Sunday, July 29, 2012

Jeffro Ridner: 1954 - 2012

I met Jeffro Ridner again at Godby High School's first fortieth reunion two years ago. His mom was a favorite teacher of mine while I attended Godby, and I told him so at that time. I have been working with his classmates since that reunion on the next 40th reunion, and was expecting to see Jeffro at his class reunion in a few weeks. 

Jeffro is well-known among Tallahassee's bands, having played with many of them over the years. I was last on stage with him at the American Legion Hall in Tallahassee on December 31, 2002.

Jeffro passed away suddenly and unexpectedly of a stroke on July 8. I attended his Celebration of Life at the American Legion Hall on Sunday afternoon, July 29. I spoke with Mick beforehand about what I wanted to say, and was welcomed to do so shortly after the memorial part of the festivities began.

On behalf of the Association of Godby Graduates and his Class of 1972, I expressed condolences to his family and friends, and told everyone that Jeffro would be missed at his 40th class reunion at the Golden Eagle Country Club on Saturday evening, August 18. Acme Rythm and Blues then announced that they would be playing right there at the American Legion Hall in his honor Friday night before the reunion, August 17. That night sounds like a fun idea for any reunion attendees who are here in town the day before.

Others spoke of common experiences, and of Jeffro's kindness to his family and to all others in his life. His girlfriend with whom he had very recently reconciled after a thousand days apart, spoke of their love and close relationship with his extended family.

Then we were treated to a procession of Jeffro's bands, and I played "Love Shack" with Pure Platinum, with Jeffro's photos, tenor sax and hat on stage, and it was just like New Year's Eve again, on an early Sunday summer evening before dark at the American Legion Hall.

Jeffro's life touched a lot of others', and we were all happy to be there to remember him together where he had so often played for and with us.
Photo by Sandy Hopkins

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Kristy Nolan Keen, Friend of the Godby Alumni Family

Kristy Nolan Keen, 29, was diagnosed with stage 4 acute leukemia on May 3, 2012, and lives in Panama City Beach, Florida. Several within the Godby alumni community have assisted Kristy in establishing the The Kristy Nolan Leukemia Foundation, "A place where we can connect to share ideas, resources, prayers & anything we can to help Kristy through this battle!"

Kristy has a four-year-old daughter and a six-year-old son, and is expecting a bone marrow transplant in coming weeks. The Foundation is hosting a 5k Walk/Run benefit fundraiser for her at Frank Brown Park in Panama City Beach on Saturday, August 25, on Clara Avenue near Emerald Lake Drive. Registration begins at 7:30 am. The Fun Run starts at 8:00 am and 5k begins at 8:15 am, all Central Times. There will be a party afterward and a silent auction featuring, among other items, package deals from four resorts. Make a day of it if you would like to join Kristy's fight.

All event details and preregistration are here. Online registration is $10 for the Fun Run and $25 for the 5k. Registration for the 5k is $30 in person on the day of the race. All proceeds go to the Kristy Nolan Leukemia Foundation.

Whether or not you can attend the festivities, please visit Kristy's Journal if you would like to read about her struggle or contribute.

Thanks to Debbie Blackwood Crayton, Class of 1984, who serves on the Foundation's board of directors, and to Cathy Rolison, Class of 1983, for bringing this to our attention.

Best wishes to Kristy Nolan Keen and her family.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Deceased Godby High School Class of 1981 Alumni

Condolences, best wishes to the families and friends of our deceased classmates.
We will not forget.

Roderick Barnes
Sheryl "Sherri" Dianne Blanton Hurst 
Brenda Blount
Johnny Brown
Michael Brown
Reginald Brown
Charlene Clay
Marvin Clay
John Dennis Cogdill
Joel Emerson Collier
Timothy T. Collins
Andy Cooper
Jerry Deffenbaugh, Jr.
Ellino Henderson
Belinda Jackson Jones
Elizabeth Jackson Rhett
Shawna Kelly
Carla Madison
David McKee
John Merritt
Kelly Moore
Belinda Morris Strauss
Robin Newbon
Risa Paredes Lesinski
Larry Patterson
Lawrence Reddick
Richard William Singletary
Melody Regina Stanley-Jackson
Allen Whittington