The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Jan. 15, 2021

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

Gerald D. Thatcher, 85, of Lima, passed away at 10:02 a.m. Tuesday, January 12, 2021, at Mercy Health in Lima.

Gerald D. Thatcher

He was born November 12, 1935, in Van Wert, the son of Chester W. and Ruth M. (Klinger) Thatcher, who both preceded him in death. On April 1, 1956, he married the former Esther Price, who survives in Lima.

Other survivors include his three daughters, Brenda (Richard) Drost of Tucson, Arizona, Barbara (Scott) Feiereisel of Walnut Creek, California, and Beverly (David) Tuttle of Bluffton; a son, Jerry (Johanna) Thatcher of DeSoto, Texas; one sister, Juanita Lehman of Lake Zurich, Illinois; 15 grandchildren, Joshua (Julie) Drost, Caleb Drost, Hadassah Drost (Ricardo Leyva), Jarrod (Taryn) Shappell, Jordan Shappell, Justin (Carrie) Feiereisel, Shana Velazquez, Taylor Feiereisel, Brady Feiereisel, Spencer Tuttle, Abby Tuttle, Aaron Thatcher, Ethan Thatcher, Andrew Thatcher, and Hannah Thatcher; and 16 great-grandchildren.

He was a 1953 graduate of Van Wert High School and 1955 graduate of Fort Wayne Business College. He was a long-time member of Calvary Evangelical Church in Van Wert, where he had served as lay leader and Sunday school teacher. While at Primrose he led a weekly Sunday service. Gerald retired from Central Mutual Insurance Company as senior vice president and treasurer. He was also involved with Gideons, Rotary, and on the board of directors of the Marsh Foundation.

A private service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, January 17, and will be available online at or the church Facebook page. Burial will follow in Woodland Cemetery in Van Wert.

Visitation is from 2-5 p.m. Saturday, January 16, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home in Van Wert. Those attending should observe Covid-19 protocols, using face coverings and keeping social distances. 

Preferred memorials: Gideons International.

Condolences may be expressed on the Tribute Wall at

POSTED: 01/14/21 at 2:53 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Byron D. “Barney” Krugh of Van Wert passed away unexpectedly on Monday, January 11, 2021.  

He was born December 26, 1931, in York Township, a son of F. Paul and Lillian N. (Towers) Krugh, who both preceded him in death.  He married the former Bette Vaske, who passed away April 3, 2010.  

He is survived by a daughter, Cathy (Woody) Fetzer, and a son, Dean (Sherry) Krugh. Also surviving are six grandchildren, Brandon (Coral) Fetzer, Jason (Kerri) Krugh, Jenny (Sean) Kennedy, Joe (Joy) Krugh, Josh (Leslie) Krugh, and Kristen (Gabe) Evans; 12 great-grandchildren, Caleb and Natalie Fetzer, Allison, Dru, Emma Kennedy, Devin Rabe, Bella, Hannah, Jordan, J.J., Landynn and Kameron Krugh, Noah and Nora Evans; a sister, Lavena Faszler; one niece, Linda (Gale) Linnemeier; and a nephew, Norman (Kim) Faszler.

A son, Michael James Krugh, preceded him in death.

He retired from the former Aeroquip Corporation (Eaton) in 1993.  He was also a U. S. Navy veteran of the Korean Conflict.

Barney was an avid fan of Van Wert High School athletics, where he was a longtime ticket holder for football and basketball seasons, and he also enjoyed watching the baseball team play. He loved the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Chicago Cubs, and the Chicago Bears. He also enjoyed going to the Sportsmen Club every morning and playing cards with his many friends there.  

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, January 16, at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Van Wert, with Father Charles Obinwa officiating.  Burial will be in Woodland Cemetery Van Wert, with graveside military honors rendered by combined units of American Legion Post 178 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5803.

Visitation will be at Brickner Funeral Home in Van Wert from 2- 5 p.m. Friday, January 15.

Memorial donations may be directed to St. Mary of the Assumption School.

Condolences may be expressed at or emailed to

POSTED: 01/14/21 at 2:49 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Gary Eugene Stoller, 83, went home to be with his Lord and Savior surrounded by his wife and children on Sunday evening, January 10, 2021, at his home in Van Wert.

Gary Eugene Stoller

He was born in Paulding County on May 17, 1937, to Jesse H. and Lillian I. (Fiechter) Stoller. Both parents preceded him in death, as well as his brother-in-law, William Laukhuf. He married Nancy R. Rager on August 4, 1963, in Latty. She survives in Van Wert. 

In addition to his wife, Gary is survived by four daughters, Sherry (Daniel) Pfister of Bluffton, Indiana, Tamara (Jon) Leman of Muncie, Indiana, Virginia Stoller of Ottawa, and Leslie (Nathan) Isch of Decatur, Indiana; a son, Thomas (Lori Boggs) Stoller of Ohio City; two sisters, Wanda (Roy) Leman of Eureka, Illinois, and Jan Laukhuf of Rockford, Michigan; 21 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Gary was a member of the Apostolic Christian Church who taught Sunday school and led worship many years. He was owner/operator of Stoller Hatchery and Stoller Farms and a board member on the Ohio Poultry Association. Gary served his community for 17 years on the Ohio City and Van Wert school boards. He served his country in the Air National Guard with the 122nd Tactical Fighter Group in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was called into active duty during the Berlin Crisis and was stationed in Chambly, France, for 11 months. 

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, January 15, at Bluffton North Apostolic Christian Church. Todd Stoller and Daniel Pfister will officiate the services. A private family burial will follow in Apostolic Christian Cemetery in Latty. 

There will be no public visitation.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Fort Wayne Red Cross Blood Donation Center (a gift of a blood donation in Gary’s memory), Centre Lumiere, or Gideons International.

Goodwin – Cale and Harnish Memorial Chapel in Bluffton,  been entrusted with arrangements.

POSTED: 01/12/21 at 12:54 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Richard “Dick” Hoverman, 68, of Van Wert, passed away surrounded by loved ones at 6:01 p.m. Thursday, January 8, 2021. 

Richard ‘Dick’ Hoverman

He was born December 21, 1952, the son of C. Olen and Helen (Ward) Hoverman, who both preceded him in death.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Pam, and his children, Tracy (Mark) Beech of Scott, Cassandra “Casey” York of Van Wert, Chris Mills of Van Wert, Bryan Mills of Medina, Alisha (Hunter) Lies of Rockford, and Anna Lee of Van Wert. Dick also has five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. His siblings, Mike (Mary) Hoverman of Maumee, Barb Furniss of Waterville, and Mary Lou Johns of Charlotte, North Carolina, also survive. 

He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Teri Sowers.

Dick was a life-ong member of the Van Wert community. He was an active member of Victory Church of God in Van Wert. He also served as the grill cook at the Farmer’s Daughter restaurant during the county fair for the last several years. He was recently employed by Wild Willy’s.

Dick never knew a stranger and if you were blessed enough to be his friend then you became a member of his family. He will surely be missed by many people.

POSTED: 01/11/21 at 12:08 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Heather N. Martin, 41, of Van Wert, passed away Wednesday, December 30, 2020, at home.

Heather N. Martin

She was born May 9, 1979, in Berlin, Germany, the only daughter of Douglas Brent Martin, who preceded her in death, and Cynthia (Winters) Martin Canales, who survives in Convoy.

Other survivors include her four children, Eric Michael Martin of Lima, and Tyler James Potterbaum, Lillyanna Grace Potterbaum, and Emma Christianna Potterbaum, all of Franklin, Tennessee; one grandchild, Elijah B. Martin of Lima; two brothers, Christopher B. Martin of Houston, Texas, and David Joseph Canales of Rockford.

Heather was a 1998 graduate of Van Wert High School

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, January 12, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home in Van Wert, with Pastor Bill Watson officiating. Burial will follow in Woodland Cemetery in Van Wert. 

Visitation is from noon until the time of services Tuesday at the funeral home.

Preferred memorials: Catholic Charities Adoptions (

Condolences may be expressed on the Tribute Wall at

POSTED: 01/08/21 at 1:16 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Patricia A. Wisener, 82, of Van Wert, passed away at 7:50 a.m. Monday, December 21, 2020, at her daughter’s residence. 

Patricia A. Wisener

She was born May 14, 1938, in Van Wert, the daughter of Francis W. Elizabeth Lucille (Stover) Bayles, who preceded her in death. On June 6, 1954, she married the love of her life, Lester J. Wisener, who passed away August 30, 2011. Together, they shared years of memories.

Patricia worked for Colonial Nursing Home and The Laurels of Shane Hill in Rockford before working for Van Wert Manufacturing for 17 years. She was a member of Liberty Baptist Church in Van Wert, the Classic Red Peonies of Van Wert, and the Van Wert YWCA.

Patricia loved sewing, spending time with her family, and especially doing arts and crafts with her grandkids. 

She is survived by her daughter, Kimberly (Mike) Lare of Convoy; a sister, Sandra (George) Anderson of Willshire; one brother, Gary Bayles of Rockford; a brother-in-law, John Hoersten of Rockford; two sisters-in-law: Delores Laukhuf of Haviland and Helen Wisener of Van Wert; eight grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. 

She was also preceded in death by two sons, Lester L. Wisener and Gene Wisener; a daughter, Terri Cummins; two sisters, Nada Hoersten and Betty Miller; a brother, Jack Bayles; and one granddaughter, Jennifer Cummins.  

A public graveside service was held at noon Monday, December 28, 2020 at Mount Pleasant Cemetery, with the Rev. Jim Burns officiating. Attendees were required to wear masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines. 

Other services and visitation will be private. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Patricia’s memory may be sent to Liberty Baptist Church Building Fund.

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

Condolences may be expressed at

POSTED: 01/07/21 at 5:31 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Donna Rae (Thomas) Myers Adams, 97, of Grover Hill, passed away Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at the Gardens of Paulding.  

Donna Rae Myers Adams

She was born November 12, 1923, in Allen County, the daughter of William and Leona (McClure) Thomas.  

Survivors include her daughters, Claudia (Myers) Elliott (Gary) of Grover Hill and Tina (Adams) Sheely (Kevin) of rural Spencerville, Indiana; seven grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and a great-great-granddaughter.  

Preceding her in death was her husband, George J. Adams in 1994; four siblings, Olive Scherer, Rheba Miller, Betty Koenig, and William Rex Thomas; a son-in-law, Jon E. Niblick; and two nephews, Garry D and Ricky L. Miller.  

Donna graduated from Grover Hill High School in 1941, where she played basketball and sang in the choir. She was a “Rosie the Riveter” in Long Beach, California, working for the Douglas Aircraft Company during World War II. She finished her working career as a cutter-grinder on jet engines at Excello in Lima.

Donna was a member of Zion United Methodist Church in Grover Hill, where she was involved with the food pantry. She enjoyed her grandchildren’s sporting and music events and loved traveling with the YWCA. She was an excellent seamstress, loved music, reading, word finds, and cheering for the Ohio State Buckeyes and Wayne Trace.

Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, January 10, in Middle Creek Cemetery in Grover Hill, with Pastor Michael Waldron officiating.  

Preferred memorials: Grover Hill Volunteer Fire Department or a charity of the donor’s choice.

Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory in Van Wert is handling the arrangements.

Condolences may be expressed at

POSTED: 01/07/21 at 5:26 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Luella M. Garrett, 83, of Van Wert, passed away at 4:22 a.m. Saturday, January 2, 2021, at Van Wert Health. 

Luella M. Garrett

She was born April 28, 1937, in Celina, the daughter of Carl and Evelyn (Norris) Hainline, who both preceded her in death. 

Luella was baptized in the Nazarene church and attended Good Shepherd Church of the Nazarene. She was a member of the Van Wert Senior Center, where she loved to play Bingo and paint. 

She is survived by her children, Arnelle (Ryan) Adam of Convoy and Franklin D. (Brenda) Smith Jr. and Troy (Brenda) Garrett, both of Van Wert; five grandchildren, Dr. Zachary (Dijana) Smith, Dr. Allison (Nicholas) Krugh, Rustin (Megan) Adam, and James and Beth Garrett; as well as three great-grandchildren, Lara Smith and Ellie and Aiden Adam.

She was also preceded in death by a daughter, Rachel Smith; her twin sister, Loretta Hainline; two brothers, Earl and Duane Hainline; and two former spouses, Franklin D. Smith and James T. Garrett. 

A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, January 9, in IOOF Cemetery in Convoy, with the Rev. Tom Shobe officiating. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Luella’s memory may be sent to Thomas Edison Workshop Adult Activities.

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

Condolences may be expressed at

POSTED: 01/06/21 at 11:22 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Patricia Ann Decker, 80, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, passed away at 9:49 p.m. Monday, January 4, 2021, at home.

Patricia Ann Decker

She was born December 12, 1940, in Blue Diamond, Kentucky, the daughter of Franklin Olaf Williams and Ruby (Parker) McIntosh, who both preceded her in death.

Survivors include her three children, Kevin (Lisa) Decker of Van Wert, Rodney (Nicole) Decker of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Vickie J. (Richard E.) Rice of Scott; eight grandchildren, Bradie (Ryan) Berry, Abby (Alan) Vinning, Melissa (Jon) Hamber, Torrie (Daniel) Bartalone, Lorrie Jo Decker, Gracie Decker, Emmett Decker, and London Decker; seven great-grandchildren; four sisters, Betty Tyas of Van Wert, Judy (Bill) Hinton of Coopersville, Michigan, Janet Tracy of Convoy, and Paula Thullen of Springfield; five brothers, Lonnie (Karen) McIntosh of Convoy, Mike McIntosh of Kentucky, and Mick Williams, Gordon Williams, and John David Williams all of Cincinnati.

Patricia was preceded in death by her stepfather, William M. McIntosh Sr.; her stepmother, Francis Williams; two brothers, Johnnie McIntosh and William M. “Bozo” McIntosh Jr.; and two sisters, Deloris McIntosh and Sandra S. Hughes.

Patricia retired as a quality control manager at BRC Rubber & Plastic Company in Bluffton, Indiana.

Private services will be held at the convenience of the family and a celebration of life will take place at later date. Burial will be in Scott Cemetery.

Preferred memorials: Visiting Nurses and Hospice Home, 5910 Homestead Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46835.

Arrangements were handled by Cowan & Son Funeral Home in Van Wert. 

Condolences may be expressed on the Tribute Wall at

POSTED: 01/06/21 at 11:19 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Marcia A. Hernandez, 70, of Van Wert, passed away at 8:14 p.m. Friday, January 1, 2021, at Van Wert Health.

Marcia A. Hernandez

She was born April 2, 1950, in Van Wert, the daughter of John and Eva (Steele) Hundley, who both preceded her in death.

Survivors include her two children, Jamie S. Evans and James W. Hernandez, both of Van Wert; a brother, Harold Hundley of Payne; five sisters, Sharon (Charlie) Miller of Middle Point, Donna Hundley of Venedocia, Norma (Rodney) Rahrig of Spencerville, Gwen (Glenn) Rowe of Cleveland, Georgia, and Shirley (Leonard) Jarman of Delphos; five grandchildren, Alissa Evans, Austin Hernandez, Zach Hernandez, Miranda (Brent) Miller, and Hunter Hernandez; 10 great-grandchildren; and her dog, Bella.

Marcia was also preceded in death by a sister, Betty, and two brothers, Johnny and Robert.

Marcia was a 1968 graduate of Lincolnview High School and retired from Kennedy Manufacturing Company after 40 years of service. She enjoyed traveling, especially to various casinos, and quilting.

Funeral services will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, January 5, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home in Van Wert. 

Visitation is from 2-4 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.

Condolences may be expressed on the Tribute Wall at

POSTED: 01/03/21 at 12:48 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries