From Strunk Funeral Homes & Crematory
Father Michael W. Edwards, 75, Vero Beach
November 28, 1947 – October 24, 2023
Father Michael W. Edwards, age 75, of Vero Beach, Florida, went to be with his Lord & Savior, October 24, 2023.
Born November 28, 1947 at Niagara Falls, New York, he was a son of the late J. William Edwards, Jr. & Patricia Snyder Edwards.
A 1965 graduate of Bishop Duffy High School, Fr. Mike as he was affectionately known, sought to further his education receiving his Bachelor of Science from Niagara University in 1970 and again graduating in 1972 from the University of Pittsburgh Mortuary Sciences. He then proceeded to study theology, graduating from Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, New York in 1978.
Ordained as a priest by the diocese of Buffalo, New York in 1979, Father Edwards served the church in many capacities over the years and continued to do so until his health dictated otherwise. Starting as an Associate Pastor at St. Andrews Parish in Kenmore, NY in 1979, with stops along the way at St. Martin’s Parish, Buffalo, NY. 1983, Blessed Sacrament Parish, Kenmore, NY. 1985, St. Helen Catholic Church, Vero Beach, FL. 1989, Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola, Palm Beach Gardens, FL. 1992, Mary Immaculate Church, West Palm Beach, FL. 1994, St, Juliana Church, West Palm Beach, FL. 1996, St. Peter Church, Jupiter, FL. 1997. He returned to serve as lead Pastor at St. Helen Catholic Church in Vero Beach, FL from June of 1999 until his official retirement in July of 2016.
After “retirement”, he continued to be of service to the church and assist the diocese as the Episcopal Delegate for Senior Priests until August of 2021. He was also a member of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre and The 100 Club.
In addition to his parents, Father Mike was preceded in death by his brother, Daniel D. Edwards.
Father Edwards is survived by his loving family, brothers, Joseph W. Edwards and wife Patricia, Mark A. Edwards, and Brian J. Edwards and wife Mary Jo; Nieces, Erin E Simson (Keith Simson), Abigail L. Edwards (Steve Matthews), Allie Dell (Jason Seiler), Courtney Heigl (Joe Heigl); Nephews, J. William Edwards IV (Sara Edwards), James O. Edwards (Marissa Edwards), & Zachary E. Dell; and many other loving family & friends.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Helen Catholic Church, Thursday, November 9th, at 11:00 a.m. followed by Interment in Crestlawn Cemetery by Strunk Funeral Home.
Father Edwards will lie in repose from 2:00 – 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 8th, at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Helen Catholic Church, 2085 Tallahassee Ave, Vero Beach, FL 32960; the Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach at Diocesan Services Appeal 9995 N. Military Trail P.O. Box 109650 Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410-9650.
The service at St. Helen will be live streamed. The link is https://vimeo.com/event/3837266
From Strunk Funeral Homes & Crematory
Bertil Eric Lofstrom, 91, Vero Beach
April 23, 1932 – October 27, 2023
Born in Hartford Connecticut, the only child of Eric and Elna Lofstrom, Bert spent his childhood years in Philadelphia, and his young adult years in in Drums Pennsylvania where his widowed Mother managed Angela Park, a very popular amusement park in the Poconos Region of Pennsylvania, where Bert worked after school and during summers.
Bert entered his post-secondary education at Penn State’s Hazleton campus under an ROTC scholarship and graduated from Penn State University’s College of Liberal Arts with a Baccalaureate degree in Commerce. During his years at Penn State, he was a member of the Accounting Club, Insurance Club and the Penn State Club.
Bert joined the US Air Force upon graduating from Penn State and served in various Finance and Accounting roles at Air Force bases around the world, retiring in 1976 as Comptroller – The Strategic Air Command at the Pentagon.
Bert also attended Michigan State University where he earned his Master of Business degree in Finance.
Upon retirement from the Air Force, Bert co-founded Labor Finders of Fort Pierce, Florida, a temporary labor resource supporting the development boom in the Southeast at the time. He retired from Labor Finders in 2005 to enjoy life with his late wife Mary. Together they traveled the Globe, in many cases revisiting the various locales of their military assignments.
Bert and Mary were generous benefactors to Penn State University’s Hazleton campus where they established the Bertil E. and Mary M. Lofstrom Scholarship in Business and named the Campus Library as the Mary M. and Bertil E. Lofstrom Library.
Bert was a member of the USAF Retired Officers Association, a proud member of the Penn State Alumni Association, the Penn State Atherton Society, Penn State Mount Nittany Society and the Penn State Hazleton High Acres Society.
During their lifetimes, Bert and Mary made generous gifts to Penn State University and The University of Saint Louis, their respective alma maters, Shriners Hospital for Children and Holy Cross Catholic Church, Vero Beach.
Colonel Lofstrom will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date to rest beside Mary, his late wife of 50 years.
An online guest book is available at www.Strunkfuneralhome.com. Any expressions of gifts can be directed to Penn State Hazleton, University of Saint Louis, Macular Degeneration Society.
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Margaret B. Durwin, age 88, passed peacefully with family present on Friday, October 27, 2023.
Margaret Ann worked in real estate for over 40 years in Vero Beach and was known by many for her warm, kind way. She was a fierce protector of her family, gave selflessly to them and encouraged them to live well.
Margaret Ann was born and raised in North Carolina where she maintained close relationships with family and friends she made in high school.
She was a true southern lady, dressed impeccably everywhere she went and never lost her southern drawl which endeared her to many and made a lasting impression on those she met. She was a principled woman who lived her life doing what was right and encouraged those around her to do the same, gave genuine love and acceptance to everyone and freely helped those in need.
Margaret Ann was preceded in death by her parents William Elvin and Mary Lou Baker and her beloved husband of 63 years Michael C. Durwin.
Margaret Ann is survived by her daughter Kelly Ann, her son Cole (Brenda), grandchildren Colby, Chace, Nicole and Caden and great grandson Cooper.
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From Strunk Funeral Homes & Crematory
Patricia Wilkes Hooper, 98, Vero Beach
March 20, 1925 – October 31, 2023
Patricia Wilkes Hooper, 98, of Vero Beach, FL, passed away on October 31, 2023. She was born on March 20, 1925 in Vienna, Austria, where her father, an American pediatrician was treating children after the First World War. She was the daughter of the late Rita Jones Wilkes and Dr. Leroy Augustus Wilkes of Philadelphia. She was a graduate of the Mary Burnham School of Northampton, Massachusetts and attended Smith College.
After college, Patricia moved to New York City and worked for the New Yorker magazine writing the column “Talk of the Town”. She later married James Weldon Hooper in October 1945 upon his return from the Second World War and settled in Bethlehem, PA, while completing his engineering degree at Lehigh University.
She was a life-long member of the Junior League and a stalwart of the Episcopal Church, where she worked as a tireless volunteer. She enjoyed tennis and sailing as a member of the Madison Beach Club in Connecticut and later at Sawgrass Country Club in Pointe Vedra, Florida.
Patricia was preceded in death by her husband James; her sister Rita Norris, her brother John Wilkes; her daughter Michelle Jelle; and her granddaughter Alexandra Ness. Survivors include daughter Pamela Tuttle (Mrs. David), nephew Robin Norris (Barbara), grandson Justin Pietrycha (Christine), and great-granddaughter Chloe.
She will be interred in the Memorial Garden at Christ Church, Pointe Verda Beach, FL at a private service.
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