and to travel. He had visited more than a dozen countries in Europe and Asia, often travelling with his children. He served in the Air Force from 1963 to 1969.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Scholarship Foundation of Indian River County (, which helped support college for both of his children.

Arrangements are by Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory, Vero Beach.

From Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory

Kenneth Buxton Harper, 82, Vero Beach

May 13, 1940 – January 23, 2023

Kenneth Buxton Harper of Vero Beach, Florida, passed away on January 23, 2023 with serenity and the knowledge that he was greatly loved. He was 82. Ken is survived by his children Dana Harper Turk (Peter), Andrew Harper (Rossana) and Tracey Benton; his grandchildren Alex Harper, Anna Turk, Owen Turk, George Harper, Charlie Harper along with many loving nieces and nephews. His family will eternally smile in his remembrance. He is predeceased by his second wife Virginia Harper and son William Benton Jr., his parents Margaret Little and H. Mitchell Harper, and brothers Mitchell and Charles Harper. He is also survived by his former wife, Gena Grove (Tyler).

Born May 13, 1940 in Evanston, IL, Ken studied mechanical engineering at Duke University, joined the Illinois Air National Guard, and worked at Bache Securities in Chicago. With an innate interest in mechanics, Ken had an idea to improve the sound quality of Lear Jet 8-track stereo players in autos. He was issued several patents including for the invention of the cassette to eight-track player adapter and enhancements to cue and review functions, which he sold to Motorola. In the early 1970s, Ken moved with his young family to Vero Beach where he became partner at brokerage firm Harper Schwerin, which was acquired by Securities Research. With his second wife Virginia, he resided in Winter Park, FL, Manchester, VT, and Mt. Dora, FL, where, later in life, he returned to his true passion of design and mechanics in the aircraft industry.

Ken will be remembered for his gentle heart, inventive mind, the twinkle in his eyes, and a deep connection to life and those with whom he shared it. Beyond his family, friends, and dogs, he loved a good project, embarking on unique adventures, and the gift of an ordinary day.

Services will be determined by the family at a later date.

Donations may be made to Indian River Habitat for Humanity in Kenneth’s memory via

Arrangements are by Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory, Vero Beach.

From Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory

Carole Ann Wenger, 88, Vero Beach

January 13, 1935 – January 24, 2023

Carole Ann Wenger, age 88, peacefully passed away January 24, 2023, at her home in Vero Beach with her three daughters by her side. She was born January 13, 1935, in Elizabeth, New Jersey to the late Arthur and Helen Springer. She grew up and raised her family in Keansburg, New Jersey and lived in Hazlet, New Jersey and Lantana, Florida before settling in Vero Beach, Florida.

Carole retired from the Borough of Keansburg, New Jersey as the Tax Collector after 27 years.

She attended Rutgers University and was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Keansburg, New Jersey.

We were blessed to call her Mom, Nana, Aunt, Sister, friend, and great-Nana.

Survivors include her children, Cheryll Carey Martin of Wall Township, NJ., Caryn Taggart of Palm Beach Gardens, FL., William Carey and his wife Lori of Etna, WY., Cindy Vance and her husband Stephen of Sebastian, FL.; niece, Joyce Dollinger of Belford, NJ.; eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her husband, Charles Wenger; sister, Jean Werthwein; niece, Lynn Werthwein; and nephew, Edward Werthwein.

A Memorial Service will be held at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, February 4, 2023, at Roseland United Methodist Church, 12962 Roseland Rd, Sebastian, FL 32958.

Arrangements are by Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory, Vero Beach.

From Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory

Janis E. Hillcoat, 96, Vero Beach

December 07, 1926 – January 14, 2023

Janis E. Hillcoat, 96 years of age, passed away peacefully on January 14, 2023 at VNA Hospice House in Vero Beach, Fl.

She was born in Spirit Lake, Iowa and resided in Joliet, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; and Stuart, Florida; before settling in Vero Beach.

Janis’ artistic ability shined through her work with water colors and her determination to succeed made her a force to reckon with on the golf course. She sang in the church choir for over 25 years and was known throughout the congregation for her beautiful pitched voice.

Through her life she was a member of the DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) and the Forrest Lake Country Club, where she was the golf club champion. She was also a member of the Episcopal Church of Advent. Janis volunteered at the Martin Memorial Hospital and Christ Child of Martin County.

Survivors include her loving daughter Kathleen Hillcoat.

Janis was predeceased by her parents Glen and Doris Ford; sisters Nancy Shemansky (Richard), Doris Hermansen (Kenneth); and brother Bruce Ford (Nancy).

She was a devoted Christian and a loving wife, mother, and sister; whom will be greatly missed by those who knew her. A Celebration of Life will be determined at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial contribution may be made to a charity of your choice.

Arrangements are by Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory, Vero Beach.


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