The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014

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 4878, 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

Corwin D. Ray, 90, of Tipp City and formerly of Convoy, died at 7:40 p.m. Sunday, September 28, 2014, at his residence.

Corwin D. Ray

Corwin D. Ray

He was born March 26, 1924, in Geneva, Indiana, the son of the late Clyde and Faye (Teeple) Ray. On April 14, 1946, he married Nondus (Snyder) Ray, who preceded him in death on January 19, 1985. He then married Janet (Sowers) Poling Ray, a longtime resident of Van Wert, on February 1, 1986, and she survives in Tipp City.

American Flag for obituaries 6-2011Other survivors include three sons, Larry (Cara) Ray of Findlay, Roger (Deborah)  Ray of Elkhart, Indiana, and Don (Julie) Ray of Centerville; three stepsons, Dale (Alice) Poling of Amelia, Ron (Diana) Poling of Troy and Rich (Mary) Poling of North Little Rock, Arkansas; 11 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.

A brother, Clyde Ray Jr.; and one daughter-in-law, Mary Ray, also preceded him in death.

Corwin was a member of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Convoy and was a lifelong farmer in Van Wert County. Corwin served in the U.S. Army during World War II in the MARS Task Force and Merrill’s Marauders Mule Supply Support in the India/Burma/China Theatre, where he earned a Presidential Unit Citation. He also worked at Ford Motor Company, International Harvester and Borden Foods.

Corwin loved spending time with his family and always enjoyed watching NASCAR races, especially when a Ford was winning.

Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Friday, October 3, at Gearhart-Jurczyk Funeral Home in Convoy, with Pastor Jason Poling, Corwin’s grandson, officiating.

Calling hours are from 4-7 p.m. Thursday, October 2, and an hour prior to services Friday at the funeral home.

Preferred memorials: Heartland Hospice or Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Online condolences may be left at www.alspachgearhart.com.

POSTED: 09/29/14 at 7:30 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

John J. “Junior” Bollenbacher, 89, of Willshire, died Thursday, September 25, 2014, at The Laurels of Shane Hill in Rockford.

He was born February 7, 1925, in Mercer County, the son of the late Theodore F. and Minnie L. (Brehm) Bollenbacher. He married Janice Bollenbacher, who survives in Willshire.

American Flag for obituaries 6-2011Other survivors include a son, Ted (Sandee) Bollenbacher of Rockford; one daughter, Karen Casey of Columbus; two grandsons; and two great-grandchildren.

A sister, Leola Doner; one brother, Edgar Bollenbacher; and a son-in-law, John Casey, also preceded him in death.

Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Monday, September 29, at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in rural Rockford, with the Rev. Catherine Costello officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery, with graveside military honors provided the Willshire American Legion post.

Calling hours are from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Sunday, September 28, at Ketcham-Ripley Funeral Home in Rockford.

Preferred memorials: St. Paul’s United Church of Christ or the Willshire Fire Department.

Online condolences may be left at http://ketchamripley.com.

POSTED: 09/26/14 at 9:11 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Ferne Margaret (Harris) Dunn, 75, of Van Wert, died at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, September 24, 2014, at Van Wert County Hospital in Van Wert.

She was born July 22, 1939, in Adams Center, New York, the daughter of the late Isabelle Harris. On July 2, 1960, she married Carl Dunn, who preceded her in death.

Survivors include four children, Daniel (Deb) Dunn, David Dunn, Ronald (Jessie) Dunn and Aaron (Anne) Dunn, all of Van Wert; a sister, Rosemary (Vic) Lalone-Kirsch of Adams, New York; 13 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

There will be no public funeral services.

Calling hours are from 4-8 p.m. Monday, September 29, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory in Van Wert.

Preferred memorials: To the family or a charity of donor’s choice.

Online condolences may be left at www.alspachgearhart.com.

POSTED: 09/25/14 at 6:22 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Margaret E. “Peggy” Hunziker, 90, of Van Wert, died at 4:20 a.m. Tuesday, September 23, 2014, at the Van Wert Area Inpatient Hospice Center.

She was born February 25, 1924, in Bluffton, Indiana, the daughter of the late Robert and Mabel (Wolfe) Scott. She married Robert E. Hunziker, who survives in Van Wert.

Other survivors include two half-brothers, Sam and Frank Scott, both of Van Wert; two grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Two sons, Robert E. Hunziker Jr. and Richard D. Hunziker; a brother; and one sister, also preceded him in death.

Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, September 27, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Van Wert, with the Rev. William Haggis II officiating. Burial will be in Woodland Cemetery in Van Wert.

Calling hours are from 9-11 a.m. Saturday at the church.

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

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

Online condolences may be left at www.alspachgearhart.com.

POSTED: 09/24/14 at 7:44 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Rosy Elva Neal, 84, of Venedocia, died at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, September 24, 2014, in Venedocia.

She was born May 7, 1930, in West Salem, Illinois, the daughter of the late Joseph Oscar and Zelda B. (Rodgers) Neal. On June 29, 1958, she married Eual R. Neal, who preceded her in death on May 14, 2010.

Survivors include three daughters, Nila E. (Eric) Dull of Venedocia, Tina M. Neal of Marysville and Sandra G. Neal of Botkins; two stepsons, Howard L. Neal of Livonia, Michigan, and Curtis R. (Carol) Neal of East Wenatchee, Washington; five grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Beulah O. Thompson of Albion, Illinois, and Velma M. Brown of Mount Carmel, Illinois.

Three sisters, M. Daphene Bowman, Martha Grace Bowman and C. Darlene Short; and a grandchild, Vashti M. Shrammo, also preceded her in death.

Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, September 27, at the Van Wert Apostolic Church, with Pastors Eric Dull and Robert Frake officiating. Burial will take the following day, Sunday, September 28, in Neal Cemetery in Logan, Illinois, where graveside services will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Calling hours are from 2-8 p.m. Friday, September 26, at Ketcham-Ripley Funeral Home in Rockford and an hour prior to services Saturday at the church.

Preferred memorials: Apostolic Church or a charity of donor’s choice.

Online condolences may be left at http://ketchamripley.com.

POSTED: 09/24/14 at 7:44 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Grace Louise Berryman, 89, of Van Wert, died at 7:28 a.m. Tuesday, September 23, 2014, at the Van Wert Area Inpatient Hospice Center.

She was born October 17, 1924, in Monroe, Michigan, the daughter of the late Ralph Black and Velma (Stout) Black Bollenbacher. On July 25, 1942, she married Wesley Richard Berryman, who preceded her in death on March 20, 1997.

Survivors include a daughter, Jill Ann Whitacre of Monroe, Indiana; one son, Thomas R., (Mary Jo) Berryman of Van Wert; seven grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

Her stepfather, Jacob Bollenbacher; a son, James Berryman (died May 1996); a son-in-law, Kent Whitacre; two brothers, Richard and Eugene Black; and one sister, Virginia Leiter, also preceded her in death.

Private family funeral services will be held at the convenience of the family.

Calling hours are from 1-3 p.m. Friday, September 26, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home in Van Wert.

Preferred memorials: Van Wert Area Inpatient Hospice Center.

Online condolences may be left at www.cowanfuneralhome.com.

POSTED: 09/23/14 at 2:54 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Marjorie I. Baker, 95, of Van Wert, died at 8:15 p.m. Friday, September 19, 2014, at the Van Wert Area Inpatient Hospice Center.

She was born November 18, 1918, in Paulding County, the daughter of the late George and Flossie (Beckner) Cryer. On November 25, 1942, she married Hary E. Baker, who preceded her in death on March 18, 2014.

A daughter, Judith A. Merkle; and two brothers, E. Wayne Cryer and Robert G. Cryer, also preceded her in death.

Funeral services will be conducted at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 23, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory in Van Wert, with the Rev. Paul W. Miller officiating. Burial will be in Woodland Cemetery in Van Wert.

Calling hours are from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.

Preferred memorials: Van Wert Area Inpatient Hospice Center or a charity of donor’s choice.

Online condolences may be left at www.alspachgearhart.com.

POSTED: 09/20/14 at 4:03 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Sonia Sue (Briggs) Mazur, 74, of Van Wert, died at 11:12 a.m. Thursday, September 18, 2014, at Lutheran Hospital of Indiana in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Sonia Sue Mazur

Sonia Sue Mazur

She was born December 29, 1939, in Delphos, the daughter of the late Russell and Elva E. (Spyker) Briggs. On December 31, 1970, she married Gerald Thomas “Jerry” Mazur, who survives at the residence.

Other survivors include two sons, Gerald T. (Patricia) Mazur Jr. of Linwood, New Jersey, and Todd Alen (Rachel) Mazur of Clearwater, Florida; a daughter, Jari Lynn Lapp of Oak Ridge, Tennessee; three brothers, Ora D. “Spike” Briggs of Springfield, David (Christine) Briggs of Spencerville and Randall Briggs of Columbus; 12 grandchildren, Amanda Lapp, Alyssa Lapp Bowlin, Angela Lapp, Jacob Lopez, Aleaha Pearson, Nicole Mazur, Jennifer Mazur, Jerry Mazur III, Sydney Mazur, Zachary Mazur, Christopher Mazur and Justin Mazur; and two great-grandchildren, Ethan Bowlin and Madilyn Bowlin.

A daughter, Shareth L. Ebbing (December 9, 1986); one brother, Terrance Briggs; and a sister, Judith Hughes, also preceded her in death.

Sonia was a Registered Nurse for 43 years, serving in various positions in nursing and, most recently, Van Wert Manor. She was a member of St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Van Wert, was a 1957 graduate of Lima South High School and a 1960 graduate of St. Rita’s School of Nursing in Lima.

She was president of the Catholic Ladies of Columbia, a member of Beta Sigma Phi, Lima South High School Reunion Committee, a member of the Red Hat Society in Fort Myers, Florida; a member of the Classy Red Peonies-Van Wert Chapter of the Red Hat Society; and an instrumental volunteer for the Van Wert Air Shows and Hot Air Festival, and treasurer for the Peony Festival Committee and several other community projects.

Funeral services will be conducted at 10:30 a.m. Monday, September 22, at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Van Wert, with Father Stanley Szybka officiating. Burial will be in Woodland Cemetery in Van Wert.

Calling hours are from 3-7 p.m. Sunday, September 21, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home, where a Rosary service will be held at 7 that evening, and an hour prior to services Monday at the church.

Preferred memorials: Catholic Ladies of Columbia, 601 Jennings Road, Van Wert, OH 45891.

Online condolences may be left at www.cowanfuneralhome.com.

POSTED: 09/19/14 at 1:04 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Douglas James Reed, 61, of Cloverdale, died Monday, September 15, 2014.

He was born March 4, 1953, in Paulding, the son of Ruth M. (Ries) Reed, who survives in Grover Hill, and the late Homer J. Reed. On November 10, 1973, he married his beloved wife, Jeanne R. (Williamson) Reed, who preceded him in death on September 16, 2012.

Other survivors include two sons, Steven (Kristine) Reed of Van Wert, and Keith (Tara) Reed of Haviland; a daughter, Amber (William) McCoy of Oswego, Illinois; five grandchildren, Matthew, Nathan, Austin, Ethan and William; and a sister, Carolyn Pruden of Grover Hill.

A sister, Marilyn Locke, also preceded him in death.

Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Monday, September 22, at Middle Creek United Methodist Church in Grover Hill, with the Rev. Harold L. Clark officiating. Burial will follow in Middle Creek Cemetery in Grover Hill.

Calling hours are from 2-8 p.m. Sunday, September 21, at Den Herder Funeral Home in Paulding and an hour prior to services Monday at the church.

Preferred memorials: Donor’s choice.

Online condolences may be left at www.denherderfh.com.

POSTED: 09/18/14 at 8:10 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Donald Earl Miller, 101, passed away at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 16, 2014, at Vancrest Health Care Center in Van Wert.

Donald Earl Miller

Donald Earl Miller

He was born June 22, 1913, in Van Wert, the son of the late Paul and Letha Miller. On January 13, 1943, in Mineral Falls, Texas, he married Frances Marie (Parks) Miller, who survives in Van Wert.

American Flag for obituaries 6-2011Other survivors include a son, Harold (Paula) Miller; one daughter, Sharon (Tom) Sass; three granddaughters, Tiffany (Trevor) McKinney, Dawn (Brian) Gerber and Holly Sass; one grandson, Sean Wagner; nine great-grandchildren; and two nephews, Harry Fryer Jr. and Jerry (Marilyn) Fryer.

Two sisters, and a great-grandson preceded him in death.

Donald was a member of First Baptist Church and American Legion Post 178, both in Van Wert. He served as a corporal in the U.S. Army for 3½ years during World War II.

He had been employed as a shipping clerk for 37 years by the former Van Wert Manufacturing Company, from which he retired. He was a caddy master at Willow Bend Country Club and loved baseball. He was a former Pony League and Little League coach.

Donald loved his family and he will be greatly missed.

Funeral services will be conducted at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, September 20, at First Baptist Church in Van Wert, with the Rev. Steve Robinson officiating. Burial will be in Woodland Cemetery, where graveside military honors will be performed by the combined honors units of Legion Post 178 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5803 in Van Wert.

Calling hours are from 1-4 and 6-8 p.m. Friday, September 19, at Brickner Funeral Home in Van Wert and an hour prior to services Saturday at the church.

Preferred memorials: Gifts may be made in his name to First Baptist Church, Vancrest Health Care Center Activities Department or Community Health Professionals-Hospice in Van Wert.

Online condolences may be left at www.bricknerfuneralhome.com or emailed to bricknerfuneralhome@bright.net.

POSTED: 09/17/14 at 8:30 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries