Obituaries — August 2012

We mourn the passing of these Gators. Our obituary listings are culled from media reports or can be submitted directly to


Grover Baker (BA ’48) died June 21 at age 86. He was a musician who traveled to military bases across the country to perform for soldiers in the 1940s. He later joined the U.S. Merchant Marines and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. During his time in the Army, he played in a band. Later, he worked at his family’s rug business in Miami before retiring. He lived in Winter Park.

Paul Everett* (BSA ’50, MSA ’55) died June 26 at age 84. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and the Korean War and began working for the University of Florida in 1958 as director of the Agriculture Research and Education Center (A.R.E.C) in Immokalee. Upon his retirement from UF in 1988, the professor emeritus worked as a consultant with Pacific Tomato Growers in Naples, receiving awards for his research in vegetable crops and tomatoes.  In 1997, the state legislature passed a bill to rename the A.R.E.C after Everett. He lived in Gainesville.

M. Wayne Heine (HS ’62) died July 24 at age 79. He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and was awarded a medal for introducing oral contraceptives to the patients he treated in the base clinics. He held a position at the University of Florida and was the founding chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. Before his retirement, he was also chair of the obstetrics department at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz., where he lived.

Madison Jones Jr. (MA ’51) died July 9 at age 87. He served in the Korean War and taught English literature and creative writing at Auburn University for 37 years before his retirement in 1993. He was also a novelist who received awards such as the Guggenheim Fellowship and the T.S. Elliot Prize for Fiction. Although he had about 12 published works, his most notable novel was “An Exile.” The book spawned a 1970 movie, “I Walk the Line,” which starred Gregory Peck and featured a soundtrack by Johnny Cash. Jones lived in Auburn, Ala.

Eugene Kuhar (BEE ’60) died July 26 at age 78. He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War and worked at IBM as an electrical design engineer. He lived in Raleigh, N.C.

Eugene Lichtman* (BME ’55) died July 14 at age 77. Before his retirement in 1985, he worked for the Department of the Navy as an aeronautical engineer. As an employee of the Naval Air Systems Command, he developed aircraft that could take off vertically or would only require a short runway. He lived in Mount Airy, Md.

Shirley Manning (BAE ’62) died July 30 at age 72. She was a retired elementary school teacher, and she lived in Milton.

Vincent Meli (BME ’51) died July 11 at age 85. He served in the U.S. Army and Air Force and was stationed in Japan and Korea. As an engineer, he worked for Eastman Kodak Co. for 25 years and Schreiber Foods Inc. in Green Bay, Wis., from 1978-1992 as director of engineering. He lived in Bradenton.

Thomas Nelson (BSP ’96) died July 12 at age 55. He was a pharmacist, and he lived in Melbourne.

C.J. Reams Jr. (BSBA ’42) died July 7 at age 94. He served in the U.S. Army and received a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He took over his father’s store and farm in Lamont, taught Sunday school and was a deacon for 50 years at Lamont Baptist Church in Lamont, where he lived.

Ned Sinder (BA ’52, JD ’54) died July 3 at age 80. He served in the U.S. Army and practiced law in Lakeland for 30 years before moving to Longboat Key, where he lived.

Ellen Waybright Van Andel (BA ’60) died July 29 at age 74. She was a travel agent and lived in Palm Beach.

Ramon Wisher (BSE ’61) died July 10 at age 80. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. He worked as a human resources manager at Gulf Coast Training Center and also worked at LARC Inc., an organization that helps people with developmental disabilities, for 19 years in Fort Meyers, where he lived.

Walter Zable (MS ’39) died June 23 at age 97. He was founder, chairman and CEO of Cubic Corp., a technology and specialized service company in San Diego that deals with radio-frequency identification, defense and transportation. He was the world’s oldest CEO of a publicly traded company. He lived in San Diego.

*UF Alumni Association member

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