Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Charles E. Woodsby

    Charles Edward Woodsby (Charley) passed away peacefully on July 28, 2022 at the age of 91. Charley was a devoted Christian man born in Spartanburg, SC to the late Lucy Sanders and William Dan Woodsby. Charley came from a family of nine where everyone had to pitch in to make ends meet. Charley’s parents worked hard to keep a roof over their heads and bellies full during the Depression, which taught him a valuable lesson. Living through these difficult times motivated him to strive for a better way of life. This drive brought Charley nearly 70 years of success in the restaurant industry.

Charley got his first job at a grocery store when he was 11. At the age of 15, Charley enlisted in the Air Force for three years. He then attended Cecil Business College followed by The Hotel and Restaurant School of New York City, majoring in Hotel and Restaurant Management.

             Charley bought and operated his first restaurant in 1954 at the age of 23 in Atlanta, GA. Two years later he sold that establishment and converted an old grocery store into a 200-seat restaurant. In 1960, he moved to Jacksonville, FL and formed a business partnership that would change the rest of his life.

While in Jacksonville, Charley purchased the Thunderbird Restaurant with his new business partners William and D.C. Darden. Two years later, Charley and his partners bought Gary’s Duck Inn, one of the most famous family restaurants in Orlando. Numerous other restaurants were started by the team in the early sixties including The Green Frog in Adel, GA, The Coach House in Greenville, SC, the Towne House in Columbia, SC and the Old South in Jacksonville, FL. 

             With the success of Gary’s Duck Inn, Charley had a vision for a family style seafood restaurant offering affordable prices. In developing this concept, he applied what he learned to be the three principles of success in his industry: quality, value and service. He felt strongly that a restaurant that offers fine food, served promptly and congenially, at an affordable price, would succeed.

In 1968, Charley and William Darden opened the first Red Lobster in Lakeland, FL. It was an immediate success and within two years, five more Red Lobsters were opened. In 1970, the pair received a generous offer from General Mills Restaurants, Inc. to acquire the business. Charley signed a three year management contract where he helped develop and open 72 Red Lobster locations. As part of his responsibilities, he supervised the corporation’s real estate, construction, purchasing and operations departments. As Red Lobster continued to grow, he developed four regional offices in St. Louis, Atlanta, Dallas and Orlando.

At the age of 42, Charley retired from the General Mills organization but in just one year, he was back in business with his son, Ron. Together they opened the first Talk of the Town Restaurant in Lakeland, FL. Over the next five years, they opened Talk of the Town Restaurants in Winter Haven, Clearwater, St. Petersburg and Orlando. In 1984, they took their restaurants in a new direction and opened a high-end steakhouse using only the highest quality and standards. Ron suggested renaming the restaurants after their founder – and Charley’s Steak House was created. Talk of the Town Restaurants encompassed 10 restaurants with 5 different concepts in Central Florida. They employed nearly 1500 people, making a sizeable impact on the area’s economy.

Charley’s faith was central to his life and guided his many charitable endeavors. Feeling blessed by his success, in 1998 Charley and his first wife, Jean, established a private foundation. Through the foundation, they contributed to numerous ministries throughout Central Florida, the United States and globally. Some of their most gratifying work was done in Honduras where they sponsored 6 children every year, which meant providing healthcare, clothing, food allowances and tuition for their education. They were most proud of funding the building of four churches in Honduras to promote the Christian faith.

Sadly in 2005 Charley lost the love of his life, his wife of 55 years, Jean Harris Woodsby. But God was good and sent him a second soulmate, MaryLou Johnson, and in 2007 they were married. Charley and MaryLou loved to travel both for pleasure and to take the gospel to unreached areas of the world. In recent years the couple has continued the original vision of the foundation by placing their focus on the Jesus Film, a motion picture made in 1979 according to the Gospel of Luke. It has now been translated into over 2,000 languages around the world. When they were not traveling, Charley and MaryLou loved spending their summers away from the Florida heat at their mountain home in Highlands, NC. There they loved playing cards and golf croquet with their many friends. 

Charley was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather to his beautiful family, of which he was very proud. He enjoyed golf, tennis, fishing, swimming and spending time with his family. He will be remembered as a kind, generous, thoughtful, fun-loving friend to all who had the honor of knowing him.

             “My motto has always been quality, value, service and integrity; be honest, be truthful and treat people with respect. My faith has also always been very important to me. I believe God guided me in all directions of my life, putting the right opportunities and the right people before me at the right time.” – Charley Woodsby

Charley is preceded in death by his wife, Jean Harris Woodsby, and grandson Joshua William Parrish.

Charley is survived by his wife, MaryLou Woodsby; children, Ronald Edward Woodsby (Dana), Deborah Woodsby Thrash (John), and Sherry Woodsby Parrish (Earl); stepdaughters, Jennifer Christine Snell (Nate), and Kristin Johnson Levy (Sean); grandchildren, Edward Clark Woodsby (Emily), James Harris Woodsby (Sarah), Shannon Thrash Parrish (Jay), Jennifer Thrash Lassabe (Keith), John Edward Thrash, III (Yesenia), and Nicole Jean Parrish; and step grandchildren, Dylan Hageman, Beckett Snell, Hendrix Snell, Brooklyn Levy, Londyn Levy and Asher Levy. He was also survived by brother, Billy Eugene Woodsby (Joanne) and many nieces and nephews. 

Charley was blessed with 14 precious great-grandchildren, Cora, Ruby, Jasper, Belle, James, Rose, Leila, Jayce, Alex, Madison, Tanner, Aiden, Zyair and Bentley.

On Wednesday, August 3 there will be a Visitation at 10 a.m. and a Celebration of Life at 11 a.m. held in the Henry Chapel at First Baptist Orlando, 3000 S. John Young Parkway, Orlando. A reception will immediately follow. There will be a private family burial.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: One More Child, 1015 Sikes Blvd., Lakeland, FL, 33815. www.onemorechild.org 

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Tessie Peros


        Tess Peros (a.k.a. “Tessie”, a.k.a. “Anastasia”, a.k.a. “Why are you asking me so many questions?”), 83, of Altamonte Springs, Florida, passed away peacefully at home in her sleep on Tuesday, July 26th, 2022.  Her dazzling blue eyes opened for the first time on October 23rd, 1938, the youngest of three children - and the only daughter - born in New York City to John and Stavritsa Ayvas, both Greeks, driven out of their native Turkey during the Greek and Armenian genocide.

        Tess graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, alongside singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka.  She wanted to continue her education to become a kindergarten teacher, but was discouraged by a well-intentioned, but sadly “old world” mother, who repeated the thankfully retired mantra: “What man will ever want you if you have an education?!” 

        And so, she began working a Manhattan music industry office job at famed 1650 Broadway - at which she excelled.  Soon after, at a Greek dance in Brooklyn in 1957, 19-year-old Tess was asked for her phone number by a 24-year-old Greek immigrant rascal named George Peros.  Tess said No.  But when George flashed the same insistent smile and Greek dancing moves at a second dance, she said yes.

        Tess and George were married on September 27th, 1959, had three sons, Michael, John, and Steven (who all sport “George” as their middle name), and in 1968 moved from Brooklyn to North Babylon, New York, where they raised their young family in working class Long Island.

        Tess, an indisputably world class cook of all things Greek, aided George as he founded “GP Painting and Decorating” (later re-christened, “George’s Painting & Decorating”).  Tess became an active member of Babylon’s Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and its Ladies Philoptochos, and alongside George was instrumental in the tireless fundraising that allowed the church to grow from its humble beginnings in a tiny former synagogue to breaking ground on what is today a glorious cathedral in West Babylon.

        As her children grew, Tess worked as a beautician for many years, first in a salon, then privately at her home, and then as a bookkeeper.  But it wasn’t until after “retirement” that she decided to take another stab at what her mom had shot down: working with kindergarten children.  She answered an ad to be a Teacher’s Aid and was hired, enjoying her work more than she ever had in her life. 

Tess is survived by her sons, Michael (Barbara), John (Jim), and Steven (Deana), as well as niece Stephanie, nephews John, Teddy, and Gregory, grand dogs, lots of extended family, and her most precious and loyal Misty.  A viewing and Celebration of Life will be held at Dobbs Funeral Home, 430 N. Kirkman Rd, Orlando, FL 32811, on Sunday, July 31st, from 6pm to 8pm.  Colors and laughter are encouraged.  Funeral services will be held at Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 129 N Halifax Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32118 on August 1st at 11:30am.

        In lieu of flowers, contributions in Tess’s name would be appreciated to Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in West Babylon, NY, or Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Daytona Beach, FL, or St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.  The family would also greatly appreciate an online condolence, with any story or anecdote you wish to share, by visiting this link: http://dobbsobituaires.blogspot.com/2022/07/tess-peros-a.html?m=1

William "Billy" Gundersen

        William “Billy” Gundersen, a resident of Poughkeepsie, NY, passed away at the age of 74 on July 24, 2022 in Clermont, FL. Billy was born on June 10, 1948 to Lucille and William Gundersen in The Bronx, NY. He entered the workforce while in school at the age of sixteen, at a deli, to help support his mother and father, who was a combat wounded veteran of WWII. Billy graduated from Evander Childs High School in The Bronx. Afterwards, he went on to attend Fordham University for one year, then went on to work for NY Tel. He continued to help support his parents but was quickly drafted into the U.S. Army and served one tour in Vietnam. He was honorably discharged shortly after. During his time in Vietnam, still being the generous man he is, Billy sent almost all the money he made back home to his parents. After he returned home from Vietnam, he took some time to pursue his love of travel where he visited several states and countries. Billy went on to work for phone companies in the CWA union for almost 30 years. Being the hard-working provider, he then went on to work for another 14 years as a Conductor for Metro North Railroad and retired at the age of 70. 

Billy met Donna Graf in July of 1982 when they started talking and never stopped. Billy loved talking to Donna almost as much as he loved her, so much so that on their first date they closed a restaurant talking to each other. He was so captivated by her that they only realized the restaurant was closed because they were vacuuming around them. Billy went on to marry Donna on July 23, 1983, at St. Christopher’s Church in Red Hook, NY. While living in Lake Peekskill, NY they had two children, and then a third in Poughkeepsie, NY. Billy’s favorite thing to do in his free time was spend it with his family and going on travel dates to casinos and horse races with Donna. 

Billy is survived by his wife Donna Gundersen and three children, Jennifer Orifici, Billy Gundersen, Christopher Gundersen, his two grandchildren Lucille and Caden Orifici, his son in-law David Orifici, his two sisters Charlotte Tarantino and Debbie Gundersen and his little buddy Mickey the wiener dog. 

Services will be held at 1:30 PM on July 28th at the Family Church Chapel in Windermere. Teaching Pastor Nick Goelz will officiate the services, and a reception will follow for family and close friends. Memorial services can also be viewed at a link to be provided after funeral services. Professional services will be handled by Dobbs Funeral Home in Orlando, FL. Billy was loved by all that met him and we miss him immensely.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Allen Charles Layton

Allen Charles Layton passed away peacefully in his home in Orlando, FL on July 22, 2022. He was born in Detroit, MI, on August 2, 1939, the son of Dr. Charles Layton and Antoinette Layton.. He grew up in Miami and attended S. Broward High School. Al Layton received his initial degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Miami. He then transitioned to major in physics and received his MS in Physics. 

After graduation, he joined Auburn University where he taught physics and did research in electro optics including the interaction of light with surfaces. He accepted an opportunity to join Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control (the heritage Martin Marietta Orlando Aerospace) where he focused on laser development and infrared sensors including thermal night vision systems. This work led to the development of several of the Lockheed Martin’s iconic products that are in use around the world.

He served on four NATO Industry Advisory Committees and has been granted multiple patents and awards including Corporate Inventor of the Year and induction into the Inventors Hall of Fame. His assignments have taken him to numerous foreign countries including Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and the Far East.

His work has been published in juried journals and many other publications. His final assignment prior to retirement was as Chief Scientist for Sensor Systems. 

His hobbies include photography and image processing, wood working in his home shop and travel to interesting places around the world. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Dr. Sarah Layton.

The family will be receiving friends on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. followed by the funeral service at 11:00 a.m. at Dobbs Funeral Home.  Interment will follow the service at Dr. Phillips Cemetery.


Monday, July 25, 2022

Jenese Haskell Warren

Jenese Warren, 93, of Windermere, peacefully passed away on July 15, 2022 surrounded by loved ones in Apopka.   Jenese was born on April 29, 1929 in Manassa, CO. She was the oldest daughter of Green Dwight Haskell and Lena Richardson Haskell. She went to high school in Monte Vista, CO where she met the love of her life while working as a soda jerk at the local drug store. Jenese married Roy Lloyd Warren on August 10, 1947 in her parents' Monte Vista home. They had 2 beautiful children and moved to Hereford, TX to help with the family farm. In 1961, they moved to Boynton Beach, FL and ran a successful propane business. They then relocated the business to Orlando, Florida where they stayed and built a wonderful life together. 

Jenese worked in the family business and was a dedicated homemaker. She loved her husband and children, and spent her life making sure that they were healthy, happy, and loved. She never forgot her family roots back in the west and was deeply devoted to her parents and siblings and often went back to visit. Jenese loved people and cultivated many cherished lifelong friendships. She also loved the gospel of Jesus Christ, and was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints all her life.

Jenese is preceded in death by her husband, Roy Lloyd Warren and is survived by her daughter, Melanie Ambs (Clark) and her son, Lloyd Dean Warren (Gayle); as well her grandchildren: Candace Ashby, Steffanie Gillrie, Christopher Warren, Brian Taylor, Lianne Barr, Carolann Wedlund, Paul Ambs, Clark (Buddy) Ambs, AnaJenese Flores, Lanie Gillespie, and their respective spouses. She is also survived by 26 beloved great grandchildren and by her two sisters, Carolee Larsen and Lujean Smith. 

 The family will be receiving friends at 8:30 am on Saturday, July 30th, 2022 followed by the funeral service at 10:00 am at The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints across from the Orlando Temple at 3001 S Apopka Vineland Rd, Orlando, FL 32835.  

Pallbearers are Brian Taylor, Paul Ambs, Buddy Ambs, Christopher Warren, Adam Barr, Steve Wedlund, Will Flores, Jake Gillespie, and Adam Gillrie.

Interment will follow the funeral service at Winter Garden Cemetery.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Rihanna K'shema Campbell

Rihanna K'shema Campbell age 16 of Orlando passed away on June 26, 2022. She was born in Jamaica on the 30th of June 2006 to Nickalous Campbell and Tanechia Campbell. She was a bright and vibrant young lady full of life with a beautiful smile that will captivate you. 

She was beloved by a host of people. Rihanna leaves to cherish her memory, Father Nickalous Campbell, Mother Tanechia Campbell,  Sisters Ashley Campbell, and Nickola Campbell, Brother Javlyn Campbell, Grandparents Albert Campbell, Barbara Sewell and Paulette Blissett, Aunts Sophia Campbell, Christal Morris, Peach Treasure, and Okaylia Campbell, Uncles Garfield Bennett, Tryone Bennett, Dwane Smith, Christoper Morris, Close Cousins Garfield Bennett and Richardo Campbell and host of friends and family members.

The family will receiving friends at Dobbs Funeral Home on Friday, July 8th, 2022 from 6 until 8 pm.  The funeral service will be held on Saturday, July 9, 2022, at 11:00 am at Love for Souls Ministries located at 630 Emeralda Dr. Hidden Plaza Suite 105, Orlando FL, 32808.                             


Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Annie Mae Woodson

Annie Mae Woodson, age 85, of Orlando, FL passed peacefully from this life on Sunday, June 26th, 2022 surrounded and supported by her loving family.  She was born on March 28th, 1937 , in Yazoo City Mississippi, the daughter of the late Jacob and Ida Jane Steward.  In the early 1950’s Annie along with her parents and brother relocated to Saginaw Michigan.  Saginaw Michigan would be where she began her family.  She dedicated over 20 years of service to General Motors, and became a pillar within her community by serving others.  After retiring from General Motors, Annie took a visit to Orlando Florida and fell in love.  Upon her return from Orlando, Annie decided it was time for her to relocate.  In 1991, after raising her two daughters, Annie, moved to Orlando where she lived the remainder of her life.

Annie loved the Lord and dedicated her life to Christ at an early age. Annie faithfully began her days by dedicating her first waking hours to reading her Bible and spending time with her Lord and Savior.  She was a faithful member at Church at the Cross.  She was also a member of Friends Forever life group.

Annie loved all sports and made sure to stay up to date with the statistics for both football and basketball.  Annie was an absolute fan of the Orlando Magic from 1992 – 1996, mainly due to one of her favorite players Shaquille O’Neal.  In addition to being a huge fan of Shaquille O’Neal, Annie enjoyed watching Lebron James and admired his talents on the court.  Aside from watching sports, Annie enjoyed shopping, cooking, spending time and having fun with her family.  She enjoyed being a tour guide to her relatives and friends when they traveled to Orlando.  To know her was to truly love her.  She was full of wisdom and knowledge.  You would always know where you stood with her, she was unapologetically herself.

Annie leaves to cherish her memory two daughters, Patricia Steward and Carolyn (Lloyd) Riley.  Three grandchildren, Cortney Stewart, Torrey (Misako) Buckley, Jasmine (Michael) Thomas and five great-grandchildren, Courtney Rayana Stewart, T’Corey and Ryan Buckley, and Kai and Nova Thomas; brother Donald Brandon and sister Vickie Johnson.

Annie leaves many cherished relatives Walter and Barbara Davis, Roy Brown, Alan Brown Jr, Bernice Jones, Susanne Brown, Lula Reid, and Delores Washington.  Special friends Ms. Betty Richards and Mrs. Linda Wilhoit.

Annie is preceded in death by her parents Jacob and Ida Jane Steward, her brother Jacob Steward and sister Diane Brandon.

Special thanks to the doctors and nurses at ORMC North.  A special thank you to E.J. on 10 North.

A Celebration of Life service will be held on Friday, July 8th, 2022, starting with visitation at 10:00 am followed by the 11:00 am service at Dobbs Funeral Home, located at 430 N. Kirkman Road, Orlando 32811 with Pastor Dexter Johnson officiating.  Interment will be at Orlando Memorial Gardens, 5264  Ingram Road, Apopka, Florida 32703.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Lowell Floyd Bowman

Lowell Floyd Bowman, 87, of Orlando, passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 25, 2022, at his home after a brief period of declining health.

Born in Timbuktu, Mali, West Africa on April 2, 1935 to CMA Missionaries Floyd and Dora Bowman, Lowell spent his early years of life and education on the mission field of Africa with his parents and three brothers. He returned to the United States to a boarding school for Missionary Kids in Zellwood, Florida for middle school and high school. Then before going on to graduate from Nyack College, Nyack, New York, Lowell was drafted and served in the United States Army.

After college, Lowell returned to the mission field in Mali where he served as the Administrator for Medical clinics and did itinerate preaching, although he never felt the call to be a preacher.

After his missionary service in Africa, Lowell’s love for missions continued to burn within him.  He worked in several secular positions stateside, and then became a Project Director managing a refugee camp in the Philippines for two and a half years.

Everywhere Lowell served, he left an indelible mark on the people around him. Upon his return to the U.S., Lowell served the Lord wholeheartedly in the local church.  He met and married his devoted wife, Ruby, in 1997. When they retired, they served for one year at the Mercy Ships International headquarters near Tyler, Texas managing the guest house and coffee shop. He humbly used his gardening expertise to beautify the campus, digging solid red clay and planting rose bushes, painting the iconic anchor and mentoring the young baristas who worked there. 

Together Lowell and Ruby shared the gospel on short term mission trips to Kenya (built a church), Honduras (trekked thru mountain villages handing out solar powered radios preset to Christian stations), Dominican Republic (teaching locals how to build rabbit cages and raise rabbits for food), Manila (counselors at million-person evangelistic crusade) and partnered with a South Carolina church to conduct block parties in order to share the gospel in underprivileged communities.

Lowell leaves to cherish his memory his wife, Ruby Miller Bowman; daughters who adored their “bonus-dad” and their husbands, Beth Nicholson Harris (Jay) and Allison Nicholson Robinson (Dennis), of Orlando; grandchildren to whom he was “Lolo”, Adam Bennett, Jessica Robinson, Nicholas Robinson, and Maxon Harris (Michelle); and three great-grandchildren.  He is also survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Roland and Ruth Bowman, and sister-in-law, Sandy Bowman, all of Deland; nieces and nephews, Rindi Bowman, Tami Fritz, Joy Bowman, Renee Phillips, Russ Bowman, Randy Bowman, Rachelle Bowman, three great-nephews and four great-nieces.

In addition to his parents, Lowell was preceded in death by brothers, Loyal and Harold Bowman, and niece, Pamela Bowman Collier.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held Saturday, July 9, 2022 at 1 p.m. at First Baptist Church Orlando – Henry Chapel, with a reception to follow at Lakeshore Landings clubhouse.  Services will also be live-streamed.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that honorary donations be made to Madagascar Missions-for Lowell Bowman c/o First Baptist Orlando, 3000 S. John Young Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32805.  Donations may also be made online at https://www.firstorlando.com/give - please designate your gift as “Madagascar-for Lowell Bowman”.