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Obituary for Anthony Halsema Jr.

Anthony (Tony) Lambert Halsema, Jr., was born in Miami, FL on October 31, 1926 and passed away quietly at his home in Satellite Beach, FL on Sunday, February 26. He has happily gone to rejoin Jacqueline (Jackie) Green Halsema, his wife of 54 years and the light of his life, in the presence of Our Savior. Tony is survived by his sister, Grace Stetzer, brother and sister-in-law, Don and Cris Halsema, 9 children and their spouses - John (Terry), Doug, Paul (Libby), Frank (Karen), Chris (Keo), Kevin (Jackie), Andy, Maureen Meyer (Ean), Celeste Stroh (Scott) - 17 grandchildren, 1 great-grandchild, 12 nieces and nephews, and countless friends now spread throughout the country.

Tony was a member of St. Brendan's Catholic Church in Miami, FL for 17 years, Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Memphis, TN for 19 years, and Holy Name of Jesus (HNJ) Church in Indialantic, FL for 21 years. As an involved parishioner, Tony taught children's religious education classes, was active in Cursillo, served as a lector, Eucharistic minister, and an usher, and was a catechist in the RCIA program; all while regularly volunteering for additional activities around the parish. For several years, he taught dozens of others how to make rosaries while making countless rosaries himself and spent at least an hour a week at HNJ's perpetual adoration chapel.

A Florida native whose family has deep roots in San Antonio (FL), St. Augustine, and New Smyrna, among other places, Tony spent most of his life until age 50 in Miami, FL. A WWII Navy vet, Tony briefly attended Spring Hill College on the GI bill and then drove trucks throughout the southeast before working for Pan American World Airways. In 1976, after 23 years at Pan Am, he moved his family to Memphis, TN to work for a young start-up company known as Federal Express where he spent the next 19 years as a quality assurance manager, team leader of technical auditors, and a key contributor to the national auditing agency C.A.S.E. Upon retiring from Federal Express, Tony and his “child bride” moved back to Florida; landing in Satellite Beach. He loved the weather, beautiful views of the Indian River and Atlantic Ocean, and the natural environment including the pelicans, turtles, and tortoises.

Retirement was not an occasion for idleness for Tony. He continued doing technical audits on a contract basis for several years. In addition to his activities at HNJ church, he volunteered regularly at Daily Bread and performed weekly river monitoring for the Marine Resources Council. He also continued doing technical audits on a contract basis for several years. Finding an open spot on his calendar, he toiled for a couple of years studying and generating multiple graduate level papers to earn a Pastoral Ministry certificate from Loyola University.

Tony was a dedicated family man always putting his family first and regularly sacrificing for them. Coming home tired after a long day at work, he would spend time playing with his young kids so that Jackie could get a well needed breather. Weekend trips to area attractions were fit in between maintaining the house and cars, barbering his brood, working with the Boy Scouts, and performing various duties at swim meets with his younger children. All who knew Tony enjoyed his dry sense of humor and wry wit. His family and friends have many fond memories of his jokes and that sly smile when he's pulling your leg or sticking you with plenty of points while playing cards, Mah Jong, or Mexican Train. He was an avid lover of nature, especially the beach and the mountains, enjoyed square dancing, and never saw a plane or flower he didn’t like.

The family would like to thank the staff at Holmes Regional Medical Center, Life Care Center of Melbourne, Vitas Healthcare, and Senior Partner In-Home Care for the kind and loving care and support they have provided Tony for over a year. Our boundless gratitude goes out to Joy Bengston, who has selflessly provided in-home care for our parents until each of them were called home in their time.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully suggests considering a donation to Daily Bread, http://www.dailybreadinc.org/.

Online condolences may be left at beachfuneralhome.com
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