Obituaries — Oct. 31, 2023

Ronald Byers

Ronald Lloyd Byers, 68, of Starke died on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2023, following a short illness. He was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Mildred Byers; and brothers, Roger Byers, Harold Byers, and Jimmy Byers.

He is survived by his sister, Susan Byers; a brother, Tim Byers; his daughter, Victoria Byers; as well as several nieces and nephews; and many friends.

A memorial service was held Saturday, Oct 28.



Gregory Chiapini

Gregory “Greg” Chiappini, 63, of Melrose passed away Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, at the Lake City Veteran’s Hospital.  He was born March 14, 1960, in Orlando and had served four years in the United States Air Force. He had been employed over 25 years as a technician with E-1 Fire Truck in Ocala and was a parishioner of St. William Catholic Church.  He was known for being very patriotic, playing golf, and being an avid Florida Gator fan.

He is survived by his parents, Paul and Dolores (Wilson) Chiappini of Melrose; and two brothers, John Chiappini of Panama City and Kevin Chiappini of Melrose.

Funeral Mass will be held Monday, Nov. 6, at 10:30 a.m. with Father Mike Williams presiding.  Interment will follow at Eliam Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Veteran’s association of your choice. 

Arrangements are by Jones-Gallagher Funeral Home 340 E. Walker Drive, Keystone Heights, 32656. 352-473-3176.



Mrs. Freddie Finklea

Mrs. Freddie Finklea, 94, of Keystone Heights passed away Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023, at Shands Hospital in Gainesville. She was born July 16, 1929, in Lyons, Georgia to W.F. and Evidell (Warnock) Sutton. She was a homemaker and a longtime member of the Keystone United Methodist Church.   She enjoyed shopping and loved “feeding her kitties.” In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her daughter, Patricia L. Boswell; and husband, Lewis Gordon Finklea. 

Her survivors are her sons, Ray (Anna) Finklea of Middleburg and Dale Allen Finklea of Keystone Heights. She was lovingly called “Grandmother” by five grandchildren; seven great- grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren. 

There are no services scheduled at this time. In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to your local Humane Society or no kill shelter.

Arrangements are by Jones-Gallagher Funeral Home, 340 E. Walker Drive, Keystone Heights, 32656. 352-473-3176.



Sonya Lindee

Sonya Lindee

Faithful servant of Jehovah, Sonya Rebecca Lindee, a dear friend and sister, passed away early Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023. She was on her way to the assembly hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, where she would have talked and embraced all the friends she grew to love as her own family because they touched her life, and she theirs, in more ways than can be mentioned. She was a faithful daughter to Jehovah and relied on Him with everything that she did. With that in mind, we know that she no longer has to fear sickness and the pain that comes with it. Instead, she will be waiting eagerly to greet and embrace all of her loved ones again. She gave everything she had to give to her two sons, Vincent and Samuel, and would do anything to make them smile. She would sing to them to wake them in the morning and read to them in bed at night. All the while she was never too tired to fill them both with the love and affection they needed.

She is survived by three brothers, Robert, David, and Ralph; sister, Rachel; along with her mother, Sulama Castellano, all of whom live in Texas and serve Jehovah.

Services will be on Saturday, Nov. 4. Visitation time will be from 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. at Archer-Milton Funeral Home, Lake Butler. A memorial service will follow at 11 a.m. at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 12204 NW 140 St., Alachua, 32615.

Arrangements are under the care and direction of Archer-Milton Funeral Home. 386-496-2008





Toni Mills

Toni Lynette Mills, 47, of Hampton died Friday, Oct. 27, 2023. She was born Oct. 5, 1976. She was preceded in death by her father, Charles Milton Mills; and brother, Clarence Sylvester Hagan Jr.

Survivors are her mother, Joyce Marie (Melton) Mills; daughter, Alexus Dominque Mills; sons, Khalil Saleem Mills and Hunter Carmichael Maultsby; siblings, Joseph Luther Hagan, Clarence Michael Hagan, Charles Milton Mills II, and Diana Marie Hagan.

Arrangements are by Jones-Gallagher Funeral Home of Starke 904-964-6200



Kenneth Ryan


Kenneth Ryan

Kenneth Collin “Ken” Ryan (Retired Sergeant Major), 67, of Starke passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023. He was born in Starke on Aug. 9, 1956, and graduated from Bradford High School in 1974. In 1975, he chose to join the Army, then he continued his career with the Florida Army National Guard. He served honorably for over 28 years, attaining the rank of sergeant major. He was also the allied trades supervisor at Camp Blanding before retiring.

He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Ann Allen Ryan of Starke; children, C. K. (Tiffany) Ryan of Orange Park, Krista (Gerald) Smith of Starke, and Lindsay Ryan of Palatka; brother, Steve Fuqua of Starke; his grandchildren, who he loved dearly, Hayley (Kendrick) Durrandon, Brady Ryan, Abigale Ryan, Gerald Smith III, Jackson Smith, Mackenzie Smith, Elaina Smith, and Mason Ryan; and great-grandchildren, Xander Durrandon and Cove Marie Nichols.

A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, Nov. 18, at 3:30 p.m. at the Florida National Guard Armory, 720 Edwards Road, Starke. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association online at ;jsessionid=00000000.app20124b or to the First Baptist Church, 163 W. Jefferson St., Starke, 32091.