Born Jan. 27, 1951, the Lord called her home on Sept. 25, 2015. She was preceded in death by her parents, Ralph and Estrella Placencia, sisters Terry Jeffery and Marvalene Grassi and brother Big Boy Placencia.
Juanita leaves behind her loving children, sons Ralph (wife, Tammy) of Ocala, Florida, Marqus Placencia and daughters Vanessa Placencia and Nita Placencia, her beloved granddaughters Cheyenne Carey,Tamyah Scott, Selena Placencia; grandsons Jeremy Carey, Ezkiel Placencia, William Placencia, brother Ralph (wife, Frannie); sisters Malvina Medina, Starr Norris, nieces and nephews, cousins and also friends.
Juanita will be missed so very much.
Graveside service will be held Saturday, Oct. 10 at 11 a.m., Key West Cemetery. Pastor Ozzie Vater presiding. Castillo and Thurston handled the arrangements.
MARK EDWARD MOONEY
“The Living Angel” Nov. 19, 1960 - Oct. 1, 2015
On Oct. 1, Mark went home to his Loving Creator. All who knew him will deeply miss him. Mark was always quick with a smile and a hand; and a genuine desire to know you. Mark’s true nature was that he loved people and showed this in the way he lived his life. We love you and will miss you. Your Key West friends and family.
Born in Cranston, Rhode Island, Mark leaves behind his beloved family, his mother Marilyn, five sisters and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held this Saturday, Oct. 10 at 404 Virginia St. All are welcome for food and fellowship.
July 14, 1950-Sept. 30, 2015
The poet and scholar Seabrook Wilkinson died in his bed in Old Town Key West on Sept. 30 after a long illness characterized by circulatory problems.
Seabrook, as he was known to his literary contacts and all his friends in Key West, was born John Charles Valley in Pickens, South Carolina, on July 14, 1950, the son of Betty Black Valley Ellison and Charles Julius Valley and, after his father’s early death, stepson of Bob Ellison. He was the grandson of Joseph Tribble and Sara Ellen Black and Dr. John Leslie Valley and Jennie Valley of Pickens. As a way to honor his relation to South Carolina history, beginning in 1971 he took on other names from his ancestral lineage, eventually settling on Charles Pinckney Seabrook Wilkinson, and then finally just Seabrook Wilkinson, as his preferred pen name. At one point in his academic career he was known as John Charles Pinckney Rutledge Seabrook Wilkinson-Valley (JCPRSW-V), which his best friend from his 20-year sojourn in Scotland, David Watt, says led to his being fondly called “the amazing bunch of initials.”
His scholarly career was distinguished. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, in Fine Arts, 1971, and from Oxford University with a master of Arts, First Class, in Theology, 1973. From there he took a position in the English Department of Fettes College in Edinburgh, one of the finest public (that is, private) schools in Great Britain, and served for many years as head of the department. He had an outstanding reputation as an inspiring teacher and is credited with sending more of his students on to Oxford and Cambridge than any teacher at Fettes before him. He was also known as an excellent visual artist, with his personally designed and hand-painted Christmas cards a valued series for family and friends. In 1992 he returned to South Carolina to do advanced graduate work in literature at the University of South Carolina. He taught briefly at the College of Charleston, but turned increasingly to writing, publishing reviews and essays for The Charleston Mercury and working on his first volume of poems.
Seabrook began visiting Key West in the mid-1990s and moved here permanently in 2007, the year his first book of poems, “A Local Habitation,” was published in Charleston. He continued to refine his poetry, receiving a grant from the Florida Keys Council of the Arts to publish his second book, “A Resident Alien: Key West Poems,” in 2013. In the last months of his life he was working on a third volume of poems, expected to appear posthumously through Seastory Press.
Seabrook was active in the Episcopal church throughout his life, and felt a calling to the priesthood that was never fulfilled. He was a lay reader, choir member and Vestry member in churches wherever he lived, including both St. Paul’s and St. Peter’s Episcopal churches in Key West, and, in his private devotions, continued to enjoy reading the daily lessons in Greek to the end of his life
Seabrook is survived by his sister, Jennifer Ellen Valley Rauh (husband William) of Florence, South Carolina; three nephews: Dr. William Jonathan Rauh, Ph.D of Columbia, Adam Richard Rauh (wife Shannon), a great nephew (Wyatt Stephen Rauh) of Athens, Georgia, Charles Joshua Rauh (wife Molly) of Chicago; and his many friends in Key West, Charleston, and Scotland. For more on his life as a writer and scholar in Charleston, see the loving obituary by the editor of The Charleston Mercury.
A memorial service will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church sometime this month. Donations in his memory may be made to either St. Paul’s or St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.
JOSEPH F. AYALA
Joseph Franklin Ayala, formerly of Key West, passed away Sept. 30. Services will be held Friday, Oct. 9, 2015, at Hiss United Methodist Church in Baltimore, Maryland. Viewing and a reception will take place from 10 to 11:30 a.m. with the service to follow at noon. “Joe” was special to so many with his gift of music. Among his many talents he served as a church music director, entertainer, song writer, and music director of Senior Star Showcase. He is survived by his wife Homeretta; two sons, Jared and Bozhidar, his grandson Atticus, and his sister Kathy Rupp.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church for the organ restoration fund. Mail to: MVP 10 East Mount Vernon, Baltimore, Maryland 21202.
THOMAS R. DONOHUE
Thomas R. Donohue, 70, of Key West, Florida, passed away on Aug. 25, 2015 in the Vitas Hospice Center at the University of Miami Hospital in Miami, Florida after a lengthy and complicated illness. While he left us too soon, Tom lived a full and interesting life, with many adventures along the way.
Tom is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Kathy Donohue, and his four children: Tom Donohue, Jr. (and Kate) of Boston, Massachusetts, Morley Donohue Wittenberg (and Todd) of Aurora, Colorado, Reese Donohue of Brooklyn, NY, and Coert Donohue of Los Angeles, California. Tom is also survived by four grandchildren: Graham, Meyer and Finley Wittenberg (Aurora, Colorado) and Margaret (Maggie) Donohue (Boston, Massachusetts). In addition, Tom is also survived by his brother, William Donohue (and Denise) of Dewitt, Michigan and three nephews.
Tom was born in Alamogordo, New Mexico on June 2, 1945 to Ray and Dorothy Donohue, who preceded him in death. He was raised in Cleveland, Ohio, along with his brother, Bill. The family especially enjoyed spending summers on Catawba (on the shores of Lake Erie) and boating to Put-in-Bay island where they enjoyed many fun and memorable times with family and friends.
Tom graduated from John Marshall High School in Cleveland, Ohio in 1963. He then graduated from Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, Ohio) in 1967 where he earned both his bachelor’s and his master’s degrees.
His love of water and adventure led him to Key West, where he taught at Key West High School from 1968-69. Tom left Key West to pursue his goal of becoming a university professor. Tom was awarded the first Ph.D. in the Speech and Communication Department at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst, Massachusetts).
Tom had a distinguished career as a professor. He was known to admit that he chose his universities based on places he wished to live. For that reason, he was an instructor at the University of Massachusetts; (Amherst, MA); assistant professor at the University of New Orleans; assistant professor, associate professor and then full professor (proudly at the age of 31) at the University of Hartford, where he was eventually appointed Department Chair. Tom took a one-year leave of absence from academia to work as a vice president for Lou Harris and Associates in New York City (a prominent public opinion and marketing research firm).
After his stint with Lou Harris, Tom went on to become a Department Chair at the University of Kentucky (Lexington, Kentucky). He returned to the East to become a departmental director at Boston University. Tom concluded his academic career at Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, Virginia), where during his tenure he served as a director and a full professor. He retired in May 2011.
During his university career, Tom was recognized as a prominent scholar in understanding the effects of mass media on children. In addition, he was a successful producer of a children’s television program (”Kids Like You and Me”) that aired in Richmond, Virginia.
Although his career in academia took him many places, Tom knew that Key West would always remain part of his life, so he purchased a condo at Key West by the Sea in the mid-1970s. His parents followed him to live in Key West and in the 1980s, Tom and his mom (Dorothy) owned and operated “Tom’s Mom’s Wine and Cheese” store in Searstown.
Tom traveled widely throughout the United States and abroad. Because of his love of food and wine, Tom’s favorite places to visit were France, Italy, and New Orleans (where he kept an apartment in the French Quarter for many years). He was an excellent chef and he enjoyed nothing more than cooking for friends and family and introducing them to new cuisines. Some of his exceptional dishes were conch chowder and gumbo.
An avid sports car enthusiast Tom loved road trips. He had a revolving collection of convertibles — mostly British, including MGs, Triumphs, Austin Healeys, BMWs, Saabs and, most recently, a Jaguar.
Tom was also a sports fan, avid reader and sailor. He enjoyed family sailing trips in Turkey, Greece, the BVI, Leeward Islands and waters of New England. He was a highly disciplined runner throughout his life and he ran five miles per day up until the last three years of his life. He was a high school football player and was a varsity letterman at Bowling Green State University. Being from Cleveland, he endured a love/hate relationship with the Cleveland Browns throughout the years.
Above all, Tom enjoyed lively and witty conversations with his many colorful friends. While in Key West, Tom formed enjoyable friendships with Walter Perry (noted First Amendment attorney), and Sir Peter Anderson (Secretary General of the Conch Republic). Tom was gifted in the art of conversation and was described by a friend as a “memorable ranconteur.” He was well known for his ability to disarm perfect strangers to the point where they would say “I don’t know why I’m telling you all this!”
During his retirement in Key West, Tom amused himself by writing a witty, tongue-in-cheek blog about the absurdities of life in Key West. He had over 1,000 subscribers from all over the world reading his blog.
To his great fortune, Tom attended his 40th high school reunion in 2003 where he reunited with his first love and high school sweetheart, Kathy Scheidemantel. After going their separate ways in college, and a 37-year absence from each other, they rekindled their love for each other at the reunion and spent the last 12 years of Tom’s life living an idyllic and fun-filled life together. They retired to Key West in October 2011. In January 2014, Tom and Kathy took a one-month trip to France and were married in Grasse, France (Provence, South of France). Throughout Tom’s long illness, Kathy remained steadfastly by his bedside.
Tom will be deeply missed by his wife, family and friends. He will be most remembered for his witty sense of humor, joie de vivre, and love of Key West. Tom was cremated and a celebration of his life is planned for March 2016.
Because Tom was passionate about his career as an educator, anyone wishing to make a contribution in his memory can send donations to the Take Stock in Children organization. To support the organization locally, checks can be made out to Monroe County Education Foundation, 241 Trumbo Road, Key West, Florida 33040.