February 1, 2006


Published: Wednesday, February 1, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 11:50 p.m.
Donor to local causes dies at 91 Agnes C. Watson of Keystone Heights, a local philanthropist, died Saturday at her home from complications related to Alzheimer's disease. She was 91.
Mrs. Watson was born in Miami and moved to Melrose in 1936. She later moved to Keystone Heights.
She co-owned Watson's Food Store with her husband until retiring in 1975.
She and her husband made a donation to Hospice of the Lakes in Palatka through the Rotary Club, which is commemorated by the memorial "Aggie's Garden." She and her family have donated more than $2.8 million to construct an educational center for the lake region area through Santa Fe Community College.
She was an avid golfer, reader and bridge player, and she raised prize-winning camellias.
She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Keystone Ladies Golf Association.
She was a Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow and a member of the Keystone United Methodist Church.
Survivors include her husband of 69 years, Al Watson Sr. of Keystone Heights; a daughter, Agnes Green of Dowling Park; a son, Dr. Al Watson Jr. of Houston; a sister, Dorothy Harris of Dowling Park; five grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.
Arrangements by Moring Funeral Home in Melrose.
Mary Beck Glass
  • Mary Beck Glass of Hawthorne died Monday. She was 81.
    Mrs. Glass was born in Lochloosa and was a lifelong resident of the Hawthorne area.
    She was a homemaker. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Hawthorne.
    She was preceded in death by her husband, Willis R. Glass.
    Survivors include a daughter, Mabelle Gregorio of Silver Springs; a son, W.R. "Bill" Glass of McIntosh; four grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
    Arrangements by Milam Funeral and Cremation Services in Gainesville.
    Eugene Finch
  • Eugene "Sarge" Finch of Hampton died Saturday at his home after a long illness. He was 70.
    Mr. Finch was born in Davenport, Iowa, and moved to Florida in 1954.
    He worked with M.M. Parrish and other area companies as a carpenter until retiring in 1996.
    He served with the Florida National Guard for 30 years.
    Survivors include his wife, Shirley Finch of Hampton; a son, Maj. Kevin Finch of Washington; stepsons David Ramsey and Michael Ramsey, both of South Carolina, and James Ramsey of Hawthorne; a stepdaughter, Granetta Morse of New Hampshire; a brother, Duane Finch of Floral City; two grandchildren; and seven stepgrandchildren.
    Arrangements by Archie Tanner Funeral Home in Starke.
    Leaton Union Morgan III
  • The Rev. Leaton Union Morgan III of Starke died Monday at the Haven Hospice of the Lakes in Palatka after an extended illness. He was 56.
    The Rev. Morgan was a lifelong resident of Starke.
    He served in the Florida National Guard and worked for CSX Railroad.
    He was an ordained preacher and was pastor at Bayless Highway Baptist Church.
    He attended Bradford County Schools. He was preceded in death by a son, Leaton Union Morgan IV.
    Survivors include his wife, Glenna Joyner Morgan of Starke; a daughter, Karen Jackson of Starke; his parents, Marie and Leaton Morgan Jr. of Starke; a brother, Ralph Morgan of Starke; a sister, Sandi Melvin of Starke; and two grandchildren.
    Arrangements by Archie Tanner Funeral Home in Starke.
    Mary Ann Emerson
  • Mary Ann Emerson of Gainesville died Tuesday. She was 98.
    Mrs. Emerson was born in Lafayette, Ind. She moved to Gainesville in 1920. In 1947, she moved to a 600-acre site on Newberry Road that she named Green Hill Farm, where her family raised Hereford cattle. She moved to the North Florida Retirement Village in Gainesville in 1996.
    She was a member of the Florida Cattleman's Association.
    She attended Florida State College for Women, Purdue University and the University of Nebraska.
    She was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, the Gainesville Woman's Club, the Gainesville Garden Club, the First Presbyterian Church and Gainesville's Little Theater. In her later years, she made stuffed dolls for hospital children.
    She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Jesse Rutledge Emerson.
    Survivors include a son, Jesse R. Emerson III of Chantilly, Va.; a daughter, Ann E. Barker of Camden, S.C.; a brother, Hal Price of Lafayette, Ind.; a sister, Elizabeth Price of Chicago; eight grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
    Arrangements by Milam Funeral and Cremation Services in Gainesville.
    Virginia Beville Ragsdale
  • Virginia Beville "Moma" Ragsdale of Jacksonville died Monday. She was 82.
    Mrs. Ragsdale was born and raised in Gainesville. She moved to Jacksonville about 50 years ago.
    She was preceded in death by her husband, James P. Ragsdale.
    Survivors include daughters Jill Mignogna of Melbourne and Jan Schiller of England; a son, James P. Ragsdale Jr. of Ontario, Canada; and five grandchildren.
    Arrangements by Milam Funeral and Cremation Services in Gainesville.
    Richard A. Speilman
  • Richard A. Speilman of Gainesville died Tuesday at his home after a brief illness. He was 80.
    Mr. Speilman was born in Chambersburg, Pa., and moved to Gainesville more than 12 years ago from Fairfax, Va.
    He was a shoe store manager. He was a member of Northwest Baptist Church, and worked in the church nurseries.
    Survivors include his wife of 37 years, Carol B. Speilman of Gainesville; a son, Rick Speilman of Lovingston, Va.; a sister, Mary Stumbaugh of Chambersburg; and three grandchildren.
    Arrangements by Milam Funeral and Cremation Services in Gainesville.
    Marjorie Christine Vititoe
  • Marjorie Christine Vititoe of Old Town died Monday at Shands at AGH in Gainesville. She was 56.
    Mrs. Vititoe moved to Old Town in 1994 from Middleburg.
    Survivors include a daughter, Deanna Lynn Alaino of Mount Vernon, Ohio; a son, Douglas Vititoe of Mount Vernon; brothers Donald Vance of Old Town and Carl Vance of Mount Vernon; a sister, Fran Wilguess of Middleburg; and three grandchildren.
    Arrangements by Rick Gooding Funeral Home in Cross City.
    Jean Walker
  • Jean Walker of Gainesville died Sunday at her home after a brief illness. She was 82.
    Mrs. Walker was born in Island City, Ky., and moved to Gainesville in 1952 from Tampa.
    She was a retired cottage parent at Tacachale.
    She enjoyed traveling and going to the beach.
    She was preceded in death by her husband of 26 years, Howard Walker, and a daughter, Mary Lou Trout.
    Survivors include a son, Earl E. White of Gainesville; daughters Patty Trout-Ludwick of Ohio and Doris Wilks of Gainesville; a sister, Alice Whitfield of Tampa; a brother, William F. White of Tampa; seven grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.
    Arrangements by Forest Meadows Funeral Home in Gainesville.
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  • The obituaries in this section are considered news and are published free of charge by The Gainesville Sun. Obituaries are submitted by funeral homes and may be edited for style, space and policy. Funeral notices, which appear in this section in smaller print, are paid advertisements and may contain information, such as tributes, not normally included in obituaries. Information on funeral notices may be obtained by calling the classified advertising department Monday through Friday at (352) 867-4100.
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