Obituaries 6/11/20


William “Bill” Matthew Garrett, Jr.
William “Bill” Matthew Garrett, Jr., 96, after an extended illness left this world for his heavenly home on Saturday, May 30, 2020 in Orange Park, Florida.
William was born in Port Arthur, Texas on April 16, 1924 and was the son of William Matthew Garrett Sr. and Winnie Gottsleben Garrett.
Having received notice that he was being drafted, immediately following his high school graduation in 1943, Bill joined the Army Air Corp. After his basic training he was sent to England where he joined the 8th Air Force (448 Bomb Group) as a waist gunner on a B24 airplane. While flying missions over Central Europe and dropping supplies to US paratroopers, his planes were shot down twice during the Battle of the Bulge.
He was wounded in action over Germany on March 24, 1945 which required hospitalization to recover. Bill was discharged on December 6, 1945 and was awarded the Purple Heart.
Bill returned to Texas and graduated from The University of Texas in Austin. He was hired by General Electric where he performed heat pump tests on air conditioners in Kansas.
In 1957 he accepted a position with Jacksonville Paper Company. In the mid-60’s he began working for JEA and continued working for them until his retirement in 1993.
Through the years, Bill was actively involved with German American Club (Ortega River Club), the Jacksonville Wood Workers Club, the Selective Service Board, and a volunteer at Orange Park Medical Center. He was formerly a member of the Lakeshore Presbyterian Church and after his second marriage he joined the Orange Park United Methodist Church where he became a very active member.
Bill is predeceased by his parents, his wife, Joyce, who was the mother of his two children, and his sister Winifred.
Bill is survived by his wife of almost 40 years, Nancy Hurner Garrett, his sister Ann Nelson (Houston, Texas) and his two children Matthew (Pam) Garrett and Kathleen Garrett Johnson. He is also survived by his stepchildren, Carlyle (Gayle) Martin, Pamela Martin (Michael) Roberts, Kathleen Martin Rich, Zachary (Colleen) Martin, his twelve grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Bill is also survived by a large loving stepfamily. Bill was fondly known as “Honey”; a nickname given to him by his grandchildren.
Dr. Charles Lever will officiate at a private family interment at Greenlawn Cemetery. Due to the COVID-19 virus a memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The James Boys Ministry in care of Orange Park United Methodist Church, 2105 Park Ave, Suite 19, Orange Park, Florida 32073.

Beatrice Leona Fletcher
Beatrice Leona Fletcher, 83, of Green Cove Springs earned her wings on June 5, 2020. She went to her beloved Robert L Fletcher who has waited in heaven since Jan 30, 2012.
What a wonderful reunion as she embraced Avis and John Ridley who brought her into this world in Lewiston, Maine on March 27, 1937. There will be no more tears for those who went on before her. Roger Prout (son) Jeffery Fluck (son-in-law) and two precious babies Austin Estep (grandson) and Leilani Lang (granddaughter). Embrace Kat for us mother.
You will live in the hearts of the many you leave behind. Linda and Gerald McDaniel, Tobbie Fluck, Margery and Danny Glisson and Robert and Monica Fletcher, 12 grandchildren, 34 great grandchildren and 2 great great grands. We will forever think of you every time we curl up to read a book, witness the first breath of your grand babies, walk our daughter down the aisle, go on vacation, listen to Johnny Cash or realize the last piece of this 1000 piece puzzle has been carried off by the kids.
You have taught us to pray, love and fight for what’s right. Your time here is done. Until we meet again RAWR! The family will receive friends to celebrate the life of Gangsta Granny, Ms. Bea, Queen Bea, Bumble Bea from 5pm to 7pm on Friday, June 12, 2020 in the Broadus-Raines Chapel.
Please sign the family’s online guestbook at
Arrangements are under the care of Broadus-Raines Funeral Home, 501 Spring St., Green Cove Springs, FL 32043. (904) 284-4000

Lawrence Gillespie Hills
Lawrence Gillespie Hills, 89, of Penney Retirement Community died Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020. He was born at home to the late Frank George and Ethel Gertrude Hills, July 14th, 1930, near South Haven MI.
Larry graduated from Bangor High School and received a BA in Agricultural Economics and an MA in agriculture and teaching from Michigan State University.
He married Laura Jean Porter in August 1952, and they lived together in Lacota, MI until Larry was drafted into the US Army for 2 years. He farmed in Michigan for 11 years before serving as an agricultural missionary, in both Zambia and Congo, for the United Methodist Church.
He retired in 1999 and relocated to Penney Retirement Community in Penney Farms, FL. While in Africa, Larry saw a need for mobility for the disabled. He had a vision to improve their lives by developing a Personal Energy Transportation device (PET) and oversaw the manufacturing, assembly, and distribution of over 11665 PET units from Penney Retirement Community, and over 80,000 units at 23 sites in the US, and 2 overseas sites in Zambia and Sierra Leone.
Larry was an active member of Penney Memorial Church, and the Penney Farms Dialogue class, where he participated in discussions for opening hearts on difficult ethical questions, faith, and science. He was beloved by many around the world. He lived a life of service, dedicated to racial equality, peace, and hands-on support to those in need. Larry loved birding, gardening, writing, and reading.
Larry was preceded in death by daughter, April Sukup and son, David.
Larry is survived by his wife, Laura, and four children: Holly McSpadden, Sharon Hills-Bonczyk, Nanda Hills, and Cheryl Clancy. He is also is survived by nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made out to MW-PET Project, PO Box 919, Penney Farms, FL. 32079
His Life and Legacy will be missed.
Please sign the family’s online guestbook at
Arrangements are under the care of Broadus-Raines Funeral Home, 501 Spring St., Green Cove Springs, FL 32043. (904) 284-4000

Larry Walter Tode
Larry Walter Tode, 66, of Green Cove Springs, FL, passed away June 5, 2020
Broadus-Raines Funeral Home, 501 Spring St., Green Cove Springs, FL (904) 284-4000.