The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Sep. 28, 2020

Obituaries can be emailed to or faxed to 419.238.2578. As of January 15, 2020, the Van Wert independent will no longer accept no-cost death notices. The cost of full obituaries will remain at $50 (including a photo). Obituary payments can be sent to: Van Wert independent, P.O. Box 546, Van Wert, OH 45891. Local funeral homes are billed for full obituaries, while out-of-town funeral homes can also be billed, if so requested.

POSTED: 12/28/10 at 3:42 pm. FILED UNDER: Info

N. Jeanne Morgan went peacefully to her eternal rest on Saturday, September 26, 2020, at Vancrest Health Care Center in Van Wert. Jeanne is survived by her loving husband of 49 years, Joseph Morgan. 

Jeanne is also survived by her two children Deb (Randy) Anderson of Virginia and Steven Gamble of Van Wert; four stepchildren, Pat Arrien of New York, Mike (Sue) Saint of Indiana, Laura (Mike) Bell of Missouri, and Brian (Holly) Morgan of New York; two brothers, Richard (Barbara) Wilkin and David (Elaine) Wilkin; a sister, Carol (Marty) Penhorwood; six grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. 

She was preceded in death by two brothers, Gary Wilkin and Chuck Wilkin.

Jeanne was born August 2, 1933, in Paulding County, the daughter of Gaylord Wilkin and Beulah (Tarleton) Hunter, who both preceded her in death. She graduated from Convoy High School in 1951 and worked at the former John Earl department store in Van Wert, the Farm Bureau, and Central Mutual Insurance. She attended Wesley Methodist Church in Van Wert. 

A past member of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 178 and the La Femmes, Jeanne traveled extensively with Joe to many American Legion and 40 et 8 functions around the country. 

In her younger years Jeanne enjoyed crafting, beadwork, cooking, and sewing. Later in life, she enjoyed doing puzzles, listening to gospel music, and watching cooking shows on television.

Funeral services will be held at noon Tuesday, September 29, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory in Van Wert, with the Rev. Laura Clark officiating. Burial will follow in Woodland Cemetery in Van Wert. 

Visitation is from 10 a.m. until the time of services Tuesday at the funeral home.

Attendees are asked to observe social distancing, refrain from close physical contact, and wear facial coverings as required by state mandate.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Norma Jeanne`s memory may be sent to Wesley Methodist Church

Condolences may be expressed at

POSTED: 09/27/20 at 8:22 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Barbara Lou Sterrett, 64, of Van Wert, passed away at 5:43 a.m. Thursday, September 24, 2020, at Vancrest Health Care Center in Van Wert. 

Barbara Lou Sterrett

She was born January 13, 1956, in Van Wert, the daughter of James Eugene and Elba Rose (Garver) Thomas, who both preceded her in death.  

As an animal lover, Barbara never knew a stray and had a special place in her heart for cats. She volunteered her time with the Van Wert County Humane Society and would always help family and friends in any way she could. She enjoyed Blues music and often attended St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Van Wert.

She is survived by her daughter, Rebecca Weisner of Athens, Georgia; one brother, Dave Thomas of Van Wert; her significant other, Mark Bohnlein of Van Wert; as well as her niece, Sheena, and nephew, Kyle.
Her husband, John Sterrett, also preceded her in death. 

Services will be private and at the convenience of the family. 

Preferred memorials in Barbara`s memory may be sent to The RSD/CRPS Foundation,

Condolences may be expressed at

Arrangements have been entrusted to Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory in Van Wert.

POSTED: 09/25/20 at 4:30 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Katherine Pauline Schriver, 45, of Latty, died Friday, September 18, 2020, in Defiance. 

Katherine Pauline Schriver

She was born December 13, 1974, in Defiance, the daughter of William D. and Patricia L. (Aldrich) McMonigal, who both survive in Continental. On June 28, 2013, she married Ronald L. Schriver, who survives.

She was currently the office administrator of Heather’s Daycare in Defiance. She had a strong work ethic and prided herself in getting things done. Katherine loved spending time on Crooked Lake in Angola, Indiana, and traveling to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, with Ron, but most importantly she loved being a “glamaw” to her four grandchildren.

In addition to her parents, William and Patricia, and husband, Ron, she is survived by her children, Joshua Schriver of Van Wert, Blaze (Brooke) McMonigal of Van Wert, Sarah Schriver of Wetzel, Mikey Stephey of Van Wert, and Jazmine Stephey of Van Wert; her grandchildren, Sage Parr, Sylvia Schriver, Xavior Williams, and Blaze McMonigal Jr.; her brothers, Michael McMonigal of Continental, Dave McMonigal of Defiance, and William McMonigal of Continental; and her sisters, Virginia McMonigal of Ottawa, and Samantha McMonigal of Gilboa.

A brother, Samuel McMonigal, preceded her in death.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, September 26, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory in Van Wert. Burial will follow in Woodland Cemetery in Van Wert.

Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. Friday, September 25, at the funeral home.

Preferred memorials: Donor’s choice.

Condolences may be expressed at

POSTED: 09/22/20 at 5:46 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Patricia Jenkins, 93, died July 4, 2020.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, September 26, at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Van Wert with Father Chris Bohnsack celebrant. Burial will follow in Woodland Cemetery in Van Wert. COVID-19 pandemic rules, as observed by the church, will be followed.

Preferred memorials: Thomas Edison School or St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church.  

Brickner Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements

POSTED: 09/21/20 at 4:01 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Edna (Beining) Baxter, 93, died peacefully at 6:40 p.m. Friday, September 18, 2020.  

Edna (Beining) Baxter

The daughter of Oliver and Elizabeth Beining of Ottoville, who both preceded her in death, she is survived by five children, 13 grandchildren, and 39 great-grandchildren.  

Her children are Beth (Bill) DuVall of Leland, North Carolina, Carol Williman (Pete) of Van Wert, Marilyn Elrod (Albert) of Wilmington, North Carolina, John Baxter (Susan) of Clinton, North Carolina, and Matt Baxter of Vandalia. Edna’s surviving sisters include Adeline Beining of Indianapolis, Indiana, and Ruth Schroeder of Olmsted, Michigan. Her surviving brother is Donald Beining of Ottoville.  

Preceding her in death are a son, Steven Baxter; one granddaughter, Jennifer DuVall; two sisters, Norma Reindel and Leona Berelsman; and three brothers, Robert, Julius, and Paul Beining.  

Edna’s children remember hearing great stories of her days in “Beauty School”. After her graduation, she became an entrepreneur, as a young adult, as the owner and operator of Charm Beauty Salon in Van Wert. Edna chose to be a stay-at-home mother while her children were growing up. She took pride in raising them with her then-husband, Richard Baxter. As adults, her children attribute their success in life to having a solid foundation in their formative years. Being the wonderful mother she was, Edna cooked good meals, taught her kids right from wrong, was always there for them, and, of course, cut and styled their hair for them.  She was a prime example of how to be financially prudent. Her children remember growing up with a mom who desired to be an integral part of their lives. She was a Blue Bird leader and a Campfire Girls leader. Edna was an amazing costume, clothing, and home decor seamstress. She lovingly sewed beautiful prom dresses for her girls. In later years, Edna worked at several local businesses, including the former Butler’s Bakery and Walmart, from which she retired. She went on to be a tender caregiver to elderly people in their declining years.

Edna was a devout Catholic her entire life, not missing a weekly Mass and working at the annual bazaar. She was a prayer warrior for her family and others. “Grandma Edna’s” prayers just seemed to work. Edna was a strong-willed and resilient woman. She earned the title “mom-strong” from her children as they were awed at her tenacity and determination. She was also known as a friendly, cheerful helper to those around her. She had the most beautiful smile and her sons-in-law had a special way of bringing out that infectious laugh of hers. She spent several years at Vancrest Health Care Center prior to her death, and there she knew how to win in Bingo and proved herself a rival in cornhole.

The family would like to recognize Vancrest Assisted Living and Health Care Center for their dedication in giving their mom the best of home care over the years. They also want to thank Community Health Professionals-Hospice for the gentle care given at the end of her life.  

A Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, September 22, at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Van Wert, with Father Christopher Bohnsack celebrant. Burial will follow in Woodland Cemetery in Van Wert.

Visitation is from 9-10 a.m. Tuesday at Brickner Funeral Home in Van Wert.

Preferred memorials: Community Health Professionals Hospice or St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church.   

Condolences may be expressed or emailed to

POSTED: 09/20/20 at 5:04 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

It is with great sadness that the family of William “Fred” McQueen announces his passing on Saturday, September 19, 2020, at the age of 73.  

William “Fred” McQueen

Fred will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 51 years, Cynthia, and his children Renee (Doug) Leonard, Cathy (Matt) Nahrwold, and Branden (Lisa) McQueen.

Fred will also be fondly re-membered by his six grandchildren, Nicholas (Rachel), Nathaniel, Ryleigh, Avery, Sebastian, and Shelby; two great-grandchildren, Paisyn and Beckham; his sisters, Peggy (Craig) Bender of Alvaredo, Texas, and Patsy (Tommy) Tinney of Henrietta, Texas; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Edna (DeFrate) McQueen Webb, and a sister, Jeri Mayes, as well as his brother-in-law, Larry Roth, less than one week prior.

Fred proudly served his country for 11 years in the U.S. Army. He retired from General Electric with over 30 years of service. He also invested in and managed rental properties for over 50 years.

Fred cherished time with family, travelling, sunsets, Florida in the winter, a competitive game of Aggravation with best friends, ice cream, and enjoying a cup of coffee at Hall’s with his wife and children.

He was a member of Grace Point Church of the Nazarene.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, September 24, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home and Crematory in Van Wert, with Pastor Edgar Fink of Grace Point officiating. Graveside military honors will immediately follow in Woodland Cemetery in Van Wert.

Visitation is from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, September 23, and one hour prior to services Thursday at the funeral home.

Preferred memorials: Riley Children’s Hospital or Gideons International.

Fred will be greatly missed.

POSTED: 09/20/20 at 4:48 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

On Thursday, September 17, 2020, Vicki Lee (Sutton) Wyatt-Brown, loving wife and mother of eight children, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 73.

Vicki Lee Wyatt-Brown

Vicki was born March 26, 1947, in Van Wert, at Van Wert County Hospital, to Ralph and Edna (Blythe) Sutton. She graduated from Grover Hill High School in 1965. On January 21, 1966, Vicki married William Wyatt Jr. and together they had six children. Following Bill’s untimely death, she married Mikel Brown on June 14, 1987; they had two children together. 

After staying home to raise her family, she worked at Grover Hill Elementary School as the night custodian for 18 years.

Vicki’s passions were many. She enjoyed reading, fishing, expanding her elephant collection, and supporting the performing arts at Wayne Trace High School. Vicki was vocal about the importance of voting, serving on the Paulding County Board of Elections for many years. She pursued journalism and wrote for both the Paulding Progress and The Times-Bulletin in Van Wert. She was involved in many organizations throughout her life. Vicki was an advisor for the Grover Hill Boosters 4-H club, a member of the Tri- County Mental Health Board, and pianist/organist at church. She was enthusiastically involved in children’s ministry at Payne Church of God campgrounds and home healthcare through Visiting Nurses. She was an enthusiastic supporter of her children’s and grandchildren’s endeavors and could often be heard cheering them on and pounding on her cowbell.

She is survived by her husband Mikel; two brothers Jon Ralph (Karen) Sutton of Clyde and Brent (Carole) Sutton of Amelia Courthouse, Virginia; eight children, Scott (Laura) Wyatt of Williamsburg, Virginia, Steven (Michelle) Wyatt of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Wendy (Terry) Baker of Grover Hill, Stuart (Amy) Wyatt of Wetzel, Kerry (Greg) Shelton of Grover Hill, Sarra (Nick) Hudson of Archbold, Estynn Brown of Findlay, and Ethynn Brown of Grover Hill; 30 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren, with more on the way.

Vicki was preceded in death by her father, Ralph, mother Edna, husband Bill, and a daughter, Korene.

Visitation is from 2-6 p.m. Sunday, September 30, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory in Van Wert. Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, September 21, in Middle Creek Church Cemetery. 

Per CDC guidelines, attendees are asked to wear proper face covering and practice social distancing.

POSTED: 09/19/20 at 9:38 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Larry J. Roth, 79, of Van Wert, went to be with the Lord at 9 p.m. Saturday, September 12, 2020, at Grey Stone Health and Rehab.

Larry J. Roth

He was born September 16, 1940, in Van Wert, the son of Lawrence E. and Catherine G. (Jerome) Roth, who both preceded him in death.

Larry was a 1958 graduate of Van Wert High School. He had attended Fort Wayne Bible College and then graduated from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, with horology degree.

He retired from the United States Air Force as a chaplain after 20 years of service to his country. Larry also worked for Laudick’s Jewelry and the former Killion Jewelry, both in Van Wert, for many years.

Larry was a member of Calvary Evangelical Church and was a former member of Wesley United Methodist Church, both in Van Wert. 

Larry served his community in many ways and with many organizations, including the Salvation Army, Van Wert County Youth Bureau, Starr Commonwealth, and Gideons International. In his later years, Larry was an excellent croquet player, spending many afternoons playing with family and friends.

Surviving are his siblings, Diane (Richard) Perry of Convoy, Jerry Roth of Fort Myers, Florida, and Cynthia (Fred) McQueen of Fort Wayne; and many nieces and nephews, whom he loved dearly.

A sister-in-law, Camellia Roth; and a nephew, Doug Perry, also preceded him in death.

Graveside services will be held at 11:45 a.m. Thursday, September 17, in Woodland Cemetery in Van Wert, with the Rev. Clark Williman officiating. Graveside military honors will be rendered by combined units of American Legion Post 178 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5803, both of Van Wert.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Larry`s memory may be directed to the Salvation Army or Gideons International.

Condolences may be expressed at

Arrangements have been entrusted to Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory of Van Wert.

POSTED: 09/15/20 at 3:42 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Esther T. Riojas, 87, of Van Wert, passed away at 5:25 p.m. Friday, September 11, 2020, at Visiting Nurse Hospice Home.

She was born May 25, 1933, in Hindes, Texas, the daughter of Jose and Antonia (Garcia) Torrez, who both preceded her in death. On December 10, 1950, Esther married the love of her life, Pedro Riojas. Together, they shared years of memories.

Esther attended Trinity Friends Church. She enjoyed sewing and knitting, as well as shopping. Esther was a giving person who would help her family and friends in any way she could. She loved flowers and enjoyed the roses and plants that Pedro grew for her. 

She is survived by her husband, Pedro of Van Wert; three sons, Rojelio (Rosmarie Rios) Riojas of Van Wert, Esequel (Rosalinda) Riojas of Michigan, and Anselmo Riojas of Van Wert; a brother, Alejandro; three sisters, Antionia, Elma, and Janie; four grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. 

She was preceded in death by a son, Pedro Jr.; six brothers; and three sisters.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, September 14, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory in Van Wert, with Pastor Dr. Tom Kinnan officiating. Burial will follow in Woodland Cemetery in Van Wert.

Visitation is from noon-2 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.

Condolences may be expressed at

POSTED: 09/13/20 at 12:34 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Carolyn Kay (Wambsganss) Schumm, 72, of Convoy, went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ at 7:09 p.m. Thursday, September 10, 2020. after a four-week battle for her life in the Cleveland Clinic ICU. She was a devoted Christian, a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. She is deeply missed by her family.  

Carolyn Kay Schumm

Carolyn was born June 2, 1948, the daughter of Clayton and Ruth (Bricker) Wambsganss, who both preceded her in death. On June 29, 1968, she married Robert (Bob) Schumm, who survives near Convoy.

Other survivors include a son, Troy (Jodi) Schumm of New Bremen; a daughter, Karen (Matt) Ringwald of Fort Wayne, Indiana; four much loved grandchildren, Logan and Brock Schumm and Gavin and Madison Ringwald; and a sister Janice (Dean) Barry.  

An infant son, Gregory, and her brother, Larry, also preceded her in death.

Carolyn was a 1966 graduate of Crestview High School. She was employed by Marathon Oil Company while attending the University of Findlay. Later, she worked in Accounting and Customer Service at Aeroquip (Eaton) and at Bebout & Houg Roofing and Siding. She also enjoyed assisting her husband with the farming operations.  

Carolyn enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and watching their church programs, school music concerts, recitals, and ball games. She was a living example of what it means to be kind, considerate, and caring. She enjoyed reading, family vacations, and travels by train with her husband and family. Since age 28, she endured many painful surgeries and rehabilitations as a result of her rheumatoid arthritis. Her coping skills, mental attitude with the disease, and faith in God were an inspiration to many people who knew her. Her family will be forever grateful for the love she showed.

Carolyn was an active and lifetime member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Convoy, where she served as a Sunday school teacher, a LWML (Lutheran Women’s Missionary League) member, Weekday School teacher and church choir member.  

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, September 19, at Redeemer Lutheran Church, with Pastor Michael Saylor officiating. Burial will be in IOOF Cemetery in Convoy.  

Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. Friday, September 18, and from 9 a.m. to the time of services Saturday at the church.

Facial masks will be required upon entering the church, and those attending are asked to refrain from physical contact. Seating is limited in the church sanctuary for social distancing. However, the funeral service will be broadcasted live on YouTube at and it can also be viewed at a later time. During the service, additional seating in the church fellowship hall will be provided where the service can be viewed live on a TV screen.

We deeply regret not being able to share a funeral dinner with our dear friends due to Covid-19 precautions. Invitations for the funeral dinner will notify family members whom the limited seating can accommodate.

Preferred memorials: Redeemer Lutheran Church radio broadcasts or to the Convoy Community Foundation.  

POSTED: 09/13/20 at 10:48 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries