Obituaries 3/28/19


Capt. Robert Orville Wirt
Captain Robert Orville Wirt, 88, United States Navy (Ret), died in his home on March 20, 2019 in Orange Park, Fla. of natural causes. He was 88. Capt. Wirt was born on December 24, 1930 in North Baltimore, Ohio to his parents, Wilbur and Ruby Wirt. He attended Bowling Green State University, where he was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, before enlisting in the Naval Cadet program for training leading to Naval Aviation.
After completion of training in 1954 he was designated a Naval Aviator and received his commission as an Ensign in the United States Navy Reserve. He married Julia Haase in 1954. He completed his initial assignment flying the P-2V, at NAS Jacksonville, Fl. He then attended Ohio State University completing his baccalaureate degree in Business. He transitioned to the carrier based anti-submarine aircraft, the S-2F Tracker, completing numerous deployments to the North Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea in various aircraft carriers.
He was Commanding Officer of VS-27 in Quonset Point Rhode Island. His last sea assignment was as Executive Officer of the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV-10). He retired from the Navy after his assignment at the Pentagon in 1977.
Capt. Wirt is survived by his wife Patricia Wirt, son and daughter-in-law Bob and Gina Wirt; daughter and son-in-law Sandy and John McCaffrey; son and daughter-in-law Steve and Jodi Wirt; Daughter and Son-in-law Amy and Greg Hickey; eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his first wife, Julia Anne Haase Wirt; and his brother, Wilbur Wirt.
Capt. Wirt will be interned at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. A memorial was held on Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 2:30 p.m. at Advent Lutheran Church Orange Park Fla.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Advent Lutheran Church (2156 Loch Rane Blvd, Orange Park Florida 32073) or The United States Navy Memorial. (

Charlene Lovering Ellerbe

Charlene Lovering Ellerbe, 84,
of Fleming Island, passed away March 17, 2019 at the Lifecare at Wells Crossing facility where she was recovering from cancer surgery.
Charlene was born on October 29, 1934, in Tampa, Fla. to her departed parents, Joseph and Isabel Lovering. Charlene grew up in Tampa with her loving parents, her departed older brother, Joseph “Joeboy” Lovering and her departed younger sister, Betty Lovering Post.
Charlene graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School and attended the University of Tampa. 
Charlene met the love of her life, Samuel Herbert Ellerbe and was married August 24, 1957. For 56 years Charlene and Herbie built a wonderful life together, raising a family, and raising the spirits of everyone who had the pleasure to meet them.
Charlene was a very active member of Orange Park United Methodist Church, where she was involved in numerous committees, prayer circles and other charitable groups throughout the community.
Charlene served as the matriarch of the non-profit organization known as, which honored her late husband by presenting an annual scholarship to a deserving graduating senior from Orange Park High School. Charlene was loved and adored by her family and her multitude of friends in Christ. She will be remembered by all whom had the fortune of meeting her and know her as a shining light for Christ and family.
Charlene is survived by her two sons, Blaine (Jo Ann) Ellerbe of Jacksonville, FL, and Mark (Yvette) Ellerbe of Houston, TX; grandchildren, Michael, Justin, Joshua, Jared, and great grand-daughter, Harper Ellerbe.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, March 29, 2019 at Noon at Orange Park United Methodist Church, 2051 Park Ave, Orange Park, Fla. 32073.
A viewing will be held from 11a.m. to 11:50 a.m., also at Orange Park United Methodist Church. The services will be followed by a reception. Services are entrusted to Aaron and Burney Bivens Funeral Home.
James M. Pierson
James M. Pierson, long time resident of Green Cove Springs, was a classic southern gentleman, and example of the greatest generation. He peacefully crossed the bar on March 23, at age 94.
Predeceased by his beloved wife Alma, son James, and great-grandson, John Michael, Jim is survived by daughters Patsy Hilton, Waycross, GA, and Nora Milne (Doug) Jacksonville, 5 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.
After leaving his Brevard, NC birthplace, Jim’s entire career was spent with pride in the U.S. Navy (25 years), and subsequent civil service, from WWII until his retirement.
Not a day passed without deep reflection on his experiences at sea and service. Jim often said he could be happy anywhere with a church and Masonic Lodge. He was active in and devoted to each: First Presbyterian Church, Green Cove Springs; and 33rd Degree Mason, Cabul Lodge, York Rite, Scottish Rite and the Shrine.
Memories of Jim will endure. A kind, modest, well-read and thoughtful man, Jim was blessed with practical and keen intellect, coupled with an unabiding sense of caring for the earth and fellow man, especially children.
As he left to meet the Pilot, his life provided invaluable direction for those who knew him, young and old. The family will be honored by gifts in Jim’s memory to First Presbyterian Church, Green Cove Springs, or Shriners Hospital for Children.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 30, 2019 at the First Presbyterian Church of Green Cove Springs with Reverend Mark Hults officiating.
Burial will follow at Hickory Grove Cemetery. Please sign the online guest book at Arrangements are under the care of Broadus-Raines Funeral Home, 501 Spring St., Green Cove Springs, Fla. (904) 284-4000.

Jeffrey Heywood Wattles
Jeffrey Heywood Wattles, 65 of Green Cove Springs, Fla. passed away March 19, 2019
Russell Haven of Rest Cemetery, Funeral Home and Cremation Center 2335 Sandridge Road Green Cove Springs, Fla.  32043 904-284-7720

Patricia ‘Pat’ Thornton

Patricia “Pat” Thornton, 78,
of St. Johns, Fla., passed away March 18, 2019.
Broadus Raines Funeral Home, 501 Spring St., Green Cove Springs, FL (904) 284-4000

Thomas J. Graham
Thomas J. Graham, 84, of Fleming Island, Fla., passed away March 22, 2019.
Broadus Raines Funeral Home, 501 Spring St., Green Cove Springs, FL (904) 284-4000.

Raymond Roy Stevens

Raymond Roy Stevens, 84, of Middleburg, FL, passed away March 25, 2019
Broadus Raines Funeral Home, 501 Spring St., Green Cove Springs, FL (904) 284-4000

Howard “Boe” Dalton, Jr.

Howard “Boe” Dalton, Jr. passed away Tuesday, March 19, 2019. Aaron and Burney Bivens Funeral Home, 529 Kingsley Avenue, Orange Park, FL 32073, (904) 264-1233.

William Rutledge

William Rutledge passed away on Friday, March 22, 2019. Aaron and Burney Bivens Funeral Home, 529 Kingsley Avenue, Orange Park, Florida 32073, (904) 264-1233.

Charles F. Flowers

Charles F. Flowers passed away on Sunday, March 24, 2019. Aaron and Burney Bivens Funeral Home, 529 Kingsley Avenue, Orange Park, Florida 32073, (904) 264-1233.


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