DeSoto County obituaries week 11/01/18

Catherine Suzanne D’Alessandro

Susan Mary Sharkey

Susan Mary Sharkey, of Arcadia, Fla., left this world for her eternal home in heaven on Oct. 7, 2018. Susan was born March 15, 1952, in Chelsea, Mass.

Ms. Sharkey was raised in Peabody, Mass., and moved to Sarasota, Fla., in the early 1970s. She made Arcadia home in the early 1980s. No matter where she called home, Susan enjoyed lifelong, forever friends that she always kept close. She had a storied life growing up on the outskirts of Boston. She was a switchboard operator in the late 1960s, a protestor of the Vietnam War, lived across the hall in an apartment complex from a group of men that eventually formed the band Boston, and taught David Bowie how to crack crab legs while working the luxury suites at the former Foxborough Stadium. She found her way to Florida after answering a help-wanted ad for a resort in Sarasota. She loved Sarasota and worked at the Crescent Club, among others, for many years.

Life brought her to Arcadia, where she finally put down roots. She walked through the doors of Slim’s Deep South BBQ, resume in hand, in the early 1990s, and was there until her retirement just this past June. Sue loved the Florida Keys and would slip away every chance she could. She recently went on a fabulous trip to Summerland Key where she spent time snorkeling, visiting Key West, and hanging out at the pool with good friends. Sue also loved the Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo, the New England Patriots, and enjoying cold beer with good friends. Above all, Susan loved her family.

She is survived by her daughter, Allison Sharkey, and two beautiful grandchildren, Keegan and Kendall Casady. They were the shining light of her life. Sue is also survived by her sister Sherrill (Bobby) Zeuli, brother Kevin (Jody) Sharkey, nephews Bobby and Matthew, and nieces Caitlin and Alex. She was predeceased by her parents, Joseph and Marian Sharkey, whom she loved dearly and remembered often; also by a brother, Stephen Sharkey; a nephew, Christian Sharkey; and by the love of her life, Robert “Bobby” Floyd.

You will be missed, my friend.

A gathering of family and friends will be (Saturday) Nov. 3, 2018, from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Ponger-Kays-Grady Funeral Home Chapel, 50 N. Hillsborough Ave. Arcadia.

Catherine Suzanne D’Alessandro

Catherine Suzanne D’Alessandro (née Hirt), 56, of Atlanta and formerly of Chicago (Hinsdale), St. Louis (Clarkson Valley) and Tampa (Carrollwood), passed away on Oct. 23, 2018, at home with a firm faith and tender heart, surrounded by her loving family after a valiant, nine-month battle with kidney cancer. She is survived by her husband of 30 years, Beatty, and their daughter, Natalie of St. Louis, and son Dave (fiancée Katherine Hoots) of Boston. She is also survived by her brother, Greg Martin (Jane) of Arcadia, Fla., beloved cousin Debby Grove (John) of Atlanta, her aunts Sandy Pipkins (Larry) of Lake Toxaway, N.C., and Donna Bradshaw (David) of Seminole, Fla., her uncle Kenny Crews (Linda) of Fort Myers, Fla., sisters-in-law Bee Everett (Jim) of Treasure Island, Fla., and Bobbi Taman of Tampa, Fla., as well as nephews Jerry Martin, Chris Martin and Jay Taman; nieces Erica Martin Ashley, Gail Martin Sparks, Laura Hayes, Janette Taman Scharf, Helena Hayes Fiallos, Kara Martin Steacy, Alex Marie Taman, and Anne Elise Swenson. She is preceded in death by her mother, Ruth Alberta Crews Hirt, her father, William F. Hirt, and her brother, Jarell Martin.

Cathy was a descendant of the Crews family, Florida pioneers who settled Hardee and DeSoto counties in the 19th century. Her grandfather, Carroll Crews, was the decades-long elected police chief of Arcadia, Fla. After the birth of her children, Cathy devoted herself to her family on a full-time basis. She was very active in charity work as the vice president and, ultimately, president of the Graybar Family Foundation for over 12 years. She was an active member of the Parents Council at Washington University in St. Louis. She volunteered at Chaminade College Prep and St. Joseph’s Academy while her children attended there. She worked for both George W. Bush presidential campaigns. She was a longtime parishioner at St. Brigid, St. Isaac Jogues and St. Clare of Assisi Catholic churches.

Ms. D’Alessandro brought kindness and a refined eye for beauty to everything she touched. She was an expert at attracting hummingbirds to her gardens. She was an avid bird-watcher who took trips to follow the migration of the whooping cranes across Illinois. Her garden was her canvas, and it was always beautiful. She created a warm and loving sanctuary for her family in her home. Her dinners around the table were always filled with delicious food and laughter. Holidays in her home were magical. She made every moment with her family elegant and special but, at the same time, seemingly effortless.

The family would like to thank the Rev. Neil Herlihy, physicians Kelly Ahn, Omar Kucuk, Viraj Master, Louis Aliperti, Daniel Refai, Rema Rindler, Dale Strasser, Samuel Milton and the many other doctors, physician assistances, nurses, and medical staff at Winship Cancer Institute, Emory Rehabilitation Hospital and Emory Medical School. We would also like to thank the compassionate team of nurses at Longleaf Hospice, especially Denise Shields.

A memorial mass will be held at St. Brigid Catholic Church in Johns Creek, Ga., at 11 a.m. Nov. 3, 2018. The family will receive friends after that service at The Country Club of the South. The family will receive friends in St. Louis on Nov. 8 from 6-8 p.m. at the St. Louis Club in Clayton, Mo., and in Tampa on Nov. 10 at Palma Ceia Country Club from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. as guests of Peg and Jay Trezevant.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Graybar Family Foundation or the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta. Online condolences may be expressed at Arrangements by Crowell Brothers Funeral Homes & Crematory, 5051 Peachtree Ind. Blvd., Peachtree Corners, Ga. 30092, 770-448-5757.

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