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Vol. 17 No. 18 - February 15, 2017


Nancy M. Balais

Nancy M. Balais, 84 of Bradenton died Jan. 17, 2017.

She moved to Bradenton in 2011 from Boynton Beach, Fla. She was a member of the Bayside Community Church and the Cuban American Club in West Palm Beach, Fla.

She was predeceased by her husband, Robert, and survived by her two sons, Robert R. (Joyce) Balais, of Holmes Beach, Fla., and Ronald (Michelle) Balais, of Bradenton, Fla.; one daughter, Nancy M. (Ronald) Fontana, of Stockbridge, Mass.; and six grandchildren. There will be no services. Memorial donations may be made to The Alzheimer's Foundation of America 322 Eighth Ave., 7th FL. N. Y., N.Y. 10001. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel, 604 43rd St. W., Bradenton, FL 34209 is a in change of arrangements. Condolences may be made to

Dr. Elizabeth Christie-Cline

Dr. Elizabeth Christie-Cline passed away quietly in her salty Island home Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017. She was an amazing woman with a heart of gold. Born in Des Moines, Iowa Feb. 26, 1939, she grew as a young farm girl until she eventually left the Midwest for the Florida sea. She rooted her life on Anna Maria Island, where she found her heart and gave of it as an educator for 35 years at Manatee High School and was an avid philanthropist. She spent much dedicated time as a Privateer, participating in many events with a smile on her face. She was known for her great laugh, love for animals and admiration of Jimmy Buffett. She loved sailing cruises, rock 'n' roll, reading and having a good time with her friends and loved ones. She was preceded in death by the love of her life, Dick Cline, and leaves behind her two sons, Steven and Jimmy Engleson; grandchildren and many dear friends who will greatly miss her. There will be no services at this time. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel is in charge of the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, the family asks you to donate to your local animal rescue. Condolences may be made to

Lavonne J. Hager

Lavonne J. Hager, 91, of Cortez, died Feb. 10, 2017, at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

She was born Jan. 11, 1926, in Mount Vernon, Ohio, to Carold and Frances McGugin. AShe is the widow of Mathias Hager and is predeceased by her daughter, Sandra Kay, who died in 1953. 

She is survived by her two sisters, Alma Cockerham and Joanne Body, both of Cortez. Burial and services will be at a later date in Ohio. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 26th Street Chapel is in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be sent to

Merritt W. Fineout

Merritt W. Fineout died at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 6, 2017, unexpectedly at Blake Memorial Hospital in Bradenton, Fla.  

Merritt was born on Sept. 15, 1941, in White Plains, N.Y., grew up in Darien, Conn., and graduated with a B.A. in business from Babson College. He then moved to Missouri where he raised a family and founded a successful import business, MeraVic, Inc. After retirement in 1994, Merritt moved to Anna Maria Island in Florida with his loving wife Karen Day Fineout.

He is survived by his wife, Karen Fineout; daughters, Devin Fineout and Jill Day; sons, John Fineout, Allan and Aaron Day; grandchildren, Jillian, Trenton, Taylen, Jack, Tommy, Ryan Ryker and Caden; and many dear friends.

Merritt's kindness, generosity, zest for life, his love of golf and lively bright fashion will be remembered by all. Merritt was extremely charitable, with the Salvation Army being his favorite.  In lieu of flowers, he would be happy to know donations to this organization were made in his name. A celebration of life will be held at the Key Royale Club, Holmes Beach, Fla., on Sunday, Feb. 26, from 2 to 4 p.m.  

Condolences for the family may be given at

Westwood Hugh Fletcher, III

Westwood "Wes" Hugh Fletcher, III, 55, of Bradenton, passed away Feb. 4, 2017.

Wes was born on March 4, 1961 in Apple Valley, Calif., to the late Capt. Westwood H. Jr., USAF-Retired and Audrey J. (Lange) Fletcher. He moved to the Holmes Beach at a very young age and resided on the Island until 2011, when he moved into Bradenton. He formerly worked as a machinist for Sun Hydraulics in Manatee County. He was also a member of The Way Church of Bradenton.

Wes is survived by his beloved wife of 35 years, Shelly (Hakeos) Fletcher; son, Dylan McIntosh; three daughters, Heather (Chris Foley) Robuck, Lauren (Andrew) Bilan, Jordan "J-Bug," all of Bradenton; his two sisters, Joan (Danny Phippen) Fletcher, of Tamarac, FL, Lynda D. (Eric) Ray, of Tampa; seven grandchildren, Audrey, Veda, Azaelia, Zander, Alexander, Caitlin, Allison, ; sister-in-law, Vicki Goodrich of Spokane, Wash.; and many extended family members and friends.

There was a celebration of Wes's life on Saturday, Feb. 11, at Shannon Funeral Home Westview Chapel, 5610 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton. The family requests that in lieu of flowers that memorials be made to either the American Heart Association or American Cancer Society in his memory. Condolences for the family may be made online at

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