Memorials

Gifts made in memory of a loved one, who cared deeply about the work of the Humane Society of Polk County, or in memory of a pet, help thousands of Polk County’s homeless animals find loving, permanent homes. Your support of the Humane Society and the precious pets we lovingly care for each year is a wonderful way to honor your loved one’s memory. You may also make gifts in honor of your beloved friends and family to celebrate their birthdays or anniversaries. Please consider making a special occasion or holiday gift for those you love this year. They will cherish your thoughtfulness, which will kindly help our community’s orphaned animals.

**Please send photos to lisa.baker@humanesocietyofpolkcounty.org make sure to submit memorial information along with picture. 

Leave a Memorial

Complete your donation of $50 or more in order to submit a memorial to this page. 

Cynthia (Cindy) K. Stroupe

Cynthia (Cindy) K. Stroupe 81 of Winter Haven, FL passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by her loving pets on May 8, 2024. Cindy was born on December 22, 1942, in Cleveland Ohio to Florence and Fredrick Stroupe. She graduated from Brush High School in Euclid Ohio, Class of 1961; where she excelled in dancing; including ballet while also choreographing the women's dance programs there. She graduated from Queens College in North Carolina studying education and history. The girls at Queens would not play her in table tennis so she played the men being the competitive person that she was. After employment at IBM in Cleveland, Ohio, she went on to a teaching career; then Guidance counseling at Winter Haven and Lake Region High schools; retiring in 2006. Her greatest loves were her pets: many cats and (2) West Highland Terriers: Hammie I and Hammie II, but much of her time was spent traveling with the Scottish Hamilton Clan in the US including Stone Mountain GA and visiting sites in Europe where she could touch history after reading about it. Cindy was a sports enthusiast; loving NC basketball and Florida teams; can't bash Tom Brady she would say. She is survived by her cousins: Holly Wimberley, Robin Hart in Texas, Greg Hart in Oklahoma and Douglas Barrett in Rome, NY.

Larry Wayne Piatt

Larry Piatt of Lake Wales, Fl passed away Saturday April 16th at Good Shepherd Hospice in Sebring, Fl. Larry Piatt of Lake Wales, Fl passed away Saturday April 16th at Good Shepherd Hospice in Sebring, Fl. He moved to Lake Wales in 1969. He was a retired mechanic at Duke Energy for 43 years. He was of the Baptist faith. He also was a member of the Lake Wales Masonic Lodge as well as a charter member of the Lake Wales Moose Lodge 2391. He loved his family, friends, his Harley, and playing with his grandson Jax. Larry survived by his loving wife Linda of 30 years. Daughter Kayla (Justin) Land and grandson Jaxton Land of Winter Haven Fl. Sister Karen (Ed) Dees. Niece Emily (Josh) Griffin. Grand niece Ireland, Grand nephews Jaxson and Brett of Plant City Fl. Bonus daughter Amanda (Josh) Christian and two bonus granddaughters Gianna and Rylann Rae of Winter Haven, Fl. And dogs Harley and Gus. Celebration of life will be held at First Baptist Church of Lake Wales May 4th at 11:00. Reception to follow at Lake Wales Moose Lodge. In lieu of Flowers, please donate to the Humane Society of Polk County or Good Shepherd Hospice of Polk County.

Vincent G. McCrave Jr.

Vincent G. McCrave Jr. 86, of Davenport, FL passed away April 11, 2024, at Southlake Hospital. He passed peacefully surrounded by family. He was the husband of Marilyn K. (Loftus) McCrave and they have been married the past 64 years. Born in Providence, RI, he was the son of the late Vincent G. McCrave Sr. and the late Veronica (Kudzma) McCrave.  Mr. McCrave served in the United States Air Force Reserves for 23 years / Active Duty for 4 years. He was in Desert Storm January 13, 1991 – March 31, 1991. Vinny loved doing remodeling projects and handyman work. He was always available to lend a hand to a neighbor. His love was to teach his boys craftmanship. He loved his family and always enjoyed spending time with them. He was a dedicated and passionate New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox’s fan.  He was the Director of Housekeeping at Beth Israel Hospital in MA. and St. Joseph’s Hospital in RI. When he came to Florida, he was a long-time employee at Sea World. He went on to Bardell Real Estate and ultimately, he ended his career with Disney where he retired. In addition to his beloved wife, he leaves two sons Vincent G. McCrave III and his wife Lynn of Bellville, IL and Michael McCrave and his wife Bev of St. Petersburg, FL. And his daughter Michele Bessette of Pawtucket, RI.  8  Grandchildren Dan McCrave-Bessette, Shannon Schwoebel, Britt Whitney, Meghan McCrave, Mitchell McCrave, Matthew McCrave, Thomas Bessette and Hailey Roberson.  5 Great-grandchildren Hayden and Connor Bessette, Ellyott Shampine, Lewis and Claire Schwoebel.  His siblings are the late Robert McCrave of Johnston, RI and Veronica (Ronnie) Baker of Surprise, AZ as well as nieces and nephews. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to Vinny’s life celebration at 11:00 a.m. Mass on Monday, April 22, 2024 at St. Faustina Catholic Church 15551 N. Boggy Marsh Road Clermont Fl. 34714  Military Honors to follow. The family requests those who wish to express sympathy to consider making a donation to the Humane Society of Polk County in Vinny's name.

“Dipper”

“Dipper” was a three legged rescue dog adopted by Jon Stewart of The Daily Show and his family 13 years ago. “Dipper” died this week and Jon did a very moving tribute to him on his show .

Andrea Rugo

Andrea, wishing you a Happy 61st Birthday today (February 25) as you celebrate in your eternal life. Remembering you with your warm heart and the joy that you brought to so many cats you rescued, cared for and loved. All of us humans were lifted by your kindness. Lovingly remembering you, Gloria

Michael Joseph "Mike" Harris

HARRIS, Michael Joseph "Mike" 76, passed away on Tuesday, February 6, 2024. Mike was born in Tampa, FL on September 16, 1947 to Houston H. and Thelma K. Harris. He is survived by his sister, Suzanne H. Moraco; and members of the McCranie family including Geraldine McCranie and her two daughters, Susan (Troy) McCranie and Donna (Jeff) Bower, and their families. Mike attended Hillsborough High School and earned a degree in Marketing and Management from the University of South Florida. He served in the Navy during the Vietnam years and continued his service in the Naval Reserves for several years. While working on his degree at USF, he worked for Portland Cement in Tampa. After graduation, he worked for Burroughs Corporation and Delmonte Foods. Then, following in his dad's footsteps, he joined the United States Postal Service where he worked for almost 30 years. After retiring from the USPS, he decided he wanted to teach. So, he earned his teaching certificate and for several years he served as a substitute teacher in the Hillsborough County School District. Mike loved working with the kids and shared many funny and heartwarming stories about his time with them in the classroom. Mike developed a love of saltwater fishing at an early age, spending many hours with his dad on the waters of Boca Ciega Bay and the Gulf of Mexico during the family's summer vacations. Fishing was a lifelong passion. He also loved animals, especially his beloved dogs that he adopted over the years. In recent years, he developed an affinity for the pit bull breed. He is survived by his beloved pittie Zeus. The family will receive friends at Blount and Curry Funeral Home at Garden of Memories at 4207 East Lake Ave in Tampa on Saturday, February 17 at 1 pm. After visitation and a brief service, internment will immediately follow. Mike will be buried next to his parents in the Garden of Memories cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to honor Mike's love of animals. Donate in Mike's name to the Humane Society of Polk County at www.polknokill.org or to the no-kill animal rescue organization of your choice.

Judy "Maxine" Cook

Judy "Maxine" Cook passed away on December 31, 2023. She is survived by her loving husband of 55 years, Clark, sons Roger and Christopher, three granddaughters, six great grandchildren, and four brothers, Paul, Ralph, Richard, and Alan. There will be a celebration of life ceremony at 1:00 PM Saturday, January 20 at the home of Patricia and Warren Lane. Their address is 18 Pine Forest Lane, Haines City, FL 33844. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Humane Society of Polk County in her honor.

John Thompson

John Thompson, 84, of Winter Haven, Florida passed away on November 19,2023. Born in Winter Haven, Florida he was a lifelong resident. John graduated from Winter Haven High School and was a part of the Florida Southern College ROTC. John was a First Lieutenant in the United States Army and was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia. Fort Benning was where John met the love of his life, First Lieutenant/nurse RN Carolyn Ann Sherwin.They married and enjoyed a loving 59 years together. John was a giver throughout his life. He was a member of several Board of Directors in Winter Haven, FL. John was the Commander of the Polk County Sheriff's SWAT Team for several years. John maintained his spit and polish professional appearance throughout his life. John appreciated the men and women in law enforcement who proudly serve and protect the citizens of their respective communities. John's motto was Service Before Self. John worked in several professions to include Citrus, The Polk County Sheriff's Office as a Sergeant in the Law Enforcement Division, and Corporate Security Director for the Winter Haven Hospital. John was preceded in death by his parents, James L. and Ruby L. Thompson; sister, Marian Sassard. John is survived by his wife of 59 years, Carolyn Ann; a sister, Evelyn Melton of Tallahassee, FL; brother, Clyde Thompson of Winter Haven, FL; several nieces and nephews. John was also survived by his cat, "Cat". A service will be held at Oak Ridge Funeral Care 2425 Havendale Blvd. Winter Haven, FL on December 1, 2023 with a gathering of friends and family from 10:00 am- 11:00am. In lieu of flowers, if you wish, donations may be made to the Polk County Sheriff Charities or the Humane Society of Polk County.

Gerry Reeves

Gerry proudly served in the United States National Guard as a second lieutenant in the 116th Field Artillery Regiment before becoming Commander of the Haines City Armory. He completed his undergraduate at Florida Southern College, then went on to earn a Master's degree at Rollins College. On May 30th, 1964 he married the love of his life, Rebecca, and together they raised two children. Gerry went on to take over his father's business, King Reeve's Garage, formerly in Winter Haven, and was also a member of Masonic Lodge 186 for over 50 years. He was a lifelong animal lover, always finding time to feed and care for any stray cats he came across. Gerry is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Rebecca Reeves, one son, Michael Scott Reeves (Jodi), one daughter, Susan Reeves Kovi (Mark), four grandchildren, Casey, Camille, Bryce, and Taylor, as well as a sister, Barbara Yeaple. Gerry was preceded in death by his parents, King Schuler Reeves and Willie Clyde Reeves. Donations in Gerry's memory may be made to the ASPCA or the Humane Society.

Art Falconer

Great man who cared about nature.

Lola

In loving memory of Lola. Lola was the beloved pet of Matt and Lisa Tocci

Tamara Peterson

Tamara Lynn Mckinney Peterson Age 48 passed away on March 11th at Winter Haven Hospital. She was born in Winter Haven on March 5, 1975 to James & Sandra McKinney. Tamara was raised in Winter Haven and she graduated from Winter Haven High in 1993. After graduation she got a Ford Mustang and fell in love with them. She was the Queen of the Cool Car Club! Tamara worked retail and eventually became part of the Management Team at Belk’s & Talbot’s. She began bowling with her sister Christy at Cypress Lanes where she was introduced to the love of her life Vernon Peterson. They were married for 4 wonderful years. Tamara loved all animals especially her yorkies. Tamara loved to travel & the Sun & Fun Air Shows. She is survived by Husband Vernon Peterson, her mother Sandra McKinney, her Sister Christy Mckinney and her beautiful Niece Liberty and many more loving family & friends.

Vernon Chastain

Vernon Stoy Chastain, Jr. 61, of Winter Haven passed on August 14. Born in Union, SC on September 15, 1960, he moved to Winter Haven at an early age. Preceded in death by his parents, Vernon Sr. & Emma Chastain. Loving husband of 42 years to wife, Cindy. Devoted father of sons Eric & Ryan. Adoring Grandpa to his beloved Tori. A dedicated store manager, he worked in the grocery business for over 45 years. He treasured time with his family, playing restaurant with his granddaughter Tori, and going on his favorite Disney rides with his niece Kimmie. He took great pride in his sons who meant the world to him. We will never forget his cooking on holidays, love for 70s music, and humor that knew no bounds.

K-9 Max

"Polk County Sheriff's Office" On Wednesday, August 3, 2022, the Lake Wales Police Department was dealt a terrible loss…the line of duty death of their beloved K-9 Max, partner to K-9 Officer Jared Joyner. K-9 Max was shot and killed by a violent man with a criminal history. To Officer Joyner, Chief Chris Velasquez, the men and women of the Lake Wales Police Department, and the residents of Lake Wales…the Polk County Sheriff’s Office shares your grief. K-9 Max died doing what he was trained to do; he led the charge to apprehend a dangerous suspect who was an active threat to the community…and in doing so, he saved the lives of his partner and others.

RW "Bob" Bevins

Bob was an amazing father and husband who will be missed by all, including those with fur who stole a piece of his heart

Peggy Lousie Douglas

In loving memory of Peggy L. Douglas; a mother, a grandmother, a sister and a friend. She also loved cats, caring for many throughout her lifetime!

Carl Ealy

In Memory of Carl Ealy... dear friend, dance partner, traveling comrad, Packer fan, and confidant of MaryLee.

Coco and Shadow

Best buddies and best dogs in the world.

Dr. Richard Rashbaum

Beloved Veterinarian & Friend, deeply missed.

Moose and Harry

In loving memory of Moose and Harry Hamlin

Mindy Adams

Mindy Adams, 47, of Winter Haven passed away Sunday, November 15, 2020 at her residence with her family present. Mindy worked as the Project Manager/ Estimator for Whitehead Construction and was instrumental in the building of the Humane Society of Polk County! Mindy had a special love for her family especially her daughters and grandsons, and of course the family dogs, Jake the bearded bird dog, Gus the baby boy, Daisy the special one and Sadie Girl. Mindy will be dearly missed!

Salvatore "Sal" A. Moraco

In Loving Memory of Salvatore "Sal" A. Moraco

Ron Ericson

In loving memory of Ronald D. Ericson.

Joyce House Bolles

In memory of Ms. Joyce House Bolles, long-time resident of Lakeland and originally from New York. She was dedicated to rescuing cats and never met one that she didn't fall immediately in love with. We will miss her spunk, her independence and the family stories. With warm thoughts for Bill, Mark, and Ann - who are left behind to fill her energy! The Male cousins (Judy, Barbara and Chris)

Richard J Holland

In loving memory of Richard J. Holland, 71, of Winter Haven, formally of Beverly, born on September 21, 1948 in Beverly, Massachusetts to Timothy H. Holland and Mary G. (Gates) Holland.

Arnold J. “Doc” Spanjers, Jr., M.D.

In Loving Memory of Arnold J. “Doc” Spanjers, Jr., M.D.

Mark Dornhecker

In Loving Memory of our friend Mark Dornhecker

Walter Moosbrugger

In loving memory of Walter Moosbrugger who peacefully passed on April 30, 2019. Born August 26, 1926 in McKean, PA where he grew up. He met the love of his life Ellie and were together for 68 years. Walter served in the United States Air Force then when discharged purchased a bakery in Miami, FL that he operated for 18 years. Walter served as president of the Lions Club and was active in the local church as a deacon, bus ministry, and a Sunday School teacher. The Moosbruggers moved to Winter Haven in 1973 and sold real estate and started another bakery called Moosbrugger's Bakery. He loved playing the accordion and entertaining family and friends with his humor and singing. Walter and Ellie are active members at Calvary Baptist Church, Winter Haven

Harold Whitfield

In Loving Memory of my Dad "Clarence Harold Whitfield"

Palmer Gehring

In celebration of Palmer Gehring. Palmer served as a Eucharist Minister at St. Alban's Episcopal Church. He was also a member of The Winter Haven Pilots Assn.; QB's Lakeland Chapter; Past-Chair-man of the Winter Haven Airport Advisory Committee; charter member of Cardinal Flyers Online; Flying Octogenarians; Cape Fear Aero Assn.; Past President of Cape Fear Kiwanis Club; member of the North Carolina Glass Dealers Assn and supporter of the Humane Society of Polk County.

Carole Altvater

In loving memory of Carole Altvater

Edward & Bettie Hoosier

In honor of two people who shared a love for the Humane Society of Polk County. They were volunteers, contributors, adopters and Bettie was a Past President. Their work on behalf of the animals we serve still lives on.