This week's crime report for Clay County Florida, provided by the Clay County Sheriff's Office.
Rhonda Jean Knott
Rhonda J. Knott was born in Sylva, NC on August 27, 1976 to parents of Tony and Betty Jo Knott. She passed into the arms of Jesus on April 12, 2023 in Orange Park, FL. with mother and sister holding her hands. Born with Cerebral Palsy and never having spoken a word, yet she left a lasting impression on this earth.
Rhonda was preceded in death by her father, Mark A. (Tony) Knott, Aunts Georgia Dowda and Polly Baxter, Uncle Harry Brut, and both sets of grandparents. She is survived by her mother, sister and brother-in-law, Tracy and Ron Wells, Aunts Elsie Alderman, Diane Brut, and JoAnn Knott, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Rhonda’s struggles with C.P., inspired her parents to help develop programs for the developmentally disabled in Clay County, Florida and surrounding counties:
1979 – Lighthouse Learning Center in Orange Park, when there were no programs for pre-school children with developmental disabilities. It later became part of the Clay County public school system and Head Start.
As members of First Baptist Church Jacksonville, parents Betty Jo and Tony started a special needs Sunday School called “I Am Special” and continues more than 40 years later as the “Shine Class.”
1994 –Building Abilities of Special Children & Adults (BASCAinc.org)
Rhonda’s parents together with co-founders, John and Linda Cone, started this non-profit to produce programs in Clay County for our developmentally disabled community: Today, BASCA supports 5 group homes, 2 day treatment centers, summer camps, sheltered workshops and resale boutique at headquarters in Orange Park.
2000 –Daystar Centers - When our severely disabled children were graduating from high school like Rhonda, the Knott’s began discussions with the First Coast YMCA about sponsoring a special day treatment center that would give continued PT and OT, social activities, swimming therapy, etc. Giving much needed respite for parents. The first Daystar Center was built at Dye-Clay YMCA and in 2011 the second Center was built at the Barco-Newton YMCA on Fleming Island. Today more than 30 participants with trained staff are part of the YMCA programs – the first in the nation.
Rhonda’s short 46 years of life has left a legacy that will continue to bless special needs children and their families because God blessed the Knott’s with this precious child. A scholarship in Rhonda’s name has been established at Western Carolina University to award students majoring in special education and to inspire them for generations to come. Betty Jo’s book “Wake Up, Rhonda” shares her family’s journey as God used a broken vessel to mold a community and the vessel is now made whole!
A Memorial Service to celebrate her life will be held at 2:30pm on Sunday, May 7, 2023 at First Baptist Church of Orange Park, 1140 Kingsley Ave, Orange Park, FL 32073
Memorial Donations can be made to:
Daystar Center, First Coast YMCA
40 E. Adams St, Ste 210 Jax, FL 32202
Barbara Teston Kennedy
Barbara Teston Kennedy, 90, of Orange Park, FL passed away April 16, 2023. She was born August 8, 1932 in Screven, GA to the late Jessie and Lottie (Mizell) Teston. Barbara was a devoted and loving mother, sister and grandmother who cherished time spent with her family. She is preceded by her parents, husband, Lucious Kennedy; son, Paul C. Armstrong, Jr.; brothers, L. Glenn Teston and Jesse Newton Teston and stepdaughter, Maureen Chambers. Barbara is survived by daughters, Debra A. Byerly (Mike), Alicia A. Wilson (Mike) and Kimberly A. Armstrong (Lexa); sisters, Harolyn Deck and Jacquelyn Hand; stepchildren, Jim Kennedy (Bonnie), Sharon Burnett and Kenneth Kennedy (Debbie); numerous grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends. Funeral services will be held at 2:00pm, Thursday, April 20, 2023 in the Jacksonville Memory Gardens Chapel. The family will receive friends from 1:00pm until service time. The family requests, in lieu of flowers donations be made to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida https://www.communityhospice.com/ Arrangements under the care of Jacksonville Memory Gardens 111 Blanding Blvd., Orange Park, FL 32073 (904) 272-2435
Rev. James P. Archibald, Jr.
Rev. James P. Archibald, Jr., died on October 15 2022, at the age of 91, after having been a resident of Penney Retirement Community (PRC) for 23 years. He was an active Clergy serving with other Clergy residents within the Penney Retirement Community, pastoring to the 32 different Christian denominations who have come from all over the world to further their Christian experiences through active engagement in causes greater than themselves through a host of voluntary initiatives.
Rev. Jim Archibald served as a Methodist Minister for 45 years, retiring from the Baltimore Washington Conference, having served as the Senior Pastor at Capitol Hill United Methodist Church for a decade.
On Wednesday, May 3, 2023, his families, clergy and close friends will spread his ashes at the Penney Farms Cemetery, on Rt. 16 at the Garden of Hope, assembling at 8:45 am and concluding at 9:30 am.
His Remembrance and Celebration of Life Ceremony will be held at the Penney Memorial Church in Penney Farms, Florida, located at the intersection of Rt. 16 and Rt. 218., beginning with a prelude by the Penney Retirement Community Handbell Choir at 9:45 am.
The service will be led by Rev. Mark Davies and is scheduled from 10 to 11:00 am.
This time of worship will include a representative sample of the clerical leadership within the Penney Retirement Community.
His family invites all those who knew and loved Jim to attend and join them for a buffet luncheon following the service in McCormack Hall running from 11:00 am to 1:15 pm. This will be a time when PRC residents, families and friends may share their remembrances of him.
The Celebration of His Life leads into an afternoon of open houses on campus at the Penney Railroad House, which he instigated by Jim Archibald at 1:30 pm. It will be led by Jon Nelson and include a demonstration of model railroad trains.
The day will conclude at the J.C. Penney Museum, led by Cathy Parrott, a Board Member of the Penney Retirement Community and a skilled and valuable resource to the Town of Penney Farms.
All are welcome to Jim Archibald’s Remembrance and Day of Celebration
on Wednesday, May 3, 2023.,
Please sign the family’s online guestbook at www.broadusraines.com
Arrangements are under the direction of Broadus-Raines Funeral Home, 501 Spring St., Green Cove Springs, FL 32043. (904) 284-4000.
Dorothy Jean Modlin
Dorothy Jean Modlin, 82, of Green Cove Springs, FL, passed away April 23, 2023
Please sign the family’s online guestbook at www.broadusraines.com
Arrangements are under the care of Broadus-Raines Funeral Home, 501 Spring St., Green Cove Springs, FL 32043. (904) 284-4000.