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Longboat Key Wednesday, May 10, 2017 3 years ago

Longboat Key Obituaries: May 11, 2017

Vicki Anderson, Florence Heitler, James Hicks, Esther Jarvis, Bonita Kass and Nancy Koons died.
by: Katie Johns Community Editor

Vicki Carlson Anderson

Vicki Anderson, 75, of Longboat Key, died April 3.

She was born in Indianapolis to Elizabeth and Otto Carlson. She graduated from Indiana University, where was a varsity cheerleader and a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. She earned her master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Indiana, as well.

After her first marriage ended in divorce, she taught and counseled difficult teenagers and became the academic head of a Job Corps program in Reno, Nevada. From there, she joined the Peace Corps, where she worked in mental health in Honduras. She also initiated medical missions using American doctors and dentists from the Orlando area.

Vicki lived in Honduras, St. Lucia and Jamaica before moving to the Palisades region of Colorado, where she helped her significant other grow peaches and apricots.

She met her second husband, Bill Anderson, on and moved to Hilton Head, S.C., as a surgical coordinator for Volunteers in Medicine. There, she helped uninsured families obtain health care.

Vicki and Bill were married on Hilton Head in 2007, and as seasoned expatriates, they took opportunities to live and work abroad, subsequently moving to Bahrain on two separate occasions before moving to Longboat Key, where Vicki was active in the garden club.

She is survived by her husband, Bill; two sons Andy and Chris Roesener; their spouses; three granddaughters; and her and Bill’s devoted Labradoodle, Fluffy.

Donations can be made Tidewell’s Bradenton Hospice Team by calling 941-782-4900.


Florence Heitler

Florence Heitler, 97, died April 28.

She was born in Brooklyn.

While attending Adelphi University, she met George Heitler, and they married shortly after her graduation.

She worked as a social caseworker, school teacher, urban youth counselor and a Head Start parent coordinator.

The couple enjoyed living in Southbury, Conn., and Longboat Key. In 2000, they moved into Plymouth Harbor.

Florence served with the League of Women Voters and the Citizens Information Service. She mediated for the 12th Judicial Circuit and worked for Meals on Wheels.

She loved tennis, the theater and playing bridge.

She and George had two sons and several grandchildren and great grandchildren.


James Hicks

James Wallenger Hicks, 87, died May 2.

He was the second son of Stewart Garfield Hicks and Almira Fisher Brown Hicks of Jacksonville. He was born on Jan. 17, 1930, and grew up in Jacksonville with his two brothers Thomas and Stewart, and sister, Dolly.

His favorite and second home was in Frostproof, where he spent every summer with his maternal grandmother.

Jim attended Andrew Jackson High School and Frostproof High School but did not graduate from either. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1947 and served in naval aviation as a flight controller in the Pacific, primarily in the Mariana Islands and the Philippines. He was discharged in 1952.

After returning home, he resumed his education and entered the University of Florida, where he earned his bachelor’s of arts and bachelor’s of science degrees in 1957.

While attending the University of Florida, he was chosen for the University of Florida Hall of Fame and elected to Florida Blue Key Honor Fraternity. After his graduation, he was employed by the Florida State Board of Health in a co-op program with the Public Health Service.

In 1958, he became an employee of the Communicable Disease Center in Atlanta. Following assignments in Georgia, Jim was transferred to the Philadelphia as a contact interviewer in the epidemiology of venereal disease control.

During his time in Philadelphia, Jim lived in southern New Jersey, where he met and married Dorothy M. Flynn of Haddonfield, N.J.

In 1963, Jim became North Carolina representative and served for three years as chief of the venereal disease program and coordinator of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention co-op training program.

In 1996, Jim became the assistant director for management of the Center for Infectious Disease, where he served until his retirement in October 1987. He was awarded the William C. Watson Jr. Medal of Excellence in June 1987.

During their retirement on Longboat Key and in Sarasota, Jim and Dot participated in wildlife rescue, taught boating classes and conducted safety patrols with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Sarasota Power Squadron.

They returned to Georgia in 2000 to be closer to their grandchildren.

Throughout his life, Jim was a faithful Sunday school teacher and devoted member of the Baptist church.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy. He is survived by sons James B. Hickes and Stewart Hicks; their spouses; three granddaughters and several nieces and nephews.


Esther Jarvis

Esther S. Jarvis, 96, of Bradenton and formerly Longboat Key, died April 30.


Bonita Kass

Bonita Jean Kass, 95, died April 17.

She was born in Lansing, Mich., to William and Margaret Brown.

Bonnie left home at 18 to study commercial art and dress design at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. She achieved early success working for the Junior Guild.

At 23, she was featured along with her designs in a multipage photo essay in the Chicago Daily News. 

Her career as an illustrator and graphic artist took her to Minneapolis and New York, where she also attended the Art Students League.

Bonnie met her husband, Philip H. Kass, in the lobby of Chicago’s Ambassador Hotel in 1942 when she and a friend were selling World War II bonds. They married in New York City in 1950 and lived there until 1958.

Phil’s career in menswear and their shared sense of adventure took them to England, Glencoe, Ill., Baltimore, Taipei, Taiwan and eventually Longboat Key and Tampa, where they retired.

Bonnie was an avid reader of biography, history and literature, all of which made her a whiz at crossword puzzles.

In 1952, Bonnie stopped her career to care for her family but continued various volunteer activities focused on art. She returned to painting when she settled in Longboat Key and won prizes at The Longboat Key Center for the Arts.

In 2007, she moved to Chapel Hill, N.C.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Phil.

She is survived by her children, Emily Kass, Philip Kass and Sarah Kass; two grandchildren; two step grandchildren; three great grandchildren and many nieces nephews, friends and family. During her final years she was cared for by numerous caregivers including Paula Woodell, Pauline Oliech, Sylvia Hicks and Anita Kidambi


Nancy Koons

Nancy Koons, 84, died on May 3.

She was born on May 27, 1932, in Dodge, Iowa, to Freda and Frank Charlton.

She graduated from Roosevelt High School and attended Monticello College and the University of Iowa, where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi.

Nancy studied art at Drake University, where she earned a bachelor’s of fine arts.

She married James Gutfreund in 1953, and after living in England while he was in the Air Force, they settled in Des Moines. They were married for 17 years and had two children.

She married her second husband, Dr. Claude Koons in 1972. They lived in Des Moines until 1983, when they moved to Belfast and later Camden, Maine, where Claude practiced medicine.

After retirement, they moved back to Des Moines in 1992, where they spent the rest of their lives. Nancy was active in her community. She was a member of the Junior League and gave many hours to the Des Moines Charity Horse Show.She also enjoyed traveling and loved her family and spending time with Claude at their vacation homes in Bayview, Maine, Longboat Key and Peoria, Ariz.

In her later years, Nancy enjoyed bridge, books and birthday parties.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Claude ,and brother James Charlton.

She is survived by her children David Gutfreund and Lynn McBrian; their spouses; three grandchildren; one great grandson; and brother Craig Charlton.

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