At approximately 6:40pm on July 2, 2014, my youngest grandson Christopher William Falletta accidentally drowned in Cub Lake in Apopka, FL.
This was the obituary, unedited, that was published in The State Newspaper in Columbia, SC.
Christopher was a Lakeland, FL resident but had been residing for six years in Gainesville, FL then for the last 4 years had been living in the Apopka/Altamonte Springs FL area.
Christopher went to Meadowfield Grade School in Columbia, SC and Hand Middle School also in Columbia before moving back to Florida to live with his father. He graduated from George Jenkins High School where he was very active in FFA and was a two time president of that chapter. He loved music and was an accomplished trombone player in the band. He later took up the guitar.
After graduation from high school he started his post high school career at Polk State College before moving on to the University of Florida from which he graduated with a BS in Food and Resource Economics. He was an active member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity where his skill at smoking pork butt was well appreciated by his chapter brothers.
He was an avid fisherman, duck hunter, musician & singer and of course a devoted Gator Fan.
He was predeceased in death by his paternal grandparents; Betty Wasner & Joseph Falletta; his paternal greatgrandmother, Ruby Norris; his maternal great-grandparents Chief Oliver Tucker & Vada (Big Mama) Tucker; his beloved uncle Victor Wasner; his great grandfather, Henry Wasner & wife Wilhemina; and his maternal step grandfather, Howard Kilgore.
He is survived by his mother, Kathryn Bendeck (Dr. John) of Columbia SC; father David Falletta (Crystal) of Lakeland, FL; brother Alexander Falletta (Gina) of Elgin SC; sister Kaitlynn Falletta of Lakeland, FL; paternal grandfather Judge William Norris of Manhattan, NY; paternal great aunt Ann Norris Parker of Indio, CA; maternal grandmother Mary Frances Kilgore of Bartow, FL; nieces Saylor and Finley Falletta of Elgin, SC.
He is also survived by his uncles Jay Carlton from the Brandon area of FL; Gary Falletta of Lakeland, FL; Ben Kilgore from Bartow FL; and William Norris III from the Orlando area. His surviving aunts are Lori Carlton and Melinda Ussery of Bartow, FL.
He had numerous cousins including J.R., Shauna, Abbey, Shelby, Nicholas and Nate. He was also survived by numerous second cousins Tyler, Micah, Devin, Jarin, Mattie, Doug Parker and Donna Jadamec.
Also surviving Chris is his significant other Ashley Goebel of Apopka, FL and her loving and supporting father, Dr. Jay Goebel.
Everyone was his friend, and he knew no enemies. He will be deeply missed by all.
Funeral Services were held by Gentry-Morrison Funeral Home in Lakeland, FL. Hwy 98 South on July 7th, 2014.
To end with Chris’ favorite quote: “Love ya…mean it”.
Today at 6:40pm his mother Kathryn N. Bendeck and his step-father Dr. John Bendeck will be walking along the Atlantic Ocean shoreline in West Palm Beach tossing rose petals into the water in memory of Chris.
At the same time on Little Gasparilla Island his older brother Alex Falletta will be lighting Wish Lanterns. Alex will also be fishing because: “that is what Chris would want to do.”
And, at the same time along Cub Lake his father David Falletta, his grandfather William A. Norris, Jr., his uncle William A. Norris, III, and his former girlfriend Ashley Goebel will also be tossing rose petals into the water in memory of Chris. We will also toss in a few fish hooks in remembrance of Chris being an avid and devoted fisherman.
Chris, we miss you more than mere words can describe and we all ...
Love ya - mean it!