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Obituaries December 2013
Written by Progress   
Sunday, December 08, 2013 10:48 AM

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ANTWERP – Charlie Mack Neace, 46, of Antwerp, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 31 at Parkview Regional Medical Center, Fort Wayne.



PAYNE – John Paul Ritchhart, 66, formerly of Payne, died Dec. 23, 2013 in Orlando, Fla.

He was the son of Edward and Lavina Ritchhart.

Surviving are two brothers, Carl of Payne and Rudy of Fort Wayne.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Robert.

Military rites will be held on Jan. 7 in Florida.



PAYNE – Maxine R. Reinhart, age 92, died Friday, Dec. 27 at the Vancrest of Antwerp.

She was born June 9, 1921 in Paulding County, the daughter of Harry R. and Madge Belle (Stouffer) Smith. On Dec. 2, 1940, she married Howard O. Reinhart, who preceded her in death on March 15, 1985. She was a member of Divine Mercy Catholic Church, the Altar Rosary Society and the Little Flower Study Club, Payne. She retired from the former Cassel’s Jewelry Store of Paulding. She formerly did domestic cleaning and was a custodian at Paulding Elementary School.

She is survived by three sons, Richard (Alyce) Reinhart, Paulding, Doug (Beth) Reinhart, Onalaska, Wis., and David (Linda) Reinhart, Bryan; a daughter, Donna (Steve) Crowley, Payne; a sister, Juleah Sinn, Paulding; seven grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren and a great-great-granddaughter.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; grandchild, Kathleen R. Crowley; a brother, Richard Smith; and two sisters, Helen Rager and Donna Crone.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 2 at Divine Mercy Catholic Parish, Payne. There will be no visitation. Den Herder Funeral Home, Paulding, is handling arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations made to Masses or Vancrest of Antwerp Activity Fund.

Online condolences may be sent to



CECIL – Sylvester D. Ankney Jr., 63, of Cecil, died in an auto accident Friday, Dec. 27 on Defiance-Paulding County Line Rd.

He was born Jan. 18, 1950 in Defiance, the son of the late Sylvester D. Ankney Sr. and Irenia Lillian (Kittle) Ankney. On Feb. 14, 1972, he married Joann Buell, who survives. He was currently working as a semi tractor trailer driver for Twin Sticks Trucking. He had retired from GM Central Foundry, where he had worked for over 30 years. He was an active member of the Cecil Community Church. He had many interests, from playing instruments including the guitar, fishing, hunting, skating, race cars and woodworking. He seemed to be busy all the time. But most of all, Sylvester enjoyed helping people.

He will be greatly missed by Joann, his wife of 41 years; a son, Dennis Ankney of Cecil, a daughter, Amy (Shane) Flohe of Hicksville; two brothers, Jack (Char) Rock of Defiance and Eugene Ankney of Defiance; a sister, Ruth (Bob) Smallwood of Paulding; four grandchildren, Adam Silvers, Dylan Fox, Ashley Flohe and Bailey Graber; and nieces and nephews.

He left this earthly flesh and went to meet his maker greeted by his parents.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 2, in the Lawson-Roessner Funeral Home, Defiance, with visitation from 9-11 a.m. Thursday before the services. Burial will be in Kentucky in the Buell family cemetery.

Visitation will be 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1 in the funeral home.

Suggested memorials are to the family.

Condolences may be shared at



LARRY HOOVER 1935-2013

ANTWERP – Larry Hoover, 78, of Antwerp, died Friday, Dec. 27 at Vancerest of Antwerp.


SALLY DAVIS 1933-2013

PAYNE – Sally Joan Davis, 80, of Payne, passed away Thursday, Dec. 26 at The Gardens of Paulding.

Sally was born March 3, 1933 in Decatur, Ind., a daughter of the late Marie Christine (Gehrig) and Frederick Clifford Ahr. She was an accounting clerk at Navistar and farmed with her husband, Russell “Dean”, for many years. They were married April 13, 1952 until his passing Dec. 29, 2005. Sally was a member of Payne Church of Christ and Fairway Christian Church, Lady Lake, Fla. and the Hesperian Chapter of the Eastern Star. Sally was very active in her community, dedicating many years to the Paulding County Hospital Board of Trustees and starting the Payne Branch Library.

She will be fondly remembered by her children, James (Bobbi) Davis of Monon, Ind. and Laura (Dennis) Cottrell of Payne; a brother, Donald Ahr of Fort Wayne; six grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.

Also preceding Sally in death were her siblings, Robert, James, Edwin and Mary Jane Ahr.

Her service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 30 at Payne Church of Christ, 220 W. Merrin St., with visitation one hour prior. She will be laid to rest at Lehman Cemetery.

Visitation is from 2-6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 29 at Dooley Funeral Home, Payne.

Memorials are to the church, Payne Branch Library or Monon Theater Preservation.

Condolences and fond memories may be shared at


JAMES SMILEY 1923-2013


PAULDING – James D. Smiley, age 90, died Monday, Dec. 23 at CHP Inpatient Hospice, Defiance.

He was born Sept. 3, 1923 in Indianapolis, the son of Wilford “Bill” and Arzula (Pate) Smiley. He married Phyllis Ann Colley, who preceded him in death on Feb. 14, 1972. During World War II, he served as a member of the U.S. Army, 147th Engineers Battalion participating in the D Day Invasion of Omaha Beach. He was owner/operator of 637 Auto Repair and Towing Service, and previously employed by the former VN Holderman Road Contracting and by the service department of Mark Moats Ford, Sherwood. He was a member of the VFW Post #587.

Jim is survived by two children, Gerald (Jaynne) Smiley, Paulding, and Jeanie (Randy) Gay, Peachtree City, Ga.; and four grandchildren, Andrew Smiley, Audrey Smiley, Jessica Gay and Jenna Gay.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; and two sisters, Mabel Conklin and Edith Sanders.

Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 28 at Den Herder Funeral Home, Paulding, with Pastor Drew Gardner officiating. Burial will follow in Live Oak Cemetery with military rites accorded by VFW Post #587.

Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27 and one hour prior to services on Saturday at the funeral home.

Donations may be made to Disabled American Veterans or Community Health Professionals Hospice.

Online condolences may be sent to




PAULDING – Delmar Ray Stoller, age 88, passed into eternity Saturday evening, Dec. 21, at the Inpatient Hospice Center in Van Wert.

He was born at home April 12, 1925, the youngest son of Jacob and Bertha (Huber) Stoller. He and his three older brothers, Roy, Loren and William, were raised on the family farm due south of Briceton in Paulding County. At age 16, Delmar surrendered his heart to Jesus and was baptized Nov. 2, 1941 to become a member of the Apostolic Christian Church for 72 years. Upon graduation from Haviland-Scott High School in 1943, Delmar farmed with his dad, two brothers and uncle Albert Stoller, a deaf-mute who was an influential mentor for him. On Nov. 5, 1950, he married Marguerite Mary Gerber, daughter of Fred & Katherine (Kipfer) Gerber. Their marriage was blessed with four children, Ray, Rod, Mardel and Carol.

Early on, Delmar provided for his family via agriculture and a poultry farm, transitioning to a 30-year plant management career with Erie Haven Ready Mix plants in New Haven and Fort Wayne. He retired in 1989, remaining active with part-time work at Insource Technologies, Paulding, Custom Assembly, Haviland, and including 15 years at Publix Supermarket in Sarasota, Fla. His lifelong passion was living for Christ and supporting his Church in Latty and Sarasota, with an unrestrained love and commitment for his wife and family, coupled with firm loyalty and appreciation for his friends and country. He sincerely believed in the Bible principal of teaching his children the way that they should go, so that when they were old, they would not depart from it. Nothing gave him greater joy and purpose in life than to sing and hear the Gospel proclaimed in Word and song. His most valuable possession was his Faith and Hope in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Delmar is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Marguerite; his children, Ray (Carol) of Paulding, Rodney (LeAnn) of Van Wert, Mardel (Robert) Dotterer of Rittman, and Carol (William) Eisenmann of Woodburn; 15 grandchildren; 45 great-grandchildren; a sister-in-law, Helen Stoller; and many nieces, nephews and cousins of the Stoller/Huber, Gerber/Kipfer heritage.

Delmar was preceded in death by his parents; older brothers; and infant great-grandsons, Sage and Sawyer Pelfrey, whom he believed will be with Christ to welcome him into Heaven’s Glory.

Funeral services will be conducted 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24 at Latty Apostolic Christian Church, Latty. Burial will follow in the Latty Apostolic Christian Church Cemetery. Den Herder Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Visitation will be 2-8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 23 at the Latty Apostolic Christian Church Fellowship Hall.

Donations may be made to Country Inn Enhanced Living Center, Paulding or the Inpatient Hospice Center, Van Wert.

Online condolences may be sent to




PAULDING – James Paul Buchman, age 77, died Monday, Dec. 16 at Paulding County Hospital.

He was born July 19, 1936 in Paulding County, the son of John and Ruby (Gunderman) Buchman. On Feb. 15, 1958, he married Patricia Ann Rohr, who survives. He was a self-employed farmer and horseman and a member of Divine Mercy Catholic Parish, Paulding. He served in the Ohio National Guard.

James is survived by his wife, Patricia Buchman, Paulding; a daughter, Elizabeth (Steve) Pessefall, Paulding; a son, Robert Buchman, Haviland; a sister, Mary Laukhuf, Paulding; two brothers, Raymond Buchman, Defiance, and Martin (Mary Ann) Buchman, Fort Wayne; four grandchildren, Sidney David Walker, Sherri Elizabeth (Jack) Hounshell, Eric Robert Buchman, and Scott Michael Buchman; and a great-grandchild, Brook Hounshell.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, David and Richard “Dick” Buchman; and three sisters, Louise Buchman, Janice McMillen and Kathryn Clark.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 20 at Divine Mercy Catholic Parish. Burial will follow in St. Paul Cemetery, Paulding County.

Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. with a Rosary service at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19 at Den Herder Funeral Home, Paulding, and one hour prior to services on Friday at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials made to Masses or the Gardens of Paulding Activity Fund.

Online condolences may be sent to




PAYNE – Harold Eugene Perrine, of Payne, passed away Sunday, Dec. 15 at Vancrest Health Care Center in Van Wert.

Harold was born in Payne on Sept. 11, 1923. On Oct. 25, 1947, he married Rosemary Linder, who passed away Dec. 8, 2012. Together they shared 65 beautiful years of marriage, faith, and family life. They were members of Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church and loved to pray the Rosary.

Harold served as a member of the United States Army, Private First Class, during World War II and was honorably discharged in 1945 with five Bronze Stars and a Good Conduct Medal. During his time in the military, he served in North Africa and Italy, where he was privileged to meet the Holy Father Pope Pius XII. He retired from International Harvester, Fort Wayne, with over 35 years of service. He enjoyed his retirement years following Notre Dame football and was an avid fan of the young athletes from Wayne Trace High School. Harold made friends wherever he went.

Harold will be sadly missed by his children, Susan (Wayne) Smith of Troy, Tim (Michele) of Powell, Paula (Rick) Wiseman of McCartyville and Kevin (Deb) of Ossian, Ind.; his wife’s siblings, Genevieve Wilson, Sr. Helen Linder, OSF, and Sr. Jean Linder, OSF, all of Tiffin, Maurice (Vi) Linder of Fort Wayne, and Theresa Baumle and Jim Linder of Payne; 12 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

He also was preceded in death by a son, Lynn H. Perrine; mother, Ida Adcock Perrine; and grandparents, Thomas Edmond and Adeline Adcock.

His Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 19 at Divine Mercy Catholic Church, Payne. He will be laid to rest at St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery.

Visitation is from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18 with the Rosary recited at 8 p.m. at Dooley Funeral Home, 5761 State Route 500, Payne, where visitation is also 9-9:30 a.m. Thursday.

Memorials are for Masses or Hands of Hope Paulding Pregnancy Services.

Condolences and fond memories may be shared at


RUTH MOHR 1919-2013

SCOTT – Ruth E. Mohr, age 94, died Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Vancrest Health Care Center, Van Wert.

She was born Aug. 20, 1919 in Van Wert County, the daughter of Elmer and Lydia (Keith) Frey. On Oct. 1, 1939, she married Walter S. Mohr, who preceded her in death on June 21, 1977. She was a member of Country Chapel United Methodist Church, Haviland, and was employed as an LPN by the former Dallas Lamb Foundation Home, Payne, and Vancrest Health Care Center of Van Wert.

She is survived by four daughters, Carol (Carl) Wyatt of Payne, Nancy (Robert) Kupfersmith of Johnson City, N.Y., Karen Maxine Keipper of Scott, and Patricia (Richard) Mohr-Kelly, Pittsburgh; two sons: Rudy (Diane) Mohr, Paulding, and James Mohr, Fort Wayne; 16 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.

Ruth also was preceded in death by an infant son, Larry Dean Mohr; brothers, Gerald and Harold Frey; and a sister, Saralene Ashton.

Funeral services will be conducted 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18 at Den Herder Funeral Home, with Pastor Ron Johnson officiating. Burial will follow in Mohr Cemetery, Van Wert County.

Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17 and one hour prior to services on Wednesday at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials made to Scott EMS or Country Chapel United Methodist Church.

Online condolences may be sent to



PLYMOUTH, Ind. – Robert Leonard Friesner, 75, passed away at 2:04 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11 at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka.

Robert was born on July 16, 1938 in Middlepoint, Ohio, to Dwight and Datha (Fox) Friesner. He graduated from Van Del High School in 1956, while in high school he played both basketball and baseball. He then met and married his wife of 55 years, Barbara Joyce Rawlings. He attended Findlay College and after he received his degree, he began his teaching career, which lasted 39 years. He and Barbara Joyce spent their teaching years at West Noble in Ligonier, then moved to Lawrence Lake in Plymouth after they retired.

His years in the classroom teaching U.S. History gave him much joy, and he did a great job keeping student’s attention. However, those less attentive students were brought back to his history world with a flying eraser. He spent his after-school hours coaching cross-country with the help of his wife for many years. He worked his runners hard and had high expectations. However, many fine young men came through his program, including a state cross-country champion and three state-qualifying teams. He also used his love of basketball to coach a team to a sectional championship. Robert also coached wrestling, track and taught driver’s ed. He was also a member of the Lions Club and West Noble Classroom Teachers’ Association and served on the Ligonier Library Board.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara Joyce; three daughters, Sherry Hughes, Deb (Larry) Miller and Kate (Josh) Harris; four grandchildren, Ryan, Tyler, Kalee and Maddie; brothers, Gerald (Mary) Friesner, Harold (Carrol) Friesner and Tom (Sharon) Friesner; and sisters-in-law, Ellen Friesner and Sandy Friesner; along with several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a twin brother, Bill Friesner.

Visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16 at Johnson-Danielson Funeral Home, 1100 N. Michigan Street, Plymouth, Ind. Funeral services will follow visitation at 7 p.m. in the funeral home. Burial will be in New Oakhill Cemetery, Plymouth.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Marshall County Council on Aging, 1305 W. Harrison St., Plymouth, IN 46563.

Online condolence may be sent to the family via




FORT WAYNE – Lucille Viola Treece, 98, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 10 at Covington Commons Senior Living in Fort Wayne.

Born in Milford, Ind. on Nov. 25, 1915, Lucille was the valedictorian of the Haviland-Scott High School Class of 1934. She married Franklin Treece on Oct. 24, 1937, in Hoagland, Ind. She was a longtime member of Calvary Presbyterian Church, where she was active in the women’s circle and volunteered for homebound meals. After retirement, she and Frank traveled the United States and abroad. They spent their winters in Avon Park, Fla. until Frank could no longer drive.

Surviving are her sons, Robert (Regina) Treece of Batavia, Ill., Roger (Vicki) Treece of Cincinnati, and Jerry Treece of Florence, Ky.; a daughter, Mary Lou (Michael) Clegg of Fort Wayne; five grandchildren, Robert (Carrie) Treece Jr. Renee (Maurus) Faessler, John (Lisa) Klopfenstein, David Klopfenstein and Chris Klopfenstein; five great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Dolores Riggenbach of Paulding, Elizabeth Williamson of Paulding and Helen Treece, of Briceton; and brothers-in-law, Jim (Florence) Treece of Florence, Ala. and Ray (Maxine) Treece of Paulding.

Lucille was preceded in death by husband, Franklin L. Treece; parents, Samuel E. and Anna M. (Kaiser) Riggenbach; two sisters and two brothers.

Funeral service is 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13 at D.O. McComb and Sons Covington Knolls Funeral Home, 8325 Covington Road, Fort Wayne, with calling two hour prior. Burial will be in Lindenwood Cemetery, Fort Wayne.

Memorials may be made to the Heartland Hospice or the Rescue Mission.

To view the online obituary, go to



ROY SCHAEFER 1915-2013


PAYNE – Roy L. Schaefer, age 98, of Payne, left this world for a better one on Wednesday, Dec. 11.

Roy was born Aug. 25, 1915, in Paulding County, the son of the late Bertha (Harper) and Rudolph Schaefer. He grew up as a farmer, a career he followed until the 1980s, and also a machinist at Dana Weatherhead, Antwerp. On Feb. 3, 1940, Roy married Dortha Bonner, who died Jan. 23, 2013. Roy was a confirmed and loyal Democrat, a devout member of Divine Mercy Catholic Parish, a life member of the Knights of Columbus, the Eagles in Paulding and the Elks in Mission, Texas. At the age of 80, he began his hobby of golfing, but still enjoyed playing cards and keeping his home as neat as a pin as long as he was able.

He will be sadly missed by his daughters, Garnett (Leo) Beagle of Payne, Mary K. (Dean) Hess of Green Valley, Ariz. and Jeannine Hagan of Austin, Texas; sons, John (Mary) and Kim, both of New Haven, Jeff of Antwerp and Paul of Hicksville; and sister, Helen Treat of Paulding.

Roy also was preceded in death by four siblings.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Divine Mercy Catholic Church, Payne on Monday, Dec. 16. He was laid to rest at St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery. Dooley Funeral Home, Payne, was in charge of arrangements.

Memorials are to Divine Mercy or Heartland Hospice.

Condolences and fond memories may be shared at




Donald R. Beamer, age 88, went to be with his Lord on Sunday, Dec. 8.

He was born May 3, 1925 in Paulding, the son of Edward and Ethel (Brown) Beamer. On April 21, 1946, he married Phyllis R. Weaver, who survives. He attended Paulding School and retired from Grizzly in 1980. He served in WWII with his twin brother, Ronald, and older brother, Edward. He was a member of First Christian Church of Paulding; a volunteer fireman for Paulding Village for 20 years; a life member of the Paulding VFW Post #587 and life member of Defiance AMVETS Post 1991. He operated Beamer Lawn Rolling for 20 years with his twin brother. He spent the summers in Barton Lake and the winters in Fort Myers, Fla. from 1986 until 2004 when they moved to Defiance. In 2011, Donald and Phyllis moved in with their daughter, Marsha.

He is survived by his wife, Phyllis Beamer; a daughter, Marsha (Richard) Perl, both of rural Cecil; four grandchildren, Margo (Bob) Kyser, Fort Wayne, Melissa (Denny) Coburn, Defiance, Mindy (Rich) Wilt, Adrian, Mich., and Matthew (Robbyn) Hodge, rural Cecil; two stepgrandchildren, Terry (Nick) Hurlburt, Canandaigua, N.Y., and Jamie (Mandy) King, Williston, Fla.; 10 great-grandchildren; five great-stepgrandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; a great-great-stepgrandchild; and several nieces and nephews.

Donald was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Stevan Beamer; and siblings, Marjorie Bordner, Norma Raye Beamer, Edward Beamer, twin Ronald Beamer, Florice M. Wilhelm and Marilyn Edwards.

Funeral services will be conducted 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 at Den Herder Funeral Home, Paulding. Burial will follow in Live Oak Cemetery with military rites accorded by Paulding VFW Post 587.

Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13 and one hour prior to services on Saturday at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations made to 1st Honor Flight, First Christian Church or Paulding Visiting Nurses and Hospice.

Online condolences may be sent to


BYRON RASEY 1936-2013

ANTWERP – Byron W. Rasey, 76, of Antwerp, died Saturday, Dec. 7 at Defiance Inpatient Hospice Center.



ANTWERP – Gary L. “Popeye” Deprimio, 62, passed away Thursday, Dec. 5 at St. Joseph Hospital in Fort Wayne.

He was born in Huntington, W.Va, and lived in Fort Wayne for several years before recently moving to Antwerp. Gary worked in the bridges and building department and in the carpenter shop for Norfolk and Southern Railroad for 31 years, retiring in 2007. Gary loved riding his Harley, enjoyed playing pool with his friends and golfing with his brother and loved spending time with his family and friends.

Surviving are his loving wife, Diana Noble-Ruch-Deprimio of Antwerp; stepfather, Bob Kacsor of New Haven; stepson, Joel Ruch of Desert Hot Springs, Calif.; brother, Rocky (Lee) Deprimio of Fort Wayne; sister, Patricia (Roy) Allison of New Haven; father-in-law, Herb Noble of Paulding; sisters-in-law, Renee (Tim) Boss of Paulding and Gwyn (Richard) Jones of Anderson, Ind.; and his best friends, Brian and Ron Man.

Gary was preceded in death by his mother, Darlene Kacsor.

Visitation will be held from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11 at Mungovan and Sons Funeral Home, 2114 S. Calhoun St.

Memorials may be made to the Bandits Resort Inc., P.O. Box 852, Desert Hot Springs CA 92240 “a non profit charity for animals.”

To view the online obituary, go to



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Last Updated on Friday, January 03, 2014 3:59 PM