In Memory: Sept. 29

From Seawinds Funeral Home & Crematory

Bonnie Slade, 72, Sebastian

March 27, 1951 – September 2, 2023

Bonnie Slade was a mother, surfer, and child psychologist living in Sebastian, Florida. She passed away on September 2, 2023 at the age of 72, surrounded by her loving family. Passing away at this age was the result of her ongoing battles with Multiple Sclerosis and Stiff Person Syndrome.

Bonnie was born and raised in New Haven, Connecticut, one of four daughters born to Sara and Irwin Batter. She was a middle child amongst her sisters, Nikki, Laurie, and Lynda.

Bonnie attended Vassar College for her bachelor’s degree, followed by UC Davis for her doctorate in psychology. After teaching briefly at Yale, she moved to Florida with Jeffrey Slade, a veterinarian and her husband.

There, Bonnie opened her child psychology practice, Jeff opened his animal hospital, and the two of them began their life in Sebastian, Florida. They married on New Year’s Day of 1982 and within a few years had two daughters, Jennifer and Sally. In a long and accomplished life, nothing meant as much to Bonnie as being a mom to her two daughters.

After a wonderful career, which included not just helping her own patients, but also drafting and lobbying for changes across many laws pertaining to foster care to help children throughout the state of Florida, Bonnie retired. It was then she discovered her love of surfing.

Bonnie started a local posse of surf minded and similarly aged women called the Shredding Betties. She recruited friends, who in turn recruited friends, and soon even veterans on the beach became friendly to the gang. Betties of all skill levels were known to gather at the Fort Pierce Inlet State Park, finding each other thanks to Betty-branded, hot pink items and war whoops on the waves. These incredible women became her cherished friends and community throughout the rest of her life.

A paddle out is a surfer’s funeral. As the name implies, surfers paddle out into the ocean and form a circle beyond the breakers to speak, clasp hands, and celebrate the life of one of their own. A paddle out ceremony that meant much more to Bonnie than a traditional formal funeral.

If you were a friend to Bonnie, you may join us and the Shredding Betties at 8am on October 15, 2023, on the north side of the jetty at the Fort Pierce Inlet. Landlubbers, boogie boarders, and surfers alike will be welcomed. We will be there regardless of weather, because as Betty would say, “Go before you know!”

From Seawinds Funeral Home & Crematory

John George Schiefer, 80, Palm Bay

August 7, 1943 – September 2, 2023

John George Schiefer born August 7,1943 (80) passed away on 9/2/23 At No Better Place, Palm Bay Fl due to a Dementia with Lewy bodies.

He was born in Hackensack, NJ, son of John and Frances Schiefer.

He lived in New Milford NJ and worked for ASPLHD Tree Service and the Township of Teaneck DPW as an Arborist. He retired and moved to Sebastian Florida 17 years ago with his wife Janet.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years Janet Lee Schiefer (Geils);daughter Janette Schiefer; son John R. Schiefer and 3 grandchildren.

John Enjoyed gardening, woodworking, spending time at the Sebastian Lagoon Pier with friends and family, and helping the Sebastian Quilting Guild with projects and Supplies.

A Celebration of Life will be held in the near future.

In lieu of flowers contributions as a memorial  may be made to The Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County, 6230 77th St, Vero Beach, FL 32967.

From Seawinds Funeral Home & Crematory

Lillian Sophia Giordan, 99

April 27, 1924 – September 6, 2023

Lillian Sophia Giordan had peacefully passed away at the age of 99, on Wednesday, September 6, 2023, in her home. She was the wife of Barney Paul Giordan with whom she shared a loving marriage of 67 years.

Born in Westwood, New Jersey, she was the daughter of Percy James Sampson and Freda Stoss.

Lillian graduated from Westwood High School and she grew to be an accomplished music instructor specializing in playing the piano. She was a vocal soloist at one of New Jersey Resort Hotel, where she brought the house down with the songs “Un Bel Di” of Puccini, and “The Seguidilla” from Carmen. Lillian was also a member of the Saint Sebastian Church’s Choir.

Lillian was an avid tennis player into her nineties which inspired everyone on the court. She was an artist that painted the beautiful views of the world on her canvas and enjoyed the company of her friends and family.

She is survived by her spouse; Barney Paul Giordan, children; Marcus Giordan and his wife Patti Giordan (deceased), Marie Machado (deceased) and her husband Socrate Machado, Bonnie Giordan, Wendy Giordan Moadel and her husband David Moadel, and Travis Giordan, grandchildren; Kenny Ward and his wife Elizabeth Ward, Charlotte Machado, Austin Machado, great-grandchildren; Kyle Ward, Rachel Ward, Julie Ward, Emily Ward, niece; Lynn Carrillo Roberson and her family, Lisa and Lynn Giordan and their families, brother-in-law; Terrence (Terry) Giordan and pet, Trouble.

A Visitation will be held at Seawinds Funeral Home (735 S Fleming St, Sebastian, FL 32958) on Thursday, September 14, 2023 from 9:30am to 10:30am. The Memorial Service will be held at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery (5525 US-1, Mims, FL 32957) on Thursday, September 14, 2023 at 1pm followed by a graveside service at 2:20pm.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be to any charity of your choice in the name of Lillian Giordan, 442 Peterson St, Sebastian FL 32958.

From Seawinds Funeral Home & Crematory

Mervyn McGregor Warnock, 86, Micco

December 19, 1936 – September 2, 2023

Mervyn McGregor Warnock, 86, of Micco, Florida, passed away peacefully on September 2nd, 2023, at the St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care facility in Melbourne, Florida.

Mervyn was born December 19th, 1936 to Hugh & Barbara Warnock in Providence, Rhode Island.  After graduating high school, Merv joined the United States Navy and honorably served from 1954 to 1958.  After his discharge from the Navy, Merv donned another uniform to work in law enforcement, before finding his true and passionate calling as a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counselor.  Prior to officially retiring, Merv also worked as limousine driver and enjoyed sharing stories about all the rich, famous and powerful people he chauffeured from place to place.

Merv was extremely proud of his Scottish and Irish heritage.  He was incredibly blessed to be a friend of Bill W.’s and enjoy over 49 years of sobriety.  He attended Calvary Chapel in Sebastian, Florida and subscribed to many different Christian programs.  He was also an avid news watcher and diligent about staying current with what was going on locally, nationally and globally.  He could engage in lively conversation with just about anybody about just about anything.  Yet, his favorite pastime was undoubtedly taking his beloved dog, Hobo, for a walk around the neighborhood.

In 1977, Merv met and married Joan Darling in Cranston, Rhode Island.  They moved to Micco, Florida in 1992 and their lakeside home in Snug Harbor Lakes in Micco in 2002.

Merv was predeceased by both his parents.  He leaves his wonderful wife, Joan, his daughter Karen Grimes, of Charleston, Rhode Island, and his son Kevin Roberts and his wife, Dee Dee, of Vero Beach, Florida.

He is also survived by his grandchildren, Nathan Grimes and his wife, Mikala, of Woodstock, Connecticut, Amelia Grimes of Torrington, Connecticut, and Nathalie Roberts of Gonfaron, France, and his great-grandson, Shawn Grimes of Woodstock, Connecticut.

A memorial service will be held for Merv at Calvary Chapel, 1251 Sebastian Boulevard, Sebastian, Florida on Saturday, September 23rd, 2023, at 10:30AM.  He will be interned at the Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Exeter, Rhode Island at a date to be announced.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Merv’s honor may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, Tunnel to Towers, or the In Touch Foundation.

From Seawinds Funeral Home & Crematory

Loretta Lee Surface, 88, Micco

November 6, 1934 – September 13, 2023

Loretta Lee Surface, 88, passed away on September 13, 2023 in Holmes Regional Medical Center, Melbourne, FL. She was the wife of the late William Dale Surface whom they shared 53 years of marriage together.

Born in Loogootee, IL, she was the daughter of Emory and Dorothy Pontious. She was employed as a psychiatric nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur, IL for the majority of her long career as a registered nurse. She obtained her Master’s degree at Sangamon State University in counseling in her early fifties and then conducted group counseling sessions in addition to nursing. After retiring, she and her husband moved to Snug Harbor Retirement Community in Micco, FL in 1997.

Loretta was very involved with her community during retirement, she volunteered as a guide at McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, FL, and at the Micco Library where she also served on the board as the secretary. She was a member of the community friendship group, and wrote a monthly medical column in the community newspaper. Loretta hosted many of the community ladies’ luncheons. She enjoyed traveling and cruising. She was an avid reader because she loved to learn and never stopped, she was full of knowledge and information. She had an amazing gift for watercolor painting and created many beautiful paintings in retirement. She was known for her intelligence and knowledge and her sociable personality. She cared greatly for her family.

Loretta is survived by her son; Barry Surface, her daughter; Lara Foley, her siblings; Phillip Pontious Sr., Marshall Pontious, and Vicki Hutchison; and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and her brother; Louis Pontious.

A Memorial Service will be held at a later date in Decatur, IL.

From Seawinds Funeral Home & Crematory

Craig Wayne McDonald, 74, Sebastian

October 27, 1948 – September 11, 2023

Craig Wayne McDonald passed away peacefully on September 11th, 2023, at the age of 74 years old in Sebastian Florida.  Craig was the son of Louis McDonald and Lillian Lauzier / McDonald.  Craig and his wife, Kathy, retired and moved to Sebastian Florida in 2010.

Before retiring, Craig worked over 30 years at Pratt and Whitney designing and providing support equipment to multiple jet engine platforms.  During a hiatus from Pratt and Whitney, Craig served as a police officer for 7 years in Manchester Connecticut.

Craig McDonald had been an active member of Saint Sebastian Catholic Church for 13 years.  Craig loved the city of Sebastian and was typically found at the golf course, Elks club, Italian American Association, or down at the river.  Along with enjoying the beautiful places and people of Sebastian, Craig also enjoyed traveling with his wife, Kathy.  Craig’s favorite locations were Ireland, Grand Canyon, North Carolina, and New Hampshire.

Craig was the loving husband of his childhood sweetheart and loving wife of more than 50 years, Kathleen McDonald.  Craig is survived by his son Jeff McDonald and his wife Rebecca Lieser / McDonald; his son Steve McDonald and his wife Page Purgar; his son Jason McDonald and his wife Kathleen Fleming / McDonald as well as his beloved three grandchildren.

Craig was very close with his siblings and will be missed greatly by his sister Theresa Arbour; his brother Miles McDonald; and his brother Robert McDonald.  From golf, work, and life, Craig had a great deal of friends who will dearly miss his stories, honesty, support, and love.

The Vigil Service will be at Seawinds at Sebastian Funeral Home 735 S Fleming St., Sebastian, FL 32958 on Thursday September 21st 2023 from 4:30 – 6:30 pm with a prayer service starting at 6 pm.  A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Saint Sebastian Catholic Church 13075 US-1, Sebastian, FL 32958 on Friday September 22nd 2023 at 11:00 am with a gathering in the parish hall afterwards.

We appreciate the hard work and diligence from our trusted medical professionals who helped to extend Craig’s time with us, especially the Infusion Department at Sebastian River Medical Center.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to oneblood (1.888.9.DONATE and in Craig’s memory.

From Seawinds Funeral Home & Crematory

Melody Melinda Callahan, 39

December 18, 1983 – September 19, 2023

A Funeral Service will be held at Seawinds Funeral Home (735 S Fleming, Sebastian, FL, 32958) on Friday, September 29, 2023 at 11:00am.

From Seawinds Funeral Home & Crematory

Sonja Judd Mills, 74, Vero Beach

July 16, 1949 – September 21, 2023

Sonja Judd Mills 74, passed away on September 21,2023 at the VNA Hospice House of Vero Beach. She was the wife of Henry Joe Mills Jr. They shared 52 years of marriage together. Born in Baxter Tennessee, she was the daughter of Helen Judd. She moved to Florida in 1958. She graduated with a Stenography certification at Indian River State College in 1968.

She enjoyed time with her family, anything to do with the water, and listening to live music. She also loved soap operas, whether they were on tv or in a book. As a huge animal lover, she cared for all animals wild and domestic. She will be remembered for her friendly demeanor and southern drawl filled with phrases only she would say.

She is survived by her husband Henry Joe (Jay) Mills Jr., their two sons; Jason Mills and Justin Mills, and 4 grandchildren; Kelli Mills, Kennedy Mills, Kadence Mills, and Jameson Mills.

A Graveside Service will be held at 11:00 AM, Thursday, September 28th at Winter Beach Cemetery. (Cemetery Rd, Vero Beach, FL 32967). A celebration of Life will be held at the Grant Community Center on Saturday, September 30th at 11:00am. Located at 4580 1st St, Grant-Valkaria, FL 32949.

In lieu of cut flowers, please consider potted plants or gift cards to a nursery so the family can plant a “Remembrance Garden” in her honor.

From Seawinds Funeral Home & Crematory

Sarrah C. Nolan, 84 

December 2, 1938 – September 26, 2023

Sarrah C. Nolan passed away at home on September 26, 2023 surrounded by her loving family, she was 84. Born in Lawrenceville, IL on December 2, 1938, she was the daughter of the late Virden and Victoria Tracy of Jeffersonville, IN. Sarrah attended Jeffersonville High School in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

She was a Lifetime Auxiliary Member of the VFW 10210 Sebastian, FL, and in many different Military Wives Clubs throughout her Military Wife Journey. Sarrah was a Girl Scout/Brownie Leader and loved camping, fishing, traveling and being a Military Wife for over 20 yrs.

Sarrah was the loving wife of Logan R. Nolan and they shared 64 years of marriage together. Along with her husband, she is survived by her daughter, Sonja Littrell (Mitchell Wall) of Sebastian FL; two grandchildren, Jeremy Littrell (Anna Brewer) of Lawrenceburg TN and Jessica Littrell (Thomas Dixon) of Jacksonville FL, and two great grandsons, Kristopher Toth and Logan Littrell.

The family will receive friends from 5:00 until 7:00 PM on Monday, October 2, 2023 at Seawinds Funeral Home in Sebastian. A Celebration of Sarrahs Life will begin at 10:30 AM on Tuesday, October 3, 2023 and Interment will follow at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery in Mims, Florida.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.

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