John Hatcher, 60-year Missionary to Brazil, Meets His Savior Face-to-Face

“…’Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.’”  -Matthew 25:23

John Albert Hatcher, died on May 14, 2022, at his son’s home in Clermont, Florida, where he lived comfortably for the past eight years under the loving care of Paul and Wanda Hatcher, his eldest son and daughter-in-law.  

John was born in 1925 in Alexandria, Kentucky, to Albert and Beatrix Hatcher. He was the second of four children, reared in a God-fearing home on a dairy farm. He trusted the Lord Jesus at age nine after hearing the Gospel story of the three crosses, which he later made into a visual pamphlet, translated into three languages, and shared with hundreds of people in his latter years. 

Upon finishing high school at Campbell County H.S., amidst World War II, he signed up as a volunteer for the U.S. Merchant Marines. He served proudly for four years, including action on D + 1 day at Normandy, France. After the war he enrolled in Georgetown Baptist College, Georgetown, Kentucky, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree. He went on to earn a Master’s in Theology at Lexington Baptist College and a Doctorate in Theology at Luther Rice Seminary.  

In his first year at Georgetown College he met his wonderful wife, Alta McKeehan, and they were married for 69 years. Throughout their college years they worked together in home missions in Kentucky. After graduating, he pastored in Shelbyville and Beattyville, Kentucky, and finally in Alton, Illinois before they followed God’s call to be life-long missionaries to Brazil, sponsored by Baptist Faith Missions.  

He arrived in Brazil in 1955 with Alta and their children, and dedicated the first 19 years to church planting in the Amazon Valley, working in the city of Manaus and in villages along the Amazon River. During those years John founded Batista das Americas School and the Manaus Baptist Theological Seminary, and was involved in starting several churches. His many skills and talents were put to God’s use: piloting his boat, building churches and school buildings, making pews and desks, educating and training young pastors, translating theology books, printing Christian literature and song books, evangelizing and teaching by radio, using puppets, ventriloquism and magic to reach people for Christ. John played the saxophone and clarinet and loved Christian music.  

In 1976 John and Alta felt led to move to the city of Garça, São Paulo, in southern Brazil. There he started ten churches in ten cities where there were no Baptist churches, along with a bus ministry and Bible Institute through which the churches were serviced with leadership.  

In 1989 John moved 200 miles further south to Urai, Parana, Brazil. In the next years he repeated the church planting and leadership training, resulting in seven thriving churches in that region, each with its building paid for.  

John Hatcher was known for his unwavering faith in God, incredible discipline and work ethic. As his late mission director, Hafford Overbey put it: John Hatcher works!  

All of John and Alta’s children are actively involved in church work, serving the Lord as pastors and missionaries.  

Only Heaven will tell the extent of John Hatcher’s influence in spreading the Gospel to the nation of Brazil. He is loved and will be missed by thousands. He fought the good fight, finished his course, kept the faith.  

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Alta McKeehan Hatcher, his daughter, Lynn McGary, his unborn son, buried on the banks of the Nhamunda River in the Amazon, and his brother, Charles Hatcher. He is survived by two sisters Neree Woods and Jessie Sills, his loving children, Ranaah Paul Hatcher (Wanda) of Clermont, Florida, John Mark Hatcher (Judy) of Toulouse, France, David Judson Hatcher (Pennie) of Manaus, Brazil, Kathy Amazonas Barros (Odali) of Iranduba, Brazil, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  


Visitation | Tuesday, May 24, 2022 | 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Becker Funeral Home | 806 W. Minneola Ave. | Clermont, Florida 34711 | Directions

Funeral Service | Tuesday, May 24, 2022 | 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Becker Funeral Home | 806 W. Minneola Ave. | Clermont, Florida 34711 | Directions

Graveside Service with Military Honors | Wednesday, May 25, 2022 | 10:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Cape Canaveral National Cemetery | 5525 US-1 | Mims, Florida 32754 | Directions

Formal Obituary


In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to John’s lifelong passion, missions.
You may do so at:
Baptist Faith Missions
c/o Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280
Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.
Please designate to the “General Fund in memory of John A Hatcher”

Condolences may be made to the family at:
Paul Hatcher | 15905 Mercott Ct | Clermont, FL 34714 

Click here to read the Autobiography of Alta Hatcher: “The Story of My Life as a Missionary”

“Disse-lhe o seu senhor: Muito bem, servo bom e fiel; sobre o pouco foste fiel, sobre muito te colocarei; entra no gozo do teu senhor.”  –Mateus 25:23

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Deloris Lauerman Is With the Lord

Another one of our faithful Veteran Missionary Pensioners has been called Home to Heaven to meet her Savior face-to-face whom she loved and served all her lifetime here.

Deloris Lauerman served with her husband, Walter, for thirty years in South America: 15 years in Peru, and then 15 years in Honduras. The Lord worked through them to establish at least 24 New Testament Baptist churches in those fields of service – and then those same churches went on to multiply still more churches…and they are still going and multiplying!

They maintained contact by letter and phone with many of those saints years later after returning to the States to pastor churches here and serve out the later years of their lives in still others of our churches. Many times, we rejoiced with them as they shared with us conversations they had with first, second, third, and even fourth generation believers – some of them whom they had never met. They would remind them of their love for them, thank them for coming to tell them about Jesus, and keep them updated with what the Lord was continuing to do in Peru and Honduras because of the Gospel witness of Christ they had first delivered to them.

Please join us as we express our deepest appreciation to both her and Brother Lauerman for their lifetime of service to our Lord Jesus Christ – and in our prayers to God for her family during this time of their earthly bereavement.

“Well done, good and faithful servant…enter into the joys of your Lord!” – JESUS

Her family will be receiving friends Monday night (March 25), 5-8pm, and her memorial service will be conducted at 12:30pm on Tuesday (March 26). A full obituary can be viewed here

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A Tribute To God’s Grace In The Life Of Pastor Paul Richard Kirkman

A Tribute To God’s Grace In The Life Of Pastor Paul Richard Kirkman

Written on behalf of us all by Pastor Darrell Messer

Born October 7, 1921      Born Again April 14, 1940      Died July 26, 2018

Wit, wisdom, and the Word; these marked the life of Paul Kirkman.  It has been my honor to know this man for some 47 years and be counted among his multitude of friends.

Before speaking of Pastor Kirkman’s impact on my personal life, I want to share a bit of history of the grace of God in Brother Paul’s life.

Paul speaks of his coming to saving faith in the Lord in the following way.  “In 1932, just before the age of 11, the Spirit of God began to convict me of my sin and the thought of being accountable to God began to trouble me deeply.  For about eight years the Lord worked on my heart and, late in 1939, I made a resolution to attend Sunday School every Sunday in 1940.  By the grace of God, this was a resolution that I kept.  In April of 1940, Pastor Slone asked me to stay for the morning preaching service.  On April 14th I stayed for both the Sunday School and the preaching service.  That afternoon I went to a picture show, but all I could think of was God.  Upon leaving the picture show I saw a crowd headed for the river bank.  The town drunk had been saved and was being baptized in the river as a testimony to all.  I was not altogether sure what this man had, or how he got it; all I knew was I wanted it!  That afternoon my mother asked me to go back to the evening service with her and I said, ‘No thank you, once a Sunday is enough!’  That evening I planned to stay at home and listen to Jack Benny; but as I tried to enjoy Jack, I felt irresistibly drawn back to that church house.  On the way back to that church house, after much turmoil, I cried out to God and said, ‘Oh God, I want to be a Christian more than anything in this world, and tonight, if you show me how to be, I will be.’  That night, after the service, at the age of 18, for the first time in my life, I heard the Gospel message as good news for me personally.”

God’s plan for Paul’s life would move him to Dayton, Ohio and to the Haynes Street Baptist Church which would soon change its name to Emmanuel Baptist Church.  There he met Louise Hancock who he lovingly called “Her Majesty.”   On October 14, 1942 they would marry.  World War II would call Paul to leave his bride of 3 weeks to enlist in the U.S. Navy and serve his country as a Marine medic until being honorably discharged from the Navy December 27, 1943.

In 1945 Paul submitted to God’s call on his life to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He enrolled in the Baptist Bible Seminary at Johnson City, New York with a desire to serve as a missionary in Africa.   In 1948 his schooling was interrupted because of a needed brain surgery.  God had just recently brought into the Kirkmans’ life a young son (David) by way of adoption.  Paul had no idea how the hospital bills and the daily living expenses would be paid. However, he did know this had come to him through the hand of his Heavenly Father and that somehow God would supply.  And supply God did!  A seminary mate would replace Paul at his job but would give all the pay checks to the Kirkman family till Paul was able to work again.  Additionally, the surgeon would not charge for his services and the hospital did not charge for his hospital stay.  God supplied, in every way needed, as only God can.  Paul would go on to graduate seminary on June 6, 1949.  However, because of the brain surgery, going to Africa as a missionary was out of the question but the call of God to preach the Gospel was never questioned.

On June 6, 1950 the Emmanuel Baptist Church of Dayton, Ohio, under the leadership of Pastor James T. Jeremiah, ordained Paul to the Gospel ministry. In that same year he became pastor of the Evansville Baptist Church in Niles, Ohio.  In 1951 Paul would undergo another brain surgery that was listed as “exploratory.”  In October of that year God provided a daughter (Michal) for them to adopt.  Paul would follow what he felt to be the leadership of God and resign as pastor of Evansville Baptist Church in 1955.

In August of 1956, under the authority of Emmanuel Baptist, Paul started a mission in Fairborn, Ohio that organized February 10, 1957 as the Grace Baptist Church.  In 1970 the meeting house where the church still worships was built.  In 1971 Paul would undergo a third brain surgery and be out of his pulpit for 7 months, during which time Brother Marvin Summers would serve as interim pastor.  Paul’s ministry as Pastor would continue to April 5, 1987 when he retired and was given the title Pastor Emeritus.

Additionally, Paul served in the spread of the Gospel as a director of Baptist Faith Missions for many years.  He continued to preach as long as his health permitted and opportunity was presented.

The Lord gave two faithful and godly companions to Paul during his life.  The wife of his youth, Louise, better known as “Her Majesty” served alongside of Paul for all his active pastoral ministry.  She was diagnosed with M.S. shortly before his retirement and went to be with the Lord on December 12, 1994.   Not too long after the death of Louise, Paul began a reacquaintance with a lady named Emma, whom he had met the same night he met Louise many years before.  She too had married a Baptist preacher (Loren Brown) who had died in 1988.   After some time of correspondence Paul asked Emma to be his wife and they married May 18,1996 in California where Emma was living. They then returned to Fairborn where they lived and served the Lord together as members of Grace Baptist Church.  Emma also preceded Paul in death on February 17, 2010.

I said at the beginning that Paul was a man of wit.  His body grew more and more frail, but his mental sharpness and keen memory held to his last breath.  That wit was very noticeable in his story telling and, my oh my, did he have stories to tell.

He was a man of wisdom.  Sound in his judgments and keen in his insights, I sought his counsel on many occasions.

He was a man of the Word.  This was evident in his wit and his wisdom.  The Scripture was his delight and his exposition of the Scripture the delight of all who heard him.

On a personal note, Pastor Paul Kirkman came into my life in 1971 when he spoke some very gracious words into my life after I spoke at a Bible conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Little did I know that this man, whom I came to affectionately call “Elder”, would become such an important part of my life and that of my family.

In the spring of 1976 Brother Kirkman would hold a revival meeting for me at Immanuel Baptist Church in Riverview, MI.  Several were saved that week, and he ministered to a family whose 10-year-old son was undergoing surgery for a brain tumor.  He did so in a way I never could have, because of his own three brain surgeries.  During that week I shared with him that I felt God was bringing my ministry there to a conclusion.  Fast forward a few months and the church where I have been honored to serve for almost 42 years asked him if he could help them find a pastor.  He said he “might just know of someone.”  Through these many years his friendship and fellowship became very precious as he mentored me and mirrored for me the heart of a pastor.

Paul Kirkman lived to serve His Lord by serving his fellow man.  He wanted to live his life to help others.   First, to help them know the Savior he knew, and then, to help them in their journey through life.  To Paul Kirkman I humbly say “Thank You” for helping me.   And to the Lord I say, “Thank you, Father, for Paul Kirkman.”

He is gone from our sight but not from our hearts.

In Him Who Loved Us First,
Darrell Messer

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Alta Hatcher, 60-year Missionary to Brazil, Meets Her Savior Face-to-Face

“…’Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.’”  -Matthew 25:23

Alta Hatcher, one of our beloved missionaries to Brazil, was promoted to Heaven about 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 8, 2018.

Alta married John A. Hatcher in December 1947, and they spent 70 years serving the Lord together, 60 of which were in Brazil. “We are thankful to God for having the joy of serving Him and telling people how they can be saved and go to Heaven,” Alta wrote in her autobiography. From 1955-2015, they worked and planted churches in about 60 Brazilian cities.

God gave them five children: Lynn, Paul, John Mark, David, and Kathy. He called all to be missionaries in foreign lands except the oldest, Lynn. She and her husband were missionaries to those with special needs in a Church in Nashville, Tennessee. Their 21 grandchildren are also serving the Lord! Some as pastors and others are missionaries some of the granddaughters are married to pastors or missionaries. Several of their 35 great-grandchildren have already trusted Jesus as their Savior.

Please continue your prayers to God for her husband, John, and their family.

Celebration service: Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 5:00pm
The Celebration Service will be conducted at Chapel Baptist Church, Clermont FL
15744 County Road 474  |  Clermont FL 34714

They are expecting all of her children to be attending [Please be praying that God will grant all of them peace, joy, and safety as they travel…]

Becker Funeral Home, Clermont FL, is in charge of her services
Formal Obituary

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that Memorial gifts be made to Baptist Faith Missions “In memory of Alta Hatcher”
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280
Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.

Correspondences to John A. Hatcher may be sent to:
15905 Mercott Court | Clermont FL 34714

Click here to read the Autobiography of Alta Hatcher: “The Story of My Life as a Missionary”

“Disse-lhe o seu senhor: Muito bem, servo bom e fiel; sobre o pouco foste fiel, sobre muito te colocarei; entra no gozo do teu senhor.”  –Mateus 25:23

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A Tribute to Brother Jim Orrick

By: Kenny Hurst, Pastor, Storms Creek Missionary Baptist Church and Director, BFM

Bro. Jim Orrick and his wife Irene

To say that Jim Orrick loved Baptist Faith Missions goes without saying. It is like saying the people of Kentucky love basketball: their actions speak for themselves. Brother Orrick, by his actions, demonstrated his love for missions every day of his life.

I became a member of Storms Creek in October 1980. Brother Orrick had already been pastor of this historic church for seventeen years, having been called as pastor in October 1963. What impressed me most about him was his love for the Lord, the Word, and missions. He loved missions, especially BFM, and those who faithfully served as missionaries. Brother Orrick always had the missionaries come to Storms Creek when on furlough. He treated them like royalty, for that is how he viewed them. Many people may not know that Brother Orrick led Storms Creek, which is not a large congregation, to give fifty percent of their tithes and offerings to missions, the majority being designated to BFM. In doing this, he was sometimes taking money from himself and his family, but he was willing to make that sacrifice for the good of BFM. Every year he encouraged Storms Creek to give a special Thanksgiving and Founder’s Day offering, a tradition we continue to this day. My love for missions and Storms Creek’s love for missions was fueled by the example of Brother Orrick. He faithfully served as a director and executive secretary for years, in addition to being responsible for addressing the mission sheets each month. BFM has never had a greater friend or supporter than Jim Orrick.

In 2000, the Lord called me to preach, and in 2001, I was called to serve as co-pastor with Brother Orrick. Everyone knew,though, that he was really the pastor, and I was just assisting him. But he was insistent I be called co-pastor. His purpose for this was his upcoming retirement, and he was preparing me to take over the church full-time. Also, Brother Jim wanted to make sure the church continued its support of BFM. He did not want another pastor coming in and changing the way the church supported missions. In March 2005, he retired after forty-one years of faithful service to the church. As a pastor, what I remember most about him was his ability to say in thirty minutes what it took other men to say in sixty; he was not a long-winded preacher, but he was sound in what he preached. He had a tremendous influence on me, especially in the way he handled funeral services. I learned from him that funerals were the best opportunity to preach the Gospel. Those who knew Brother Orrick know how much he liked to laugh; he had a great sense of humor and loved to show it. He stood up for what he believed in, especially when it came to God’s Word and its importance in a believer’s life.

When Brother Orrick retired, he and Irene stayed at Storms Creek and turned the leadership of the church over to me. He was never critical and never offered any advice unless it was asked for, but supported and encouraged me in every way. For that, I will be forever grateful. He was my mentor and friend; I dearly loved him. I was so sad to hear of his passing. I am going to miss talking to him on the phone and hearing him preach at our Homecoming service each year. I take comfort in the fact that I know he is with his blessed Lord. There is only one Jim Orrick, and I had the privilege of working with him. May God bless all of those whom Brother Orrick touched during his ministry.

Yours in Christ,
Kenny Hurst

[Full obituary for Bro. Jim Orrick can be found here.]

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Bro. Ed Overbey is Present with the Lord

OVERBEY, Edward Hugh, 92, husband of Jackie Ulrich Overbey, died Feb. 28, 2017 at Baptist Health Lexington. Born May 6, 1924 in Highland Park, MI, he was the son of the late Hafford and Grace Morris Overbey. Mr. Overbey was a U.S. Army and Air Force veteran and served in ministry his entire life. Mr. Overbey enlisted during WWII and flew 30 missions over Germany. He graduated from Wheaton College in 1952 and then earned his Bachelor of Divinity from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Chicago. He moved his family to Lexington in 1961, where he began his ministry in Kentucky as assistant pastor of Ashland Avenue Baptist Church and professor at Lexington Baptist College. Later he founded and pastored South Lexington Baptist Church until the 1990’s. He served as Director and Executive Secretary of Baptist Faith Missions and as Director of the Board for Blue Grass Baptist School from its early days. After retiring from the pastorate, he continued in ministry as an assistant pastor at Heritage Baptist Church where he would remain a member until his death. He is remembered as a man who not only preached the Word, but lived it out in his daily life. On Tuesday, as he entered Heaven’s gates, we’re sure he was greeted by his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with the words “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” Survivors other than his wife of 64 years include three of his four children: Martha (Mark) Czecholinski, Goodlettsville, TN, Grace (Clark) Henderson, Hindman, KY, and David Overbey, Lexington, KY; six grandchildren, Ross Overbey, Brad Czecholinski, Laura (Cal) Burchett, Grant Henderson, Tess (Lee) Sharp, Jackie (Deke) Whitaker; four siblings, Dale Overbey, Mary Jane Gibbs, Jimmy Overbey, and Sue Jones. He was preceded in death by a son, Tom Overbey; and three siblings, Kenny Overbey, Don Overbey, and Ruth Darling. Visitation will be held 4-9 pm Fri., March 3, at Kerr Brothers Funeral Home, Harrodsburg Road. Funeral services will be held 10:30 am Sat., Mar. 4, at Kerr Brothers Funeral Home, Harrodsburg Rd. by Pastor Greg Waltermire. Burial will take place 11 am Mon., March 6 at Camp Nelson National Cemetery. Memorial contributions are suggested to Heritage Baptist Church, Baptist Faith Missions or a charity of choice.

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.” -John 3:14-17

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Bro. Bill Wacaser Meets His Savior Face-to-Face

The Lord called His servant Bill Wacaser home on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 3:17 pm. He was the father of our faithful missionary to Brazil, Bobby Wacaser, who has recently been Stateside with his wife Charlene to assist with his father’s care. Please join us in asking the Lord to give the Wacaser Family all His grace, peace, comfort, and strength during this time.

We thank God for the Gospel seeds Bro. Wacaser sowed in the lives of his children, who in turn have gone to scatter seeds on foreign soil.

Obituary for Bill Wacaser from Hopewell Funeral Home

WilliamWacaserWilliam R. “Bill” Wacaser, Jr., 84, lifelong resident of Plant City, Florida, born on September 1, 1931, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Wednesday, August 17, 2016. He was preceded in death by his wife, Joyce; and sons, Rossie and Ronnie. He is survived by his children, Joy, Terry (Allison), Bobby (Charlene), Gary (Helen), Denise (Keith), and Jeffrey (Christie); daughter-in-law, Dee Dee (wife of Rossie); siblings, Margaret Watson and Marvin; 28 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren; and many other family and friends. A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, August 27 at 3:00 P.M. at Hopewell Funeral Home, 6005 S County Road 39, where the family will receive friends beginning at 2:00 P.M. Committal to follow at Hopewell Memorial Gardens, Plant City. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to LifePath Hospice at Expressions of condolence at www.HopewellFuneral.comTo send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Mr. William R. Wacaser Jr. please visit our Sympathy Store.

Contact Information for Bobby Wacaser
Bobby and Charlene Wacaser
Furlough Address:
3912 Casaba Loop
Valrico, FL 33596
Cell Phone: (813) 727-6405
Give: Click here to give.

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Mrs. Alice Joyce “Othermama” Wacaser Meets Jesus Face-to-Face

The Lord called His servant Mrs. Alice Joyce “Othermama” Wacaser home on Saturday, March 14, 2015. She was the mother of our faithful missionary to Brazil, Bobby Wacaser. She was diagnosed with advanced stages of Leukemia during the first week of March.  At that time, she was given maybe two months to live. The Lord called her Home to Heaven just a few short days later. Bobby and Charlene were able to make immediate arrangements to fly back to Florida and be with her a few days before her death. Please continue to ask our Father to give them all His grace, peace, comfort, and strength during these times of adjustments.

“When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” -2 Timothy 1:5

We thank God for the Gospel seeds Mrs. Wacaser sowed in the lives of her children, who in turn have gone to scatter seeds on foreign soil.

Obituary for Mrs. Alice Joyce “Othermama” Wacaser
from Hopewell Funeral Home
Alice-Joyce-Wacaser-1426523895WACASER, Alice Joyce “Othermama”, 80, of, Plant City, Florida, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Saturday, March 14, 2015. She was a selfless servant of Jesus through her unconditional love. She is survived by her husband, Bill Wacaser; children, Joy Pearcy, Terry Wacaser (Allison), Bobby Wacaser (Charlene), Gary Wacaser (Helen), Denise Wacaser (Keith), and Jeffrey Wacaser (Christie); daughter-in-law, Dee Dee Wacaser (wife of Rossie); siblings, Margaret Petrie, and Larry Copeland; and 28 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren; and many other family and friends. She was preceded in death by her sons Rossie Wacaser, and Ronnie Wacaser. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 21 at 5:00 P.M. at Ahava Baptist Church, 6015 W. Farkas Road, Plant City 33567; fellowship to follow. Private interment at Hopewell Memorial Gardens, Plant City. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to LifePath Hospice, and/or Ahava Baptist Church Missions Program. Expressions of condolence at To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Mrs. Alice Joyce “Othermama” Wacaser please visit our Sympathy Store

If you would like to write to Bobby Wacaser, his email address is

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