Obituaries 11/26/20


Joseph “Roger” Demers
Joseph Demers, husband of Irene for 65 years, passed away peacefully on November 17th in Pooler, GA.
Many in the Orange Park and Middleburg area will remember his dedication for decades as a tireless middle and high school science teacher, realtor and as a volunteer with hospice and arthritis support groups.
A native of Sanford, ME, his time as a Captain in the Air Force sent him around the country before settling in the Orange Park/Middleburg area in the late 1960s. (Jacksonville FL)
In addition to his loving wife, he leaves behind very proud children, Owen, (wife Donna) Todd, (wife Patti) and Rio, adoring grand children Danielle, Michael, Jeremy, Kristin, Lauren, Savannah, Stephanie and Nick. And a few great grand children, who will one day be entertained by stories of the family patriarch.
He will be remembered for his kind heart and spirit, having never met a stranger and never complaining regardless of what life threw at him. His loving family will remember his powerful example of overcoming obstacles, enjoying life to its fullest and making everyone around him feel special.

Robert A. (Bob) Houston
Robert A. (Bob) Houston, 94 passed away peacefully on Friday, November 13 2020, two days shy of his 95th birthday. Bob is the son of Congressman John M. Houston and Charlotte W. Stellhorn Houston. He was the last and longest living grandchild of Wichita pioneer lumberman Samuel J. Houston. One of Bob’s cousins is Major Samuel R. Bird, Officer in charge of the casket detail for the JFK funeral.
Bob was born in Newton, Kansas in 1925 and received his education at the Cooper School, The Bullis School in Maryland and St. John’s Military School in Salina, Kansas. He graduated in 1943 as a 2nd Lt.
Shortly before his graduation he skipped school and caught a train to Wichita to see the Glenn Miller Orchestra, featuring Frank Sinatra at the Blue Moon Theater. Prior to joining the U.S. Marine Corps, his 1st job was mail boy at the British purchasing commission in Washington DC. His 1st car was a Model T he bought for $25.00. He was trained in the Marines as a propelled weapons crewman at Parris Island and New River.
After training, on his cross country move to Camp Pendleton, and passing through his hometown, he opened the window to see if he recognized any friends. This could have gotten him court martialed were it not for his higher ranking brother-in-law intervening.
Bob’s unit, Weapons Company, 22nd Marines, 6th Marine Division, were sent to Saipan and then to the invasion of Okinawa through June 1945. Following the battle, he traveled on to Guam for Mainland Japan combat in Operation Downfall. Next he was sent to Tsingtao China for extended duty. He traveled on the USS’s Randall, President Jackson, Oskalusa, C.F. Hughes, Fainland, and LST 913. His military awards include the Presidential Unit Citation, China Occupation, Asiatic-Pacific, Navy Unit Citation, and the World War II Victory Medals.
After his service time he attended Santa Ana College and the University of Southern California on the G.I. Bill.
While attending Santa Ana, he met and married Jacqueline L. Hatfield of Anaheim, Ca. After graduation he began his 31 year career as an engineer with Douglas Aircraft. He and his growing family moved frequently as his job demanded his experience in a variety of locations. During his first 15 years he was stationed aboard the USS’s Roosevelt, Intrepid, Ranger and Midway for full length deployments. Additionally he was in Bien Hoa Vietnam, Iwakuni Japan and various US mainland bases.
He married Kiyoko Hayashi in 1962 and moved to Orange Park, Florida. Bob was a Little League coach of his son’s teams. His free time also included sailing on the St. John’s River on his sailboat, the Charlotte Lee. Prior to his retirement, he was also stationed at Dobbins AFB, NAS New Orleans, NAS Norfolk, NAS Key West and Andrews AFB.
In retirement Bob and Kiyo enthusiastically enjoyed snow skiing, fishing, traveling, The Jacksonville Barbershop Chorus and a volunteer at the Jacksonville Zoo. But he especially loved the Orange Park Community Theater. He was an actor, set designer and construction, twice President of the Theater, but he truly loved directing. Shows that he directed or co-directed include Barefoot in the Park, California Suite, My Fair Lady, the King and I, The Sound of Music, State Fair, Oliver, Mary Poppins, West Side Story, Anything Goes and Singing in the Rain.
He was preceded in death by his wives Jackie and Kiyo, son Chris, sister and brother in law Patricia and Jack Shedaker. He is survived by his daughter Candace Houston, sons Matthew Houston and Mark Houston, grandson Thomas Houston, stepson Hiroshi, nieces Carol and Charlotte, nephew John and numerous other extended family. Bob would be thrilled for you to contribute to the Orange Park Community Theater in lieu of flowers.
Services were held 2PM Monday, November 23, in the chapel at the Jacksonville Memory Gardens Funeral Home, 111Blanding Blvd, Orange Park, FL.

Walter David Cercy
Walter David Cercy, 65, of Dr.’s Inlet, Florida, passed away on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.
He was born to William Howard Cercy and Bertha Inez Baxley on November 20, 1954 in Dr.’s Inlet, Florida
He attended Orange Park High School.
Walter retired from Clay County Public works in 2009 after 30 years of employment.
Walter was a member of Lenox Avenue Church of God, where he and Sharon served the Lord faithfully. He loved the Lord and was not afraid to light his shine for Jesus.
He was blessed with a large and loving family. He married his soul mate, Sharon Daniels on April 22, 1988. Walter helped raise his 6 children with a strong work ethic and a compassion for others. He never met a stranger and was always willing to lend a helping hand. He loved working on things, tinkering around, and was up for any challenge his wife and kids and family brought to him. He loved spending time with his family, especially his 17 grandkids. Family was everything to him. He was a loyal and dedicated friend, as well.
He is preceded in death by his Father, William Howard Cercy, his mother, Bertha Inez Cercy, and his brother, Edward Cercy.
He is survived by his wife, Sharon Cercy of Orange Park, Fl, his two daughters Tara Ritchie, (husband Paul, sons Jordan & Jayden) Becky Warner (children Chris, Ivie, & Brianna Conaway, and Antonio Albertie), and his 4 sons Tim Warner, (daughter Ashley Warner, wife Cindy, children Erika and Jenna Slommer, and Landon Warner), Tony Warner (children Jacob & Samantha Warner, Fiance’ & children, Alison Mania, Michael & Cassidy), Billy Warner, and Paul Warner (daughter Callie Warner, wife, Deanna, children Paisley, Mackenzie, and Lainey Warner), and his beloved dog, Duke.
He is also survived by his Sisters, Carolyn Coleman and Kathy Cercy, and his brother Michael Cercy (daughter, Shelby).
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

James William Tabor
James William Tabor, 89, of Fleming Island, FL passed away Saturday, November 21, 2020.
Mr. Tabor was born in Crossville, Tennessee to the late William and Constance Pugh Tabor and was one of thirteen children.
James and his wife, Lois, owned and operated the James W. Tabor and Son Electrical Company in Virginia prior to moving to Clay County 28 years ago. While living in Chesapeake, Virginia, James was a member of the Hickory Ruritan Club and served as the Commodore of the Great Bridge Cruise Club. He was also active in the Masonic Lodge. James enjoyed boating and traveling as hobbies. Mr. Tabor was civic minded and contributed to the growth of the small, rural community of Chesapeake. Family was most important to James or “Papa” to his grandchildren and greatgrandchildren. He was a devoted husband and father.
Mr. Tabor is survived by one son, Richard Glen Tabor (Kennette); two daughters, Ginger Hampton (Tim) and Patricia Statzer; four grandchildren, Wesley Hewitt, Laura Hall (Jacyn), Jaime Spencer (James), and Andrew Hampton (Vanessa); eight great-grandchildren, Jerry (Jay), Madison, Bradley, Wayne, Melanie, Kaylyn, Tabor, and Ryan. He is preceded in death by his loving and devoted wife of 70 years, Lois Henry Tabor.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 10:30am in the chapel of Russell Haven of Rest with Joseph Levette officiating. Visitation with the family began at 10am. Burial followed in Russell Haven of Rest Cemetery.
Arrangements are under the care of Russell Haven of Rest Cemetery, Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 2335 Sandridge Road, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043. Family and friends may share their condolences at: 904-284-7720

Oscar “Gonzo” Gonzalez Jr.
Oscar Gonzalez Jr. passed away peacefully in the comfort of his home on the evening of November 11, 2020, surrounded by his loving family and caregivers.
Born in Manhattan, New York on June 22, 1956, to Lucy and Oscar Gonzalez Sr., Oscar grew up on Long Island, New York and graduated from Longwood High School where he met his high school sweetheart: Debra Ann Kayton. They married on February 23, 1974, enjoying over 46 wonderful years of marriage together.
Oscar was a Retired Navy Veteran, proudly serving his country for twenty years. His shipmates called him “Gonzo”, as they journeyed together on several ships, bases, and overseas tours. Upon his retirement from the United States Navy, Oscar began a new journey at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, working there for over twenty-six years.
Oscar had an amazing talent and deep passion for woodworking. He could make anything you could imagine, and more! He loved to smile, laugh, and spread kindness, oftentimes going out of his way to help a friend or even ‘anyone’ in need.
He enjoyed swimming, RC cars & planes, exploring, and taking ‘spur of the moment’ trips with Debra, giving them countless enjoyable memories to share over their years together.
Oscar is survived by his loving wife Debra and their four children (and spouses): Oscar Gonzalez III (Olivia), Philip Ramon Gonzalez (Tracy), Christina Marie “Gonzi” Gonzalez, and Nicole Sandra Meldrum (Jason), and fourteen grandchildren: Talton, Cyrus, Joelle, Cierra, Ryan, Megual “Deuce”, Halina, William, and Ava Gonzalez, Bryce, Chaz, Xander, Zane and Logan Meldrum. Oscar is also survived by his parents: Lucy and Oscar Gonzalez Sr. and siblings: Joe, David, Eddie Gonzalez and Barbara Radigan.
Oscar has joined his sister in Heaven: Gladys Rossi.
A Memorial Service with Rev. Russell Franklin and Navy Honors will be held Saturday, November 28, 2020, 3PM, at the Broadus-Raines Chapel, 501 Spring St., Green Cove Springs, FL 32043, where the family will receive friends an hour PRIOR to the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or to a charity of your choice.
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

Diane Duke Waters
Diane Duke Waters, age 67, was born in Uvalde, Texas on June 10, 1953 and died peacefully in Green Cove Springs on November 17, 2020 at her Mother’s home surrounded by her family. Memorial services were conducted by Broadus-Raines Funeral Home located in Green Cove Springs, FL on Saturday, November 21st, 2020 at 10:00am.
Diane was survived by her spouse, Charlie Dean Waters, Jr., her Mother, Ellen M. Dixon. Her daughters, Misty Bauer (Greg) and Amy Akers (Tommy). Her brothers, Alfred Dixon (Janet), Curtis Dixon (Sandy) and Cecil Dixon, Jr. (Linda). Her sisters, Debra Krage (Bill) and Mary Prond. Her Grandchildren, Elizabeth Carlisle, Brett DiVona, Allie DiVona, Chandler Bauer, Madison Glisson (Jarrett), Skyler Totka, Leyton Akers, Tripp Bauer and one Great Grandchild, Miles. As well as many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her Father, Cecil Dixon, Sr., Robert “Bobby” Dixon and Harold Dixon.
Diane attended Clay High School from 1969-1971 located in Green Cove Springs and in 1972 received her GED. She worked as an Insurance Agent with USF&G and State Farm. After retiring, she became a Full-Time Homemaker. Diane was a wonderful, Wife, Daughter, Mother, Grandmother and Aunt.
She treasured her family and always embraced them with her wild spirit and fierce personality. She loved the beach and always had a keen eye for finding the best sharks teeth. Diane had a transparent personality and held nothing back. She was the smartest street smart person there ever was! She came from the school of hard knocks and It was always black and white with her. She either liked you or not, but you always knew where you stood with her. All whom loved her dearly, will never forget her quirky sayings, her wit, charm and her underlying compassion and love she had for anyone that crossed her path. She will be missed by many and never forgotten.
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