Walton County Heritage Museum

Learn more about the history of Walton County

Train Depot Museum

Walton County Courthouse

Growing to meet the needs of the community


Lake DeFuniak

One of only two perfectly round lakes in the world

Fun and relaxation

Hotel DeFuniak

Built in 1920, completely restored, the perfect place to stay!

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February 2016
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Please contact Norma Rediker at (850)892-3232; norma@defuniakherald.com.


Mrs. Virginia Watts Roberts, age 93, of DeFuniak Springs, Florida, passed away Monday, January 25, 2016 in a Bay County Healthcare Facility. She was born on October 6, 1922, in Brunswick County, Virginia, to the late John Henry and Cora Whitt Watts. She was a resident of DeFuniak Springs for the past 66 years and was married to the late Maurice W. Roberts for 64 years. Mrs. Roberts obtained her B.S. degree in 1944 from Longwood College in Virginia and her M.S. Degree in 1971 from Florida State University in Tallahassee. She was employed by the Walton County School District as a teacher and guidance counselor for 44 years before retiring in 1992. She was a faithful member of First Baptist Church of DeFuniak Springs. At times she served as Sunday School Superintendent, Training Union Director, Sunday School teacher in several age group classes and was active in Women’s Missionary Union. For many years she was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma and the Retired Teachers’ Organization. Mrs. Roberts is predeceased by her husband, four brothers, three sisters. and her granddaughter Elizabeth Lightfoot.

She is survived by five children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Her children are Maurice W. Roberts “Sonny” (Kay), Margaret Smith (Dave), Joyce Roberts, Miriam Collins (Glenn), and Maureen Bush (Dennis). Her grandchildren are Matthew (Caroline) Collins, Anna Collins, “Ginny (Derek) Gordon, Bethany Roberts, Alex Brannon, Daniel (Ashley) Bush, Wesley Bush, and Meredith Bush.

Floral arrangements are being accepted or memorials may be made in Virginia Watts Roberts’ memory to First Baptist Church Homebound Ministry. A time of visitation will be Thursday, January 28, 2016 from 10 until 11 A.M. in First Baptist Church with the funeral beginning at 11:00 A.M. with Dr. Bobby Tucker officiating.

Because of scheduling, interment in Barrancas National Cemetery Thursday will be private.


Mrs. Alice Ricker Arnold, was affectionately known as Susie, age 77, passed away Thursday, January 28, 2016. She was born February 2, 1938 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Mrs. Arnold was a resident of Santa Rosa Beach. She graduated from the University of Miami receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Education and also receiving her Master’s Degree from the University of Georgia also in Education. The majority of her undergraduate work was at Smith College. She taught Elementary, Middle and High School for over 35 years. She taught English Literature and later became a Media Specialist. She was also an avid story teller. She volunteered as a tutor and story teller at South Walton Elementary and The Coastal Branch Library. She was an avid Women’s Democratic Committee Member. She was also in the cast of Grit and Grace for many years.

Mrs. Arnold is preceded in death by her parents; her first husband John C. Bush and her second husband John Arnold.

Mrs. Arnold is survived by her son Timothy Bush of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida; one daughter Wendy A. Glover and husband Rhett of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida; two grandchildren Alie Glover and Rhett B. Glover V; one sister Roberta Ricker Foote of South Carolina. Also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers the family would like donations be made to the Walton County Democratic Party.

Memorialization will be by direct cremation.

Marshall Hunter Rogers June 30, 1933 - January 26, 2016

Marshall Hunter Roger                             June 30, 1933 – January 26, 2016


Mr. Marshall Hunter Rogers, age 82, passed away Tuesday, January 26, 2016. He was born June 30, 1933 in Virginia to Robert and Viola Lane Rogers.

Mr. Rogers was a resident of Walton County. He was Baptist by faith and a member of Southwide Baptist Church where he enjoyed serving the Lord. He was very an active as an Usher and was very instrumental in bringing children to church. He was active in his Sunday School Class. He was a veteran of the United States Armed Forces serving his country in the United States Army and the United States Air Force Reserves. He worked in the Tool and Die industry for many years. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and he was an avid outdoorsman. He was a School Board Member in Hazel Park, Michigan where he worked on behalf of children, along with elderly people living on fixed incomes, and working folks.

Mr. Rogers is preceded in death by his parents and brother, Chester James Rogers, and sister Virginia Rogers Hamby.

Mr. Rogers is survived by his daughter, Janet Rogers of Ohio, brothers Dana P. Rogers, Sr., and Olin D. Rogers, sister Delma Rogers Carver, along with several nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held from 10:00~11:00 AM, Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at Southwide Baptist Church, 1307 Coy Burgess Loop, DeFuniak Springs, FL 32435.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM, Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at Southwide Baptist Church, with Reverend Jeremy Lewis officiating.

In lieu of flowers, family request that donations may be made to Southwide Baptist Church at 1307 Coy Burgess Loop, DeFuniak Springs, FL 32435

Burial will follow in Southwide Baptist Church Cemetery with military honors.


Mrs. Jeanette (Garrett) Omasits, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016, at the age of 93. Jeanette was born in Freeport, but being an Army wife, she lived in several states and Germany. During World War II, she attended Anderson Aircraft School in Nashville, Tennessee. After graduation, she worked at Eglin Air Force Base; then in 1971, she went back to Civil Service and retired in 1987. Jeanette loved to travel and embroider. Her favorite vacation places were Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and the Smokey Mountains.

Jeanette was preceded in death by her husband, George, in 1988; parents, Walter and Gussie (Pelt) Garrett; three brothers, Willard, Torb, and Sebron; and three sisters, Iva Dell, Anniebelle and Catherine.

She is survived by one daughter, Debra Bivins of Freeport, Florida; one son, Danny Katro, also of Freeport; two granddaughters, Vicky (Angel) Pheifer and husband, Tim, of Canton, Georgia, and Jennifer Cotton of Freeport; one grandson, Steve Carroll of Freeport; five great-grandchildren, Garrett and Emily Pheifer and Michael, Nicholas and Kristen Carroll; and one special niece, Pat Evans.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, January. 30, 2016, in the chapel of Davis-Watkins Funeral Home, 1474 Highway 83 North, DeFuniak Springs, FL 32433, beginning at 2 p.m. with Minister Joel Davis officiating. A time of visitation will be held one hour prior to the service. Committal services will follow at Hatcher Cemetery. Flowers are being accepted, or in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Alaqua Animal Refuge.

Arrangements and services are under the direction of Davis-Watkins Funeral Home.

William L. "Sonny" Bishop III December 1, 1985 - January 24, 2016

William L. “Sonny” Bishop III
December 1, 1985 – January 24, 2016

William L. “Sonny” Bishop III, age 30, passed away on January 24th, 2016, at Shands Hospital in Gainsville, FL.
William was born in Ft. Walton Beach at White Wilson Medical Center on December 1, 1985, to William Larry Bishop, Jr. and Paula Jean Bishop. He attended Walton Sr. High School in DeFuniak Springs, FL, as well as Northwest Florida State College where he was later employed as both a Math and a GED tutor, impacting many lives.
William was a member of Southwide Baptist Church in DeFuniak Springs, FL where he took part in many of the youth activities. He is remembered for his caring and loving nature, along with his great sense of humor and quick wit.
He is survived by his mother, Paula J. Bishop; sister, Christa and her husband, Nathan Hickingbottom; nephews, Nolan Lee and Austen Levi Hickingbottom; grandmother, Elizabeth Bishop; aunt, Terre and husband Joel Bulan; aunt, Ruth and husband Jean Barrett; aunt, Florence Provost; and numerous cousins and other family members.
William was preceded in death by his father, William Larry “Bill” Bishop, Jr.; grandfather, William Larry “Dub” Bishop, Sr.; maternal grandparents, John L. and Edna H. Harper; and nephew, William Ryan Hickingbottom.
The family will hold a Celebration of Life on Saturday, February 13, 2016, from 2pm to 4pm at the Chautauqua Building in DeFuniak Springs, FL, located at 96 Circle Dr., DeFuniak Springs, FL. 32435
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Be The Match, via their web page to be the match is www.bethematch.org/support-the-cause/donate-financially/

Arrangements are under the direction of Davis-Watkins Funeral Home and Crematory.




Anthony "AJ" Jules Dubuisson January 8, 1959 - January 31, 2016

Anthony “AJ” Jules Dubuisson
January 8, 1959 – January 31, 2016


Mr. Anthony “AJ” Dubuisson, age 57, passed away Sunday, January 31, 2016. He was born January 8, 1959 in Gainesville, Florida to Jules and Brenda Hale Dubuisson.

Mr. Dubuisson was a resident of Santa Rosa Beach. He owned and operated AJ’s Plumbing for 30 years. He enjoyed fishing, riding his motorcycle and especially spending time with his family and friends.

Mr. Dubuisson is preceded in death by his mother Brenda Hale Dubuisson, and one son Bobby Dubuisson.

Mr. Dubuisson is survived by his father Jules Dubuisson of Ft. Walton Beach, Florida; his loving wife Leslie Holmes Dubuisson of Santa Rosa Beach, two sons Dale Dubuisson of Santa Rosa Beach and Shawn Dubuisson and wife Dorothy of Shalimar, Florida; one daughter Chelsea Sprague of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida; two brothers John Dubuisson and wife Becky of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida and Mike Dubuisson of Florida; eight grandchildren Tyler, Avery and Ariel Dubuisson, Jasmine, Arabella and Elijah Taylor, and Lyric and Colby Weaver.

Memorial services will be held 11:00 AM, Saturday, February 6, 2016 at Clary-Glenn Freeport Chapel Funeral Home, with Pastor Jason Scherler officiating.

In lieu of flowers family request that donations be made to St. Judes Children’s Hospital; 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tennessee 38105.

Donald Jerry Zloch May 21, 1948 - January 30, 2016

Donald Jerry Zloch
May 21, 1948 – January 30, 2016

Donald Jerry Zloch died peacefully on Saturday, January 30 in Miramar Beach, Florida at the age of 67 after an extended battle with cancer.

Donald is survived by his sisters Sandy (Howard) Perk, Jeanne (Ron) Mentgen; daughter Christina Rodriguez and sons Donald (Caralyn) Zloch and Raymond (Heather) Zloch; as well as extended family and close friends. He is preceded in death by his parents Jerry and Delores Zloch.

Donald was born on May 21, 1948 in Berwyn, Illinois. He attended Riverside Brookfield High School in Brookfield, Illinois and graduated in 1966.

He worked as a teamster for Local 705 at U.S. Food Service Company out of Chicago. He retired in 2005 and moved to Miramar Beach, Florida in 2010.

Throughout his life, Donald was an avid fisherman and enjoyed spending time outdoors. He was a sports fan who frequently traveled to watch his beloved Chicago Bears. He loved to spend time with his family. He is remembered for his sense of humor and quick wit.

A memorial service will be held 11:00 AM, Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at St. Rita Catholic Church, Mary Star of the Sea Room, 137 Moll Drive, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459; reception to follow.

All are welcome to attend and celebrate Donald’s life.

Flowers are accepted or donations may be made to the Walton County EMS; 176 Montgomery Circle, DeFuniak Springs, Florida 32435.