Ira E. “Buddy” Westbrook Jr., 83, of Monticello, FL, died March 26, 2023 at Big Bend Hospice Home in Tallahassee, FL.
Buddy was born in Ocala, FL and raised in Williston, FL in the Methodist faith. At the age of 6, the family moved to South Florida. Upon graduation from Seacrest High School, Boynton Beach, in 1958, Buddy attended Fla. State University until signing with the Marine Corps for 4 years and being honorably discharged as Sgt. E 5. Upon returning to Boynton Beach he worked as an agricultural field plant operator and then had a career in insurance industries. In Broward and Palm Beach County he worked in law enforcement.
On May 6, 1967, he married Dianne Karnoupakis in the Boynton Beach Methodist Church. Several years later they moved to Monticello, FL where Buddy became the Melear dairy manager upon joining the owner, a schoolmate, in starting up the dairy. Thereafter, he pursued a career with his wife in the real estate business, eventually building Westbrook Real Estate Office featured at Mini-Storage Warehouse rentals. Years later, in 2018, they toured the U.S. in their RV retiring to North Central Florida near Williston, his birthplace. They then returned to Monticello in June of 2022.
Buddy was active as a member and past Worshipful Master of the Hiram Lodge #5 of Monticello, past member and past president of the Monticello Chamber of Commerce, past Commander of the American Legion Post 49, and past District 3 Commander of the Fla. region. Buddy was a member of the First United Methodist Church, Monticello and Methodist Men’s Group. Buddy earned his private pilot’s license in 1983 and was an active aviation enthusiast for his entire life.
Buddy was preceded in death by his parents: Ira Sr. and Savilla Westbrook; a sister, Savilla Funderburk; and a brother, R. L. Westbrook. Survivors include his wife of nearly 56 years, Dianne K. Westbrook; sisters: Iris Trapp (Larry) of Brownsburg, IN, Erlene Ratz (Hans) of West Palm Beach, FL, Diane King (Mike) of Monticello, FL; brother-in-Law, Nestor Karnoupakis (Gail) of Louisville, TN; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Beggs Funeral Home is handling the cremation and arrangements for the family. The service will be held at Tallahassee National Cemetery, 5015 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee, FL 32311, on April 14, 2023, at 1:00 PM. A Celebration of Life Reception will be held at 3 PM in the Family Ministry Center, First United Methodist Church, W. Walnut St., Monticello, FL.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Children’s Home of Enterprise, FL; Madison Youth Ranch of Madison, FL; or Big Bend Hospice Care of Tallahassee, FL.
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