The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018

Obituaries can be emailed to editor@thevwindependent.com or faxed to 419.238.2578. As of July 1, 2017, full obituaries will cost $40 (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 546, 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

Dennis N. Branch, 49, of Van Wert, died unexpectedly at 9 p.m. Thursday, October 11, 2018, at ProMedica Toledo Hospital surrounded by his loving family.

Dennis N. Branch

He was born December 5, 1968, in Paulding, the son of JC (Margie) Branch and Rose Steele.

He is survived by his father, JC (Margie) Branch of Van Wert; his mother, Rose Steele of Paulding; two sons, Thomas Branch of Ohio City and Tristan (Taylor) Branch of Scott; and two grandchildren.

Other survivors include siblings Chris Reichert Jr., Braska Huffman, Cheryl Tyner, Purcy Nance, Brenda Bidlack, Stacy Strick, and Billy White.

Two brothers, Randy Reichert and Tracy “Grizz” Harless, preceded him in death.

Dennis will be cremated according to his wishes. Memorial services will be observed privately by the family.

POSTED: 10/16/18 at 2:47 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Richard Moore Sr., 81, of Van Wert, died Monday night, October 15, 2018, at Van Wert Health.

He was born August 16, 1937, in Providence, Kentucky the son of John and Robbie Moore, who both preceded him in death. On March 31, 1956, he married Mary James, who survives in Van Wert.

Other survivors include his children, Raymond (Sylvia) Moore of Van Wert, Michael (Kimberly) Moore and Tyrone (Debra) Moore, both of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Mary Turner of Van Wert, and Shari (Steven) Darnell of Van Wert; 15 grandchildren; and numerous great- and great-great grandchildren, and nieces and nephews.

Two children, Richard “Popeye” Moore Jr. and Sharlene Moore, also preceded him in death.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, October 19, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory in Van Wert. Burial will follow in Woodland Cemetery in Van Wert.

Visitation will be noon-2 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

Preferred memorials: To the family.

Condolences may be expressed at www.alspachgearhart.com.

POSTED: 10/16/18 at 2:42 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Delores J. Thatcher, 85, of Van Wert, passed away Friday, October 12, 2018, at the Van Wert Area Inpatient Hospice Center.

Delores Thatcher

She was born March 11, 1933, in Paulding County, the daughter of Elmer C. and Grace V. (Fiock) Keysor, who both preceded her in death.

A 1951 graduate of Haviland High School, Delores went on to marry the love of her life, Harvey J. Thatcher, on October 16, 1954. She was the mother of eight children, three Marsh girls, four exchange students, 20 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren.

Delores enjoyed sewing, cooking, gardening, reading, puzzles, playing bunco and other games. She never missed a sporting event that her children participated in. She was known for supplying hot chocolate and blankets to those in attendance. She was awarded “Mother of the Year” by the University of Findlay women’s softball team.

Once the kids were grown, Delores and Harvey enjoyed traveling the United States and Mexico and cruising the Caribbean.

Delores Thatcher

She is survived by her loving husband of nearly 64 years, Harvey J. Thatcher of Van Wert; eight children, Audie L. (Sue) Thatcher of Ohio City, Debra M. (Lonnie) Nedderman of Van Wert, Brett W. (Diana) Thatcher of Van Wert, Bart C. (Sondra) Thatcher of New Knoxville, Cindy A. (Tim) Hunsaker of Springboro, Valori Y. (Brian) Dunn of Van Wert, Tyson J. (Lauri) Thatcher of Middle Point, and Stacy J. (Brenna Iverson) Thatcher of Brooklyn, New York; a brother, George F. (Sharon) Keysor of Paulding; three sisters, Collen Myers of Haviland, Noreda  Hoaglin of Fort Myers, Florida, and Diana (Louis) Crow of Van Wert; 21 grandchildren, Dr. Jake (Dr. Becca Adams) Jones, Meg (Dave Hunsberger)Thatcher, Drew (Kara) Nedderman, Jordan (Heidi) Nedderman, Colin (Sarah) Nedderman, Kelsey (Mike Whitson) Nedderman, Bryn Thatcher, Brock Thatcher, Hollie Ferckel, Heath Eggleston, Bryce (Chris) Thatcher, Laura (Cory) Gengler, Danielle Thatcher, Austin Thatcher, Evan (Taylor) Hunsaker, Kaylin (Matthew) Bittner, Morgan Hunsaker, Tanner Dunn, Rylee Dunn, Briggs Thatcher, and Sydni Thatcher; 12 great-grandchildren, Jackson, Debbie, and Libby Jones, Grant, Zachary, Joanna, Henry, Sophia, and Theo Nedderman, Ayda Whitson, Myra and Brody Thatcher, and Kayleigh and Aaliyah Gengler; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, Delores was preceded in death by her grandson, Joel Ross Thatcher.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, October 20, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory in Van Wert.

Visitation is from 9 a.m. until the time of services Saturday at the funeral home.

Preferred memorials: Community Health Professionals Home Care & Hospice of Van Wert at www.comhealthpro.org, or to the Alzheimer’s Foundation at www.alzfdn.org.

Condolences may be expressed at www.alspachgearhart.com.

POSTED: 10/16/18 at 6:55 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Carole Ann Hunsaker Davie, 75 of Van Wert, died at 3:46 p.m. Friday, October 12, 2018, at Lima Memorial Hospital.

She was born February 25, 1943, in Van Wert, the daughter of Harold Thomas and Frances Laura (Ashton) Hunsaker, who both preceded her in death. She was married to Joseph P. Davie, who died October 3, 1991.

Survivors include a daughter, Linda Witten McMichael of Van Wert; three stepchildren, Shannon (John) Burklund of Lima, Mitchell (Sherree) Davie of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Tony Davie of West Virginia; 12 grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; a brother, DeWayne Hunsaker of Grover Hill; a sister, Helen Hunsaker of Fort Wayne, Indiana; a niece; and a nephew.

A daughter, Laura Ann Pessefall, and a sister-in-law, Shirley Hunsaker, also preceded her in death.

A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, October 22, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home in Van Wert.

Visitation is from 5-7 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.

Condolences may be expressed at cowanfuneralhome.com.

POSTED: 10/16/18 at 6:50 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Robert Lee “Bob” Witherow, age 80, of Convoy, passed away at 4:33 p.m. Wednesday, October 10, 2018, at Van Wert Health.

Robert Lee Witherow

He was born September 7, 1938, in Van Wert, the son of Cary and Treva (Alt) Witherow, who both preceded him in death.

Bob served his country in the United States Navy and attended Grace Bible Church. He was self-employed, contracting with Reynolds & Reynolds in Dayton.

He is survived by his wife, Portia R. (Stoller) Witherow of Van Wert; two children, Thomas Witherow of Eugene, Oregon, and Timothy (Tara) Witherow of Franklin, Tennessee; two stepchildren, Callon (Lyndi) McCoy of Greenfield, Indiana, and Carmen (Andrew) Mueller of Beverly, Massachusetts; two brothers, Eugene (Sarah) Witherow of Virginia and Carl “Butch” (Jill) Witherow of Van Wert; a sister, Verona (Terry) Eikenbary of Van Wert; and four grandchildren, Juliana McGuire, Joe and Finnegan McCoy, and Nathaniel Mueller.

Bob was preceded in death by his first wife, Shirley Witherow.

Funeral services will be conducted at 10:30 a.m. Monday, October 15, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory in Van Wert, with the Rev. Lance Hostetler officiating.

Visitation will be from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, October 14, at the funeral home.

Preferred memorials: The Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America.

Condolences may be expressed at www.alspachgearhart.com.

POSTED: 10/11/18 at 4:43 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Linda Beth Zizelman, 68, of Rockford, died at 2:20 p.m. Wednesday, October 10, 2018, at Joint Township District Memorial Hospital in St. Marys.

She was born November 17, 1949, in Akron, the daughter of Roger and Velma Fern (Frazier) Parent, who both preceded her in death. On August 4, 1980, in Las Vegas, she married James R. Zizelman, who survives.

Other survivors include a son, Brian (Joyce) Dicke of Rockford, two daughters, Michele (Brent) Buschur of Boerne, Texas, and Angie (Todd) Thomas of Celina; nine grandchildren; a great-granddaughter; two siblings, Eddie (Rosie) Parent and Trudy (Butch) Caffall; and two sisters-in-law, Julie Parent and Mary Kay Brown.  Two brothers, Roger Lee and Denny Parent, and a granddaughter, also preceded her in death.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, October 13, at Ketcham-Ripley Funeral Home in Rockford. Burial will follow in Friends Chapel Cemetery in Rockford. 

Visitation is from 9 a.m. until the time of services Saturday at the funeral home.

Preferred memorials: Donor’s choice.

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

POSTED: 10/11/18 at 4:39 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Elizabeth “Beth” (Leatherman) (Holden) Gillett, 77, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, died Sunday, October 7, 2018, at her residence.

Elizabeth Gillett (recent)

Elizabeth Gillett (younger)

Survivors include her husband, Tom, of Ann Arbor; three children, Kira Bryant of Ypsilanti, Michigan, Pete Leatherman of Ann Arbor, and Kurt Leatherman of Van Wert; and six grandchildren, Roger, Levi, Liz, Alan, Zachary, and Lauren.

Beth was a graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in education.

Beth has been cremated and there will be no memorial services, at her request.

Preferred memorials: Ann Arbor Post-Polio Connection, c/o Allison Roller, 1113 Addington Lane, Ann Arbor, MI 48108.

POSTED: 10/10/18 at 8:31 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Alice M. Schmit, 100, of Findlay, and formerly of Delphos, passed away Monday, October 8, 2018, at the home of her daughter and son-in-law in Findlay.

She was born January 8, 1918, in Delphos, the daughter of Carl J. and Louise P. (Schwartzengraber) Lindeman, who both preceded her in death. On June 20, 1946, she married Jerome M. Schmit, who died June 4, 2008.

Survivors include a daughter, Elaine M. (Larry) Webb of Findlay; two sons, Dr. James T. “Jim” Schmit of Celina and Dr. Arthur M. “Art” (MaryAnn) Schmit of Grove City; one sister, Dorothy Reagan of Findlay; five grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and a brother-in-law, Alfred Schmit.

A sister, Mary Wellman; an infant grandson, Christopher Schmit; a daughter-in-law, Susan Schmit; six brothers-in-law, Harold Reagan, the Rev. Arthur Schmit, the Rev. Earl Schmit, Robert “Bob” Schmit, Eugene Schmidt, and Gilbert “Gib” Wellman; and four sisters-in-law, Sister Mary Alfred, SND, Mary Ella Schmit, Patricia Schmit, and Viola Schmidt, also preceded her in death.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 16, at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Delphos, with her grandson, Father Ryan Schmit, officiating. Burial will follow in St. John’s Cemetery in Delphos.

Memorial visitation will be held from noon until the time of services Tuesday at the church.

Preferred memorials: St. John’s Parish Foundation or Bridge Home Health and Hospice.

Condolences may be expressed at www.harterandschier.com.

POSTED: 10/10/18 at 8:26 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Anita G. Burt passed away peacefully Monday, October 8, 2018, at Paulding County Hospital at the age of 89.

She was born April 15, 1929, in Waterloo, Indiana, the daughter of Alva and Aileen (Smith) Rainier, who both preceded her in death. On February 2, 1952, she married Clyde E. Burt of Melrose, who she met while attending the Fort Wayne (Indiana) Art School, and he also preceded her in death.

Anita was an artist and loved nature, especially wild flowers and birds. She also enjoyed helping others during her life and volunteering when she could. For a number of years, Anita volunteered at the John Paulding Historical Society Museum. She was one of the charter members of the Black Swamp Audubon Society and a member of the Defiance Artists Club.

For a number of years, she served on the Board of Trustees for the Paulding County Carnegie Library and also was a board member for the Northwest Ohio Library District. Mrs. Burt was a very devout person and was a member of the Melrose United Methodist Church.

Mrs. Burt was a graduate of the former Waterloo High School and went on to the Fort Wayne Art school, where she studied various forms of art. She worked during her school years as the assistant museum curator at the school’s art museum. Anita also worked a number of years in the former Oakwood Elementary School library. Later in life, she was the librarian at the Paulding County Law Library.

She was a wonderful mother and grandmother and enjoyed spending as much time as she could with her son and granddaughter. She touched the lives of many people and will be missed by family and friends. Anita is now in the arms of the Lord.

Survivors include a son, Ronald E. Burt of Melrose; one granddaughter, Ashley M. Burt of Melrose; a sister, Glenda (Edwin) Peterson of Lake City, Michigan; one brother, Ed Rainier of Lake City; a brother-in-law, Dennis Erickson of Twin Lake, Michigan; one sister-in-law, Carol (Donald) Burt of Fort Wayne; and many wonderful nieces and nephews.

A grandson, Ronald E. Burt II; one sister, Vernelia; a sister-in-law, Nancy Rainier; one brother- and sister-in-law, Richard and Claudine Thompson; and a brother-in-law, Donald Burt, also preceded her in death.

Anita didn’t want a funeral or memorial service.

Preferred memorials: Paulding County Carnegie Library or the Art & Design Department, Purdue University Fort Wayne.

POSTED: 10/09/18 at 5:53 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Helen I. Dillon, 79, of Middle Point, passed away Monday, October 8, 2018, at the Van Wert Area Inpatient Hospice Center.

Helen I. Dillon

She was born December 14, 1938, in Lima, the daughter of Walter and Ethyl E. (Shively) Johnson, who both preceded her in death.

Helen was a longtime member of Trinity Friends Church. She married the love of her life, Harold E. Dillon, on August 15, 1960, and he also preceded her in death.

She went on to retire as a dietary aide from Van Wert County Hospital. Along with the hospital, Helen worked at several other places, including Van Wert Manor and Clyde Evans Market.

Always searching for a good bargain, Helen enjoyed visiting garage sales and thrift shops. She adored her daughters, and cherished the time spent with her grandchildren.

She is survived by her daughters, Brenda Gilbert of Payne, Elaine Laswell of Osgood, Indiana, and Linda (Jason) Schaffner of Middle Point; two brothers, Leonard (Cheryl) Johnson of Van Wert and Keith (Pam) Johnson of Paulding; seven grandchildren, Steven Jr. and John Gilbert; Ashley, Nathan, and Nick Laswell, Brittin and Lincoln Schaffner.

Funeral services will be conducted at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, October 11, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory in Van Wert. Burial will follow in Ridge Cemetery in rural Van Wert County.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, October 10, at the funeral home.

Preferred memorials: Community Health Professionals Home Care & Hospice of Van Wert.

Condolences may be expressed at www.alspachgearhart.com.

POSTED: 10/08/18 at 5:19 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries