Vero News

In Memory: May 26

From Cox-Gifford Seawinds Funeral Home & Crematory

L. Paul Tardif, 97, Vero Beach

September 18, 1925 – April 11, 2023

L. Paul Tardif, 97, husband of Irene Tardif, died Tuesday April 11, 2023 at HCA Florida Lawnwood Hospital after a brief illness.

Paul was born in Attleboro, Massachusetts on September 18, 1925, a son of the late Rodolphe and Fabiola (Demers) Tardif. He graduated from Attleboro High School in 1943 and joined the Navy. He was honorably discharged in 1946 as a Quartermaster 3 rd Class after 5 war patrols on the submarine USS Pilotfish. He went to work for the New England Electric System in 1948 and worked his way up to Electric Load Forecaster with New England Power Exchange in West Springfield, Mass until he retired in 1988.

Before moving to Vero Beach, Paul served on the Westfield School Board for 4 years, one year as Chairman, was President of the St. Mary’s Men’s Club for several years, and held various executive positions with the Boy Scouts. After moving to Vero Beach, Paul was active in the Vero Beach Computer Club, the Genealogical Society, and he volunteered at DodgerTown, Indian River Medical Center, and the Samaritan Center for several years. He also served as a Lector and Eucharistic Minister at St. Helen’s and St. John of the Cross Parishes.

While generous with his time for his family and community organizations, he still found time for pursuing his hobbies, primarily gardening and woodworking. He also had a talent and love for the game of tennis, which he was able to pursue more frequently in retirement.

He is predeceased by his 4 siblings – Reverend Fernand, Norman, Gerard, & Charles. He is survived by his wife, Irene and 5 daughters; Nadine Kennedy, Vero Beach Florida, Charlotte Rozzero and her husband Richard, Narragansett, RI; Christine Elrod and her husband Mike, Northbridge, Mass; Denise Marvel and her husband Bob, Hopkinton, RI; Mary Tardif, Milton, VT, as well as 10 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.

His life will be celebrated at a Mass of Christian Burial Wednesday, April 26, 9:55 AM at St John of the Cross Church, 7550 26th Street, Vero Beach Florida, with Military Honors rendered by the Sebastian Area Veterans Honor Guard.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to St. John of the Cross.

To send a flower arrangement or to plant trees in memory of Leo Paul Tardif, please click here to visit our Sympathy Store.

To plant Memorial Trees in memory of Leo Paul Tardif, please click here to visit our Sympathy Store.

From Cox-Gifford Seawinds Funeral Home & Crematory

Georgia Ann Ellert, 82, Vero Beach

September 2, 1940 – April 11, 2023

Georgia Ann Ellert, 82, of Vero Beach, FL, passed away peacefully April 11, 2023 at the VNA Hospice House in Vero Beach. She was born September 2, 1940 the daughter of the late James and Jean Murphy in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Georgia graduated from Plymouth High School in 1958 and Wyoming Valley Hospital School of Nursing. She was a registered nurse and worked labor & delivery at Long Beach Memorial Hospital in Long Beach, NY and Geisinger Hospital, Wilkes-Barre, PA until she relocated to Vero Beach in 2005.

Georgia was a dedicated member and officer of the LAOH and a member of St. John of the Cross Catholic Church, Vero Beach. She enjoyed traveling, loved animals, cheering for Notre Dame football and watching the hallmark channel but her favorite thing to do was to spend time with her two grandchildren.

She is survived by daughter Amy Ricko, son-in-law Michael, and grandchildren Haley and Cody, of Harleysville, PA; brother James Murphy and his wife Maureen of Plymouth, PA; numerous nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews; and Dottie Wallace, Vero Beach, close friend and caregiver.

The family would like to extend their sincerest thanks to the wonderful staff at VNA Hospice House, Vero Beach for their compassion and care during Georgia’s final days.

Friends are invited to attend Mass of Christian Burial on Friday, May 12, 2023 at 11:00 am at All Saints Parish, Plymouth, PA.  Interment will follow in St. Vincent’s Cemetery, Larksville, PA. In lieu of flowers, donations in Georgia’s memory may be made to VNA Hospice House, Vero Beach, FL or another charity of donor’s choice.

To send a flower arrangement or to plant trees in memory of Georgia Ann Ellert, please click here to visit our Sympathy Store.

To plant Memorial Trees in memory of Georgia Ann Ellert, please click here to visit our Sympathy Store.

From Cox-Gifford Seawinds Funeral Home & Crematory

Robert F. Barganier, 89, Vero Beach

September 5, 1933 – April 11, 2023

Robert F. Barganier, 89, of Vero Beach, Florida passed away on April 11, 2023.

Robert, or Bob, was born second son to Louise and FrankBarganier on September 5, 1933, in Birmingham, Alabama. He is survived by four sisters: Edythe, Vicki, Brenda, and Jewel. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and brothers and sisters-in-law.

Bob joined the Air Force in 1951 and served in the Korean War. Afterwards he began a long and cherished career as a civilian air traffic controller. Bob retired from the Atlanta Tower in 1992. He loved dogs and airplanes and flew a Piper Cub.

Bob met his beloved wife, Evelyn, in Mobile, Alabama. They married on March 30, 1956. They celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary on March 30, 2023. Bob and Evelyn have three daughters, Lisa, Ellen, and Julie and three grandsons, Joshua, Matthew, and Jonathan.

Robert was the best of men, husband and father and had an amazing sense of humor. He was a church elder and leader and guided many lives.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Jerry, and sister Carol.

In lieu of flowers and in honor of Bob’s memory, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, or First Baptist Church Monroe in Monroe, Georgia ( or P.O. Box 351, Monroe, GA 30655).

Visitation will be held at Cox-Gifford Seawinds Funeral Home on Tuesday April 18, from 2PM until 4PM. The funeral home is located at 1950 20th Street, Vero Beach, Florida.
Graveside services with military honors will be held on Wednesday, April 19th at 9:30 AM at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery in Mims,
Florida located at 5525 US Hwy 1 North.

To send a flower arrangement or to plant trees in memory of Robert Frank Barganier, please click here to visit our Sympathy Store.

To plant Memorial Trees in memory of Robert Frank Barganier, please click here to visit our Sympathy Store.

From Cox-Gifford Seawinds Funeral Home & Crematory

Raymond Edward Koontz, 72, Vero Beach

October 14, 1950 – April 13, 2023

Ray was born in Baltimore County’s Long Green Valley in 1950, the youngest of four children of Alfred J. Koontz and Mary A. Koontz. When he was five years old, his parents completed the construction of their home on three acres adjacent to St. John’s Church. Nine years later, Ray’s parents provided their home and property to St. Johns at which time the “dream house” became a convent for the School Sisters. That was the type of selfless charity that would characterize the rest of Ray’s life-a life dedicated to giving, to laughter, to the love and companionship of family and friends.

Ray graduated from Calvert Hall and received a football scholarship from the University Maryland. Although neck injuries limited Ray’s football endeavors, he graduated in 1972 with a business degree. At both Calvert Hall and Maryland, Ray developed friendships that lasted a lifetime and any number of “do you remember” stories that have been swapped and retold throughout the course of his life, always to appreciative laughter from even those who had heard the stories any number of times in the past.

Ray was a salesman. He could sell anything, and a review of his work history suggests that maybe he did-beer (in college), life insurance, office equipment or supplies, mortgages, fleet management programs-if there was a product that could be sold, Ray could sell it. A lot of people in Baltimore and Hartford Counties believe that the only person who could ever conceivably outsell Ray would be his wife Nora.

Ray met Nora (McDonough) at the University of Maryland and they married shortly after graduation in December 1972. They lived in Perry Hall and Fallston before building their dream house in Baldwin, only steps from where Ray had lived as a child. Ray and Nora celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last December.

Ray has claimed that he was the Pied Piper who led the influx of Baltimorons to Vero Beach. There is more than a kernel of truth in that assertion. Ray’s older brother, Al, had moved in 1982 to rescue a floundering Piper Aircraft. After many visits, Ray and Nora purchased their first condo in 2004. Soon after, the deluge of Baltimoreans commenced. That is why on some Friday nights, the Quail Valley tiki bar resembles the Towson Crease of 1973.

Ray’s faith and religion were important to him. He lived his religion every day. A daily communicant, Ray devoted countless hours to organizing and supervising Church related functions. He was an active member of the Knights of Columbus, and the This Man is You men’s group.

Ray and Nora were not blessed with their own children, but they were a favorite Aunt and Uncle for 13 nieces and nephews and, of course, doted constantly on their great-nieces and great-nephews.

Ray loved Vero-he loved golf, the fishing, and the boating. He belonged to Quail Valley as well as the Indian River Golf Club. He made friends easily and kept them. Simply put, Ray was just fun to be with and made people smile.

His untimely passing is a huge shock to Holy Cross Parish, to the Knights of Columbus, and to the many, many friends who loved him, but most especially to Nora and Ray’s family who seek the strength and guidance of the Lord at this most difficult time.

Ray is survived by his wife Nora, her four sisters and one brother, sister-in-law Carol Koontz and thirteen nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Monday, April 24, 2023, at 11:00 AM at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 500 Iris Lane, Vero Beach, Florida 32963.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Knights of Columbus, Council 12141, in care of Holy Cross Catholic Church.

To send a flower arrangement or to plant trees in memory of Raymond Edward Koontz, please click here to visit our Sympathy Store.

To plant Memorial Trees in memory of Raymond Edward Koontz, please click here to visit our Sympathy Store.

From Cox-Gifford Seawinds Funeral Home & Crematory

Vito Dioguardi, 86, Vero Beach

July 3, 1936 – April 13, 2023

Vito Dioguardi, 86, of Vero Beach, Florida, died on Thursday, April 13, 2023, at the Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital in Vero Beach.

Born on July 3, 1936, in Brooklyn, New York, he was the son of the late Joseph and Desiata (Distefano) Dioguardi.

Vito spent most of his life living in Staten Island, New York, where he worked as the Department Manager of Customer Coding with EF Hutton.  After retiring, he worked at the New Corner Restaurant in Brooklyn, New York, before relocating to Jupiter, Florida.  During his 25 years as a resident of Jupiter, he was employed at Too Jays and Uncle Eddie’s restaurants; before moving to Vero Beach.

He is survived by his two children, Desiree Raia and her husband James, and Joseph Dioguardi; and six grandchildren, Nicole Raia, Michael Raia, Melissa Dioguardi, Jamie Vacca and her husband Sergio, Vanessa Dioguardi, and Joseph Dioguardi.  Vito is also soon to be a great-grandfather to Joseph, expected son of Jamie and Sergio Vacca.

In addition to his parents, Vito was also preceded in death by his son, Andrew Dioguardi.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19, 2023, at St. Helen’s Catholic Church, 2000 20th Street in Vero Beach.  The family will receive friends on the same day from 10 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at Cox-Gifford Seawinds Funeral Home, 1950 20th Street in Vero Beach.  Interment will be held privately.

Anyone wishing to send the family a message or share a story is asked to visit Vito’s memorial page at

To send a flower arrangement or to plant trees in memory of Vito Dioguardi, please click here to visit our Sympathy Store.

To plant Memorial Trees in memory of Vito Dioguardi, please click here to visit our Sympathy Store.

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