Miscellaneous Wabash County, Indiana Obituaries - 1996


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Zula Walters Wheaton

Word was received here of the death of Mrs. Zula Walters Wheaton May 20, 1996. For several years Mrs. Wheaton has had the distinction of being the oldest living alumni of Chester Township, Wabash County. high school. She was 103 years and 11 months old at the time of her death.

Mrs. Wheaton, daughter of Jesse and Clara Bowers Walters was born in Chester Township and received her first eight grades of education at the Jordan School located at the Jordan School located at the corner of roads 100N and 500E.

She enrolled in high school in the fall of 1906, and shared a horse and carriage ride from the family home east of CR 500 on what is now State Road 114. She shared that daily ride with three other students from that vicinity. In 1909 her family moved east of the Liberty Mills School about 3/4 mile on an angling road that was shortly abandoned. From that location she drove alone to Chester. She wrote in a 1982 letter to her nephew, Roy Taylor, of her horse, "She chose her own gait. Nothing in the world could make her change her poky way... On the other hand whenever it suited her, she chose another gait." Apparently she ran off and landed Zula and her sister Hazel Walters Taylor in the ditch with the buggy on top.

At Christmas time in 1909 a friend of her Aunt Daisy Bowers was working in a store at the corner of Main and Walnut, believed to be where the East of Chicago Pizza is today. The friend owned the first building off of Main Street on Mill that she wanted to rent to students. That house had two rooms and the entire size was described as being about 12 by 16 feet. Three girls rented it. Zula and one other had the kitchen heated by a kitchen range; the third girl had the other room where there was a small heating stove. She remembered that place as cold, barren and sparse, but her parents had moved to a farm north of Charlotte, MI, requiring her to board in town.

About the 1910 graduation she remembered that Chester Principal, Henry Hoover, said that the class would be one of the outstanding ones in the years coming up. She commented recently that they were at least "long lasting." School that year was out in early April and the commencement was scheduled for April 21. The commencement speaker was coming from Chicago, and secured transportation to Manchester, IN near the Ohio River. They rescheduled the commencement for April 27, and the speaker was there to address the 14 graduates and their teachers, parents and friends. Mrs. Wheaton had an uncle and an aunt present as proxy parents, since her own mother and father could not return.

In 1982 she spoke fondly of some of the class mates. Mentioned were Ruth Dunbar Bechtold, Darl Wood, Ray Hornaday, Ruth Rittenhouse and Mona Abbot. At that time there still lived an alumni from the class of 1907, but she did not name that women.

Once in Michigan she wrote the two-day exam to get a teaching certificate there. The exam covered 17 subjects. She passed them all, but the examiner recommended that she do some remedial work in mathematics. She attributed her passing so easily to the good schooling required by Indiana. She had in high school plain and solid geometry, four years of Latin, science, English and history. Even though she passed the exam she had to wait three weeks until she was 18 years old to get her teaching certificate. In September 1910 she began to teach in a one room school about three miles from her parental home.

Three years later she began formal training. After her husband's death and her three children were grown, she returned to teaching and to secure a master's degree in education in 1948.

A memorial service was held Thursday, May 30, 1996 at the Wacousta, MI United Methodist Church.

Lena H. Reed

Lena H. Reed, 97, Heartland of Indian Lake, Lakeview, OH, died Monday, June 17, 1996 at her residence. She was born Jan. 31, 1899 at Royal Center, IN to James and Wilhemina (Koske) Hatfield. 

She married Edward D. Reed June 16, 1917 in Warsaw, IN and he died January 31, 1979. She and her husband were co-owners of Greenridge Mobile Home Court in North Manchester for many years. She was a member of the Women of the Moose and American Legion Auxiliary in North Manchester. She has been a resident of Heartland of Indiana Lake since February, 1995, previously of Bellefontaine, OH.

Survivors include a son, Lowel "Bud" Reed of Warsaw; a daughter, Mrs. Albert (Roberta) Kessler of Bellefontaine, OH; a sister, Goldie Baker of Wapkoneta, OH; 11 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by two sons, Joseph and Dwight Reed, two brothers, a sister and a grandchild.

Friends may call at Bender Chapel Grandstaff-Hentgen Funeral Service Thursday, June 20, from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. Funeral service will be held Friday, June 21, 1996, 2 p.m., at the funeral home with Pastor J. P. Freeman officiating. Burial will take place in Oaklawn Cemetery, North Manchester.

Bender Chapel Grandstaff-Hentgen Funeral Service is in charge of arrangements. 

Jean M. Nelson

Jean M. Jennings Nelson, 49, of Rt. 4, Delphi, died Wednesday, June 12, 1996. She was born Dec. 30, 1946 at Great Falls, Montana to Re-tired Col. USAF William M. and Carol M. (Letzring) Jennings. 

She married Kevin J. Nelson at Gatlinburg, TN March 28, 1995, and he survives.

Mrs. Nelson was a 1965 graduate of Manchester High School, attended Ball State University and transferred to Purdue University where she achieved a Bachelors degree in liberal arts and education in 1969. She was granted the Master's degree in education in Delphi Community Schools, teaching language arts at the Middle School; she taught for the past 26 years.

She held memberships in the Indiana State Teachers Association and the Delphi Classroom Teachers Association. She enjoyed spending time with her family, friends, cats and dogs.

Survivors include her husband, Kevin J. Nelson, Ret. M/Sgt. USAF; sons Jason M. Howard of Cutler, IN and Joshua W. Howard of Delphi; her mother, Mrs. Carol M. Jennings of North Manchester; a brother, William M. Jennings, Jr. of Fremont, OH; four step children, Brandy and Clarissa Nelson, at home at Delphi, Daniel Nelson who is stationed with U.S. Coast Guard, Mrs. James (Tina) Tarter of Ft. Walton, FL.

Private family services were held at the Marion National Cemetery, with Chaplain Robert Widow officiating. 

Preferred memorials are to Riley Children's Hospital or Ronald McDonald House.

Dr. Harry Sandoz

Dr. Harry Hull Sandoz, South Bend, IN and formerly of the Fort Wayne area, died Thursday, June 6, 1996 at his residence. He was born July 1, 1898 at North Manchester to Louis A. and Ella M. (McCarty) Sandoz. He married Marjorie Olinger July 6, 1937 at LaPorte, IN and she died in 1984.

A retired physician, he lived in South Bend 50 years, coming from South Whitley, IN. He was a member of the American Medical Association.

He is survived by nephews F. Gilworth Perry of Fort Wayne and Louis Philip Sandoz of Hartlund, WI.

Graveside services were held Monday, May 17, 1996 at Oaklawn Cemetery, North Manchester, with the Rev. Richard Craig officiating.

Memorial contributions may be sent to Northern Indiana Historical Society, 808 W. Washington, So. Bend, IN 46601. Arrangements were by Welsheimer Funeral Homes, Inc., 521 N. William St., South Bend, IN 46616.

Jean L. McKee

Jean L. McKee, 69, of 1409 N. Beckley St., North Manchester, died June 12, 1996 at Peabody Healthcare Center, North Manchester. She was born Feb. 28, 1927 at Chicago, IL to Frederick and Christine P. (Francis) Diehl, both deceased.

A retired beautician and homemaker, Mrs. McKee was a member of First Brethren Church, North Manchester. She married Jackie E. McKee Jan. 11, 1945 and he survives.

Other survivors include a son, Jerry E. McKee of North Manchester, and two grandsons, Scott and Mark McKee, both of North Manchester.

Graveside service was held Friday, June 14, at Oaklawn Cemetery with Rev. Marlin McCann officiating.

Preferred memorials are to the Wabash County Cancer Society. DeLaughter-McKee Mortuary was in charge of arrangements.

Bertha Bradford

Bertha Bradford, 82, Clintwood, VA, died Friday, Nov. 29, at Bristol Regional Medical Center in Bristol, TN.

She formerly lived in Silver Lake, IN; then moved to Clintwood. She was a member of the Lighthouse Pentecostal Church of Wise, VA. She is survived by her husband Val-ice Bradford whom she married Nov. 3, 1934. In the 62 years that they were married, they had 13 children, 38 grandchildren, and 43 great-grandchildren.

Survivors include five daughters: Osie White of Pierceton, Pauline Booe and Debra Dotson of King, N.C., Evelyn Garman of North Manchester, and Patricia Stanley of Clintwood, VA; six sons: Ray Brad-ford of Greenwood, CA, Steve Brad-ford of Warsaw, Richmond Brad-ford of North Manchester, Lon Bradford of Coeburn, VA, Donald Bradford of Pound, VA and Carl Bradford of Clintwood, VA; four sis-ters: Osie Whitaker of Kenton, OH, Margaret Richmond of Fort Wayne, IN, Ann Hall of Blue River, KY and Maudie Ford of Warsaw. She was preceded in death by two sons, Vir-gil "Bill" Bradford of North Manch-ester and Jr. Bradford of Kentucky, and by one sister and one brother.

Services were held Sunday at the Good Low Pentecostal Church. Burial was at the Bradford/Slone Family Cemetery, Middlecreek, KY. Mullins Funeral Home Chapel, of Clintwood, VA was in charge.

Raymond Montel

Raymond Montel, 83, of Mountain Manor Nursing Home, Prestonsburg, KY, died Wednesday, Dec. 4, 1996 at the nursing home. He was a former North Manchester resident.

He was born March 24, 1913 at Warsaw, IN to Frederick and Ruth (Shirk) Montel. He married Ruby Price March 22, 1932 and she preceded him in death Jan. 3, 1990. He was retired from Dalton Foundry of Warsaw.

Survivors include sons Richard Montel of Greenbush, MI and Daniel Montel of Atlanta, GA; a daughter, Evelyn Estepp of Thelma, KY; a sister, Mrs. Albert (Helen) Kline of Wabash; six grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. A son, two brothers and a sister preceded him in death.

Funeral service was held Saturday, Dec. 7, 1996 at DeLaughter-McKee Mortuary, North Manchester, with the Rev. J. P. Freeman officiating. Burial was in Laketon Cemetery, Laketon, IN.

Feryl Ann Coplen

Mrs. Feryl Ann Coplen, 59, of 668 Brentwood Dr., Akron, IN, died Sunday, Dec. 8, 1996. Following an illness, she succumbed at Wood-lawn Hospital, Rochester, shortly after admission. 

She was born Oct. 10, 1937 at Enid, OK to Ray and Vivian (Womble) Fouts. 1She married Dale Coplen Aug. 15, 1954 at Ft. Sill, OK. 

She was a homemaker and former employee of R. R. Donnelly & Sons of Warsaw. She had been a resident of the Akron area since 1955. She was a member of the Olive Branch Church of God, Roann.

Survivors include her husband, Dale, at home; two daughters, Mrs. Wayne (Karen) Conway of Tiver-ton, Rhode Island and Mrs. Kevin (Karna) Lyons of Philadelphia, PA; two sons, Don Coplen of Warsaw, and Michael and Katherine Coplen of North Manchester; five grand-children; her mother, Vivian Fouts of Enid, OK and two brothers, War-ren Fouts of Marietta, GA and James Fouts of Kansas City, MO.

Friends may call today (Wednesday) from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Foster & Good Funeral Home, Inc., Akron, and after 9 a.m. Thursday until the hour of service which will be at 10 a.m. at the funeral home. Rev. Lowell Burris and Rev. Lawrence See will officiate and burial will be in Athens Cemetery, Athens, IN.

Preferred memorials are to the Olive Branch Church of God, Roann, IN, Building Fund.

Lorena L. Harms

Lorena L. Harms, 89, of Iola, WI, formerly of North Manchester, died Thursday, Dec. 5, 1996 at the Iola Nursing Home. Burial was in De-Witt, MI.

Mrs. Harms was born Sept. 18, 1907 in DeWitt, MI. She was the daughter of the late Arthur and Bessie (Peters) Kowalk. She married William R. Pettit on March 20,1926 in Lansing, MI; then Herman J. Harms Sept. 1, 1957 in North Manchester. She had one son, William A. Pettit. All preceded her in death.

She was employed as a reception-ist at a printing company in Lans-ing, MI, and then at Heckman Bindery in North Manchester. Mrs. Harms moved to Iola, WI in 1992.

Survivors include a brother, Clay-ton Kowalk, Lansing, MI; a daugh-ter-in-law, Phyllis (Harms) Pettit, Iola, WI; three grandchildren, in-cluding Leslie Pettit of North Manchester; and two great-grand- children.

Freda L. Bowers

Freda L. Bowers, 81, a Cleveland, Township, Whitley County resident, died Friday, Dec. 6, 1996 in the Whitley Memorial Hospital, Columbia City. She had been in fail-ing health recently.

She was born on Dec. 18, 1914 in Richland Township of Whitley County, a daughter of M. I. and Cora (Bordner) Stukey. As a young child her parents moved to a farm near Collamer and she completed her education in the Collamer Grade School and graduated from South Whitley High School.

On Oct. 5, 1934, she was united in marriage by the late Rev. Noah McCoy to George A. Bowers and they have spent their married life on a farm in Cleveland Township.

Mrs. Bowers had been employed at the Flox Department Store in Columbia City and also as a short order cook at the Bowers and Cor-ner Cafe restaurants in South Whit-ley.

She was a member of the Collamer Christian Church.

Surviving relatives include her husband, George; three sons, Doyle Bowers of South Whitley, Marvin Bowers of Lyman, Wyoming, Gary Bowers of Fruita, CO; a daughter, Mrs. Marv (NeVonna) Allen of North Manchester; 11 grandchil-dren, three step grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren, six great great grandchildren and a sister, Ruth Smith of South Whitley.

Two grandchildren, Brent Bowers, Angela Allen and a brother, Or-low Stukey are deceased.

Funeral service was held Tuesday, Dec. 10, in the Smith and Sons Miller Chapel of south Whitley, with the Rev. David Wagner, pastor of the Collamer Christian Church, officiating. Burial was in South Whitley Cemetery. 

Preferred memorials are to the Collamer Christian Church.

Pauline Shoemaker

Pauline A. Shoemaker, 86, of 209 E. Harrison, Claypool, IN, died Sat-urday, Dec. 7, 1996 at Mason Healthcare, Warsaw, IN. She was born March 16, 1910 in Warsaw, IN to Samuel Chester and Martha Jane (Boyer) Tibbets. She had been a resident of Kosciusko County all her life.

She married Alton "Si" Shoemaker in Warsaw, IN in 1930; he preceded her in death March 17, 1967. She was owner of Shoemaker Cafe of Claypool for 30 years.

She was a member of the Claypool United Methodist Church, the Happy Homemakers Club, and Friendly Neighbors Club of Clay-pool.

Survivors include two daughters - Diane James of Hobart, IN and Dixie Daugherty of New Albany, IN; a son, Dick Shoemaker of North Manchester; three sisters - Lucile Boggs of Warsaw, Isabell Hankins of Huntertown, IN and Joan Rule of Warsaw; eight grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by three sisters, two brothers and her husband.

Funeral services were held Tuesday at the Claypool United Methodist Church of Claypool, with the Revs. Ronald Mann and Chad Burkhart officiating. Burial was in Graceland Cemetery of Claypool.

McHatton-Sadler Funeral Chapel of Warsaw was in charge of arrangements.


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