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June 30, 2010

Thomas E. Erne, 77

Thomas E. Erne, 77, of Columbia City, died Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at his home.
He was born August 25, 1932 in Bourbon, Indiana a son of Harlo J. and Dorothy Marie (Kieger) Erne. As a young boy, his family moved to Columbia City. He graduated from Columbia City High School.
During the Korean War, he served in the United States Army.
He began his employment with Holmes Lumber Company in 1955.
On October 11, 1968 he married Betty Jane Stewart. Mrs. Erne died in 1977.
On February 16, 1979 he married Jean D. Schaefer Hadley. Mrs. Erne died March 1, 1999.
Surviving relatives include three children, Ryon Ray Erne of Warsaw, Connie Sue Smith of Columbia City and Thomas Allen (Carolina) Blair of Columbia City; nine grandchildren; two brothers, Russell Erne of Pierceton and Douglas Erne of Columbia City; and two sisters, Marjorie Hougendoubler of Tampa FL and Bonnie Blair of Warsaw.
A sister, Evelyn Erne, and a brother, Paul Erne, preceded him in death.
The funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City. The burial will be in Greenhill Cemetery. The visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.
Preferred memorials may be directed to the final expense account at Smith & Sons Funeral Home.
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June 29, 2010

Bette M. Chrisman Vorndran Higgens, 88

Bette M. Chrisman Vorndran Higgens, 88, passed away on Sunday, June 27, 2010, at Parkview Hospital surrounded by her family.
Born in Fort Wayne on February 14, 1922, she was a homemaker and wonderful cook who loved her family more than anything.
She was a world-traveler who enjoyed her many trips to Australia and playing Bingo with her friends at St. Anne's.
She is survived by her sons, Edward Chrisman of Decatur, John Higgens and Tom Higgens, both of Fort Wayne; daughters, Rose (Larry) Benjamin of Bristol, Judy Herber, Marilyn (Tony) Romano, Kathy Evans and Mary (Lynn) Covey all of Fort Wayne; 18 grandchildren, including Tony (Jennifer) Romano of Columbia City; 18 great-grandchildren; and sister, Imogene (Mike) Maldeney of Fort Wayne.
Bette was preceded in death by her husbands, John Higgens, George Vorndran and Edward Chrisman; son, Phillip; and granddaughter, Janelle.
Mass of Christian Burial is 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Vincent dePaul Catholic Church, 1502 E. Wallen Road, with calling one hour prior, Msgr. John Kuzmich officiating. Calling also from 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at D.O. McComb & Sons Pine Valley Park Funeral Home, 1320 East Dupont Road, with Vigil at 4:30 p.m. Burial in Catholic Cemetery. Memorials for Masses.

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June 28, 2010

Robert Eugene Fahl, 83

Robert Eugene Fahl, 83, of Columbia City, passed away at 11:42 p.m. Sunday, June 27, 2010 at Parkview Whitley Hospital, Columbia City.
Born February 17, 1927, in Dora, Wabash County, he was the son of George A. and Opal (Snyder) Fahl.
He graduated with the Class of 1945 from Columbia City High School where he received the JAA Leadership Award and also the Columbia City High School honor blanket in 1945. He completed his education earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Wabash College in 1950. He proudly served in the U.S. Army from June 29, 1945, through November 24, 1946.
A former sports writer for the Columbia City Post & Mail, he was also a former co-owner of Fahl-Kiester Insurance Agency. In 1968, he purchased and co-owned Westhaven Estates Mobile Home Park and Sales and Fahl Mobile Homes with his brother Russell, until 1982. He married Marilyn Creighton October 9, 1976 in Atwood, IN.
A former resident of Hoffman Lake, from 1976 - 1987, he and his wife owned and operated the Fork'd Ash Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred Horse Farm, Kosciusko County, until 2003 when they moved to Columbia City. He attended Otterbein United Methodist Church in Atwood, IN.
His memberships included the American Quarter horse Association and Columbia City Rotary.
Survivors include his wife, Marilyn Fahl of Columbia City; sons, Robert S. (Roseann) Fahl of Roanoke and Gregory (Ann) Fahl of Columbia City; step-daughters, Lori (John) VerKamp of Jasper and Jennifer (Jeff) Schlegel of Fort Wayne; step-son, Brett (Bonnie) Hoffer of Fort Wayne; sisters, Bonnie Merriman of Fort Wayne, Shirley Fahl of Jacksonville, AL, Norma Sontendahl of Austin, TX and Sandra (Rick) Rarick of Columbia City; brother, Russell (Evelyn) Fahl of Warsaw; 13 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Jon Fahl, brothers, Tom, Richard and Clarence "Fritz" Fahl, sisters, Charlotte Fahl-McClain and Mary Fahl-Bourne, an infant brother and sister and step-son, John Hoffer.
Visitation is Friday, July 9, 2010 from 4-8 p.m. at DeMoney-Grimes Countryside Park Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City, IN. Funeral service is Saturday, July 10, 2010 at 11 a.m. with calling one hour prior to service at Otterbein United Methodist Church, 306 E Main Street, Atwood, IN. Graveside service is Saturday, July 10th, at 2:30 p.m. at South Park Cemetery, Columbia City.
Memorials may be given in memory of Mr. Fahl to Otterbein United Methodist Church or Whitley County 4-H, Inc. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.
Please visit www.demoneygrimes.com to send family condolences or sign the guest register.

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W. Hugh Willmore, 84

W. Hugh Willmore, 84, passed away Thursday, June 24, 2010 at his home in Fort Wayne.
Born in Vincennes, IN, Hugh was a graduate of Indiana University and served in the Army during WWII in Europe. He retired in 1985 after working 35 years with I&M Electric Company and AEP. Hugh was a member of First Wayne Street United Methodist Church, Vincennes Masonic Lodge No. 1, Ft. Wayne Valley Scottish Rite, Mizpah Shrine Trinity Chapter No. 576, O.E.S., Golden K. Kiwanis, and American Legion Post 296.
Hugh is survived by his sister-in-law, Edith Willmore; niece Cheryl (Steve) Moffatt; nephew Greg (Camille) Willmore, all of Columbus, IN, David (Sharman) Willmore of Cincinnati, TJ Lange of Seward, AK, Dave (Saundra) Lange of Homestead, FL, and Steven (Mary Alice) Lange of St. Petersburg, FL; several great-nieces and nephews; step-children, Rebecca (Jim) Reeder and Allen (Le-Ann) Glock, seven step-grandchildren, and 10 step-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents Hugh Sr. and Hollis L. Coons Willmore; wives Jean Hartman Willmore and Charlotte A. Glock Willmore; brother Richard “Dick” Willmore; and sister Hollis Lange.
Service is 10:00 AM, July 1, 2010 at First Wayne Street United Methodist Church, 300 E. Wayne Street with calling one hour prior. Rev. Greg Enstrom officiating. Calling also at D.O. McComb and Sons Covington Knolls Funeral Home, 8325 Covington Road, Ft. Wayne, Wednesday from 2:00 to 4:00 pm and 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Burial in Augusta Cemetery, Augusta, MI.
Memorials may be made to the First Wayne Street United Methodist Church. To sign the online guest book, go to www.mccombandsons.com

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June 27, 2010

Gertrude P. Coy, 100

Gertrude P. Coy, 100, of Columbia City, Ind. died on Friday, June 25, 2010 at 10:00 p.m. at The Oaks, Columbia City.  Born on October 21, 1909 in Lagro, Ind. she was the daughter of Adam and Mary (Beeks) Parrett.
When Ms. Coy was a child her parents moved from Wabash County to Whitley County.  She resided in South Whitley and Etna before moving to Columbia City in 1947.  She attended the public school systems in Wabash and Whitley Counties.   On March 18, 1926 she was married to Sheldon E. Quinn at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Columbia City.  He preceded her in death on April 9, 1951 due to a tragic factory accident.  She later married Earnest Coy, Sr. on March 1, 1958 in a private service at her home.   For 30 years, Mrs. Coy worked as a seamstress at the former Blue Bell.  She has been a long time member of Gospel Land Ministries and Community Bible Church.  
Survivors include her son, Robert Parrett of North Manchester; 9 step-children; sister, Hazel Richey and half-sister, Thelma North of Columbia City; 70 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.  She was preceded in death by her parents; first husband Sheldon and second husband Earnest Coy on November 7, 1983; sons, Bennie and Mickey Quinn, 2 step-children; brothers, James, Ferry, Edward and Glenn Parrett, and half-brothers, George and John North.
Visitation is from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at DeMoney-Grimes Countryside Park Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Dr., Columbia City, IN.  Funeral Service will be at 10 a.m., Wednesday, June 30, 2010 at the funeral home with Pastor Curtiss Johnson officiating.  Burial will follow at Thorn Cemetery, Ormas, Ind.
Memorials may be given in memory of Mrs. Coy to the donor’s choice of charity.  Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

Sign the guestbook at www.demoneygrimes.com


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James Rickie "Rick" Null, 56

James Rickie “Rick” Null, 56, of rural Columbia City, died Thursday, June 24, 2010 at Crawford Camp, Sioux Narrows, Ontario, Canada while vacationing.
He was born February 22, 1954 in Lima, Ohio a son of James Lamar and Jacqueline Lyda (Bennett) Null. As a young boy, his family moved to Markle, Indiana from Elida, Ohio and later to Jefferson Township, Whitley County. He graduated from Columbia City Joint High School in 1972 and later received a degree from Ivy Tech.
In 1972 he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, serving during the Vietnam War. On June 30, 1974 he was united in marriage to Joan K. Alexander. They made their home in Kaneohe, Hawaii and later Adak, Alaska. After he was honorably discharged in 1978 they returned to Whitley County, moving to their home in Jefferson Township in April 1979.
A building and vehicle maintenance technician, he worked for Pathfinder Services, Jefferson Center School and Indian Springs Middle School.
He attended Sonrise United Methodist Church and enjoyed participating in several mission trips to Myanmar and Liberia & Kenya, Africa and assisted with Hurricane Katrina Relief in Mississippi.
Surviving relatives include his wife, Joan; two children, Macy (Brad) Wolfe of Columbia City and Ryan (Michaela) Null of Fort Wayne; four granddaughters, Kaya & Kasyn Wolfe and Penelope & Veda Null; his father and four sisters, Jim Null, Cathy (Kurt Babb) Aumsbaugh, Patti Hendryx, Janie (Jim) Graves and Polly (Sam) Wireman, all of Columbia City.
His mother preceded him in death.
The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Sonrise United Methodist Church, 10125 Illinois Road, Fort Wayne with visitation after 10 a.m. Friday at the church. Visitation will also be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City.
Preferred memorials are to Sonrise United Methodist Church for Rainbow Town Orphanage.

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Mary Catherine Tom, 67

Mary Catherine Tom, 67, of Warsaw, died at 1:40 p.m. Friday, June 25, 2010 at Miller’s Merry Manor, Warsaw, where she had been a resident since May 20, 2010.
She was born November 5, 1942 in Allen County, Indiana a daughter of Vassie and Marie (Schoppmen) Tom, Sr. She spent her formative years in the Larwill area and graduated from Larwill High School.
She was employed at L.M. Berry, Warsaw for approximately 21 years and finished her work career in food service at Warsaw Community School Corporation for 18 years.
She was a long time volunteer at Kosciusko Community Hospital and the Cardinal Center, Warsaw. She was a former member of Grace Lutheran Church, Columbia City.
Surviving relatives include a niece, Jeanne Tom Pfeiffer, Columbia City; great niece, Jade Pfeiffer; many cousins including, Sarah Richcreek, Larwill and Darleen Myers, Columbia City; a dear friend and caretaker, Monica (Richard) Zehner of Warsaw.
She was preceded in death by her parents, a brother, Robert “Bobby” Tom; half-brother, Vassie Tom, Jr. and niece, Karen L. Tom.
The funeral service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City, with Rev. James Clifford officiating. Burial will be in Hillcrest Cemetery, Pierceton. The visitation will be from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.
Preferred memorials are to American Cancer Society.

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Gerry L. Clark-Bodas, 76

Gerry L. Clark-Bodas, 76, of Fort Wayne, went to be with the Lord at 7:59 p.m. Friday, June 18, 2010 at her home.
She was born November 1, 1933 in Swamp Branch, Kentucky a daughter of Bert and Francis (May) Conley. As a young girl, her family moved to Ohio and later Indiana to Fort Wayne and surrounding areas. She completed her education at Ivy Tech College.
On September 13, 1987 she was united in marriage to Clarence A. Bodas. They have made their home in Clinton, Tennessee until August 2009 when they returned to Fort Wayne.
She was a union representative for General Electric for several years, waitress at 30 Club and Fort Wayne Country Club, worked for the Allen County Public Defenders Office and lastly at American Eagle.
Her church membership was with the Pentecostal Church of God in Grover City, California.
Surviving relatives include her husband, Clarence; four children, Diane (Dave) Ryman of Atwood, Cindy (Dorsey) Simmons of Fort Wayne, David (Cynthia) Clark of Etna Green and Douglas Clark of Fort Wayne; five grandchildren, Stacy, D.J., David Jr., Christine and Sarah; one great grandson; eight brothers, Herman Conley of Tucson AZ, Roger Conley of Warsaw, R.B. Conley of Etna Green, Dan Conley of Etna Green, John Conley of Warsaw, Robert Conley of Warsaw, Ron Conley of Pierceton and Mark Conley of Columbus GA; and three sisters, Vernita Cunningham of Dayton OH, Joan Potter of Etna Green and Deb Vetor of Warsaw.
She was preceded in death by three brothers and a sister, Ernie Conley, Wolford Conley, Bobby Conley and Wilma Jane Conley.
A private graveside service was held at the Etna Green Cemetery.
Preferred memorials are to Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana.
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June 26, 2010

C. Bernice Mertz, 95

C. Bernice Mertz, 95, of Columbia City, passed away at 4:38 a.m. on Sunday, June 20, 2010, at the home of her daughter. Born on July 9, 1914 in Huntington County, IN, she was the daughter of Scott S. and Merle H. (Elser) Click.
She moved from Fort Wayne, IN to Jefferson Township, Whitley County, IN in 1952. She graduated from Central High School, Fort Wayne, IN with the Class of 1931. On April 26, 1936, she married Howard R. Mertz in Fort Wayne, IN. She worked at G.E. Corporation, Fort Wayne, IN for 10 years, I & M Corporation, Fort Wayne, IN for 10 years, and assisted her husband with family printing company in Fort Wayne for 14 years. However, her favorite career was being a mother and grandmother. She had been a member since 1945 at Saturn Christian Church, Master Gardner lifetime member from Purdue, 20 plus years Sunday School Teacher, member of Whitley County Herb Gatherer's and Whitley County Home Extension Club.
Survivors include her daughters Sharon Kneller and Ginny (Kelly) Caskey both of Columbia City, son, Fred S. (Linda) Mertz of Roanoke, IN and daughter, Susan (Dan) Kayser of Findlay, OH; 1 brother, Carl J. Click of TX; 3 sisters, Wilda I. Miller and Letha P. (Harvey) Heilman and Betty O. Fleck all of Fort Wayne, IN; 13 grandchildren; 24 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Howard R. Mertz in April of 1977 and 2 grandchildren, Chrissi and Amy Mertz.
A funeral service was held Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at Saturn Christian Church with Pastor Russell Riley officiating. Burial will follow at Lindenwood Cemetery. Memorials may be given in memory of Mrs. Mertz to the Saturn Christian Church Deacon's Fund. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

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June 17, 2010

Lorelei “Lori” Teghtmeyer Pfeiffer, 48

Lorelei “Lori” Teghtmeyer Pfeiffer, 48, of Columbia City, died at 3:55 a.m. Thursday, June 17, 2010 at her home. She had been in failing health for the past year.
She was born August 30, 1961 at Whitley County Memorial Hospital, Columbia City a daughter of James Earl and Cynthia A. (Wilson) Teghtmeyer. A lifelong resident of Whitley County, she graduated from Columbia City Joint High School in 1979.
In January 1979, she began her employment at Teghtmeyer Ace Hardware, becoming co-owner in 1999.
On February 8, 2000, she was united in marriage to James M. Pfeiffer.
Her memberships included Order of the Eastern Star #65 and “The Grey Girls.”
Surviving relatives include her husband, Jim; step-daughter, Amanda Bender of Albion; two step granddaughters, Alyssa Bender and Mayah Rohr; mother, Cindy (John) Russell of Columbia City; sisters, Alicia (Doug) Johnson and Nickey Teghtmeyer of Charleston, SC; and three nephews, Austin Burnsworth, Drew Burnsworth and Kane Johnson.
Her father preceded her in death.
The funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City.  The burial will be in Thorn Cemetery, Ormas. The visitation will be from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.
Preferred memorials are to Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Condolences may be sent to www.smithandsonsfuneralhome.com.
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Mary L. Bricker, 92

Mary L. Bricker, 92, formerly of South Whitley, died at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at The Oaks Living Center, Columbia City where she had been a resident since April 1994.
She was born April 12, 1918 in Wooster, Wayne County, Ohio a daughter of John F. and Grace M. (Dow) Hargrove. As a young girl, her family moved to Huntington.
On December 31, 1937 she was united in marriage to John E. Bricker. They always made their home in South Whitley. Mr. Bricker died October 4, 1993.
She was employed at Whitley Manufacturing and for many years at Chamberlin Products.
Surviving relatives include a son, Dean (Diana) Bricker of South Whitley; six grandchildren; and several great grandchildren and great great grandchildren.
In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by a son, Robert Hargrove and a sister, Ruth Hicks.
The funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Smith & Sons Miller Chapel, South Whitley. The burial will be in South Whitley Cemetery. The visitation will be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.
Preferred memorials are to Parkview Home Health & Hospice.
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June 16, 2010

Roy DeWitt Prater

After 38 years, TSgt. Roy DeWitt Prater, killed in South Vietnam, will be laid to rest next to his wife.
Born on July 1, 1936, in Knoxville, Tennessee, he was the son of Roy and Louise Prater.  DeWitt spent his formative years in Knoxville and Columbia City, Indiana, where he graduated in 1954.  After high school graduation he moved to Piqua, Ohio, and attended Miami University in Oxford, before entering the military in 1955, the start of a 17 year career.
On December 16, 1956, he married JoAnn Jagger at the Blue River Church of the Brethren in Columbia City, Indiana.   
TSgt Roy DeWitt Prater served in the United States Marine Corps from October 17, 1955 to August 14, 1965 which included tours in Florida, the Philippine Islands, Japan, and the Cuban Islands. On August 19, 1965 he enlisted in the United States Air Force.  TSgt Prater’s first Air Force assignment was a helicopter technician to Detachment 17, Central Air Rescue Center, Bunker Hill AFB, Indiana.  On July 15, 1967 he was assigned to Howard AFB, Panama Canal Zone as Flight Engineer to the 24th Air Commando Wing.   On July 3, 1970 he was assigned as a CH-3 helicopter technician to Det. 3, 39th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Wing, Patrick AFB, Florida where he worked with NASA Apollo Missions in recovering Space Capsules and Astronauts.  On October 15, 1971 he was assigned as a helicopter flight engineer to the 37th Air Rescue Recovery Squadron, DaNang Airfield, Republic of Vietnam.
On April 6, 1972, TSgt Prater died in South Vietnam while trying to rescue two downed airmen when his helicopter was shot down.  The mission, code name “BAT 21”, was the longest search-and-rescue mission in the history of the United States Air Force.  His decorations included the Silver Star, the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters and the Purple Heart. 
On May 31, 1976 a Memorial Service and Dedication Ceremony ”My Life - Your Freedom" was held at Morsches Park, Columbia City, dedicating a monument for Roy DeWitt Prater and the Men of Whitley County who died in Vietnam.   On June 22, 1979, a Memorial and Dedication Ceremony was held at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio naming a new dormitory “PRATER HALL” in honor of TSgt Prater who made the “Supreme Sacrifice in the Defense of Freedom”.  On November 19, 1997 a Memorial Service for the crew of “Jolly Green 67”, TSgt Prater’s helicopter, was held at Arlington National Cemetery.  The six crewmen were interred and remembered for giving their lives “That Others May Live.” The entire Prater family attended all services.
DeWitt enjoyed sports, fishing, hunting and spending time with his family.
Surviving family members include one son, Dennis (Becky) Prater of Ft Wayne; two daughters Debbie (Bill) Vance and Pam (Ray) Deno of Columbia City; a brother Jack (Peg) Prater of Wapakoneta, Ohio; and six grandchildren, Jill Prater, Bradie Vance, Brooke Vance, Holly Deno, Amber Deno and Blake Deno. 
 Deceased family includes his father, Roy Prater, killed in WWII; mother, Louise Strickland; stepfather, Donald Strickland; and his wife JoAnn Prater.
Now, 38 years later, his mission will be complete as his remains have been positively identified by DNA and are being returned to the family cemetery in Columbia City, Indiana.  The Prater family is having a Hero's Welcome Home ceremony to give their father the honor and respect he so richly deserves. Visitation will be 10:00am – 1:00pm. Saturday, June 19, 2010 at Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City. The committal service will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Blue River Cemetery with Full Military Honors provided by the United States Air Force. 
Condolences may be sent to www.smithandsonsfuneralhome.com.

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Sarah Katherine "Kate" Hyndman, 89

Sarah Katherine "Kate" Hyndman, 89, of Columbia City, IN passed away at 1:40 p.m. Sunday, June 13, 2010 at The Oaks, Columbia City. Born July 20, 1920 in Whitley County, IN, she was the daughter of Charles  H. and Jessie Edna (Haines-Turney) Snepp.
A lifetime Whitley County resident, she graduated from Larwill High School with the Class of 1936.  On August 15, 1937 she married LeRoy M. Hyndman in St. Joe, Michigan. She worked for a brief time at Blue Bell and Weatherhead, Columbia City; International Harvester, Fort Wayne, and the Siegrist Cafe in Columbia City. She was also a homemaker and caretaker for many people. She was a member of First Church of God, Columbia City.
Survivors include her sister-in-law, Wanetta Snepp;great-nephew, Patrick (Laura) Bitzel; several nieces & nephews; several great nieces & nephews; and several great great nieces & nephews.  She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, LeRoy  M. Hyndman in 1993, brothers Ralph, Carl and John Snepp and sister, Eva Walker.
Visitation were held on Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at Demoney-Grimes Countryside Park Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City, IN.  Pastor Penny Mosher of First Church of God, Columbia City, IN officiated. Burial followed at South Park (Annex) Cemetery, Columbia City, IN.  Memorial gifts may be given in  Mrs. Hyndman's memory to American Heart and Diabetes Associations.  Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

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June 12, 2010

Alice Marie Cira, 100

Alice Marie Cira, 100, of Columbia City, passed away at 5:30 a.m. Friday, June 11, 2010 at Miller's Merry Manor, Inc., Columbia City.
Born on November 15, 1909 in Granger, she was the daughter of Robert and Gertrude (LaHomadieu) Hickling.
She was raised in Granger, Saint Joseph County, Indiana, and moved from there to South Bend in 1927.  She came to Columbia City in 1987 to be near her son, J. Richard "Dick" Cira, and his wife.  
She graduated from Granger High School.  She was united in marriage with the late Don L. Cira on March 31, 1928 in South Bend.  She retired in 1984 from Wygant Flowers, South Bend, where she had been a retail sales person since 1965.  She is a long-time member of First United Methodist Church, South Bend, and since moving to Columbia City has been a regular attendant of the Columbia City United Methodist Church.
Survivors include her son, J. Richard "Dick" (Eileen) Cira of Columbia City; 2 granddaughters, Tamera S. (Mark) Parker and Jodie L. (Craig) Asplund both of Columbia City; grandson, Michael R. (Laura) Cira of Granger, IN; 7 great grandchildren, Aaron (Meghan) Parker of Kyle, TX, Adam (Kim) Parker, Andrew Parker, Alexander Parker and Dayne Asplund all of Columbia City and Jacob and Jordan Cira of Granger, IN; 2 great-great-grandchildren, Allison and Madison Parker of Columbia City.  She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Don L. Cira on July 8, 1965, sisters, Flossie Williams, Eva Liggett, Sarah Koontz, and brother, Frank Hickling.
Visitation will be held on Monday, June 14, 2010 from 5-8 p.m.  at Demoney-Grimes Countryside Park Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City, IN.  Funeral services will be held at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at the funeral home with Pastor Paul Arnold of Columbia City United Methodist Church officiating.  Entombment will take place at Riverview Cemetery, So. Bend, 2300 Portage Avenue, South Bend, IN.  Memorial gifts may be given in Mrs. Cira's memory to Columbia City United Methodist Church Youth Group.  Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.  
Please visit www.demoneygrimes.com to send family condolences or sign the guest register book.
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Mary D. Gephart, 86

Mary D. Gephart, 86, of Columbia City, IN passed away at 3:13 p.m. Wednesday, June 9, 2010 at The Oaks, Columbia City.
Born on May 7, 1924 in Noble County, IN, she was the daughter of Charles and Tessie (Pressler) Rex.
Raised in Noble County, she attended Wolf Lake High School, Wolf Lake, for 3 years. She moved to Whitley County in 1942. On December 20, 1974 she married Ivan R. Gephart in Columbia City. She worked at Farmer's Loan and Trust Bank, Columbia City, for 12 1/2 years from 1972-1984. She was a member of various Columbia City area bowling leagues.
Survivors include her son, Billy L. Hull of South Whitley; daughter, Judy K. Will of Columbia City; 3 step-daughters, Virginia Cunningham of Orange, TX; Dorothy Gephart of Fort Wayne; Anna Hines of Fort Myers, FL; 1 step-son, Ivan Gephart II of Olympia: 3 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren; 11 step grandchildren; 10 great step grandchildren; several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers, Howard, Luther, James and Fred Rex, sisters, Daisy Carmin and Maria Harrison.
Visitation is Monday, June 14, 2010 from 2-4 & 6-8 p.m. at DeMoney-Grimes Countryside Park Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City.  Funeral service is 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at the funeral home with Reverend Curtiss Johnson officiating. Burial will follow at Thorn Cemetery, Ormas, IN. Memorial gifts may be given in Mrs. Gephart's memory to donor's choice of charity. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.


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Karis I. Bolinger, infant

Karis I. Bolinger, 7 days, daughter of Andrew & Jennifer Bolinger, died Thursday, June 10, 2010 at Lutheran Hospital, Fort Wayne where she was born Thursday, June 3.
She is also survived by a sister, Campbell Marie Bolinger; grandparents, Steve & Carol Bolinger of Huntington, Diane Fulk of Columbia City and Tim & Carla Fulk of South Whitley; and a great grandmother, Jean Mullin of South Whitley.
The funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Smith & Sons Miller Chapel, South Whitley with visitation from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home. The burial will be in South Whitley Cemetery.
Condolences may be sent to www.smithandsonsfuneralhome.com.
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June 10, 2010

Glee Irene Eberly, 80

Glee Irene Eberly, 80, of South Whitley, died Wednesday morning, June 9, 2010 at Hospice Home, Fort Wayne.
She was born November 7, 1929, in Medaryville, Indiana, a daughter of Walter and Velda M. (Putman) Penrod. At age five her family moved to South Whitley where she attended elementary school. She graduated from South Whitley High School in 1947.
On August 15, 1948 she was united in marriage to Lee O. Eberly. They made their home in South Whitley.
She began her work career at Farmer’s Elevator in South Whitley and she was a seasonal employee with Wolf and Dessauer in Fort Wayne. In 1962, she and her husband started Whitley Mobile Homes, a well known dealer and transporter of mobile homes as well as developer and owner of mobile home parks.
She spent 12 years on the South Whitley Town Council and 18 years on the Whitley County Planning Commission.
Her many memberships include: United Methodist Church of South Whitley, Delta Theta Tau Sorority (over 50 years), Helping Hands Class, Indiana Manufactured Housing Association, Whitley County Crime Stoppers, Whitley County EMS, an organist and pianist for area churches for over 40 years and a Leader for Girl Scouts and Cubs Scouts.
Surviving relatives include husband, Lee ; three sons, Daryl (Carolyn) Eberly, Jeryl (Tammy) Eberly, Terry (Jill) Eberly all of South Whitley; two daughters, Carol Eberly and Laurell (Mark) Hodges both of South Whitley; 13 grandchildren; 13 great grandchildren and a half-sister, Nila Richards.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by 3 half sisters, Vera Sherbahn, Ruth Darley, and Esther Freshour; and a half brother, Joe Gambee.
The funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m. Monday at United Methodist Church of South Whitley, 6685 W. St Rd 14, South Whitley. Burial will be in South Whitley Cemetery. Visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Smith & Sons Miller Chapel, South Whitley.
Preferred memorials are to United Methodist Church of South Whitley or Visiting Nurse and Hospice Home of Fort Wayne.

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Wanda Wiley, 89

Wanda Wiley, 89, a resident of Oak Pointe formerly of South Whitley, died at 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, June 9, 2010 at Miller’s Merry Manor, Columbia City where she was admitted in March.
She was born December 28, 1920 in Noble County, Indiana a daughter of John and Alice (Adair) Kettlebar. Her formative years were spent in western Noble County. She graduated from Ligonier High School in 1939.
On February 9, 1940, she married Frank P. Wiley. They made their home in Ligonier until 1964 when they moved to Fort Wayne. In December 1967 they moved to South Whitley. Mr. Wiley died March 14, 1993.
She started her employment with Essex Wire Corp in Ligonier then Haag Drug Co. in Fort Wayne. After moving to South Whitley, she worked part-time for Stumps Printing.
Her memberships included United Methodist Church of South Whitley.
She is survived by one daughter, Dawn A. Wiley, Fort Wayne; two sons, Randall J. Wiley, Fleming Island, FL and Douglas F. Wiley, South Whitley; two grandsons; two great grandsons; two sisters, Mildred Kettlebar, Ligonier and Mary Rex, Port Royal, SC.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by a sister Cloha Glaser and three half brothers, William T. Kettlebar, Calvin Kettlebar and Alvin Kettlebar
The funeral service will be 3:00 p.m., Saturday at Smith & Sons Miller Chapel, South Whitley with visitation from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Saturday. Burial will be in the South Whitley Cemetery.
Preferred memorials are to Salvation Army or Parkview Whitley Home Health and Hospice.


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June 09, 2010

Kay Arlene "Sam" Hoover, 71

Kay Arlene "Sam" Hoover, 71, of Churubusco, passed away at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, June 6, 2010 at her home.  Born on April 23, 1939 in Huntington County, she was the daughter of Dallas and Faye (Dinius) Patten.
She was raised in Roanoke, moving to South Whitley-North Manchester area for 46 years on the Hoover Family Farm, retiring to Churubusco 6 years ago.  She graduated from Roanoke High School. On October 6, 1957 she married Rex Harold Hoover in Roanoke.  She worked at G.E. in Fort Wayne and Heaters, Inc. in South Whitley.  She attended Skyline Church, Fort Wayne and was a member of a square dance club, loved to cook, she was an accomplished artist and in her spare time loved fishing.
Survivors include her husband, Rex Harold Hoover of Churubusco; 1 daughter, Kim (David) Fowler of Churubusco; 1 son, Michael A. Hoover of Columbia City; 3 grandchildren, Andrew A. Knapp of Fort Wayne, Mara R. Knapp and Megan S. Vogts both of Churubusco; and 1 brother, Pastor Greg L. Patten of Fort Wayne.  She was preceded in death by her parents and 1 sister, Carolyn "Jean" Middaugh.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, June 9, 2010 from 2-4 & 6-8 p.m. at DeMoney-Grimes Countryside Park Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City.  Funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, June 10, 2010 at the funeral home with Pastor Greg Patten officiating. Burial will follow at Pleasant Chapel Cemetery, Roanoke.  Memorial gifts may be given in Mrs. Hoover's memory to the donor's choice of charity.  Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.  
Please visit www.demoneygrimes.com to send family condolences or sign the guest register book.
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June 07, 2010

Richard Keith Bollenbacher, 80

Richard Keith Bollenbacher, 80, died Friday, June 4, at Visiting Nurse and Hospice Home in Fort Wayne.
He was born March 31, 1930 in Chattanooga, Ohio, the son of Francis and Beatrice (Merriman) Bollenbacher.
The family moved to Berne when he was 12 and to Fort Wayne in 1952.
He married Grace Kelly on October 16, 1954 in Anderson.  He was an avid sports fan and was a manager for Times Corner Little League for several years.  He was a longtime season ticket holder with the Fort Wayne Komets and faithfully followed them on the radio when he could no longer attend the games. He enjoyed Cincinnati Reds baseball, Colts football and IU basketball as well as NASCAR racing. He also enjoyed fishing, playing golf, bowling and traveling.
He served in the United States Air Force during the Korean conflict. He worked as a truck driver for TMX and retired after 27 years as a truck driver for Erie Haven. After retirement, he was a courier for Cardinal Health for 14 years.  He also served as a volunteer fireman for  the Wayne Township Fire Department for 23 years.  
He is survived by his wife, Grace, and son, Robert Bollenbacher, both of Fort Wayne and daughters Nancy (Jon) Schoenle and Janet (Dan Stahl) of Fort Wayne, and Jill (Phil) Coons of Columbia City. Also surviving are 7 grandchildren, Jeffrey Schoenle of Pittsfield, Maine; Leah Schoenle of Fort Wayne; John (J.P.) Stahl of Columbia City; Daniel (Zeb) Stahl, currently serving with the U.S. Army; and Riley, Payton and Kirby Coons of Columbia City. Also surviving are several favorite nieces and nephews, including Ning (Mike) Sanderson of Fort Wayne. He is also survived by one sister, Elaine (Bill) Bondy of Estero, Fla., and sister-in-law, Cynthia Bollenbacher of Fort Smith, Ark.
He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Roger.
Funeral service was held Monday at Klaehn, Fahl & Melton's Winchester Road Chapel. Burial was in Greenlawn Memorial Park.
Preferred memorials to Visiting Nurse and Hospice Home or Cancer Services of NE Indiana.


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Dorothy JoAnn “Jo” Liston, 79

Dorothy JoAnn “Jo” Liston, 79, of Columbia City, passed away early Saturday morning, June 5, 2010 at her residence.
Born January 6, 1931 in Harrison County, OH and raised in Ohio, she graduated from Smith Field High School, Ohio in 1949. She moved to Indianapolis in 1954 where she worked for RCA for seven years. She moved to Columbia City in 1967 and was employed at the Smart Shop. In 1950, she married William G. Liston in Steubenville, OH. An avid bowler, she was a former Director of the American Women’s Bowling Association.
Survivors include sons, Rick (Michelle) Liston of Wabash and Lance (Theresa) Liston of Wolf Lake; 5 grandchildren, Lance, Landon, Tyson, Kayla and Cory and 3 great-grandchildren, Lauren, Paige and Brayden.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by brothers, Edward and Robert Hawkins.
Visitation is from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, June 8, 2010 at DeMoney-Grimes Countryside Park Funeral Home, Columbia City. Funeral service is 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 9, 2010 at the funeral home. Burial will follow at South Park Annex Cemetery, Columbia City, IN. Memorial gifts may be given in memory of Mrs. Liston to the American Heart Association. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.
Please visit www.demoneygrimes.com send family condolences or sign the guest register.      

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Richard D. Cearbaugh, 66

Richard D. Cearbaugh, 66, of South Whitley, died at 5 p.m. Thursday, June 3, 2010 at Parkview Whitley Hospital, Columbia City.
He was born July 31, 1943 in Fort Wayne, Indiana a son of Glenn R. and Izetta A. (Coy) Cearbaugh. His formative years were spent in Columbia City. He graduated from Columbia City High School.
On March 9, 1961 he enlisted in the United States Army. His honorable discharge was on March 8, 1967.
On November 5, 1969 he was united in marriage to Maxine Wade. They made their home in South Whitley before moving to Columbia City where they resided for 15 years. In 1986 they returned to South Whitley. Mrs. Cearbaugh died July 17, 2009.
A meat cutter, he worked at More 4 Less Grocery in Churubusco and later Scott’s Grocery before beginning his employment at Gene’s IGA in South Whitley, presently Heyerly’s Meat Market.
His memberships included AmVets #2919.
Surviving relatives include six children, Randall Cearbaugh of Jackson ME, Theresa (Shawn) Mileham of Attica, Karen (Joshua Walls) Sokoloski of South Whitley, Anita (Bartolo) Barrera of Columbia City, Jennifer Meinika of South Whitley and Eric (Carrie) Cearbaugh of Fort Wayne; 22 grandchildren; eight grandchildren; a brother and two sisters, Fred Cearbaugh, Patricia Sievers and Carol Hull, all of Columbia City.
In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by a brother and two sisters, Glenn Cearbaugh Jr., Shirley Hull and Velma Jean Nicolet.
The funeral service was held Monday at Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City. The burial was in Adams Cemetery.

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June 03, 2010

Donald Eugene Middleton, 65

Donald Eugene Middleton, 65, of Columbia City died at 8:59 p.m. on Thursday, June 2, 2010 at the home of his sister, Barbara Burelison.
He was born on June 17, 1944 to Lester and Ruth (McCray) Middleton. He attended Larwill High School.   He worked as a heating and cooling repair technician.
He is survived by his son, Dennis E. (Connie) Middleton of Zanesville, IN; 3 daughters, Donita (Greg) Tester and Debra Gardner of Huntington and Lori (Darren) Crigger of St, Joe;  7 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren; 5 sisters, Barbara (Charles) Burelison, Joan (Fred) Snyder, and Shirley (Mike) Radke all of Columbia City, Norma (Norv) Brotherton of Fort Wayne, and Bonnie (Robb) Muncie of Fort Wayne.   He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Richard Middleton.
At Mr. Middleton’s request, there will be no visitation or services.
Memorials in Mr. Middleton’s memory may be made to the Whitley County Humane Society. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home. Arrangements have been entrusted to DeMoney-Grimes Countryside Park Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City, IN.
To sign the guest register or leave the family a condolence, please visit www.demoneygrimes.com.
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Luella M. Orr, 93

Luella M. Orr, 93, of Warsaw, died at 2:02 a.m. Sunday, May 30, 2010 at Miller’s Merry Manor where she was admitted on October 19, 2009.
She was born June 30, 1916 in Thorncreek Township, Whitley County, Indiana a daughter of Frank H. and Frances (Patty) Walker. She was educated through 5th grade in the Thorncreek School, then Huffman Schools, completing her education at Columbia City High School.
On November 1, 1932 she was united in marriage to Darrell L. “Cuddy” Orr. They made their first home on a farm in Kosciusko County. In 1953 they moved to a farm in Richland Township, Whitley County. Mr. Orr died September 6, 1976. On August 1, 1984 she moved to Ligonier until June 2009 when she returned to Kosciusko County to live with her daughter, Karen.
She was a member of First Baptist Church of Columbia City and Whitley County D.H.I.A. for nine years testing dairy milk for farmers.
Surviving relatives include a son, Keith D. Orr of Ligonier; a daughter, Karen (Jeff) Maggard of Warsaw; five grandchildren, Todd Murphy, Tara Stover, Tiffin Murphy, Chad Orr and Shelly LaBenz; 11 great grandchildren; two step granddaughters; three step great grandchildren; and a sister, Charlotte Sturgill of Woodburn.
In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by a son, Dean; four brothers, Marshall Walker, Franklin Walker, Alby Jay Walker and Tom Walker; and a half brother, Lewis Walker.
The funeral service was held Wednesday at Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City. The burial was in Washington Union Cemetery, Pierceton.
Preferred memorials are to American Cancer Society.
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Edith M. Oelschlager, 93

Edith M. Oelschlager, 93, of Columbia City, died at 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at The Oaks Living Center where she had been a resident since January 26th.
She was born November 13, 1916 in Whitley County, Indiana a daughter of Harry O. and Leona (Keiser) Schuman. She graduated from Larwill High School and received her nursing degree from Cook County Hospital in Chicago.
On January 26, 1943 she was united in marriage to Herman E. Oelschlager. They made their home in Chicago and later San Francisco before moving to Columbia City. They spent their winters in Sebring, Florida from 1975 until 1989. Mr. Oelschlager died March 25, 1987.
A registered nurse, she worked at Linvill Clinic and Whitley County Memorial Hospital. From 1959 until 1969 the Oelschlagers owned & operated Hillcrest Nursing Home.
She was a member of Faith Lutheran Church.
Surviving relatives include two sons, Carl A. and Harry L. Oelschlager; twin daughters, Leona (Howard) Walker and Lureen (Jack) Vaught, all of Columbia City; nine grandchildren; and 19 great grandchildren.
In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by a brother, Farold Schuman.
The funeral service was held Saturday at Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City. The burial was in South Park Annex Cemetery.
Preferred memorials may be made to Parkview Home Health & Hospice.
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Bonnie Joy Opliger, 75

Bonnie Joy Opliger, 75, of Fort Wayne, IN passed away from a heart attack 8:27 a.m. Sunday, May 30, 2010 at St. Joseph Medical Center, Fort Wayne, IN. 
Born on December 15, 1934 in Washington Township, Whitley County, IN, she was the daughter of Everett B. and Martha D. (Fiedler) Kyler.
A Whitley County native, she moved to Fort Wayne late in the 1950's and lived in the Huntertown areas for awhile but spent most of her adult life in Allen County, IN.  She graduated from Washington Center High Scool in 1953.  She was employed by the Yellow Cab Company and later worked and retired from Lutheran Hospital, Fort Wayne after numerous years of service.  She was baptized and confirmed at St. John's Lutheran Church, Columbia City and was a member of Our Hope Lutheran Church, Huntertown.  She played bingo and was an avid bowler for years.
Survivors include her 2 sons, Steven M. Opliger of Fort Wayne and Kent A. (Vallory) Opliger of Columbia City; 1 daughter, Dorothy M. (Sean) Rhines of Fort Wayne; 3 brothers, Lynn (June) Kyler of Clermont, FL; DeWitt (Ginger) Kyler of Columbia City; Michael (Susan) Kyler of Valle Crucis, NC; 4 grandchildren; 4 great grandchildren.  She was preceded in death by her parents.
Visitation will be held on Friday, June 4, 2010 from 9-10 a.m.  at St. John's Lutheran Church, Columbia City.  Funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, June 4, 2010 at the church with Pastor David Mommens officiating. Burial will follow at St. Peter's Lutheran Cemetery, Columbia City. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in memory of Ms. Opliger to St. Peter's Cemetery Fund or St. John's Building Fund.  Envelopes will be available at the church and the funeral home. 
Please visit www.demoneygrimes.com to send family condolences or sign the guest register book.

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Joseph Otis Campbell, 68

Joseph Otis Campbell, 68, of Churubusco, IN passed away at 2:25 p.m. Sunday, May 30, 2010 at Visiting Nurse and Hospice Home, Fort Wayne.
Born August 11, 1941 in Fort Wayne, IN he was the son of Warren and Mary (Shockome) Campbell.
He graduated with the Class of 1959 from Central High School, Fort Wayne. He retired from the U.S. Navy after 21 years of service in 1980. He formerly worked for Magnavox for 11 years and Schultz Homes for one year.  He married Cheryl Reinking on September 28, 1985 in Fort Wayne. He resided in Fort Wayne, except for the time he served in the military, and he lived in Churubusco since 1995. He attended Sugar Grove Church of God, Churubusco. His memberships included the American Legion and he was a former commander of the Disabled American Veterans, Fort Wayne.
Survivors include his wife, Cheryl Campbell of Churubusco; daughters, Connie Jo Dorsett and Beverly Jan Aresta both of North Carolina, Annette Henderson of Tampa, FL, Jacqulene Campbell of New Haven and Jo Ellen Campbell of Fort Wayne; son, Joseph Campbell of Fort Wayne; 8 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren; brother, James (Peggy) Campbell of Albion. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by brothers, Theodore Shockome and Art Teusch and half-sister, Ellen Rowan.
Visitation with the family is 5 to 6 p.m. with a memorial service immediately following calling on Thursday, June 3, 2010 at DeMoney-Grimes Countryside Park Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City. To honor his wishes, his ashes will be buried at sea at a later date. Memorials may be given to the Campbell Family c/o DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.
Please visit www.demoneygrimes.com to send family condolences or sign the guest register.  

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