Give to a Memorial

Remembering Someone Special

The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida is honored to accept donations in memory of a cherished family member, friend or colleague, to the funds of their family’s choosing.

Please find a list of memorial funds below, with the more recently established funds listed first. If you have any questions or cannot find the fund you are looking for, please contact our office at (904) 356-4483. 

Annette Folmar Wiles, 95, passed away Friday, May 17, at the Bailey Family Care Center, St. Augustine, after a recent decline in health.


Throughout her life, Annette sought out opportunities to help others. She was among the first Guardians ad Litem, advocating for abused, neglected and abandoned children under the auspices of the Department of Children and Families. She was a member of the Woman’s Exchange, the Garden Club, a board member of Neil Neighborhood House Auxiliary, a Deacon at Memorial Presbyterian Church and a member of the FSU Emeritus Society. She was always gracious and kind, and quick with a “thank you” and a thank you note. She loved fresh flowers and chocolates.


All contributions will be forwarded to the Neil Neighborhood House Auxiliary, St. Augustine, that provides financial support to area families in need. Donate here.

Creighton Funke left this world too soon on March 21, 2023, at the age of 21. Creighton lit up the room with his infectious smile. He brought laughter to a new level with his brothers, friends, and family. He cared more for others than he did himself and, in true fashion, Creighton was an organ donor. While in the hospital he fought hard so donor recipients could be perfectly matched, saving the lives of 3 individuals. We are humbled by such selfless gifts.

He was a respected member of the Ponte Vedra High School Varsity Football and Lacrosse teams. While watching a sporting event with him, you would be enriched by his vast knowledge of the contest and its participants at the college and professional level. He attended Florida State University where he worked to pursue a degree in sports management.

In honor of Creighton’s beautiful life and character, his family established the Creighton Funke Memorial Scholarship Fund. The fund will be awarded to a dual athlete graduating senior at Ponte Vedra High School. While his time with us was cut short, Creighton’s spirit guides us every day.

Donate to the Creighton Funke Memorial Scholarship Fund 

The Craig Speziale Memorial Scholarship will honor the lifetime commitment to education made by Craig Speziale. Mr. Speziale was the first Principal at Ponte Vedra High School and served in that capacity until his passing in 2014 after a battle with cancer. The fund will be used to improve scholarship among Ponte Vedra High School Students through grants and/or college scholarships to students.


Donate to the Craig Speziale Memorial Scholarship Fund

The StetsonRollins Memorial Fund was created at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida in 2023 to honor the legacy of Edward Bryant Rollins Jr., a beloved Jacksonville community leader, racial equity and all institutionalized “-isms“ equity champion, investigative journalist, and civil rights organizer who died in 2022. The goal of the Fund is to help others pursue the causes that mattered to Bryant, with advisement by his wife Shirley Stetson.


Donate to the StetsonRollins Memorial Fund.

Susan Thomas Merrill, 62, of Orange Park, FL, passed away peacefully on Saturday, the 29th of July, 2023 at her summer home in Eagle Crag Lake, NY.


Susan spread love across her pillars of family, faith, and service continually lending a helping hand and words of kindness to go with her sweet smile and Texas drawl. Her family and friends could always count on her steadfast support and love, sometimes sprinkled with a delicious chocolate dessert (which she called her love language). Susan enjoyed traveling and making memories, including living overseas when Lee worked in Okinawa, Japan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and spending summers with family, friends, and nature in the Adirondack Mountains. Susan loved staying connected with her grandchildren and adult children, parents and brothers through frequent messages, FaceTime calls, and as many visits as she could manage with them across the country—and sometimes around the world. She enjoyed photography, exercising, spending precious Nana moments with her grandchildren, scrapbooking, and rock painting where she loved secretly spreading her talents as little works of art to be discovered. Susan dedicated many years to volunteering in service of Orange Park Methodist Church, English Springer Rescue America, and Orange Park Medical Center.


In memory of our loving wife, Mother, and Nana, the family has established the Susan Thomas Merrill Memorial Fund. This fund will be used to continue spreading Susan’s love and kindness by contributing to causes important to her, such as food security, animal rescue and adoption, childhood learning, and community arts.


Donate to the Susan Thomas Merrill Memorial Fund

Chief “Tony” Rickerson flew into heaven’s arms on June 11, 2023. Tony was known for his overwhelming love, commitment, and dedication to his wife, Sheena Holland Rickerson, and his hands-on approach to raising their three children; Annalee, Wyatt, and Wade. He truly believed in the family being first. Tony’s reputation as a police officer in the community is one of being fair, compassionate, and kind. Tony embodied everything public service should be as he truly had a servant’s heart. He dedicated his life to public service, loved being a police officer, and loved all of his law enforcement family. Tony was an example of being unapologetically unselfish. He always put himself last and would help anyone, often at great expense to himself. The loss of Tony Rickerson will leave a void that will never be filled in the Hamilton County Community and in the heart of his Wife and children.


Contributions to the fund will benefit the Jasper Police Department and its officers, which ultimately supports and contributes to the City of Jasper as well as the Hamilton County Community. Funding will be donated directly to the Department and to additionally provide a scholarship for future law enforcement officers wishing to attend the academy. Chief Rickerson loved his community, his department, and mentoring young law enforcement officers.


Donate to the Chief Tony Rickerson Memorial Fund

The Peyton Early Literacy Endowment supports and promotes early childhood literacy in Jacksonville, FL.

Donate to the Peyton Early Literacy Endowment

James Robert Booth stepped into heaven on February 23, 2023. He was born on February 18, 1946, in Jacksonville, FL. Jim grew up in Doctor’s Inlet and was very active in his community. After graduating from Orange Park High School in 1964, he earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education with a minor in History before completing his master’s degree of Physical Education from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Upon graduation, Jim earned the rank of II LT in ROTC in Louisiana and enlisted in the US Army. After volunteering in Vietnam, he chose to join the Army Reserves and was assigned to the 345th Combat Support Hospital based at USNAS, Jacksonville, where he completed his military career as a Major. He then began his professional career in the early 70’s with Clay County schools at Orange Park High where he taught history and coached. In 1989, Jim completed his tenure at Orange Park High as Principal. His passion for students and families helped him serve as a mentor and teacher to all ages for many years. He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Kathy; daughters Kristie Hunt (Tim) and Jennifer Dorney (John), son Keelan Stuart (Jen); grandchildren, Timothy Hunt, Jr., Lauren Hunt, Braedan Stuart, Kaleigh Stuart, Ava Dorney and John Dorney Jr.


In honor of Mr. Booth’s life and commitment to the students at Orange Park High School, his family has established the Servant Spirit – James R. Booth Memorial Scholarship Fund. This fund will provide scholarships for Orange Park High School graduates. 


Donate to the Servant Spirit – James R. Booth Memorial Fund

Benito Cataquiz Calingasan, age 74, passed away on Wednesday, January 26, 2022. The son of Elena and Remigio Calingasan, Benito was born in Bauan, Batangas, Philippines in 1948. Benito proudly served in the U.S. Navy for 23 years, where he received multiple recognitions and many awards, including the National Defense Service Medal. Upon retirement, he worked as a civil engineer for more than 13 years contributing to bridge and infrastructure oversight in the state of Texas. He is survived by his loving wife Zenaida Eclarinal Calingasan and his children Candice, Joy, and Glenn (Michael). His 7 grandchildren were his pride and joy; he will be missed dearly by Braxton, Brandon, Aliyah, Abigail, Elijah, Sandy, and Zoey. Benito was blessed to spend time with his great-grandson Maxwell.


The family respectfully requests memorial contributions to the LGBTQ Community Fund for Northeast Florida.


Donate to the LGBTQ Community Fund for Northeast Florida

Talen Charles Birt passed away on August 30, 2021 at the age of 16 after a valiant battle with osteosarcoma.


A National Honor Society scholar and talented athlete at Kirby-Smith Middle School (Springfield Middle), Talen was an inspiration to many as he endured the surgeries and chemotherapy necessary to try and combat his terminal bone cancer. His response to his diagnosis was, “God is positive. So, therefore, I am positive.”


Education was an important part of Talen’s life—so much so that his Dreams Come True wish was to be at Andrew Jackson High School for the first day of 11th grade in mid-August. His visit to campus was cheered by his classmates, the principal and the superintendent. Talen’s ambition had been to attend FAMU/FSU and obtain a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He hoped to get married and have children.


In honor of Talen’s life, his family and friends have established the Talen Charles Birt Memorial Fund. The fund will provide scholarships to defray the cost of college attendance for graduates of William M. Raines, Jean Ribault, First Coast, or Andrew Jackson High Schools.


Donate to the Talen Charles Birt Memorial Fund

The Tristyn Bailey Memorial Fund was established to honor the vibrant life of Tristyn Bailey. At just 13 years old, Tristyn was an inspiration to those around her. She was a loving daughter, sister, and friend; a dedicated student and an avid cheerleader constantly supporting and encouraging those around her. Tristyn was dedicated to achieving her goals whether it be in academics or mastering her back tuck for cheerleading. She was also dedicated to helping others achieve their goals by providing encouraging words and sharing her time to help them out or giving a big hug when needed. This fund will be used to continue to spread Tristyn’s light, love and passion for helping others.


The primary grantmaking priorities of the Fund are:

  • Scholarship opportunities for local teens
  • Victim Advocacy, including through legislative action
  • Self Defense classes for minors, presently coordinated with St. Johns County Sheriff’s Dept.
  • Social media education for children and parents


Donate to the Tristyn Bailey Memorial Fund.

Cole Hunter Kelley was called home on Dec. 4, 2019 at the young age of 14. His love for life, others and most importantly Jesus is what he will forever be remembered for by those he encountered here on earth. He had a dynamic smile that would light up any room, a hug that reached your heart, and a gentleness that brought comfort to others much like holding your grandmother’s hand. He was quick to notice those in need and brave enough to stand apart from the crowd when the crowd wasn’t representing kindness and love. But what many didn’t realize was, this wasn’t Cole, this was Jesus working through Cole. Cole believed with his whole heart that Jesus died on the cross to save him from his sins, and he wanted others to know that Jesus died for them too!


In remembrance of Cole Kelley a scholarship has been established for a graduating senior at Ponte Vedra High School.


Donate to the Cole Kelley Scholarship Fund

At 4 years of age, Mason had an unusual sense of compassion and caring for other children. In the weeks leading up to his untimely death, Mason was collecting loose change to buy toys for others less fortunate than he was. This fund, established by his parents Ralph and Erin, will be used to continue Mason’s mission to help others.


Donate to the Super Heroes 4 Mason Fund

The Melinda Hicks Jenkins Fund was set up to honor the life of Melinda Hicks Jenkins who went home to her Lord on August 5, 2017.


Melinda was an amazing wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend.  She cared deeply about children’s health and this fund was established to continue her legacy by donating to causes that will benefit the lives and health of children such as The Women’s Board at Wolfson Children’s Hospital and the HealthyUNow Foundation. 


Donate to the Melinda Hicks Jenkins Fund

Created in honor of William D. Brinton to advance the scenic beauty of Jacksonville, Florida through education, policy and citizen engagement.


William D. ‘Bill’ Brinton served as a Trustee of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida for twelve years, and was chairman from 2014-2015. When he learned that he had a terminal illness, he set out to create a permanent fund at The Community Foundation to continue his life’s work—preserving and protecting his beloved and beautiful Jacksonville. The Scenic Jacksonville Endowment to Protect and Enhance Scenic Beauty in Jacksonville will ensure that there is perpetual funding for the things he held most dear: civic engagement, advocacy and education to preserve the natural beauty we cherish. The endowment will benefit Scenic Jacksonville.


Donate to the Scenic Jacksonville Endowment

Jerry Watson was born on September 7, 1940 in Phenix City, AL, and died on August 7, 2021 in Jacksonville, FL as a result of COVID complications. He was surrounded by his loving family in his final hours.

Growing up, Jerry had a passion for sports and was a star athlete on the field. He played football for Central High School, earning the school’s Most Sportsmanship Award. Jerry attended Auburn University and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering.

Jerry began his professional career with Dupont Technologies in Chattanooga, TN, and later in Wilmington, DE. In 1971, Jerry moved to Jacksonville to join Barnett Bank of Florida. He enjoyed a rewarding career in banking until his retirement in 2014.

During his career, Jerry served on the Board of numerous non-profit organizations. Jerry loved the community he lived and worked in and supported any opportunity to give back.

Jerry always emphasized the importance of a good education as the foundation of your future success. In memory of our loving husband, father, and Papa, the family has established a scholarship fund in his name to benefit a Duval County student wishing to attend Auburn University.

Donate to the Jerry D. Watson Scholarship Fund

George H. Dorion, PhD passed away on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 in Jacksonville, FL. Dr. Dorion was an internationally respected research leader in photo-chemistry, polymer systems, anaerobic waste digestion/ disposal, fermentation and distillation processes, and product development. He began his career as Senior Research Chemist  in the USAF Aeronautical Research Lab at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio and came to Jacksonville in the mid-70s to open and lead Bacardi-Castleton Beverage Corporation, from which he retired in 1995. Among his many philanthropic interests, George and his wife Dottie established scholarships at The Community Foundation for dependents of employees of Bacardi Bottling Corporation Jacksonville.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests gifts to the George and Dottie Dorion Scholarship Fund for Bacardi Jacksonville, FL.

Donate to the George & Dottie Dorion Scholarship Fund for Bacardi Jacksonville, FL

Dennis Ackerman was born on March 30, 1946 in Baltimore and died on March 21, 2021 in St. Augustine Beach of metastatic esophageal cancer surrounded by his loving family. His parents, Florence Berger Ackerman and Bernard Ackerman, predeceased him.


After receiving two B.S. Degrees from the University of Maryland, he enrolled at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville where he received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology. Following a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Medicine at Emory University in Atlanta, he began his multi-decade research career in the Pharmaceutical Industry. Along the way, he made many friends, especially his loving companion and wife Ginger (Virginia) of 42 years. They were an ideal match from their very beginning due to their commonality of interests. He maintained an active lifestyle with daily trips to the gym and thoroughly enjoyed his favorite sports teams starting with the Baltimore Colts in the late 1950’s and the University of Maryland and University of Florida basketball and football teams.


Those left behind to cherish his memories are his devoted brother Dr. Neil Ackerman and a multitude of compassionate and loving family and friends.


Contributions to the Virginia ‘Ginger’ Ackerman Scholarship Fund will benefit college students in St. Johns County.


Donate to the Virginia ‘Ginger’ Ackerman Scholarship Fund

Joan Amery Van Vleck passed away on Tuesday, January 5, 2021 in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. Joan was a founding member and a past president of the Women’s Giving Alliance, an initiative of The Community Foundation. She was very committed to issues concerning women and girls, and was instrumental and supportive in the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center. Joan was a master gardener and has been very involved in Bird Island and Memorial Park in Riverside. The family gratefully suggests donations to the Women’s Endowment Fund or the Memorial Park Association Endowment, both of which can be accessed below under ‘Designation.’

Donate to the WGA Women’s Endowment Fund or the Memorial Park Association Endowment

Virginia “Ginger” Osborne Ackerman died October 31, 2020 in Gainesville, FL of complications from pancreatic cancer surgery surrounded by her loving family and friends.  She was raised on the family farm in Mouth of Wilson, VA and quickly learned the importance of hard work and team work.  She was the first graduating female Biochemistry Major at Virginia Tech and led a successful career in the Pharmacuetical industry.  She and her husband Dennis lived in St. Augustine Beach, FL  where she continued pursuing her life-long interests in gardening, exercise, tai chi and enjoying nature.  Donations in Gingers’ honor will be used to improve the quality of life in St. John’s County.

Donate to the Virginia ‘Ginger’ Ackerman Scholarship Fund

Richard G. Skinner, Jr., MD died on July 7, 2019 at the age of 98. An innovator in the medical community, he loved Jacksonville and began Children’s Medical Group here in 1951. He had numerous personal interests but focused his professional efforts on improving children’s health and welfare for over 50 years. He was married to Ann for 60 years before her death, and he is survived by sons Richard (Pattie) and Allen (Debra) Skinner, daughter Dorothy (Nick) Palmer, and nine grandchildren. Contributions to the Richard G. and Ann F. Skinner Advised Fund will continue the generosity they practiced in their lifetimes.

Donate to the Richard G. & Ann F. Skinner Advised Fund

The Janet G. Owens Neighborhood Engagement and Community Development Memorial Fund was established by her husband, Gregory, to continue Janet’s lifelong passion for improving her community.  Janet was masterful at engaging people in everything she did, from her earliest days to her most recent leadership of LISC Jacksonville. She could get people talking about things that were in their heads and on their hearts, and she did it in a way that was appreciative and respectful.  She understood the importance of having communities at the table, as part of the process, and not just have things done to them. As a community development professional, Janet was skilled at bringing all the pieces together on a project; as Gregory says, ‘she just kept juggling until it all worked.’

“This is my way of honoring her, and in this way, I and my family can continue to keep her engagement and community development work alive.”  

Donate to the Janet G. Owens Neighborhood Engagement & Community Development Memorial Fund

Downtown Ecumenical Services Council was very close to Genie Cooke’s heart. For more than twenty years, she was involved in this ministry in a variety of ways, giving of her time, gifts and resources to support DESC’s work with some of Jacksonville’s most vulnerable residents. Contributions in her memory will help to insure that people in difficult situations will receive the help they need.

Donate to the Downtown Ecumenical Council Endowment 

If you are looking for a memorial fund that isn’t listed, please search for that fund by name on our donation page


If you can't locate a fund or need assistance, please call our office at (904) 356-4483.