It is with profound sadness and a very heavy heart that I email today to inform you all that Micheal D. Harris (Child Advocate Manager in the Pensacola Guardian ad Litem office) has passed away.
Mike was an amazing child advocate and friend to all who knew him. Mike’s wonderful Volunteers and the First Circuit staff and I are heartbroken and our hearts especially hurt for Mike’s family.
Although Mike has been out ill for a short time, we prayed this day wouldn’t come so soon. With Mike’s passing, we lost an incredible friend and a passionate advocate for our children.
However, his impact on children and the difference he made will go on for generations to come.
*Sent to the First Circuit Guardian ad Litem mailing list from Bryan Carter, First Circuit, Circuit Director.
Donna's sudden departure has left a huge hole in the heart of the Guardian ad Litem program. Her devotion to the Child in Need Fund requests and children who benefitted from her steadfast resolve was well known by everyone involved. We were blessed to have her service on the Board and our prayers go out to her family and friends who well know, she is irreplaceable. We will miss you, Donna.
Elizabeth S. Zimmers, 78, died at her home August 20, 2017 with her family members present. The cause of death was pulmonary fibrosis. She was deeply loved and will be sorely missed by her husband, family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Woodrow Wilson Shapard, Sadie Ellyson Shapard and her brother Raymond Wilson Shapard. Also a son-in-law, USMC Major Robert Morgan, 52, died of melanoma, and a grand son, Private Robert Morgan, USMC, 23, died following a tour in Iraq.
Family members surviving are her husband of 61 years, Joe Lawrence Zimmers, 79, a son, Rodney Keith Zimmers, 60, of Phoenix, AZ and a daughter, Betty Jo Morgan, 57, of Gulf Breeze, FL. Also two younger sisters, Judy Ann Noble, Kansas City, KS and Cyndi Kenyon, New Cumberland, PA and three grandchildren, Rodney Jr., Jaclyn, and Susan and finally four great-grandchildren, Caroline Grace, Anna Katherine, Lila Gale, and Mackenzie Claire.
"Betty" was originally from Harrisburg, PA. She obtained her Undergraduate degree in English from the University of Maryland, a Master's degree in Psychology from the University of West Florida and an Associates degree in Residential Construction from Pensacola Junior College.
Though not a native of Pensacola, she moved here with her husband following his retirement from the Army in April 1979. Throughout her life she was a wife, mother and a high school teacher of Math, English and carpentry shop. She was also a college adjunct instructor for English, a Psychologist, a building contractor and a mediator for Small Claims Court of Escambia County. She loved music and played classical works on the piano for her enjoyment and her husband's.
Betty loved to travel. She cruised around the world four times, she visited over 125 countries, visited Antarctica three times, Arctic once, went up the Amazon River's 1100 miles, twice, and made 11 safaris in Africa including sitting with the gorillas!
Betty was a philanthropist of both time and money. She volunteered in a number of Pensacola social service organizations, her favorite being the Escambia County Guardian ad Litem Program for abused, abandoned and neglected children.
She was a member of the National Mensa Society.
Betty will be interred at Barrancas National Cemetery in the near future. The date of the service will be announced.
For those who wish to make a donation, in lieu of flowers, please donate to the NW Florida Guardian ad Litem Foundation, Inc. All donations will be matched by Betty's family.
In lieu of flowers