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Deaths
In Memoriam

Memorial
Eleanor Read D’Antoni
Eleanor “Ellie” D’Antoni, 82, died Wednesday June 14, 2006 in Dallas, Texas. She was born July 24, 1923 in Colony, Oklahoma. She grew up on a church-owned mission in Oklahoma where her father was a home-missionary to the native born American Indians. A long time resident of Pass Christian, Ellie and her husband Dan had retired to the Gulf Coast from New Orleans in 1973. She moved to Dallas in March of 2005, six months prior to Hurricane Katrina. Ellie and Dan were active members of First Presbyterian Church of Bay St. Louis, the Pass Christian Golf Club and the Pass Christian Yacht Club. Ellie loved to play golf and sing. She had been an active member of her church choir and a local acappella group.
Ellie was preceded in death by two husbands Pete Rogers and E.S. “Dan” D’Antoni, her parents, Katherine Wauchope Read and Rev. John Leighton Read, two sisters Mary Saunders and Katherine Ann Hughes. She is survived by her sister Betty Read Dillion, of Westminster Colorado, her brother John Leighton Read of Palo Alto, California; four sons, William (Bill) D’Antoni of Houma, Louisiana, Richard R. D’Antoni of Dallas, Texas, Mark S. D’Antoni of Vancouver, British Columbia, and Wayne L. D’Antoni of Fort Collins, Colorado; eight grandchildren and one great grandchild. A memorial service will be held Monday June 19, 2006 at 2 PM at the First Presbyterian Church in Bay St. Louis.
Ellie loved the Lord and we take great comfort in knowing that she is home with him now. In lieu of flowers the family request memorial donations be given to the First Presbyterian Church of Bay St. Louis, 114 Ulman Ave. Bay St. Louis, Mississippi 39520. First Presbyterian also serves as a Hurricane Katrina Relief Center.

Posted on Fri, Feb. 03, 2006
Leroy and Chieko Hilber
Leroy Hilber
Leroy Hilber was an animal lover, and he spent his retirement years working with abused animals and wounded wildlife.
Hilber worked at the Humane Society of South Mississippi until 2003 caring for dogs, and fixing up the kennel.
Leroy, 64, and his wife, Chieko, 75, died at their Pass Christian home on Wenmar Avenue as Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Coast.
Kyle Alsleben, a supervisor at the humane society kennel, said Leroy, a military veteran, worked for several years at the kennel and often donated a portion of his paycheck to pay for supplies, training for coworkers and books on animal care. Leroy also took time to volunteer with the Wildlife Rehabilitation and Nature Preserve Society.
"This was his fun job, as he explained it," Alsleben said.
Leroy had undergone a tracheotomy and could not speak. To communicate, he wrote everything down. But his disability did not stop him from caring for animals.
"It seemed like he could still communicate with the animals," Alsleben said. "It was like they knew he couldn't talk. They communicated telepathically."
Alsleben said in the mornings before the kennel opened, Leroy would occasionally take some of the Chows out to run and play.
"He was a Chow person," Alsleben said. "He will definitely be missed by the animal community."
Chieko Hilber
Wenmar Avenue neighbor Al Bourgeois described Chieko as a kind and quiet woman of Asian descent.
Occasionally, he would see her walking up the street to visit another neighbor, who was known on the block as a storyteller.
Chieko, like her husband, was known to have a compassionate heart for animals.
"She loved wildlife," said Bourgeois. "She would leave food for the neighborhood birds and squirrels."
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Posted on Mon, Jan. 09, 2006
William W. Morris of Pass Christian
Never mind that William W. Morris lived in a travel trailer smaller than some of FEMA's, because that's how he wanted it, said his longtime friend and neighbor, Betty Bowen of Pass Christian.
He lived for the dogs that he raised, she said, which were housed in three or four igloos inside his fenced yard.
He would have never left his trailer and never left his dogs, she said.
"When I saw that name (on the Katrina fatality list), I had a crushed feeling," she said.
Her friend, "Mr. Will," 75, lived on the beachfront on old U.S. 90. He is remembered as reclusive, yet kind and considerate to all.
"We had Bayview Marina by Annie's and he'd ride his bicycle down to get ice from us all summer," Bowen said. "It was always, 'Good morning. How are you?' to everybody along the way. People like that, you just don't find too many of."
"A lot of people thought he was just an old man that loved dogs," Bowen said. "That's not quite right. This man has a lot of property and other businesses in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. To look at him, you'd think he was the dirt-poorest man on Earth, but he wasn't. Uh-uh. He was very well-educated. He was very wealthy. He lived off a trust fund and never worked a day in his life; never had to.
"The people that knew him all cared for him. He'll never be forgotten."
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Posted on Thu, Dec. 22, 2005
Arthur and Jean Hyatt fell in love on the water
Arthur Hyatt
Arthur and Jean Hyatt's friends are fond of telling the story of their courtship.
In 1998, Jean Collins, a widow, and Arthur Hyatt, a widower, went on a Mediterranean cruise with some Pass Christian friends.
"Nobody set them up," Malee Hearin said, "but by the time we got home, we knew something was cooking. They tried to keep it quiet, but they were like kids."
Arthur Hyatt, 76, and Jean, 71, his wife of seven years, died on Aug. 29, but they shared a love for travel and the water.
"Arthur was quite a sailor," Hearin said. "He had diabetes late in life and didn't get around very well. They had some good years together."
Arthur Hyatt spent his childhood in New Orleans and had two children from his first marriage.
"He did quite a bit of fishing," Marion Claire Simpson said.
Jean Collins Hyatt
The Hyatts continued to travel after their wedding, but Jean Hyatt also was at home in the kitchen.
"She liked to cook," Simpson said. "She was a wonderful friend."
Hearin used to enjoy shopping trips with her friend.
"Jean was a remarkable woman, a real New Orleans lady," Hearin said. "She loved to go shopping, and she could barter. She was a great cook, and she took good care of (Arthur)."
They shared more than their golden years, Hearin said.
"(Arthur) really adored her," she said.
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Posted on Fri, Dec. 16, 2005
For Marsdens, opposites do attract
Ruth Marsden
Ruth Rae Marsden was almost as sweet on life as she was on her apple crisp parfait, whose recipe she included in the family reunion cookbook some 20 years ago.
"She loved sweets, but that's a family failing. We all do," said her cousin Lee Igoe Bruce of Abingdon, Md. "If you could bake it and add ice cream, you'd find 25 people in the family stand up and cheer."
But the family joie de creme glacee blossomed into a full-blown joie de vivre in Ruth. Love saturated her life - her husband, her family, cooking and needlework - all were sewn together to create the warm quilt in which she would wrap herself.
"She was the person who would enter into whatever the day brought forth," Bruce said. "She was very friendly and outgoing. She never met a stranger."
Of all of the almost eight decades she was on Earth, Ruth was with her husband, Chuck, for six of them. Family memories of the Marsdens are recollected in the plural, as they are remembered as an inseparable unit more than two distinct individuals.
"They held hands whenever they were together," said Caroline Rudisill, Bruce's daughter. "They loved each other without reserve. They loved to laugh."
Chuck Marsden
Charles Everett Marsden was a fly-boy. The impulse to leave terra firma behind to commune with the clouds had been in his blood since being a pilot during World War II.
"One of the last times I talked to him, he said that if he had millions, he would buy a ticket to go into space," said his cousin, Lee Igoe Bruce of Abingdon, Md.
But if flight left its indelible mark on his soul, the war did not.
"He had an absolutely quiet, gentle nature," said Bruce.
Though flight was his passion, along with wood working, his love for his wife, Ruth Rae Marsden, was his reason for being.
Theirs was a storybook romance from a different time. He was a recently returned veteran, she had just graduated from high school. They met on the steps of her uncle's house in Pennsylvania. After a two-year courtship, they were married. They lived in a trailer at Penn State while he got his aeronautical engineering degree. She worked as a waitress to put food on the table while he went back to school.
The years slid by. The Marsdens added to their family with two daughters. The group eventually settled in Pass Christian.
The marriage was solid, not because the two had so much in common, but because they were polar opposites.
"He was quiet, she was noisy," Bruce said. "He was understated, she was overstated. He was a blond, she was a brunette. But it worked."Posted on Thu, Dec. 15, 2005
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Janice Smith, book lover
PASS CHRISTIAN - Janice Decorte Smith loved reading and being in the kitchen.
These two loves combined into an extensive cookbook collection that her son, Jeremy Smith, said was one of her prized possessions.
Despite the impressive array of options, one of the simplest dishes was her favorite, Jeremy said.
"Meatloaf was always the best thing she cooked," Jeremy said.
Jeremy and friend Michael Ramirez would save their money and take Smith, 40, and Smith's mother, Rosemary Decorte, 73, out to dinner, since Smith sometimes cared for the three of them and two other children, son Freddie Ashley Jr. and daughter Janelle Ashley.
Smith would frequently unwind by reading a wide variety of books, Jeremy said. The last thing Jeremy said he remembers her reading was a Christian devotional book.
Ramirez said he talked to Smith shortly before the storm. Smith told him she and her mother would stay because she had survived Hurricane Camille and Katrina would not be as bad.
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Posted on Wed, Dec. 14, 2005
Mr. Guy T. Valvano, known as "Mr. Tony" or "Tony" of Pass Christian, Mississippi and Dunmore, Pennsylvania, died during Hurricane Katrina. He was born August 7, 1921 and buried November 5, 2005 at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Dunmore, Pennsylvania.
He was the beloved brother of Pat of Colorado, Mike of New Jersey and John of Dunmore, Pennsylvania. He was the cherished Uncle of many nieces, nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews.
Mr. Tony was a graduate of the University of Scranton and had served in World War II. He worked for W.T. Grant, Commercial Credit and Midland Bank. During his fifty-year career, he had lived or worked in all 48 continental states. He made many friends due to his kind and compassionate demeanor. Throughout the years, he would always remember each friend or family member's birthday, anniversary and all important events with a card and a personal note. His greatest joy in life was to do for others. He was a true gentleman. Any person fortunate enough to have met him will never forget him. He had that rare gift to make every person feel special and important.
A beautiful funeral mass at St. Rocco's Church in Dunmore, the church in which he grew up, celebrated his life. Family and friends packed the church to honor this magnificent man. It was an exquisite tribute. He will be loved always and missed forever.
Any information regarding Mr. Tony would be appreciated. His family can be contacted by calling Claire or Nick Valvano in New Jersey at 201-265-2035.
Tony Valvano, captain of kind
Tony Valvano, 84, of Pass Christian, who always sent a card with a personal note to family and friends on their special occasions, wrote a final letter before the storm to his friend Tammy Walker of Gulfport. She read it after the storm.
"He told me," Walker said, "
'I am thankful John is going to get you away from the storm. I'm the captain of this boat, and I'm going to ride it out.'
"He would have stayed no matter how bad it was," Walker said.
That's the reason he died, said his friend, John Hans of Gulfport. "He felt that it was his job to be the captain of the ship for the Penthouse Apartments" where he lived. "He wanted to stay to make sure everybody was safe."
And that's the kind of person he was, extra sensitive, someone who made friends easily and seemed to care deeply for each one of them, Hans said.
"He tried to help everyone he could," Walker said. "You couldn't ever ask for a better person to have known." She said he loved the seagulls and fed them at least every other day; and he loved to go out and eat, forever looking for the best food in town.
Family members in New Jersey said he "had that rare gift to make every person feel special and important."
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Posted on Sat, Dec. 03, 2005
Donald L. Doherty, our beloved Dad, entered into the presence of the Lord on August 29, 2005, as a result of Hurricane Katrina in Pass Christian, MS. He was a native of Rhinelander, Wisconsin, and was 81 years of age.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley J. Doherty.
Mr. Doherty is survived by his two daughters, Kathleen "Kathe" Sauer and her husband, J. Scott Sauer, of Grafton, WI, and Karen Collier and her husband, David Collier, of Bothell, WA; and nine grandchildren, Kristen, Lesley and Laura Sauer of Grafton, WI, Travis, Hollynd and J. Brian Prosek of Bothell, WA, and Danielle and Caleb Quick of Bothell, WA.
Don and Shirley moved to Pass Christian in 1993 from Cedarburg, WI, after Dad's retirement and their two year travel adventure across the United States.
To all of Dad's and Mom's friends on the Gulf Coast who gave friendship and support, played bridge and enjoyed conversation, for those who looked out for Dad in Belle Rose, to the People's Bank, Gulfport Memorial Hospital and the VA Medical Center, we Thank You.
"A heart of gold stopped beating, two brown eyes are at rest; God broke our hearts to prove to us, He only takes the best. God knew you had to leave us, but you did not go alone; for part of us went with you, the day God took you home. To some you'll be forgotten, to some a part of the past; but to those who loved and lost you, your memory will always last." (Adapted, author unknown).
A Memorial service will be held at Riemann Memorial Funeral Home, Hwy. 49N, Gulfport (Orange Grove), on Friday, October 7, 2005, 4:00 p.m., where friends may visit one hour prior.
Interment will be in the Biloxi National Cemetery.
Donald Doherty loved his dogs
Donald Doherty was a special father, grandfather and friend.
"He loved his family, and he and my mother (Shirley) always loved their cocker spaniels," said his daughter, Karen Doherty Collier, of Wisconsin. "He enjoyed playing bridge with my mom."
The 81-year-old Doherty moved to Pass Christian because of the beach and warm weather in 1993 after he retired from the insurance business in Wisconsin.
"When he retired, he and my mom put everything in storage and traveled for two years before settling in Pass Christian. My dad never met a stranger, he was a special man," Collier said.
Donald's other daughter, Kathe Sauer, also of Wisconsin, said the past few years had been tough for him.
"In June he had to put down his cocker spaniel, Megan, and that got to him. Two years ago, mom passed away and then Megan, that really got to him.
"There's so much about my dad that we will miss and we love him. But he loved it down there and was happy."
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Posted on Sat, Nov. 26, 2005
Ione Russell had a zest for life and a delicious, irreverent sense of humor," said friend Lorraine Bowes.
Russell was known for her wit. She loved to laugh and could see the comedy in almost any situation.
The relish she took in life was evident in her love of travel, local politics, her church and tennis.
"She was a huge tennis fan. If you called and tennis was on television, she couldn't talk to you," said one family member.
Russell had deep roots in Pass Christian, where her father managed a seafood factory at the harbor, one brother worked in the post office and another brother was elected city clerk and tax collector before Russell herself was appointed to take over for him. She was the first appointed, rather than elected, to those positions in the city's history.
Prior to Aug. 29, Russell also held the honor of being the oldest living former queen of the Pass Christian Mardi Gras. Her daughter, Sheila Francer, later also served as a queen, making them the first mother-daughter queens.
Ione Russell, 90, of Pass Christian, died Aug. 29, 2005, in Long Beach. Memorials may be sent to St. Paul Catholic School in Pass Christian. Riemann Mem. F.H., Gpt., is in charge of arrangements.
Published in The Sun Herald on 11/10/2005.


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Posted on Thu, Nov. 24, 2005
Renaissance man loved Coast
PASS CHRISTIAN - Bill Shraberg fell in love with the Gulf Coast when he moved to New Orleans to work as an administrative law judge.
When he retired, he bought a two-story brick home in Pass Christian, a house he had recently renovated, hurricane shutters included. He thought he would be safe in his home during Katrina and reportedly told friends, "I want to be here when CNN is here."
But after hanging onto a tree and being battered by wind, rain and sand for five hours, Shraberg, 61, suffered a heart attack the morning after Katrina and died.
"I think he just felt that he had all this money in his house, and he was retired and on a fixed income," said Shraberg's brother. "I guess he couldn't perceive life without his home. He loved where he was."
Friends and family remember him as a well-rounded man who loved politics, playing bridge, working out and reading. Shraberg was the organist for First Presbyterian Church in Bay St. Louis and a classical pianist.
He also enjoyed French wine, and his brother found one intact bottle on Shraberg's house's clean foundation.
"He had a really good life," David Shraberg, a physician in Lexington, Ky., said. "He was very well-liked and was a happy guy. He was a musician and played the church organ. He enjoyed politics and was very well-educated. He was a pretty well-rounded guy."
William Leonard Shraberg, born November 19, 1943, died August 29, 2005 in Pass Christian, MS. Bill perished in his beloved home overlooking the Gulf during Hurricane Katrina. He was born and grew up in Lexington, Kentucky.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Hyman and Bess Shraberg; and his sister, Nancy Shraberg Marx.
He is survived by his brother, David Shraberg M.D. of Lexington, KY; nieces and nephews, Judy and Brian Bernardi (Robert and Natalie) of Louisville, KY, Ginger Marx and Katie Bain (Jacob) of Louisville, KY, Zachary, Aaron, Elizabeth and Sarah Shraberg, all of Lexington, KY, and Joshua Shraberg of New Orleans, LA.
Bill graduated from Henry Clay High School and the University of Rochester with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. Following two years of service with the US Army in Berlin, he was honorably discharged and then obtained a Masters Degree in Education from Memphis State University. He then obtained a Juris Doctrine from the UK College of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review. He then served for many years as an Administrative Law Judge for the US Department of Hearings and Appeals until his retirement to Pass Christian.
Bill will be remembered as an accomplished classical pianist and organist, as well as his love for reading writing and composing. In addition to his many letters to the local Sun Herald, he delighted for many years providing services as the church organist for the First Presbyterian Church in Bay St. Louis, MS.
He will be missed by many friends and family whose lives he has touched. Memorial Services will be held at a later date. Donations in his honor are encouraged for the Gulf Coast survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Honorary pallbearers are John King of Lexington, KY, Bill and Analyn Knobles of Meridian, MS, Louis Byron of New Orleans, LA, and Ronald O. and Vicki A. Sullivan of Albuquerque, NM.
Riemann Memorial Funeral Home, Hwy. 49 N, Orange Grove is in charge of the arrangements.
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Posted on Tue, Nov. 22, 2005
Kindness -- a way of life for Charlie and Betty Kerr
Betty Kerr
Betty Kerr was the kind of neighbor who knew how to make people feel welcome.
"I'd have coffee with them," Jennifer Noll said. "They liked seeing my children. Betty couldn't get around well toward the end, so I'd bring my children over."
Kerr, 75, and her husband, Charlie, moved to the Coast from St. Louis in 1994. They died on Aug. 29, but they are remembered as a kindly, decent couple who liked to work in their yard.
"They kept a very neat yard with citrus trees," Noll said. "Betty liked to read. She always fussed that her magnolia tree wouldn't bloom."
Charlie Kerr
The yard was Charlie Kerr's passion, according to Noll.
"Charlie grew oranges and tangerines," Noll said. "He liked to do yardwork. It kept him busy."
Noll was the Kerrs' neighbor for the last four years. They'd go out from time to time, she said, usually to church or out to dinner.
"They were the nicest people in the world," Noll said. "They kept an eye out for me and my kids when my husband was away on business. They reminded me of my grandparents.
"They'll always be together."
Charles "Charlie" Wilson Kerr and Elizabeth "Betty" Kerr entered into the presence of the Lord on August 29, 2005, as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Preceded in death by son James "Jimmy" Douglas Kerr.
Survived by daughter and son-in-law Christine "Chris" and Marty Thomas of Henderson, NV, son and daughter-in-law Charles W. "Chuck" and Linda Kerr of Murfreesboro, TN, grandson and granddaughter-in-law Chadwick T. "Chad" and Lindy Kerr of Spartanburg, SC, aunt Lola G. Foster of Pass Christian, MS.
The Kerrs moved to Pass Christian, MS in 1994 from St. Louis, MO after their retirement. Upon their relocation to the MS Gulf Coast, Betty was employed at Manpower Temporary Services at the Gulfport office of Mississippi Power Co. The employees at MS Power held a very special place in her heart for the kindness they always bestowed upon her and her husband, Charlie.
A memorial service will be held 4:00 p.m. Thursday, September 22, 2005, at Riemann Memorial Funeral Home, Hwy 49N, Orange Grove, MS.
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Posted on Tue, Nov. 15, 2005
Norma Jean (Parker) Trimmer
"Grandchildren, dog special to Trimmer"
Norma Jean (Parker) Trimmer was proud of her British citizenship and Scottish upbringing. She also loved her dream home on the beach in Pass Christian, but more than anything, she loved her family and her dog, JD.
Trimmer, 66, cherished any time she could spend with her four grandchildren, even if it was a phone call, said her son Dan Addabbo, and with her family scattered throughout the United States and England it was hard to get together as much as she would have liked.
A few years ago she got to take a cruise with her two Florida grandchildren, and a high point in her life came last year when she traveled to England with Addabbo and her two Minnesota grandchildren to visit family.
"It really meant a lot to her to have her brothers and sister and their families meet her grandchildren," Addabbo said.
Because she didn't want to leave her dog, Trimmer rode Katrina out at home.
"She will be greatly missed by her family, friends and little dog, JD," Addabbo said.
Note: Her dog, JD, survived and is with her son and grandchildren in Minnesota.
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Posted on Sat, Nov. 04, 2005
Arthur Meunier III, 63, of Pass Christian died August 29, 2005, Pass Christian. Memorial Service: 4 PM, Saturday, November 5, 2005, Lockett-Williams Mortuary, Inc., Gulfport.
Arthur Meunier loved fishing
"Tanna" had a peculiar habit that it would be hard to envision anybody else having.
He would put change - old money, he told his daughter - in a sock, tie it to his belt and put it in his back pocket.
Arthur Meunier III, 63, of Pass Christian, died Aug. 29, but was not identified as a victim of Hurricane Katrina until this week.
"Nobody would know him as Arthur," said his daughter Lollie Meunier-Lawson, of Jacksonville, Fla. Friends and family called him Tanna.
"He was very easy-going and fun, just real laid-back," she said about her father, who she described as an unassuming man who enjoyed spending his time fishing.
She said that for as long as she can remember, that was one of his passions. He would frequently fish or go crabbing with her uncle, she said.
"He kind of kept to himself. He didn't bother anyone," said his daughter. - DAVID TORTORANO
Posted Nov 4 from Penthouse POA
Guy T. Valvano, 84 of Dunmore, Pa. and Pass Christian, Ms, died Aug 29 during the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina.
"Mr. Guy" lived at Penthouse Condominiums. He was known throughout the community for always wanting to help others. While many begged him to evacuate his choice was to stay in his home. He will be greatly missed. His mass will be celebrated Saturday, November 5th at 10:00 a.m. at St. Roccco's Church in Dunmore. Interment will take place in Mount Carmel Cementery.
Posted on Sat, Nov. 19, 2005
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Helen and Nelson Lang
Posted Nov 1, 2005
Mrs. Helen Roberts Lang, 72, of Pass Christian, MS, died Monday, August 29, 2005, along with her husband, Nelson C. Lang, in Hurricane Katrina related circumstances.
Mrs. Lang was a native of Biloxi and a lifelong resident of the coast. She was a member of St. Paul Catholic Church in Pass Christian and a graduate of Our Lady of the Lake College in San Antonio, Texas.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Eugene J. and Mary "Sweet" Gardemal Roberts; a sister, Mary Louise Gibson and two brothers, Eugene J. "Buddy" Roberts, Jr. and James W. Roberts.
Survivors include two sisters, Beatrice Roberts Uher of Hattiesburg and Hazel Roberts Aucoin of St. Martin, and four brothers, George A. "Flitter" Roberts of Ocean Springs; Roland T. Roberts of Ocean Springs; Ronald F. Roberts of St. Martin and Patrick Roberts of Biloxi. Mass of Christian Burial will be held 12 noon Thursday, November 3, 2005, at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Biloxi where friends may call one hour before service time. Burial will follow in Biloxi National Cemetery.
Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home, O'Neal Road, Gulfport, is in charge of arrangements.
View & sign register book at www.bradfordokeefe.com.
Helen Lang
At age 22, Helen Roberts Lang fulfilled her childhood dream of becoming a nun, but in her mid-30s she made a life change and became a full-time elementary school teacher.
Over the years, she taught in Vicksburg, Biloxi and Pass Christian, her longtime city of residence.
"She loved children, but never had any of her own," said her sister, Hazel Roberts Aucoin. "Her nieces and nephews were her children. She was forever buying the little ones something."
Helen met Nelson Lang when she moved back from her Vicksburg teaching job, and in the early stages of their relationship, she helped him renovate a family home. Dancing, children (though they had none of their own) and Mardi Gras were important in their shared life.
"She loved her teaching, and she loved Nelson Lang very much," Aucoin said.
Nelson and Helen, 72, had been married for 25 years when they died together in Hurricane Katrina.
Nelson Corr "Nip" Lang died in Hurricane Katrina along with his wife of 25 years, Helen Roberts Lang, formerly of Biloxi. Mr. Lang was born May 9, 1929 and lived his full life in Pass Christian. He and his wife were both lost in the destruction of their home on August 29, 2005.
He was the son of E.A. Lang and Anna Hire Lang both of whom predeceased. He was also predeceased by a younger brother, Gordon Corr Lang, who died as an infant.
He is survived by two older brothers, John Hire Lang and Eaton A. Lang, Jr., both of Pass Christian, and by numerous nieces and nephews.
He was a graduate of St. Stanislaus College Prep, Bay St. Louis and Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. Most of his business life was spent in the Real Estate and General Insurance Business in Pass Christian.
During the Korean War he spent four years in the U.S. Navy as an electricians mate on the submarine U.S.S. Medregal (SS480).
Mr. Lang was a long term active member of the Pass Christian Rotary Club where he was particularly active in Boy Scout Troop 216, which was the troop sponsored by that Rotary Club. He held an outstanding record of having over forty years of perfect attendance at the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club. He was a Catholic and had served as both usher and eucharistic minister at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Pass Christian.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Mr. Lang and his wife, Helen, will be held Thursday, November 3, 2005 , at 12 noon at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Biloxi where friends may call from 11:00 a.m. until the Mass. Burial will follow in Biloxi National Cemetery.
Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home, O'Neal Road, Gulfport is in charge of arrangements.
View and sign register book at www.bradfordokeefe.com.
Nelson Lang
Nelson "Nip" Lang was a true hurricane veteran.
The 76-year-old was a past co-director of the civil defense department in Pass Christian, the city where he spent his life and where he was proud to be a perfect-attendance Rotarian.
In 1947, Lang tried to evacuate several sailboats from an approaching hurricane, but when the boats broke loose he had to dodge debris, including flying wood from bridges, just to make it through the storm.
Twenty-two years later, he made it through Hurricane Camille. His house did, too, so he, like so many other Katrina victims, thought it would be safe.
The Langs had both been in failing health before the storm. Family members urged he and Helen to leave, but they didn't. Nelson could be heard on the phone saying he had made it through Camille.

Posted Tuesday, Oct 11
J. Anthony "Tony" Brugger, Pass Christian
Sept. 20, 1940 - Aug. 29, 2005
Born in Fon du Lac, Wis.
It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Tony, beloved husband of 37 years of Diane (Pontius) Brugger and dearest father of Mr. and Mrs. Mike and Kristin (Brugger) Frith, Redlands, Calif., and Mr. and Mrs. John and Kathy (Brugger) Volkman, Gulfport.
Tony graduated from Marquette University H.S., Milwaukee, served in the U.S.M.C. and retired from the U.S.N. He received his BA from UMSL, MBA from Univ. of Hawaii. During Tony's life he was a CPA, corporate comptroller, and has owned three businesses: F.L. Brugger Co., Tool Serv, and his life's love, Harbour Oaks Inn B&B in Pass Christian, Miss. He will also be greatly missed by his mother-in-law, Evelyn Gainey Pontius, sister and brother-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Dan and Kathy (Pontius) O'Keefe, his nephew Robert H. Miller, his niece Jerri Anne (Miller) Ruiz, all of St. Louis, Mo., and particularly his nephew Tony Higgins, Edmonton, Canada.
The family would like to thank their extended family, friends, business associates, and strangers who have offered their love, prayers, and support during this terrible time.
J. Anthony Brugger of Pass Christian by Kat Bergeron
Tony Brugger met Diane Pontius when they were Missouri volunteers in Eugene McCarthy's presidential bid. When they married, McCarthy sent them a congratulatory telegram.
Hurricane Katrina washed the treasured telegram out of their Harbor Oaks Inn, along with family antiques and years of restoration on the historic 1860 Pass Christian structure.
Brugger and best bud Harley didn't make it out of the collapsing inn. His wife of 37 years and three of their other dogs did.
"We were from the very liberal '60s and living in Mississippi was the furthest thought," said Diane Brugger. "We came to the Coast for a visit with friends, and fell in love with it. We passed the house, all boarded up and home to transients and rodents."
In short, they bought it and with help of family and sweat equity, opened in 1991. Brugger, who contributed his fix-it hands and MBA mind, was as gregarious with B&B guests as his wife, and soon two pet horses, Bucky and Mac, joined them in the back yard to be fed carrots by the guests.
Their friend Philip LaGrange recalls a Kentucky Derby party when Brugger, "a wonderful, laid-back person," showed up with a decked-out Bucky.
- KAT BERGERON
On my visit, I saw Diane Brugger. She told me that she had lost Tony. I felt her pain deep in my heart. She told me that before the house broke apart she could see in his eyes that he didn't want to live though it. So very sad! Samantha Patterson

Posted on Wed, Oct. 05, 2005

Sam Tart and John Matthew Tart
Samuel Francis Tart and his youngest son, Matthew, were inseparable, always laughing and playing together in their Pass Christian home.
The family believes that Tart tried to save 2-year-old Matthew by putting him on a high shelf as the Katrina surge entered.
The 51-year-old father grew up in Gulfport, moved to the Pass a few years ago and loved his longtime job as oceanographer at the Stennis Space Center. With degrees in biology and chemistry from Jackson State University, friends and family remember him as smart but also someone who loved life.
"It will be all right," his favorite expression punctuated with a giant smile, continues to comfort family and friends.
Cicely Tart, a daughter who lives in Meridian, describes him as "a cool, laid-back kind of man who made me laugh a lot." Another daughter, Sherita Taylor of Fayette, remembers how supportive he was when as a scared teenager she told him she was pregnant.
Sam Tart just loved children.
He and his wife Genoveva - who worked during the storm as a medical caregiver - adored their 2-year-old son.
John Matthew, with curly hair and a smile that matched his dad's, was a pistol.
"Matthew was a type of baby that was real active," said Taylor. "He wasn't the type to get on your nerves. You couldn't get mad at him because the stuff he did was really funny."
Posted on Thu, Sep. 29, 2005
Life will be less sweet without Emma
By KAT BERGERON
kbergeron@sunherald.com
BILOXI - With one-sided tears, Hurricane Katrina united two long-lost friends from Germany.
As often happens in post-World War II stories, Emma Anita Seals and Lilo Harris, who grew up in Wiesbaden, Germany, lost contact after they married American soldiers.
"I feel like 50 years have been wasted," Lilo Harris' low voice shook with emotion when she saw the blue casket. "We were only 20 miles apart."
Seals lived on Menge Avenue in Pass Christian; Harris two towns away in Gulfport. The one-sided reunion took place Wednesday at the Biloxi National Cemetery, with 25 people saying goodbye to 81-year-old Seals.
"I knew when I read the obituary that it was Emma," said Harris, also 81. "When I read about 'cursing like a sailor' I knew it was her. She was a little devil when we were kids.
"She was my best friend."
Seals was an apparent victim of the surge that inundated her house and smashed her collection of life's trivia, including a beloved German grandfather clock. She is remembered as a warm, outspoken, generous-to-the-extreme "unique lady" called Oma, German for grandmother.
Her service was attended by a mix of funeral home employees, local and national journalists and friends. Four of the latter were from the Gulfport American Medical Response station, which Seals checked in with almost daily and sent cheesecakes, cookies and opinions.
"She took good care of us so we took good care of her," said paramedic Angela Lewis. "From now on whenever someone does something special for me I will give them a cheesecake in honor of Emma."
Also among mourners was a Pass Christian police dispatcher.
"I'm gonna miss her," Theresa Harris said through tears. "We tried to get her to leave, but she didn't want to leave 'her' animals. She fed the wild and neighborhood animals every day."
Among the funeral attendees, too, was Melanie Allen of Ocean Springs: "I didn't know her, but I was moved by the obituary because I volunteer with wildlife. It was the least I could do to come."
The memorable obituary was written by Natalie Krymski, who grew up across the street from Seals and her retired Air Force husband Jimmy.
"I moved here when I was 7," said Krymski, now a 26-year-old homemaker from Orange Grove. "I remember she was a mystery to everyone with her long black hair. Kids on the bus would say a witch lived there so that got my curiosity. She had a Chihuahua dog, and I decided that was the way to meet her."
The dog did the trick, and they became friends for life.
Also there for the service was a namesake, Emma Johnston, who stood silently, taking in the scene as only a 9-year-old can do.
"My husband mowed Emma's lawn for 18 years," said her mother, Piccola Johnston of Waveland, who clutched a vase of roses. "Emma was like no other. When I became pregnant I knew if it was a girl I would name her Emma."
As the small group reminisced after the eulogy, a laugh arose when they decided that Emma Seals gave Katrina a strong piece of her mind with her last breath.
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Posted on Sun, Sep 25, 2005 -- Sun Herald
Rose DeCorte and Janice DeCorte Smith
Rose DeCorte, age 73, and her daughter, Janice DeCorte Smith, age 40, both residents of Pass Christian, died Monday, August 29, 2005.
Mrs. Rose DeCorte is survived by her son, Mike DeCorte, and his wife, Darlene "Cookie" Ladner, of Long Beach, MS; sister, Dorothy Landry of New Orleans, LA; grandchildren, Jeffery, Samantha and Janice's three children.
Janice DeCorte Smith is survived by her sons, Jeremy Smith of Long Beach, MS and Freddie Ashley, Jr. of San Diego, CA; daughter, Janelle Ashley of San Diego, CA; brother, Mike DeCorte of Long Beach, MS; and ex-husband, Freddie Ashley of San Diego, CA.
A graveside service will be held Monday, September 26, 2005, at 2:00 p.m. in Gulf Pines Memorial Gardens, Long Beach, MS.
Riemann Memorial Funeral Home, Orange Grove is in charge of arrangements.
Posted on Tue, Sep 20, 2005 -- Sun Herald
Charles "Charlie" Wilson Kerr and Elizabeth "Betty" Kerr entered into the presence of the Lord on August 29, 2005, as a result of Hurricane Katrina.
The Kerrs moved to Pass Christian, MS in 1994 from St. Louis, MO after their retirement. Upon their relocation to the MS Gulf Coast, Betty was employed at Manpower Temporary Services at the Gulfport office of Mississippi Power Co. The employees at MS Power held a very special place in her heart for the kindness they always bestowed upon her and her husband, Charlie.
A memorial service will be held 4:00 p.m. Thursday, September 22, 2005, at Riemann Memorial Funeral Home, Hwy 49N, Orange Grove, MS.
Horace "Junior" Necaise, Jr., 78, of Pass Christian, died Thursday, August 29, 2005 in Pass Christian.
He was a dedicated and loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and brother. He was a pillar of the community, loved and respected by many. He touched many lives with his generosity and service to others. He was a very self-sacrificing man.
"Junior" was proud of his career as an ironworker for Local #58 from which he supported his wife of over 55 years, Annie Farragut Necaise, and their seven children and from which he eventually retired. He was also very dedicated to the Pass Christian Volunteer Fire Department where he spent many years serving as Secretary and Treasurer and as an active member. Junior also spent summer months shrimping on his shrimp boats. He loved to be out on the Sound in his boat.
He was very proud of each of his seven children, his 16 grandchildren and one great grandchild. He will be greatly missed but his spirit will live on in all of them.
Horace was preceded in death by his parents: Horace Necaise Sr. and Annie McDonald Necaise; his wife: Annie Lynn Farragut Necaise; and his daughter: Susan Necaise Nicholson.
Posted on Sat, Sep 17, 2005
Sun Herald
Harrison County officials on Friday released the names of 24 people who died in Hurricane Katrina.
They are among 86 who died in Harrison County during the storm. Of those, the names of 13 were released last week. An additional 49 are either unidentified or the coroner's staff has been unable to locate next of kin.
The death toll for the six southern counties is 164 as of Thursday after a body was recovered in Jackson County.
The latest Harrison County victims, though ages and hometowns are not available:
Barney Anderson; Stephen Bell; Margery Brecht; Joseph Brugger; Leven Dawson; John Dickey; Anna Franklin; Pearl Frazier; Danny Gofe; Michael Harris; John Holley; Betty Kerr; Charles Kerr; Norman Kreihn; Debra Law; Scotty Michael; Victoria Moore; James Moultrie; Doris Murphy; Joe Ben Parker; Jack Prather; William Schraberg; Emma Seals; and James Taylor.
Beverly "Babs" Gunnels, 61, a former Miss Illinois and onetime airline stewardess was active in the Episcopal church in Pass Christian.
Posted on Monday, Sep 12 -- Sun Herald
Bobby Ray Necaise of Pass Christian. Visitation at 9 a.m. and services at 11 a.m. all at St. Ann's Catholic Church in Pass Christian today. For more info call MARSHALL FUNERAL HOME.
Horace Necaise, Jr., 78, of Pass Christian, died Aug. 29, 2005, in Pass Christian. Graveside services Tuesday, Sept. 13, in Old DeLisle Cemetery in Harrison County. Riemann Memorial Funeral Home, Orange Grove, is in charge of arrangements.
John Matthew Tart, age 2, of Pass Christian died on Aug. 29, 2005. Service: Noon, Sept. 15, St. Mark United Methodist Church, Gulfport with visitation one hour prior. Burial: Biloxi National Cemetery. Lockett-Williams Mortuary Service is in charge of arrangements.
Samuel Francis Tart, age 51, of Pass Christian died Aug. 29, 2005. Service: Noon, Sept. 15, St. Mark United Methodist Church, Gulfport with visitation one hour prior. Burial: Biloxi National Cemetery. Lockett-Williams Mortuary Service is in charge of arrangements.
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Posted on Sunday, Sep 11
161 Coastal deaths reported; 214 statewide
By Sylvain Metz smetz@clarionledger.com
GULFPORT — The number of confirmed dead in the six-county Gulf Coast region rose to 161 Sunday, bringing to 214 the total known dead in Mississippi from Hurricane Katrina. Col. Joe Spraggins, director of the Harrison County Emergency Management Agency attributed estimates of a higher death toll to some people who were believed to be dead turning up in shelters.
Amber Russell of Pass Christian believed she had lost several family members who lived in nearby Waveland. “I thought my family was dead for a week,” she said. It turned out they were evacuated to a shelter in Georgia.
According to the coroners’ reports, there are 17 confirmed deaths in Pearl River County, one in Stone County, 48 in Hancock County, 85 in Harrison County, 10 in Jackson County and none in George County.
Spraggins also some bodies could still be found under rubble in some areas. The remains of 16 people have been released to family members. The names of those deceased were expected to be made public late Sunday.
Otherwise, local officials from most of the affected areas reported water and sewer service are now working. While water is available for washing and bathing, it is not safe for drinking.


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