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Sickness & Distress
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Sickness and Distress

sickness distress


Elks PDDGER Lee Bennett 2

It is our sad duty to report the passing of our good member Past District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler Lemieul “Lee” Bennett, Sr.  Lee passed away on January 21st, 2019.  Eulogy was held during our regular scheduled meeting of January 22, 2019. 

Lee was an Elk member for over 36 years.  He was initiated in 1982 and quickly expressed an interest in serving Elkdom and his lodge.  He served as Inner Guard, Chaplain, Esquire, Loyal Knight, Leading Knight, Exalted Ruler and 4 years as a Trustee.  During 1992 he served as the North District Vice-President representing the Florida States Elks Association and in 1993 he was the North District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler.  His contribution through the years are greatly appreciated and he will be missed.

Elks PDDGER Lee BennettLee was a very much respected member of our community serving as a member or officer of more than one civic organization and most importantly as the Chairman of the local Chamber of Commerce.

Lee is survived by his mother Mrs. Frances Bennett, one son Lem Bennett (Rebecca), one daughter Tiffany French (Nathan), two brothers Ricky and Daniel Bennett, and one grandchild Jeremiah Lee French.

He cared about his family, his community, our Veterans, our youth….Rest in Peace … “to our absent member”



Martin P Marty Carroll PERMembers All:

I regret to inform you of the passing of the Exalted Ruler of the Plant City Elks Lodge, Martin P. “Marty” Carroll.

Marty suffered a massive stroke on Saturday while attending the Elks Midyear Convention at the Plantation in Crystal River.

He leaves behind his loving wife Shelly and a host of friends and family!

The family will receive friends on Saturday, November 17th from 6-8:00 P.M. at Hopewell Funeral Home located at 6005 S. County Road 39 in Plant City.

A funeral service will be held on Sunday, November 18th at 1:00 P.M. at Hopewell Funeral Home followed by a celebration of life at the Plant City Elks Lodge located at 1501 N. Alexander Street in Plant City.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Florida Elks Harry-Anna Trust Fund and mailed to P.O. Box 49, Umatilla, FL 32784.

You may also make a memorial contribution to the Harry-Anna Trust Fund on-line by clicking the link below:

Click HERE to make a memorial contribution

Condolences to:

Shelly Carroll
2812 Clubhouse Drive
Plant City, FL  33566

Rest in peace Brother!


ben venableTampa Lodge #708 Member Lt. Col. Charles "Ben" Venable passed unexpectantly on 10/22/2018. He served his country honorably for 29 years in the Air Force, and then re­turned to government service as a civilian for an additional 10 years.

He is survived by his wife, Candy Venable, his children: Daughter Brook Smith and her husband Kevin, son Matthew Venable and his wife Jessica, grandchildren Berkley, Dixie, Lily and Hubert, brother Bernard Venable and good friend and former wife, Kathy Venable.

He is preceded in death by both parents, his brother Vernon Venable, and his son Charles Lucas "Luke" Venable

There will be a Memorial Service at 2:00 PM on Saturday, October 27, 2018 at Bayshore Presbyterian Church, 2515 Bayshore Blvd, Tampa Fl 33629.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Christian Appalachian Project:

It is our sad duty to notify you of the passing of PDDGER William (Bill) Connolly this morning.  Bill was a life member of the Eustis Lodge and a former member of the South Marion-Villages and Lady Lake lodges. There are no funeral arrangements at this time.
Bill was a valued member of the North Central District and a loyal Elk.  He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.  Please keep Patty and the family in your prayers.
The Visitation for Bill will be on Tuesday, October 23rd at Beyers Funeral Home (1123 West Main St., Leesburg) from 5:00-7:00 pm.  The North Central District PDDs will perform the Elks Service at 6:00.  Even though the stage is set with the Officers, we would like for any and all PDDs to attend and participate in the ceremony.  White DD jacket and gold jewels requested.  Please contact me via email or phone,352-459-8282, if you plan to attend.

Mary Ann Bucci, long time District reporter, has passed away.  Keep her family in your prayers.


PDD Glen Dennis Rust, 86, passed away 8/10/2018. Resided in Miami since 1942. Attended St Peter & Paul. Enlisted in Unioed States Air Force for 3 years. Graduated from University of Miami with degree in engineering. Worked for Poole & Kent Mechanical Contractors as a Project Manager. After retriring, he returned for two more terms. He was PEDGER and State Chaplain for MIami Elks Lodge #948 and worked 3 years as secretary lifetime member. Survived by his loving wife, Mary.


PDDGER Ed Jackson fell off a ladder at his North Carolina home and shattered both heels.  He is undergoing surgery and will be incapacitated for a long time.

The hospital information is:

Edward K. Jackson
Mission Hospital
Room A-632
Ashville, NC 28801
Direct Telephone Number to his room:  (828) 213-6632


It is our sad duty to report the passing of PER Carl Williamson this morning, June 7th, 2018.  He passed away at his home. His family has asked for a Memorial Service with his fellow Elks on June 16th at 1pm at Tampa Lodge# 708. Carl had requested Paul and Tracy H to participate in the Elks Portion of the Service.

Tampa Elks Lodge# 708
3616 W Gandy Blvd
Tampa, FL 33611


Members All:
It is with a heavy heart that I inform you of the passing of R. William "Bill" Wellbaum, PSP. Bill passed away peacefully this afternoon, surrounded by his loving family, after a brief but courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Bill earned many notable titles as an Elk in addition to being a past state president of Florida in 2000/2001. He also served a term as the Chief Justice of the Grand Forum and in his professional life Bill was a talented attorney.
Bill was a loving family man and I can never remember a time that Bill wasn't talking about one of his grand children. He was so proud of all of them! Bill was a devoted husband to Sue and a friend to anyone he met! His motto as State President was Extend the Hand of Elkdom. He certainly practiced what he preached! Bill will be dearly missed!
More information will be forthcoming about services. At this time the family is thinking a celebration of life on Saturday, April 28th at the Englewood Elks Lodge.
Our sympathies to his loving wife Sue.
550 S. Oxford Drive
Englewood, FL 34223


As many of you already know, two of PDD Bill Orblych’s adult sons were murdered early Thursday morning in an apparent home invasion at their home in a Detroit, MI suburb.
Bill is a member of the  Viera Lodge and is a member of the FSEA Board of Directors. Bill and Ronnie served last year on PSP John Harris’ hospitality team.
Our sympathies and prayers to Bill & Ronnie and their entire family.
Bill & Ronnie Orblych
605 Dawson Drive
Melbourne, FL  32940-1967


It is our sad duty to report the passing of PDD Ronald Sorrentino on Jan. 31, 2018.  There will be an Elks service at the Sarasota National Cemetery on Thursday Feb 22, 2018 at 2pm.

Don Gehring has requested that Ormond Beach Lodge #2193 perform a Memorial Service for his departed wife Patricia Gehring on Sunday, February 4th at the Ormond Beach Lodge. 

The service will be at 1 pm and refreshments provided by the Lodge and pot luck will follow.  The celebration will end at 4PM.  All friends and Elk members are invited. 

Please RSVP to Patricia Hubert or 386-441-5634.

Louisiana State Legislature Increases New Orleans Hotel Occupancy Tax

The Legislature of the State of Louisiana has acted to increase the New Orleans Hotel Occupancy Tax from 13% to 14.75% effective April 1, 2014. This will affect our convention room rates and they will go from $128.56 to $130.52 per night.

Convention Attendees With ADA Transportation Needs Urged To Contact Grand Lodge

In order for the Grand Lodge to support the transportation needs of attendees with disabilities you are urged to contact the Grand Lodge if you require special assistance. Special coaches capable of kneeling to accommodate wheel chairs will be placed along the routes for those in need. If you require assistance please contact Tina or Jessica at the Grand Lodge as follows:


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