Obituaries can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to 419.238.2578. Full obituaries cost $30 (including a photo), while unpaid death notices do not include memberships, work data and other personal information. The names of grandchildren, etc., are also not included in a death notice. Obituary payments can be sent to: Van Wert Independent, P.O. Box 487, Van Wert, OH 45891. Local funeral homes are billed for full obituaries, while out-of-town funeral homes can also be billed, if so requested.
Jeffery Wade Benschneider was born October 1, 1968, and passed from this earth Friday, July 24, 2015.
He is loved and greatly missed by his family: parents Linda and Bill Benschneider; brother Scott, his wife Angel, and niece Madyson Benschneider; brother Bill and Erika, nephews Zachary and Austen Benschneider; sister, Karla and Sam, niece, Molly, and nephew Paul Gillivan; and grandmother Helen Fast.
Jeff graduated from Van Wert High School in 1988 and from the University of Toledo in 1993. He resided in Scottsdale, Arizona, and worked as a sales representative.
Jeff loved hiking the Arizona trails. He was passionate about all sports, especially football and WWE. His greatest love and priority was spending time with family. Young people were drawn to him, for he had a way of accepting them as equals and making them feel comfortable around him.
Jeff was genuine, kind, honest, sensitive, and witty — all reasons to love and remember him for all our lives.
As a way of remembering Jeff, friends and family may wish to make a donation to Make-A-Wish Foundation, Autism Society of Greater Phoenix, P.O. Box 10543, Phoenix, Arizona 85064 (instead of the website) and Austen Benschneider Medical Donation, acct#7194567264 at any Wells Fargo office.
Joseph Andrew “Andy” DeCamp, 97, of Grover Hill, died Tuesday morning, July 28, 2015, at the Gardens of Paulding.
He was born August 15, 1917, in Latty Township, Paulding County, the son of Joseph Franklin and Susan (Gattshall) DeCamp, who both preceded him in death. He married Joyce (Yearling) DeCamp, who survives in Paulding.
Other survivors include two children, Gary DeCamp of Apache Junction, Arizona, and Mary (Moe) Herman of Edgerton; and five grandchildren.
A daughter-in-law, Marie DeCamp; three brothers, William, Ernest and Warren DeCamp; and nine sisters, Sarah Grunden, Esther Miller, Dellie Pucket, Ethel Long, Bessie Price, Grace Mosier, Lucy Adams, Velma DeCamp and Florence Daniel, also preceded him in death.
Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Friday, July 31, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory in Van Wert, with the Rev. Ron Johnson officiating. Burial will be in Middle Creek Cemetery in Grover Hill.
Calling hours are from 9:30-11 a.m. Friday at the funeral home.
Preferred memorials: Grover Hill Fire & EMS.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.alspachgearhart.com.
Carol Ann Longsworth, 70, of Van Wert, died at 6:53 a.m. Tuesday, July 28, 2015, shortly after arrival at Van Wert County Hospital in Van Wert.
She was born April 25, 1945, in Carthagena, the daughter of Gregory and Margaret (Braun) Huber, who both preceded her in death. On May 5, 1988, she married Clifford Longsworth, who survives in Van Wert.
Other survivors include four sons, Bruce (Robin) Ganger of Celina, Danny (Holly) Ganger of Rockford and Mark (Christa) Ganger and Jeff (Shelley) Ganger, both of Van Wert; three stepsons, Jeff Longsworth of Van Wert, Clifford Longsworth Jr. of Berne, Indiana, and Danny Longsworth of Van Wert; a stepdaughter, Nikki Longsworth of Spencerville; three sisters, Vera (Riv Rutschilling) Staugler of Osgood and Antoinette “Nettie” Burger and Robert Wagner, both of Celina; one brother, Ronald (Jeanie) Huber of Covington; 22 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Two daughters, Nancy Williams and Cindy Brockman; seven brothers, Joseph, Victor, Albert, Alford, Nobert, LeRoy G. and Louis W. Huber; and three sisters, Alberta Agnes Wagner, Betty Lange and Helen Dunlap, also preceded her in death.
Funeral services will be conducted at 10 a.m. Saturday, August 1, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home in Van Wert. Burial will be in Woodland Cemetery in Van Wert.
Calling hours are from 2-8 p.m. Friday, July 31, at the funeral home.
Carroll J. Wilhelm, 78, of Delphos, passed away Thursday, July 23, 2015, at St. Rita’s Medical Center in Lima, surrounded by his loving family.
He was born July 16, 1937, in Delphos, the son of Louis “Bounce” and Evelyn (McClish) Wilhelm, who both preceded him in death. On March 24, 1961, Carroll was united in marriage to Barbara L. (Mullen) Wilhelm, who preceded him in death in 1999.
He is survived by two daughters, Lisa (Jesse) Hefner of Payne, and Kelly (Brad) Dudgeon of Delphos; four grandchildren, Keith Clark, Taylor Wilhelm, Kendra Parlin, and Kody Richardson; a great-granddaughter, Myah; and one great-grandson, Ryan.
Mr. Wilhelm started his automotive career with Hanschumaker Motors, left to work for Steele’s Automotive, then moved on to Siferd Hossellman in Lima. Carroll also worked as a mechanic at Conrad’s Truck Stop, altogether working for over 30 years in the auto industry.
He was an avid trap shooter and, in his younger years, was a very enthusiastic hunter, especially hunting for antelope, elk and deer. He truly enjoyed working outdoors and visiting his friends and a lot of his old customers. His true passion was his hat collection.
Carroll also served his country by enlisting in the United States Army and was a member of Eagles Aerie 372.
Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 28, at Harter and Schier Funeral Home in Delphos, with the Rev. David Howell officiating. Burial will follow in Walnut Grove Cemetery in Delphos, with graveside military honors performed by Delphos Veterans Council.
Calling hours are from 2-8 p.m. Monday, July 27, at the funeral home.
Preferred memorials: Donor’s choice.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.harterandschier.com.
Vera M. Pruden, 92, of rural Rockford, died at 8:26 a.m. Friday, July 24, 2015, at the Laurels of Shane Hill near Rockford.
She was born November 11, 1922, in Schumm, the daughter of Alfred Lawrence “Jack” and Viola Henrietta (Reidenbach) Handwerk, who both preceded her in death. On February 11, 1965, she married Glenn Gaylord Pruden, who died September 25, 2001.
Survivors include a son, Jerry (Billie) Handwerk of Ridgeville, Indiana; one stepdaughter, Ruth (Carl) Lape of Van Wert; a stepson, John (Helen) Pruden of rural Rockford; one sister, Donna M. Taylor of Venice, Florida; and four grandchildren.
A stepson, William Pruden; one brother, Doyle Lester Handwerk; and a sister, Anna Lucille Eber, also preceded her in death.
Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Monday, July 27, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home in Van Wert. Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery in Ohio City.
Calling hours are from 9-11 a.m. Monday at the funeral home.
Preferred memorials: Ohio City Community Church of God.
Phyllis Ann Gamble, formerly of Mendon, entered into heaven on Tuesday, July 21, 2015, at the Van Wert Area Inpatient Hospice Center. Her family was with her as she passed from this life into eternity.
She was born February 29, 1940, in Mendon, the daughter of Creighton S. and Ada Margaret (Nichols) Zeigler, who both preceded her in death. On June 27, 1977, she was united in marriage with W. Wayne Gamble, and he survives at their home in Van Wert.
Mrs. Gamble is also survived by her three children and three stepchildren, Connie (David) Rolsten-Wood of Van Wert, Scott (Cari Schaadt) Rolsten of Mendon, Jane (Steve) Barnes of Van Wert, Vicki (Larry) Smith and Monica (Phil Griffin) Pabst, both of Elgin, and Jeff (Deb Evans) Gamble of Van Wert. Phyllis enjoyed watching her grandchildren as they grew. Her grandchildren are Nichole Smith, Amanda (Smith) Stripe, Jonathan (Jennifer) Rickard, Travis (Aubrey) Gamble, Luke Brigham, Seth (Abby) Brigham, Mattea Rolsten and Mitchell Rolsten; also seven stepgrandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; 12 stepgreat-grandchildren; and two step great-great-grandchildren. Of her nine siblings, Phyllis is survived by Mary (Art) Finnegan, Jo (Robert, deceased) Mosier, Thomas (Nancy) Zeigler, Carol (Harold) Welker, Paul (Polly) Zeigler and William (Gloria) Zeigler. Also surviving are sisters- and brothers-in-law Paul (Edna) Gamble, Marilyn (Morgan, deceased) Jones, Janet (Doug) Miller; and 29 nieces and nephews.
A special grandchild, John Ramsey; two brothers, James and David Zeigler; and a sister- and brother-in-law, Mildred and Roger Heath.
Mrs. Gamble is a 1958 graduate of Mendon-Union High School and had been employed as an office assistant, cook, tax preparer and laborer (Huffy Corporation) throughout her life. She was also a member of Mendon United Methodist Church and volunteered in a variety of capacities at both her church and Mendon-Union School.
Phyllis was very family oriented; she enjoyed spending time with her siblings, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. She also enjoyed being a homemaker, and gardening, canning, cooking, sewing, needlepoint, word puzzles and watching television game shows.
A memorial service will be conducted at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 25, at Mendon United Methodist Church.
Calling hours are from 5-6 p.m. Saturday at the church.
Preferred memorials: Van Wert Area Inpatient Hospice Center or the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research.
Arrangements were handled by Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory in Van Wert.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.alspachgearhart.com.
Lorenz Herold “Dick” Germann, 89, of Van Wert, died at 7:38 p.m. Tuesday, July 21, 2015, at Vancrest Health Care Center in Van Wert.
He was born December 12, 1925, in Harrison Township, the son of the late Herold A. and Elenora K. (Siegel) Germann, who both preceded him in death. On September 24, 1947, he married the former Marie Bilderback, who died January 6, 2009.
Survivors include three children, Debra Bridges of Madison, Indiana, Dennnis Germann of Waterville and Doug (Renee) Germann of Ohio City; four grandchildren; and a sister-in-law, Jeanne Germann of Van Wert.
A brother, Donald Germann; one brother-in-law, Paul William Bilderback; and a sister-in-law, Betty Bilderback, also preceded him in death.
Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 25, at St. Thomas Lutheran Church in rural Van Wert County, with Pastor Timothy Sims officiating. Burial will be in Evangelical Protestant Cemetery.
Calling hours are from 4-8 p.m. Friday, July 24, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home in Van Wert and an hour prior to services Saturday at the church.
Preferred memorials: St. Thomas Lutheran Church, Vancrest Health Care Center Activity Fund or a charity of donor’s choice.
Thomas W. Rogers, 69, of Rockford, died at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 22, 2015, at the Van Wert Area Inpatient Hospice Center.
He was born May 18, 1946, in Celina, the son of Woodrow W. and Beatrice (Vining) Rogers, who both preceded him in death. On December 19, 1969, he married Barbara (Taylor) Rogers, who survives.
Also surviving are two children, Andy (Michelle) Rogers of Rockford and Melissa (Jeremy) Hostetler of Fort Wayne, Indiana; a sister, Nancy (Ralph) Ritz of Rockford; and six grandchildren.
Funeral services will be conducted at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 25, at Praise Point Church in Willshire, with Pastor Mark Rutledge officiating. Burial will follow in Riverside Cemetery in Rockford.
Calling hours are from 2-8 p.m. Friday, July 24, at The Rockford Belle and an hour prior to services Saturday at the church.
Preferred memorials: Shanes Park Legacy Fund.
Ketcham-Ripley Funeral Home handled funeral arrangements.
Online condolences may be expressed at http://ketchamripley.com.
Edward Gene Wells, 60, of Padroni, Colorado, and formerly of Van Wert, passed away Friday, July 17, 2015, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Ed was born April 25, 1955, in Lima, the son of Cleo E. Wells, who preceded him in death, and Jackie Wells, who survives in Van Wert. Ed was a 1974 graduate of Van Wert High School. After graduation, he served four years in the United States Army.
On September 30, 1991, in Van Wert, he married Cynthia A. (Buchanan) Wells, who survives in Padroni, Colorado.
Ed was a natural carpenter, as he always enjoyed working with his hands. He was a truck driver for many years and then worked for IWS in Colorado as a crane operator. He moved to Colorado in October 2001.
Ed loved grilling, working in his shop and loved his horse, Stormey.
In addition to his mother and wife, survivors include a brother, Ron (Linda) Wells of Convoy, two sisters, Sheryl Burns of Flint, Michigan, and Jenny (Stan) Lichtenberger of Van Wert; three stepchildren, Tina (Scott) Danylchuk, Taunya (Brad) Breece, and Jonathon McMichael; 16 stepgrandchildren; six stepgreat-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.
Private family services will be held at a later date in Van Wert.
Robert H. Grothouse, 88, of Delphos, passed away Monday, July 20, 2015, surrounded by his loving family at Vancrest Health Care Center in Delphos.
He was born March 17, 1927, in Delphos, the son of John I. and Mary (Carder) Grothouse, who both preceded him in death. On November 29, 1949, he was united in marriage to Luella (Sawmiller) Grothouse, who survives in Delphos.
He is also survived by five daughters, Joyce Hilvers of Delphos, Jan (Dave) Hoffman of Delphos, Cindy (Terry Knebel) Schwinnen of Landeck, Patti (Jerry) Bonifas of Delphos and Deb (Jay) Kundert of Delphos; four sons, Bob L. (Linda Shaffer) Grothouse, Bill (Barb) Grothouse, Jim (Tracy) Grothouse and Mark (Angie) Grothouse, all of Delphos; two brothers, Larry (Sue) Grothouse and John (Diane) Grothouse, both of Delphos; 25 grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren; a great-great-grandchild; two sisters-in-law, Alice Grothouse and Jean Sawmiller; and a brother-in-law, Kenneth Sawmiller.
A sister, Betty Swick; one brother, Hubert “Beeze” Grothouse; a son-in-law, Gene Schwinnen; one granddaughter, Keri Anne Mathison; two infant grandchildren; an infant great-grandchild; three brothers-in-law, Paul, Bill and Bobby Sawmiller; and a sister-in-law, Mary Sawmiller, also preceded him in death.
Bob was a longtime owner of Delpha Chevrolet and Buick. He was employed there as a service manager and parts manager, and then went into sales before purchasing the franchise in 1971. He was a member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Delphos, a 1945 graduate of Delphos St. John’s High School, the Delphos Veterans of Foreign Wars post, Delphos Eagles, Delphos American Legion post and the Delphos Knights of Columbus council.
Bob served in the United States Army as a radio operator from June 5, 1945, to December 17, 1946. He was with the 97th Constabulary Signal Squadron at Hamburg, Germany, where he operated both field radios and fixed stations to maintain contact with outlying units. Bob handled reports, coded messages, official letters and other such messages. He was also operator on General Harmon’s official train. Robert was very private with his military past, but was very proud of the service he committed to his country.
Bob enjoyed fishing, hunting and taking care of his yard. He was a past grand marshal of Delphos Canal Days, and, in his younger years, loved to play the guitar for his family. He enjoyed spending nearly every Friday night dancing. Bob devoted his life to his family and his business.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Friday, July 24, at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. Burial will be in Resurrection Cemetery in Delphos, with graveside military honors performed by the Delphos Veterans Council.
Calling hours are from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, July 22, and 2-8 p.m. Thursday, July 23, at Harter and Schier Memorial Chapel in Delphos, where a parish wake will be held at 7:30 Thursday evening.
Preferred memorials: The Kidney Foundation of Ohio or Ashton’s Angels.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.harterandschier.com.