DeSoto County obituaries


Kyle Lee WhiddenKyle Lee Whidden, 29, passed away (Monday) June 3, 2019, in Arcadia, Fla. Kyle was born in Arcadia on July 11, 1989.

Mr. Whidden was a mechanic/heavy equipment operator for the Allied Recycling company in Arcadia. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, camping, farming and boating—but most of all Kyle loved helping everyone he could. Kyle had been a member of the Arcadia Rodeo Association for seven years and was also a member of the rodeo shootout gang. He was also a member of Arcadia Elks Lodge #1524 and many other establishments. Kyle was of the Baptist faith.

Kyle is survived by his parents, Sharmen Lowe of Tallahassee, and Timothy Whidden of Douglas, Ga.; his beloved fiancé, Sheryl Rhoades; his maternal grandparents, Richard and Starr Lowe of Arcadia; two sons, Charles William Whidden and Justin Holt of Arcadia; two daughters, Faith Marie Whidden of Jacksonville, Fla., and Chyanne Holt of Arcadia; five brothers, Timothy Daniel Whidden, Lonnie Anderson, Johnathan Tyson, Cole Skinner and Toby Dean; five sisters, Heaven Leanne Whidden-Guy, Sierra Tyson, Leslie Tyson, Sabrina Anderson and Dezeray Dye-Davis. Kyle also leaves two beloved grandchildren, Bailey and Allison Breeden.

A public memorial service for Kyle will be held at the Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo/Mosaic Arena, 2450 NE Roan St., Arcadia, at 1 p.m. (Saturday) June 22, 2019, with Pastor David Bedell officiating.

Ponger-Kays-Grady Funeral Home and Cremation Services is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made at

The Rev. Vernessa Larie’ Greer-WatsonOn Nov. 20, 1957, Vernessa Larie’ Greer-Watson was born in Bartow, Fla., to the late Annie Mae Carlton-Greer and Lonnie Greer. She was converted at an early age and became an active member of her family home church, Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church, in Arcadia, Fla.

Ms. Greer-Watson graduated from DeSoto High School in 1976. She later attended and graduated with honors from Edward Waters College in Jacksonville in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in English. As a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Vernessa returned to Arcadia, where she worked with the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services.

She accepted God’s calling into service in 1993 at the AME 11th Episcopal District (Tampa Conference), which is now the West Coast Conference. She later attended and graduated with honors from the Interdenominational Theological Center/Turner Seminary in Atlanta, with a Master of Divinity, with a concentration in Homiletics and Christian Worship in 1998.

The Rev. Greer-Watson served on the Board of Examiners and Professor of the Collins Institute from 1999-2003, Homiletics, Church Administration, Praise and Worship. She served in the Pastoral Ministry from October 1998 in the Daytona Beach District/Central Florida Conference until returning to the Tampa Florida Conference, and served on the Fort Myers District, which changed to the South Conference, and serving on the South Miami District from 2003-2005; transferred from the South Miami District to the “Lively” Lakeland District under the now West Coast Conference until 2015, after retiring from the Pastoral Ministry of the West Conference until 2015.

She later moved to Palm Coast, Fla., in November 2015 and attended Hurst Chapel AME, St. Augustine. She continued to work, worship and praise God. She joined Hurst Chapel AME Church in St. Augustine in January 2016, serving as the Associate Pastor until the Lord called her home on June 3, 2019.

Her life theme: “I am nothing without God.” Her hobbies included living, loving, laughing, sharing, cooking and everyone being happy with her cooking. She also enjoyed singing, reading, writing poems and skits.

The Rev. Vernessa Larie’ Greer-Watson leaves to cherish her memory her children, Jacqueline Guston (Aaron) of Jacksonville, and Carlton L. Greer (Octavia) of Willingboro, N.J.; a brother, Alonzo Greer (Juanita) of Seaford, Del.; and Joannie Davis (Charles) of Palm Coast, Fla.; nieces, Cecelia (James) Jordan of Winter Haven, Fla., Chakea Davis of Bradenton, Fla., Malana Greer of Georgia, Nathan Vinson of Wichita, Kan.; sorority sisters and dearest friends Shirley McBride and Deborah McKenzie; and a host of grandnieces, nephews, great-grandnieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Visitation is 11:30 a.m. (Saturday) June 15, 2019, at Greater Mt. Zion AME Church, 256 S. Orange Ave., Arcadia. Homegoing Services will begin at 12 p.m. at the church.

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