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The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

Obituaries can be emailed to editor@thevwindependent.com 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.

POSTED: 12/28/10 at 3:42 pm. FILED UNDER: Info

Edward Francis “Ed” Raudabaugh, 81, of Van Wert, passed away at 7:31 a.m. Saturday, August 20, 2016, at the Van Wert Area Inpatient Hospice Center.

He was born July 12, 1935, in Mercer County, the son of Roy Edward and Vina (Martin) Raudabaugh, who both preceded him in death. On February 8, 1965, he married Patty Ann (Williams) Raudabaugh, who survives in Van Wert.

American Flag for obituaries 6-2011Other survivors include a son, Jim Myers of Van Wert; one daughter, Donna (Larry) Clouse of Van Wert; three brothers, Roy (Nancy) Raudabaugh and Martin (Alice) Raudabaugh, both of Van Wert, and David (Emilienne) Raudabaugh of Panama City, Florida; two half-brothers, Ken (Stacy) Steele of Youngstown, Florida, and Milton (Alice Jean) Steele of Summertown, Tennessee; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

A brother, Harold Raudabaugh, also preceded him in death.

Funeral services will be conducted at 10 a.m. Saturday, August 27, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home in Van Wert, with Pastor W. Clark Williman officiating. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery in Rockford, with graveside military honors rendered by combined honors units of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5803 and American Legion Post 178, both of Van Wert.

Visitation is from 3-7 p.m. Friday, August 26, at the funeral home.

Preferred memorials: Community Health Professionals or Calvary Evangelical Church.

Condolences may be expressed at www.cowanfuneralhome.com.

POSTED: 08/23/16 at 10:48 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Norma Jean (Wesco) Foreman, 88, of Van Wert, passed away early Sunday morning, August 21, 2016, at Vancrest Health Care Center in Van Wert.

She was born September 4, 1927, in Marion, Indiana, the daughter of Floyd and Bernice (Weaver) Wesco, who both preceded her in death. She married Eugene Foreman, who also preceded her in death.

Survivors include three children, Dennis (fiancée Kathy Albright) Foreman of White Pigeon, Michigan, Denice (Les) Guyton of Convoy, and David (Anne) Foreman of Van Wert; 12 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

Two sons, Terry and Chris Foreman; one grandchild; and a great-grandchild, also preceded her in death.

A memorial service will be conducted at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, September 3, at First Friends Church in Van Wert, with Pastor Paul Hamrick officiating.

Preferred memorials: To the family, to assist with Norma’s escalating medical bills.

Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory in Van Wert handled arrangements.

Condolences may be expressed at www.alspachgearhart.com.

POSTED: 08/23/16 at 2:26 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Eleazar T. Rodriguez, 77, of Van Wert, passed away at 4:17 p.m. Saturday, August 20, 2016, at Lutheran Hospital of Indiana in Fort Wayne.

He was born November 24, 1938, in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Atanacio T. and Cruz (Torres) Rodriguez, who both preceded him in death.

Survivors include six children, Sophia L. Montague of Fort Wayne, Laura Rodriguez of San Antonio, Texas, Sisto (Grace) Rodriguez of Archbold, Eli (Chris) Rodriguez and Anna (Todd) Temple, both of Van Wert, and Efrain Rodriguez of Bluffton, Indiana; four brothers, Eliseo Rodriguez of Traverse City, Michigan, Daniel Rodriguez of Irving, Texas, Neftale Rodriguez of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Samuel Rodriguez of Uvalde, Texas; three sisters, Elizabeth Gonzalez, Cruz Ramos, and Rebecca Cisneros, all of Uvalde, Texas; 12 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and his companion, Mary Walters.

A sister, Elizabeth Rodriguez, also preceded him in death.

Funeral services will be conducted at 3 p.m. Wednesday, August 24, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home in Van Wert, with Pastor Russell Lawrence officiating. Burial will be in Woodland Cemetery in Van Wert.

Visitation is from 1-3 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.

Preferred memorials: American Diabetes Association.

Condolences may be expressed at www.cowanfuneralhome.com.

POSTED: 08/22/16 at 5:55 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Alice Marie Provci, 73, of Rockford, passed away at 3:35 a.m. Saturday, August 20, 2016, at the Laurels of Shane Hill in Rockford.

She was born May 15, 1943, in Celina, the daughter of Oscar and Gertrude (Guggenbiller) Schumacher, who both preceded her in death. On October 24, 1970, she married Jack Provci, who survives in Rockford.

Other survivors include three children, Stephanie (Steve) Sprunger of Berne, Indiana, Matthew Provci of Rockford, and Staci (Carl) Sprunger of Pennville, Indiana; two grandchildren, Tyler and Amber Sprunger; and two sisters, Esther Zizelman or Rockford and Wilma (Ken) Paysen of Tega Cay, South Carolina.

Two brothers, Ralph and Paul Schumacher, also preceded her in death.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, August 24, at St. Teresa Catholic Church in Rockford, with Father Ken Schnipke officiating. Burial will follow in Riverside Cemetery in Rockford.

Visitation is from 2-8 p.m. Tuesday, August 23, at Ketcham-Ripley Funeral Home in Rockford, where a Rosary service will be held at 7:30 that evening.

Preferred memorials: State of the Heart Hospice.

Condolences may be expressed at http://ketchamripley.com.

POSTED: 08/21/16 at 5:18 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Jerry V. Saylor, 69, of Van Wert, was welcomed into his heavenly home on Friday, August 19, 2016. He died following a lengthy struggle with Parkinson’s Disease and Lewy Body Dementia.

Jerry V. Saylor

Jerry V. Saylor

Jerry was born June 14, 1947, in Pathfork, Kentucky, the son of Levi Vernon and Francis Pearl (Morse) Saylor, who both preceded him in death. On August 17, 1968, he married the former Vicki S. Shindeldecker, and they were married 48 years.

Survivors include his daughters, Michele D. Saylor of Van Wert and Christina (David) Smith of Muncie, Indiana; one sister, Betty (Jerry Luyben of Coconut Creek, Florida; a brother, Ron (Donna) Saylor of Smithfield, Virginia; three grandchildren, Kelsea (Clint) Williams and Jonah and Judah Smith; three great-grandchildren, Sophie, Brenden, and Mia Williams. His brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephews, and nieces also dearly loved him.

Jerry was preceded in death by a granddaughter, Zoe Dawn Smith.

Jerry was a 1965 graduate of Van Wert High School. He worked at Federal-Mogul Corporation in Van wert for over 40 years, retiring as the first shift Oil Bath supervisor in 2009. Jerry was a dedicated worker and enjoyed being able to offer help to others in any capacity he could.

Jerry was a member of Calvary Evangelical Church in Van Wert and volunteered in the nursery for many years. He loved to play golf, softball, basketball, and hunt deer in his healthy days. Jerry was a lifelong fan of the University of Kentucky basketball, Ohio State University Buckeyes, and the Cincinnati Reds and Bengals.

Jerry treasured time with his family and enjoyed traveling and making memories together. His family shares many humorous memories of time together. Jerry found great joy in attending sporting events with his children, grandchildren, and nephews. He was a proud husband, father, grandfather, and uncle. He was a man of strength and courage, even in the final years of his battle.

Funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Tuesday, August 23, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home in Van Wert, with Pastor W. Clark Williman officiating. Burial will follow in Woodland Cemetery in Van Wert.

Visitation is from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.

Preferred memorials: Van Wert Area Inpatient Hospice Center, c/o Community Health Professionals, 1159 Westwood Drive, Van Wert, OH 45891.

Condolences may be expressed at www.cowanfuneralhome.com.

POSTED: 08/20/16 at 12:00 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

John “Johnny” Walker passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, July 12, 2016.

John "Johnny" Walker

John “Johnny” Walker

Beloved husband of Martha; ex-husband of Evelyn; father of Ken (Judy), Douglas, Lisa (Chuck), and Wayne (Anna); stepfather of Connie Huffman and Douglas (Karen) Droll; 13 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Johnny and Martha were married on March 7, 1993.

A member of the Canadian Merchant Marine, he traveled the world. His love of the water always called to him. He was an accomplished captain for the Olsonite family of Grosse Point, Michigan, and of the Doerr family of Naples, Florida.

He worked and lived a lifestyle most would envy. Upon retirement, they moved to Countryside Golf & Country Club. He enjoyed playing golf with his friends and the Countryside lifestyle. John was a member of the Naples Cruise Club, Moose Lodge, and Elks Club. He volunteered at Naples Community Hospital in the transportation department.

A reception will be held from noon-2 p.m. Sunday, August 28, at Willow Bend Country Club, where the family will receive friends.

A private burial will be held in Venedocia Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Salem Presbyterian Church in Venedocia, First Presbyterian Church in Van Wert, or to a charity of the donor’s church.

Arrangements were handled by Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory in Van Wert.

Condolences may be expressed at www.alspachgearhart.com.

POSTED: 08/19/16 at 11:00 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Gail Marie Packer, 54, of rural Van Wert, passed away at 6:20 p.m. Wednesday, August 17, 2016, at St. Rita’s Medical Center in Lima.

Gail Marie Packer

Gail Marie Packer

She was born March 4, 1962, in Van Wert, to Marilyn Jenelle (Mihm) and Richard Lee Leiter, who both survive in Van Wert. On October 12, 2002, she married David Eugene Packer, who survives at their residence.

Other survivors include a sister, Joyce (Steve) Bittner of rural Decatur, Indiana; and one brother, Gary (Molly) Leiter of rural Newbury.

Gail was employed at Central Mutual Insurance Company in Van Wert for 37 years and also taught piano. For many years, she was a youth Sunday school teacher at Antioch Chapel Friends and played piano until the meeting closed. She had been attending church and playing piano at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Van Wert.

Funeral services will be conducted at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, August 23, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory in Van Wert, with Father Stan Szybka officiating. Burial will follow in Woodland Cemetery in Van Wert.

Visitation is from 2-8 p.m. Monday, August 22, at the funeral home.

Preferred memorials: Cross Over the Hill children’s ministry in the Van Wert City Schools, Lincolnview Local Schools’ Bible Board American Heritage Program, or Crestview Local Schools’ Bible Heritage Board.

Condolences may be expressed at www.alspachgearhart.com.

POSTED: 08/18/16 at 2:47 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Jerad D. Brotherhood

Jerad D. Brotherhood

Jerad D. Brotherwood, 32, of Hernando Beach, Florida, passed away December 21, 2015.

He was born June 9, 1983, in Van Wert, the son of Gary Brotherwood, who preceded him in death in May 2014, and Sue (Custer) Brotherwood Hargreaves, who survives in Clearwater, Florida.

Other survivors include his stepfather, Mark Hargreaves of Clearwater; a sister, Amanda (Ryan) Gerhardt of Tampa, Florida; and his grandmother, Alice Custer of Spring Hill, Florida.

A half-brother, G. Adam Brotherwood (in 1994); his maternal grandfather, “Bud” Custer; and his paternal grandparents, “Jerry” and Frances Brotherwood, also preceded him in death.

POSTED: 08/16/16 at 4:09 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

James S. “Jim” Burkheimer, 47, of Van Wert, was peacefully called home to be with Jesus on Sunday, August 14, 2016, while at Ohio State University’s Ross Heart Hospital in Columbus, surrounded by his family.

James Burkheimer Jr.

James S. Burkheimer

Jim was born November 20, 1968, in Van Wert, to Cloyd M. “Stoney” Burkheimer Jr., who preceded him in death, and Patricia (McCune) Burkheimer, who survives.

He was a 1987 graduate of Van Wert High School and he fondly recounted memories of football and wrestling. On November 12, 1994, he married Ava Kay (Alt) Burkheimer of Celina, who also survives.

Other survivors include two brothers, Joshua and Christopher; his grandfather, Don Steinebrugge; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.

A brother, Brent, and his maternal grandmother, Miriam Steinebrugge, also preceded him in death.

Jim was a fun-loving, kind man who loved spending time with family and friends, and he was so blessed to be called a “brother” and “uncle” to various members of the Smith/McIntosh families. Jim loved Michigan football, the Philadelphia Eagles, and NASCAR racing. He also very much enjoyed selling tickets for a variety of Van Wert High School athletic events. He was a member of Trinity Friends Church in Van Wert and he deeply loved the Lord.

Jim made a difference in, and influenced, many lives in his work at Huffy Bicycle, the Western Ohio Regional Treatment and Habilitation (WORTH) Center in Lima, and with the Amish community.

Funeral services will be conducted at 10:30 a.m. Friday, August 19, at Trinity Friends Church. A graveside burial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at Kossuth Cemetery.

Visitation is from 2-8 p.m. Thursday, August 18, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory in Van Wert, and an hour prior to services on Friday at the church.

Condolences may be expressed at www.alspachgearhart.com.

POSTED: 08/15/16 at 4:30 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Anthony G. “Tony” Freeland, 53, of Van Wert, passed away at 4:57 p.m. Friday, August 12, 2016, at Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus.

Anthony G. Freeland

Anthony G. ‘Tony’ Freeland

He was born September 27, 1962, in Celina, the son of Ronald Freeland and Marilyn (Petrie) Freeland, who both survive in Celina. He married Lynne (Grunden) Freeland, who survives in Van Wert.

Other survivors include two children, Alexa Freeland and Katlyn Freeland, both of Van Wert; a sister, Tammy (Jeff) Pontsler of Rockford; two nephews, Scott and Stephen Pontsler; and three great-nephews.

Tony worked at Toledo Molding & Die in Delphos for 26 years. He attended Trinity Friends Church in Van Wert, where he was involved in the food pantry program.

He was an avid gardener, bird watcher, golfer, and Ohio State Buckeyes, Cincinnati Bengals, and Cincinnati Reds fan. He was a member of UAW Local 2279 and was a 1981 graduate of Celina High School.

Funeral services will be conducted at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, August 17, at Trinity Friends Church in Van Wert, with the Rev. Steve Savage officiating. Burial will be in Woodland Cemetery in Van Wert.

Visitation is from 2-8 p.m. Tuesday, August 16, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory in Van Wert, and an hour prior to services at the church.

Preferred memorials: Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital or to the family.

Condolences may be expressed at www.alspachgearhart.com.

POSTED: 08/14/16 at 5:29 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries