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Sickness & Distress
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Sickness and Distress

sickness distress


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.



Members All:

Lynn WarburtonI regret to inform you of the passing of Lynn Warburton, PDD. Lynn, as you all know, was the Director of the Florida Elks Youth Camp for 15 years having recently retired this past fall. He was a member of the Palm Coast Elks Lodge # 2709 and served as the East Central District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler in 1994/95.

At Lynn's request there will be no services.

Our sympathies to his wife Ru-Lynn.

PO Box 317
Umatilla, FL 32784

He will be missed.

We regret to inform you of the passing of Sam Berkowitz of West Palm Beach Lodge # 1352. Sam had been hospitalized at JFK Hospital for two weeks after a heart attack and this morning he suffered another. Sam had been a long-time Deputy Rep to the Veterans Hospital in West Palm Beach and was married to PDD, Donna Berkowitz. No arrangements have been announced yet. He will be missed!

Donna Berkowitz
25D Bedford Court
Royal Palm Beach, FL  33411-7929


Patricia Gehring PER passed away on Tuesday November 21 from a short but very aggressive fight with cancer. I do not know how many Elks were acquainted with Patricia. She was ER of Ormond Beach #2193 for many years as well as a Secretary, Treasurer and Chaplain not to mention ENF and Grant chairpersons. 

She will be missed. 

Richard A. "Dick" Rhodes, 84, of Brandon, passed away on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. A native of Medina, NY, he had resided here 46 years coming from Buffalo, NY. He was retired from the US Air Force, was a US Customs agent for 18 years, an employee of Southern Funeral Care, a member of St. Stephens Catholic Church, Life Member and Past Exalted Ruler of Brandon Elks Lodge #2383, Past Elks District Deputy and the lodge representative for Boy Scouts Troop #627.

He was preceded in death by his son, William A. Rhodes; brother, Robert Rhodes and sister, Peggy Albone and Marcia Jones. He is survived by his wife, Barbara A. Rhodes; son, Andrew J. (Cecile) Rhodes; daughters, Linda A. (Phil) Hinkle and Susan M. (Phillip) Singletary; brother, John (Sandra) Rhodes; sister, Carol Licinio; sister-in-law, Carol Rhodes; grandchildren, Christopher W. (Margie) Hinkle, Sean P. (Amy) Singletary, Steven A. (Bry) Hinkle; David P. Hinkle and Richard B. Rhodes; great-grandchildren, Emily and Grant Singletary, Isabella and Zoey Hinkle and Joshua Frazier (Hinkle) and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Graveside services will be held 11:00 A.M. Friday, November 17, 2017, at Hillsboro Memorial Gardens, Brandon.

A Memorial Service will follow at 12:00 P.M. Friday, November 17, 2017, at the Brandon Elks Lodge, with a reception to follow.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations made out to Boy Scout Troop #627, o/o Brandon Elks Lodge, 800 Centennial Lodge Drive, Brandon, FL 33510.

Please sign guestbook at


Wyman McArthur Garland, age 95, of Live Oak, FL passed away Monday, October 16, 2017 at the Haven Hospice Care Center in Lake City, FL. He was a native of Wrightsville, GA moving to Live Oak in 1948 after graduating from the University of Georgia. Wyman worked as the Area Forester for the Florida Forest Service for many years before working for Farm Credit as Vice President while owning and operating his farming business. He proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy during WWII.

He was a member of the First Baptist Church and the Live Oak Elks Lodge#1165. In his spare time, he enjoyed hunting, fishing and watching football. He was predeceased by his wife, Vivian Garland and a sister, Thena Lou Smith. He is survived by one son, Wyman (Susan) Garland; one daughter, Julie Garland; two grandchildren, Justin and Lindsey Garland all of Live Oak.

Memorial services were held 2:00 PM, Sunday, October 22, 2017 in the First Baptist Church with Rev. Phillip Herrington officiating. Visitation was held one hour prior to the services from 1:00 to 2:00 PM at the church.

Mr. Wyman served as PER of the Live Oak Elks Lodge #1165 in 1958 and was still a loyal member coming to every meeting he could. He will be dearly missed.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Haven Hospice or the Live Oak Elks Lodge #1165.


Members All:

Our heart aches this morning at the loss of Carolyn Ritchie, wife of Mike Ritchie, PDD of Zephyrhills Lodge # 2731. Carolyn fought a tough battle with pancreatic cancer and succumbed early this morning. Carolyn, with her husband Mike & often their daughter Ashley, was a member for many years of the FSEA Grand Lodge Hospitality Room team and served several State President’s on their hospitality teams.

Funeral services will be held Thursday Aug. 10, 2017 at 7:30 PM. It will begin with visitation at 6:30 to 7:30 P.M and services will follow at Haught Funeral Home located at 708 West Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd. Plant City, Florida 33563. Graveside services will be held Friday at 11 AM at Oakside Cemetery in Zephyrhills, Fl. 33542.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to Florida Elks Youth Camp. Checks payable to Harry-Anna Investment Fund with a notation to FEYC. Please include your name, address and Lodge Number (if applicable) for acknowledgement. The family will also receive an acknowledgement letter announcing your thoughtfulness. Mail to Harry-Anna Investment Fund, PO Box 49, Umatilla, FL 32784-0049.

Our sympathies to Mike, Ashley & Clay and all the family! She will be dearly missed!

Carl Seibert

State Secretary


PDDGER Willam Swatzell passed away. He was a member of Bradenton Elks Lodge #1511 and will be missed.

Past District Deputy Harry Avogardo of Boca Raton Lodge #2166 passed away July 01, 2017. He served the SSE District as VP as a member of the Sandalfoot Lodge # 2741 for SP Winston Needham in 1996-97 and as DDGER in 1997-98. He transferred his membership to Boca Raton lodge and remained active until his passing. A true gentleman, he will be missed.

Past District Deputy Lawrence "Larry" Shields, of Oakland Park lodge #2407, passed away on July 18, 2017. As a member of Margate Lodge #2463, he served as Vice President in 1997-98 under SP Jim Solana. In1998-99 he served as DDGER of the South Southeast District.


Frank Campbell

We lost one of our nation’s heroes over the weekend! WWII Veteran and Palmetto Elks Lodge member Francis X. “Frank” Campbell passed away on Saturday, April 29 at the age of 91. Frank recently participated in the Florida Elks sponsored trip to Hawaii for WWII Veterans for the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

More arrangement details to follow.

Condolences to his special friend for the past ten years:
Judy Vergason
2727 46th Street
East Palmetto, FL 34221


Perry Elks Lodge#1851 Life Member, PDDGER Roscoe Sheffield, passed away April 24thth surrounded by his family. Roscoe was an Elks member for half a century. He was truly one of the Best People On Earth.

Mrs. Dorothy Sheffield
102 Osceola Road
Perry, FL 32348-6003


Max Robinett PER, has passed away. A joint Moose/Elk funeral service for Max will be conducted on Friday, March 31 at 2 p.m.   The service will be held at the Moose Lodge 2020 located at 5051 Collins Road, Jacksonville, FL,  phone number 904-264-5355. Refreshments will be served following the service. If you have questions or need more information, please contact Phyllis Bonser.

Al Reker’s son, 60 year old Stephen Reker, was killed in a tragic accident yesterday while riding his bike in Tallahassee. Al is a Past District Deputy, a member of the FL Elks Children’s Therapy Services Board of Directors and is a member of Miami Lodge 948.

Our prayers and condolences to Al & Barbara and the entire Reker family!

Al & Barbara Reker
11357 SW 86th Lane
Miami, FL  33173-4226


Patrick Gallagher

We are incredibly saddened this morning to learn of the passing of Patrick Gallagher. Patrick has been hospitalized as of late and has had a history of heart problems. Patrick was a member of the Manasota Lodge and was Chairman of the State Business Practices Committee. Patrick was a Past District Deputy of the Southwest District having served in 2013/14. He was a Drug Trailer Manager and served on numerous Lodge and District Committees.

An Elks Memorial Service for Patrick will be held on Sunday, February 26th at 3:00 PM at the Palmetto Elks Lodge located at 4611 4th Avenue East, Palmetto, FL 34221.

Jill Gallagher - 5521 Denmark Drive, Bradenton, FL 34207
Our love and prayers to the family!

Ralph FerrellRalph Ferrell

There will be an Elk service in the Tallahassee Lodge room on Sunday, February 5, beginning at 2 pm. The Tallahassee Lodge PERs will be conducting the Elks Service. Following the service, there will be a reception at the Lodge and everyone is invited. Julia requests casual dress, no coats or ties!

Julia Ferrell
43 Purple Martin Cove
Crawfordville, FL 32327

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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