It is inevitable that the list of classmates we have lost along the way will continue to grow. It is too long already, but take a few minutes to reflect on each and write a tribute or commentary about the person we spent many memorable years with or maybe only passed in the hallways so many years ago.
So sad to lose another member of the Dixieland gang. Betty was always such an upbeat person. I spent many hours at her house playing board games. I even forgave her for giving me the mumps in junior high while she was my campaign manager for student council. She was so devoted to and proud of her son Shawn. I wish I had seen her one last time. God bless you Betty and may you rest in peace!
Barry Edward Anderson was born in Alexandria, VA, Dec 6, 1947. After LHS graduation he attended Manatee Jr. College and joined the Air Force where he was stationed at McDill AFB. He worked for Owens-Illinois, Icon Solutions, and most recently before retiring was a mortgage lender in Jacksonville, FL.
Barry passed away suddenly in a motor vehicle accident on I-275 Howard-Frankland Bridge enroute to St. Petersburg, FL. He was on his way to meet his good friend, Gene Allen, also an LHS Class of 66 alumni. They planned to attend a Tampa Bay Rays game at Tropicana Field. He also loved the Gators and was always ready for a game of golf.
He is survived by his only son, Jeff Anderson of Lakeland, brothers Tracy (Sharon) and Timothy, and sisters Kathy Lynn and Terry Leigh.
I really didn't know Barry in high school. We met at one of the monthly class breakfasts/lunches when I returned to Lakeland after a 43 year absence. I enjoyed his humor and learned he was a class reunion committee member in years past when he lived here. He always joined us for a breakfast/lunch when in town and attended our reunions. He often took pictures to contribute to this website and as a testimony to his humor posted his profession as "Professional Concert Attender." I will miss him.
You were so beautiful and I so shy I could barely talk with you. But I did and remember many fun dates from 64-67. Your loss in November 67 was devistating to me and others as well. You have been fondly remembered and missed ever since.
John was born and raised in Lakeland, FL and attended Dixieland, Southwest Jr. High and graduated Lakeland Senior High in 1966. He served his country in Vietnam where he was exposed to agent orange which contributed to his recent death. He moved to Michigan a few years ago with his wife Pam and two daughters. His son, Benjamin, still lives in Lakeland.
John was a distant relative of mine. John's grandmother and my grandfather were brother and sister. I didn't know him well in SW Jr High or in High School. It was at Polk Junior College we became friends at the bridge table. After finishing PJC and having both been reclassified one-A by the draft board we ending up enlisting in the US Army the same day, April 4, 1969. After our three year commitment to the Army we were both married and back in Lakeland with our wives. We hung out a lot in those days and exchanged Christmas cards until 2014.
Rest in peace John.
Ronald V. "Ron" Kaley, 69 of Lake Wales, Florida passed away Saturday Nov 11, 2017 at his residence.
Ron was born on Dec 4, 1947 in Lakeland, FL to the late Harry Sylvester and Verna Elizabeth (Roberts) Kaley and he has been a lifelong resident of Florida. He was a retired Parts Manager for Linder Machinery Equipment and he was a member of the Baptist faith. ron enjoyed horseback riding, Harley Davidison motorcycles and was a helpful friend and neighbor. He served in the US Army and was a Vietnam Veteran.
Survivors include: brothers, Richard Kaley (Narcissus) and Robert Kaley (Linda) of Lake Wales, James "Jimmy" Kaley of Lake City, and Vern Wake (Carole) of The Villages.
Graveside services were held 1:00pm Friday, Nov 17, 2017 at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, FL. Contributions may be made to Vitas Hospice.
His tour began on Jan 4, 1972
Casualty was on May 24, 1972
In THUA THIEN, SOUTH VIETNAM
Hostile, died while missing, HELICOPTER - PILOT
AIR LOSS, CRASH ON LAND
Body was recovered
1LT., KLINE, U.S., ARMY - You are an American hero, whose ultimate sacrifice, will not be forgotten. Rest well, brave soldier. Thank you, for your sacrifice and honorable service, to this great nation. So young a life, so great a sacrifice.
I dated Carl in 1969 and 70. He was my friend and would have done most anything for me. I enjoyed his friendship for many years. He was a kind person, and was more of a big brother to me than a boyfriend. I am saddened by his passing. I would have loved to have talked with him just one more time.
Donald Ritch was my brother. He was 1 year 9months and 16 days older than me. We graduated from high school together in 1966 because he failed 2 grades due to missing a lot of time from school because of severe asthma. It still amazes me that he earned a letter in band in 1964. He played the trombone at first, then switched to the baritone. He was a good guy. He loved his animals very much. He would give his last dollar to almost anyone. Unfortunately, he was born with a hole in his heart about the size of a half dollar. He also had breathing problems as a baby, which developed into asthma. Donald was always very religious and wanted to become a Baptist minister, like our brother Chester; however, a few years after graduation, Donald began drinking alcohol. Unfortunately, alcohol abuse lasted until his heart surgery in 1999. I do know he always held fond memories of his days participating in LHS band. After he died, I found his notification of him being awarded his letter in band in 1964. His ashes are buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Lakeland. He died in Tampa General Hospital on April 10, 2003, of cardio-pulmonary failure.
James Mercer Runnels passed away Sunday July 24, 2016 at Florida Hospital Waterman, Taveres, FL. He was born in Marietta, Georgia.
He was an Air Force veteran of Vietnam, attended Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, FL studying journalism. Later took a position at the Orlando Sentinel. Eventually, joined the Lake Sentinal where he received accolades for his coverage of crimes including murders and scandals. Hobbies included; painting and photography mainly of sunsest over the lakes he so loved, and music, particularly drummers as a continuance of his playing drums in a band during LHS days.
He is survived by former wife Sheri Buck, daughter Laura Marcinkowski, and sons Joe and Adam Runnels as well as six grandchildren. He was the youngest of eight children and is survived by brother Sam, and sisters Sue, Becky, Jerry, and Nita.
My family moved to Lakeland in 1963 and Jim was one of three boys at Junior High that befriended me. After graduation two moved away and Jim and I spent most of the summer of 63 together fishing, playing pinball at the Greyhound Bus Station, and an occassional movie at the Polk Theater. His whole family was gracious and often invited me to stay for dinner. My introduction to the best fried chicken and catfish I would ever eat. It was the most memorable Summer I every had. We didn't have any classes together at LHS. His interests went to playing drums for a band and I was working part time at McCrorys. I have Jim to thank for mentoring me about life in the South and Lakeland.
Length of service 2 years His tour began on Nov 1, 1968 Casualty was on Jun 13, 1969 In QUANG TRI, SOUTH VIETNAM NON-HOSTILE, GROUND CASUALTY ACCIDENTAL Body was recovered Panel 22W - Line 44 of Viet Nam Veteran's Memorial
Wayne and I joined the Marine Corps after graduation in 1966 on the buddy system but I had to take an emergency leave due to illness in the family. Wayne went on in and I went 18 days later. After I returned from Vietnam, Wayne and I reunited. I gave him all of my jungle utilities and 3 pairs of boots because he had just gotten orders for Vietnam. He died less than 3 months later from injuries he received from the tail rotor of a helicopter at midnight. Rest in peace my friend.
South of Da Nang
A warm summer night and schools out, making the rounds to Griggs ,Reececliffs, A&W, McDonalds, Steak and Shake and Dog's and Suds with the top down and Jim riding shotgun. Both singing Gary "US" Bonds "Quarter to Three" as loud and off key as humanly possible. As Mary Hopkins used to say "those were the days my friend we thought they would never end."
So sorry to see that Gail is gone. I'll always remember that gorgeous smile and the most radiant head of beautiful flame-colored hair that I've ever seen. A friend from LHS wishes you to rest in peace, Gail. Fond memories of Gail to her family.
TAVARES - Anita Dobbs Will of Lake County passed peacefully Sunday December 11th, 2016. Born in Lakeland, Florida, she was the daughter of the late Burney S. Dobbs II and Julia Godbee Dobbs. Predeceased by her husband George David Will III, Anita is survived by her sister Julia Dobbs Meeks, nieces Cassandra Anne Hannon, Angie Voyles, and Christina Lee, great nieces Ashton, Taylor, and Prim, great nephews Chase and Hunter Lee.