Miscellaneous Wabash County, Indiana Obituaries - 1997


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Thomas A. Guthrie

Thomas A. Guthrie, 66, of 2804 Manitou Park Dr., Rochester, IN, died Sunday, Oct. 19, 1997 at Elkhart General Hospital, Elkhart, IN, following a short illness. He was born March 10, 1931 at Kalamazoo, MI to Robert and Nina Guthrie, both deceased. He had resided in Rochester since 1973, coming from Chicago, IL.

He married Marilyn Murphy Dec. 18, 1954 at Oak Park, IL. She survives in Palm Springs, CA. He was the establisher, owner and President of Jobsite Trailer Corp. of Rochester since 1971. He was a bee keeper, and he had invented a mobile honey kitchen. He was first to establish a Chamber Office for the Rochester Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church of Rochester, of which he helped establish the Mission of Mary from the Church. He was a member of the Kiwanis Club and Elks Lodge, both of Rochester. He was a veteran of U.S. Airforce and a 1956 graduate of the University of Illinois.

Survivors include four sons - Glenn of Portland, Maine, James and wife Lisa of San Diego, CA, Jack of Rochester, and William and wife Laura of Los Angeles, CA; four grandchildren - Aloma, Leona and Ryan Guthrie of Portland, Maine and Grant Guthrie of Los Angeles.

Private services were held this morning (Wednesday) at the Foster & Good Funeral Home in Rochester, and they were follows by a public memorial mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Rochester; a gathering was held at the Parrish Hall of the Church after the mass. Father John Zahn officiated, and burial was in Rochester I.O.O.F. Cemetery. Memorials may be given to St. Joseph's Catholic Church of Rochester.

J. Fred Blocher

J. Fred Blocher, 93, a resident of Timbercrest Retirement Community, North Manchester, and formerly of Laketon, IN, died Monday afternoon at Timbercrest Healthcare Center. He was born July 15, 1904 at Norwich, N.D. to John and Anna (Brown) Blocher. He married Mildred Mae Mohler Dec. 24, 1931 and she preceded him in death May 8, 1992.

Mr. Blocher was a farmer, and retired from General Tire of Wabash after 28 years.

Survivors include daughters Mrs. Clarence (Ardis) Reavis and Mrs. Otto (Barbara) Basore, both of North Manchester; a daughter-in-law, Mrs. Clement (Virginia) Skiles of Bringhurst, IN; a sister, Dora Hadler of Norwich, N./D.; 10 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren. A son, Taurel Blocher preceded him in death in 1978; also two brothers and five sisters.

Friends may call at DeLaughter-McKee Mortuary, which is in charge of arrangements, Thursday, Oct. 23 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. Funeral service will be held Friday, Oct. 24, at 10:00 a.m. at the North Manchester Old German Baptist church with the Home Brethren officiating. Burial will be in Old German Baptist Cemetery of North Manchester.

Ira Cook Jr.

Ira Ernest Cook, Jr., 72, of 1609 Hardee Road, Kinston, N.C., died Oct. 9 at Duke University Hospital. Services were held at Queen Street United Methodist Church October 13th with the Rev. M. Whitfield Warren Jr. officiating.

Mr. Cook was a retired banker and member of the Queen Street United Methodist Church as well as the Golden Age Kiwanis club.

Survivors include his wife, Helen F. Cook; a niece, Mary Beth Cannon of Martinsville, VA; a nephew, David Draper of Martinsville, VA and a brother-in-law, Norval Faurot, Jr. of North Manchester.

Memorial contributions may be made to Queen Street United Methodist Church Trust Fund or Lenoir County Unit of American Cancer Society. Edwards Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Icie R. Smith

Icie R. Smith, 83, of 9656S 100E, Claypool, IN died Wednesday, Oct. 15, 1997 at ExtendaCare Nursing Home, Rochester, IN. She was born Sept. 23, 194 at Prestonburg, KY to Tom and Alice (Hackworth) Adams. She married Earl Smith Sept. 12, 1931 in Prestonburg, and he died July 6, 1983.

She was a homemaker, and had operated a grocery store in Packerton, IN. She was a member of the Gospel Hill Pentecostal Church of God of Silver Lake, IN.

Survivors include a daughter, Mrs. Carmel (Opal) Manns, of Silver Lake; two sons - Tom (wife Marlene) Smith of Akron, IN and Paul (wife Carol) Smith of Claypool; a sister, Eva Smith of Akron, IN; 10 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren, and nine great-great grandchildren. Preceding her in death were a son, Curtis and a brother, Ortie Adams.

Funeral service was held Saturday, Oct. 18, 1997 at the Gospel Hill Pentecostal Church of God of Silver Lake, with the Revs. Frank and Albert Whitaker officiating. Burial was in Graceland Cemetery of Claypool, IN. Hartzler Funeral Home of Akron was in charge of arrangements.

Anna M. Baker

Anna Marie Baker, 83, a resident of Community Care Center of Wabash, IN, died Oct.. 18, 1997 at Community Care Center. She was born Jan. 14, 1914 at Ashtabula County, OH, to John A. and Rosa Alice (Friermood) Sharp. She was a homemaker, married to Paul Corder Baker July 25, 1931; he preceded her in death Jan. 20, 1980.

Survivors include a son, William M. Baker of Wabash; a sister, Mrs. Mary E. Park of Natatia, TX; two grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Three brothers and seven sisters preceded her in death.

Funeral service was held Tuesday, Oct. 21, at Eddingfield--DeLaughter Mortuary of Wabash, and burial was in Garden of Memory in Huntington County, IN. Pastor Steve Parks officiated the services.

N. Ritter Lavengood

N. Ritter Lavengood, 90, of 100 James Blvd., Signal Mountain, TN, died October 14, 1997 at Alexian Village of Signal Mountain, TN. He was born May 26, 1907 at Roann, IN to N.P. and Lulu (Ritter) Lavengood.

Mr. Lavengood married August Downey May 12, 1934 and she died Dec. 22, 1983. He married Ethel Jones Dec. 28, 1984 and she died February 1994. He attended Wabash Schools, Indiana University and Detroit City College. After banking experiences in both Detroit and Wabash, he was with Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. for 38 years, having served as District Agent for 27 years in Wabash, IN. He received the National Quality Award from the National Association of Life Underwriters, with membership in the Million-Dollar Round Table. He was president of the Marion-Wabash Life Underwriters Association and in 1972 was given its Life Underwriter-of-the-Year Award.

His community activities included Boy Scout leadership; Presbyterian Church membership where he was a Sunday School teacher and participated both on the elder and the deacon's board. He served on the Wabash City School Board for six years, was a charter member of the Wabash Exchange Club, serving as its second president, as well as being a state president. He served on the Community Service Board for 15 years, serving as its president for two years. He also had membership in the Associated Charities for 26 years.

He was a member of the Wabash Christian Church and was a member of the Signal Mountain Golf and Country Club. He was active in the Lone Oak Community Center in Signal Mountain TN, which added needy persons with food and household goods.

Survivors include a daughter, Mrs. F. Roberts (Susan) Hanning of Cedarburg, WI' a son, N. Peter Lavengood of Nashville, IN; and five grandchildren. Two sisters preceded him in death.

Funeral service was held Saturday, Oct. 18, at the Manchester Avenue Chapel Grandstaff-Hentgen, with Rev. Ron Zorn officiating. Burial was in Memorial Lawns Cemetery of Wabash. Preferred memorials are to Wabash Christian Church and Wabash County Cancer Society.

V. Robert Hippensteel

Vernon Robert "Bob" Hippensteel, 71, of 204 S. Buffalo St., North Manchester, died Friday, Sept. 12, 1997 at Hospice Home of N.E. Indiana, Fort Wayne, IN. He was born Dec. 13, 1925 at Wabash, IN to Ernest and Gracie Jeannette (Forbes) Hippensteel, both deceased.

He married Veronica Miklos in Wabash, IN on April 24, 1945; she died Jan. 23, 1986. He was a member of the St. Robert's Catholic Church of North Manchester, a member of the North Manchester Eagles Lodge #4182, Moose Lodge, American Legion, and V.F.W. He was a Navy Veteran of World War II. He was a clerk at the North Manchester Post Office for 21 years retiring in 1985. He was a lifetime North Manchester area resident.

He is survived by a son, Tom Hippensteel of North Manchester; a daughter, Kathy Hippensteel of Ottawa, OH; a brother Elbert Hippensteel of Peru, IN and two grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a daughter.

A prayer vigil was held Monday evening at the Grandstaff-Hentgen Bender Chapel. Funeral was held at St. Robert's Catholic Church Tuesday, Sept. 16 with the Fr. Ronald Ramenaden and Rev. Susan J. Hahn officiating. Burial was in Oaklawn Cemetery, North Manchester.

Preferred memorials are to Hospice of Wabash County or Hospice Home of Northeast Indiana. Grandstaff-Hentgen Bender Chapel was in charge of arrangements.

Richard B. Martin

Richard B. Martin, 76, of 5859W 900S Wabash, IN died Wednesday, Sept. 10, 1997 at Wabash County Hospital. He was born Aug. 10, 1921 at Kent, OH to Lester O. and Lucille V. (Cope) Martin. He married Roberta B. Hawley Aug. 18, 1946 and she survives. They renewed their marriage vows on their 50th wedding anniversary in 1996.

He was a retired Captain of the Wabash Police Dept. for 20 years. He was a member of Treaty Church of Christ; a life member of American Legion Wabash, VFW, life member of FOP of Wabash, Masonic Lodge of Somerset, Charter member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Wabash; retired from Heartland Career Center as a teacher in machine shop adult education classes; Ivy Tech Kokomo; Wabash Co. 4-H Horse & Pony leader; Scout Commissioner of Wabash Co; Demolay Chapter of Wabash County. He was an Army Veteran of World War II. He had attended Manchester College.

Survivors include his wife, Roberta; sons Douglas A. Martin of Speicherville and Christopher J. Martin of Wabash; a daughter, Mrs. Darrell (Shirley) Stanley of Wabash; a brother Donald A. Martin of Sebwaing, MI; four grandchildren; five step grandchildren. A sister preceded him in death.

Funeral was held at the Treaty Church of Christ Sunday, Sept. 14, 1997, with the Rev. Scott Saltsman officiating; and Rev. Robert Monroe assisted. Preferred memorials are to Diabetes Association or the Wabash County Heart Fund.

Dorothy L. Van Buskirk

Dorothy L. Van Buskirk, 100, a resident of Peabody Healthcare Center of North Manchester, died at Peabody Healthcare Center Sept. 10, 1997. She was born Aug. 14, 1897 at Morris, IL to Morris and Anna (Woelfel) Magner, both deceased.

She married Fred Van Buskirk in Morris, IL on Sept. 10, 1921, and he died June 19, 1977. She was a 1920 graduate of Knox College in Galesburg, IL. She taught school for one year in northern Illinois before moving to Roann after her marriage in 1921.

She was a member of the Wabash Presbyterian Church, the American Heart Association, a longtime member of the Happy Homemakers Extension Club in Roann, and the Wabash County Extension Chorus. She was the leader of the Roann Campfire Girls, Girl Scouts and 4-H Clubs. She was one of the original members of Cheer, Inc., and served as a volunteer for more than 35 years. She was also a volunteer for the Wabash County Hospital Auxiliary for many years, and a member of the Wabash Art Guild.

She is survived by a daughter, Mrs. John (Margaret) Bergen of Berlin, MA; 10 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. Two sons, two brothers and three sisters preceded her in death.

Funeral service was held at Peabody Chapel Friday, Sept. 12, with the Rev. Robert Schmeiser officiating. Burial was in Roann Community Cemetery.

Preferred memorials are to the Roann Library or to the American Heart Association. Grandstaff-Hentgen Roann Chapel was in charge of arrangements.

Marilyn Landis

Marilyn Landis, 77, of 700 Centennial St., Lot 621, Wabash, IN died Saturday, Sept. 13, 1997 at Wabash County Hospital. She was born June 4, 1920 at Sharpsville, IN to Harry and Pearl (Stearns) Warner.

She married Herman E. Landis in Kokomo, IN on March 27, 1947. She was a member of the Wabash Calvary Baptist Church, Wabash Business & Professional Womens Club, Wabash Womens Clubhouse Assn., and Wabash County Hospital Ladies Auxiliary. She was a Registered Nurse at the Wabash County Hospital, retiring in 1982. She lived in Wabash since 1950, coming from Sharpsville, IN.

Survivors include her husband, Herman, of Wabash; a sister, Marjorie Schwallie of Milwaukee, WI; a brother, Leon Warner of Tipton, IN. 

Funeral service was held Tuesday, Sept. 16, at the Grandstaff-Hentgen Main Street Chapel, Wabash, with Pastor James Stevanus officiating. Burial was in Sharpsville Cemetery, Sharpsville, IN.

Preferred memorials are to Wabash County Hospital Foundation. Main Street Chapel Grandstaff-Hentgen was in charge of arrangements.

Nancy Lynn Ford

Nancy Lynn Ford, 42, died Sept. 14, 1997 at Lutheran Hospital of Fort Wayne, IN. She was born Sept. 9, 1955 at Wabash to Harold Ford and Mary Lou (Baer) DeWitt. A lifetime resident of Wabash County, she was a member of the Wabash Zion Lutheran Church.

Survivors include her mother Mary Lou DeWitt of Rochester, her father Harold Ford of Roann; brother, Daniel F. Ford of Wabash; a sister Claudia S. Draper of Laotto, IN; step father Dan DeWitt of Rochester; grandmother Vera Baer of Wabash; a nephew, Gary Treska II of Lagro; a niece Megan Ford of Wabash; three step brothers and four step sisters.

Funeral was held today (Wednesday) at Grandstaff-Hentgen Manchester Ave. Chapel with the Rev. Manfred W. Fremder and Tony Thomas officiating. Burial was in Memorial Lawns Cemetery of Wabash.

Grandstaff-Hentgen Manchester Ave. Chapel was in charge of arrangements. Preferred memorials are to C.A.P.D. Unit at the Lutheran Hospital, Fort Wayne.

Dorothy E. Orpurt

Dorothy E. Orpurt, 76, a resident of 106 Lawrence Ave., Peru, IN, died at Millers Merry Manor N/H Sept. 9, 1997. She was a homemaker, born Sept. 6, 1921 in Cass County to Charles M. and Ada Marie (Clingenpeel) Pottenger, both deceased.

She married Kenneth L. Orpurt Nov. 8, 1947, and he survives, along with a son, Kevin Orpurt of Terre Haute, IN; brothers Dale "Hooker" Pottenger of Nyona Lake, IN; Marvin Pottenger of Denver, IN; and Paul Edward Pottenger of Rochester; sisters Margaret Blackburn of New Waverly, IN and Ethel Hyjak of Vermont; a grandchild Christine Orpurt, at home.

Funeral service was held at Flowers-Leedy Funeral Home Friday, Sept. 12, with Rev. Ron Kerr officiating. Burial was in Greenlawn Cemetery of Mexico, IN.

Mrs. Zella Collier Easley

Mrs. Zella Collier Easley, 86, died Tuesday, Sept. 16, 1997 at Peabody Retirement Commu-nity, North Manchester, following an ill-ness. She formerly resided with her daughter and son-in-law, Herbert and Brenda McKin-ney Manuwal of 2315 Huddleston Dr., Rochester, IN.

Funeral arrangements are pending at Foster & Good Funeral Home, Inc., of Rochester.


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