The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022

Community lost several notable people

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

During the past year, the Van Wert County community has lost a number of notable people, including educators, business people, and politicians. Here is a listing of some of the more notable deaths from January to December 2017.

Notable people who passed away in 2017 include (top row, from the left) Mike Inniger, Ned Dull, Gus Brown, Frank Hoffman, Barbara Thompson; (bottom row) Max Kreischer, Stan Agler, William Spoor, and Warren Reed.

Ned Dull, the retired owner of the former Dull Lumber Company for 50 years, died January 11. In addition to his lumber business, Dull was also heavily involved in Masonic activities in the area and had commanded the former Ivanhoe Drill Team that had won three national drill team championships and was a staple at Peony Festival parades and other similar functions. He was 93.

On February 1, longtime local educator John Michael “Mike” Inniger passed away at the age of 65. A Bluffton native, Inniger spent 35 years in education as a teacher, coach, and elementary school principal at Lincolnview Local and Van Wert City Schools.

On April 4, local plumbing contractor Frank Hoffman passed away. Hoffman opened his own business, Hoffman Plumbing and Heating, in 1977 and operated it for 20 years before retiring and selling it to his son, Frank Jr.

Max Kreischer spent 31 years in the bowling industry, managing Olympic Lanes for seven years and the Delphos Recreation Center for two years before managing Max-A-Rama Lanes for 22 years. He passed away July 20 at the age of 76.

On October 18, longtime local contractor Gus R. Brown passed away at the age of 97. Brown was a partner with the late Wayne Compton in Brown and Compton Construction and built many houses and buildings, along with repairing many other houses and landmark buildings in Van Wert and the surrounding area.

In November, longtime local politician Stanley “Stan” Agler died at the age of 84. Agler was Van Wert’s first full-time mayor and served in that position for 12 years. He was also a former vice president of the Ohio Mayors Association. He had also been a member of Van Wert City Council for two decades. He was named the former Van Wert Jaycees’ “Outstanding Young Man” in 1965, and had been involved in the Van Wert Rotary Club, earning an Ambassadorial Award from Rotary International for a group study exchange to Nigeria in 1987. He had also been county general chairman for Van Wert County’s sesquicentennial celebration in 1971 and had participated at the county level in the campaigns of former presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, former Ohio governors James Rhodes (three times) and George Voinovich, and U.S. Representative Thomas Kindness.

On December 4, longtime media personality and local politician Barbara Thompson passed away at the age of 81. Thompson had written a weekly newspaper column for the former Derry Drugs and also hosted “A View from the Treehouse” for decades on WERT Radio. She had several careers with Derry Drugs, Vantage Career Center, and Starr Commonwealth and had served on Van Wert City Council and the Van Wert Zoning Commission. She was also active in the community, and had served as president of the Van Wert Rotary Club. She was also honored as “Outstanding Young Woman of Ohio in 1968 for her work with area migrant workers.

On December 10, longtime vocational agriculture educator Warren Reed passed away. He was 88. Reed was involved in agriculture education for 55 years, starting his career at what was then Convoy High School (later Convoy-Union, then Crestview Local Schools). He retired from Crestview in 1982 after 32 years, but then started a new career as a farm business planning and analysis consultant at Vantage Career Center, where he worked with farm families throughout northwest Ohio and northeast Indiana for many years.

Reed had served as vice president, then president of the Ohio Vocational Teachers Association and was named “Outstanding Agriculture Teacher in 1975 was given the Ohio Vocational Association’s Outstanding Service Award in Agriculture in 1976. He received several honorary farmer degrees while at Crestview and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation honored him with the “Agriculture Educator Award” for his service to the agricultural industry. He was a member of the first class of inductees to the Crestview Educator Hall of Fame in 2013.

On December 16, longtime local contractor William E. Spoor III passed away. He was 63. Spoor retired in 2016 after 47 years as owner-operator of Spoor Contracting of Van Wert.

POSTED: 12/30/17 at 9:18 am. FILED UNDER: News