The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Oct. 7, 2022

Submitted information

The Van Wert Area Retired Teachers Association (VWARTA) will hold their fall luncheon and meeting at 12 p.m. Friday, October 14, at the Willow Bend Country Club. Newly retired Van Wert County/City educators and others interested in public education are invited to attend to hear about membership in the Ohio Retired Teachers Association (ORTA) and its purpose to protect the retirement experience of those in the STRS pension/benefits system, along with the additional benefits offered to ORTA members.

The luncheon menu includes chicken/broccoli/rice lunch casserole, salad, roll with butter, apple crisp dessert, and coffee/tea. The meal price is $11 per person. A meal reservation is required by 6 p.m. Wednesday, October 12th Jean Minnig via email ( or by phont 419.203.0642).

The featured program speakers will be Tafi Stober of Van Wert Live and the Van Wert City Schools partners involved with the “Learn/Earn/Return” program in the Van Wert community. Opportunities to volunteer and performance information from the Niswonger Performing Arts Center will also be shared.

A VWARTA business session will follow the program. Local VWARTA dues of $10 for 2023 may be paid at this meeting. For more information, contact VWARTA President Deb Kleinhenz at 419.203.2283.

POSTED: 10/07/22 at 3:46 am. FILED UNDER: Lifestyles, News

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Members of the Van Wert High School Class of 1962 recently held their 60th class reunion.

Activities started on Friday evening, September 10, where the classmates met at the Van Wert Elks Lodge for socializing. The following evening, the reunion was held at the country home of Richard and Margaret Miller.. It began with a social time, followed by having a class reunion picture taken. Class member Jack Smith led the group with an opening prayer before dinner and a tribute to the deceased class members.

Seated from left to right: David Lianez, Mike Stanley, Pat (Geisman) Neate, Kay (Williman) Habeggar, Judy (Gribler) Fox, David Gunsett and David Agler. Standing, left to right: Jack Smith, : Phil Giessler, Steve Smith, Richard Miller, Jim Bell, John Purmort, Jim Fails and Dennis Fawcett. Photo submitted

The evening meal was catered by Collins Find Foods. Following dinner, Mike Stanley welcomed the class members. Letters were read from several of the classmates who were unable to attend.

Phil Giessler, Class Vice-President also welcomed everyone and reminded everyone of how precious time is to all of us. The class members assembled all agreed to having the class donate funds to the Eggeress Stadium project. Class members spent the remainder of the evening visiting and sharing.

POSTED: 09/29/22 at 10:05 am. FILED UNDER: Lifestyles

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The weather was amazing for the August get-together at Grand Lake St. Marys where the Fell Family Cottage was opened to those who were able to attend. With Gary Profit at the grill, all enjoyed grilled beef and turkey burgers, hot dogs, and brats along with tasty side dishes provided by those attending. The meal ended with homemade ice cream .

Sharing of many memories entertained the group. Following the meal, a cornhole tournament pitted Paul Herring against Dave Watkins, and then Marcia Smith against Beverlee Profit. Both were easy wins for Dave and Marcia. The final between those two had Dave a little worried, but he managed to survive the tough game Marcia played. He could not quite understand why she was getting cheers when she scored and the fans only offered groans when he scored. It was fun for all.

Attending were: Donna (Gribler) Fulcomer, Karen (Linser) Gilliland, Paul Herring, Karen (Stittsworth) Madison, Carol (Spry) and Gary Mohr, Marcia (Droll) Smith, Dave and Angie Watkins, Denny and Joan Wilhelm, and the hosts, Gary and Beverlee (Fell) Profit.

After some discussion, the group agreed to try Thursday for the September gathering instead of Tuesday as in the past. with the hope it may work better for others who have not been able to attend.

Arrangements have been made to go to Cheers and Gears Bar and Grill, 104 N. Main Street, Convoy, at 4 p.m. Thursday, September 22.

Those who would like to attend, should let Beverlee know no later than Monday, September 19, by emailing

POSTED: 09/06/22 at 6:12 am. FILED UNDER: Lifestyles

The Crestview High School Class of 1972 recently celebrated their 50th class reunion. The gathering was held at the Convoy Park and was catered by Grant’s Catering. 38 classmates along with friends and spouses attended the reunion and Wayne Karges gave the opening prayer and remarks. Deceased classmates were remembered by Steve Drake, and Eric Dailey was the emcee for the evening. Photo submitted

POSTED: 08/25/22 at 3:40 am. FILED UNDER: Lifestyles, News

The Van Wert High School Class of 1963 and guests gathered at Mi Ranchito Restaurant for supper on July 26 with 15 members and guests attending. Sharing great food and fellowship together, it was a very enjoyable time together. Those attending were (front row, left to right): Tim Hoghe, Colleen Hoghe, Dave Watkins, Gary Mohr, Carol (Spry) Mohr, Karen (Linser) Gilland, and Donna (Gribler) Fulcomer. Second row: Beverlee (Fell) Profit, Marcia (Droll) Smith, Lois Harrow, Judy Kyle, Karen (Stittsworth) Madison, and Denny Wilhelm. The next supper is planned for 4 p.m. Tuesday, August 23, at Grand Lake, St. Marys. Those class members planning to attend should notify Bev Profit at no later than Thursday, August 18, for further details. Photo submitted

POSTED: 08/04/22 at 10:00 am. FILED UNDER: Lifestyles

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The Van Wert Area Retired Teachers Association (VWARTA) will meet for their summer luncheon program at 12 p.m. Friday, July 8 at Willow Bend Country Club.

The program speaker will be Hall Block of the Van Wert County Foundation’s Main Street Forward program, which is the leading entity to historically preserve much of the downtown Van Wert area. He will share the viewpoint of why the past should be valued and preserved, and the Van Wert County Foundation’s mission to do so throughout the county.

The luncheon meal includes: BBQ chicken breast, potatoes, corn, baked apples, and mini-ice cream cookie sandwiches, along with coffee and cced Tea. The cost is $11 per person and reservations are requested by Wednesday, July 6 to Deb Kleinhenz, 419.203.2283, or via email at Those attending are encouraged to invite a retired educator friend to join in for the meal and program.

The business session will include updates from the Ohio Retired Teachers Association and the community volunteer efforts available for “extra” leisure time.

For more information on becoming a VWARTA member and/or a member of ORTA, contact Kleinhenz at the above number.

POSTED: 07/01/22 at 3:41 am. FILED UNDER: Lifestyles, News

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The Van Wert High School Class of 1963 and guests recently had their May supper together.

While scheduled to meet at Wild Hare, an internet outage prevented them from opening. The group was welcomed at the last minute at Pizza Hut instead where they enjoyed a great meal and fellowship to match.

Those attending were: Karen (Linser) Gilliland, Lois Harrow, Joyce Harrow, Judy Kyle, Mike Long, Carol (Spry) and Gary Mohr, Beverlee (Fell) and Gary Profit, Marcia (Droll) Smith, Dave and Angie Watkins, and Denny Wilhelm. Tom Bebout and Karen (Stittsworth) Madison stopped by to say hello.

The next supper is planned for 4 p.m. June 28 at The Edition in Van Wert. Those planning to attend should notify Bev Profit at no later than June 24.

POSTED: 06/07/22 at 3:06 pm. FILED UNDER: Lifestyles

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Members of Van Wert High School Class of 1963 met on April 26 at Wild Hare BBQ for supper, resuming monthly get togethers after many months of sheltering due to COVID-19. 

18 members and guests gathered for a delicious meal and good fellowship catching up with each other and sharing memories. 

All were saddened that several who had been attending are now deceased. They are Tim and Patricia Rolsten, Charlie Brickner, and Donna (Broerman) Keller. The total number of deceased members of the class is now at 37. 

Those attending were: Tom and Cheryl Bebout, Cheryl (Agler) Bidlack, Jim Brickner, Donna (Gribler) Fulcomer, Sandra and Jerry Gallaway, Karen (Linser) Gilliland, Lois Harrow, Paul Herring, , Karen (Stittsworth) Madison, Beverlee (Fell) and Gary Profit, Nancy (O’Brian) Shirm, Marcia (Droll) Smith, Dave and Angie Watkins, and Denny Wilhelm. 

The next get-together will be from 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, May 24 at Wild Hare. Those interested in attending should contact Beverlee Profit at 419.203.2410 by May 20.

POSTED: 05/09/22 at 8:26 am. FILED UNDER: Lifestyles

VW independent staff and submitted information

The Van Wert Area Retired Teachers Association will begin their 2022 program year with a spring luncheon program and business meeting at 12 p.m. Friday, April 8, at Willow Bend Country Club.

The guest speaker will be Van Wert City Schools Superintendent Mark Bagley. He will be discussing the successes, opportunities, and challenges currently facing local public schools.

The business session will include updates on the current changes to State Teachers Retirement System benefits, the upcoming STRS Board election, and the need for change at STRS. VWARTA members are reminded to check on their membership status and to bring their year-to-date volunteer hours to this meeting.

The luncheon menu includes: tuna salad or chicken salad croissant, potato soup, gelatin salad, peach crumble cheesecake, along with coffee and iced tea. Meal cost is $11 with a reservation required by 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, to Jean Minnig 419.203.0642.

The Van Wert Area Retired Teachers Association is the local county chapter of ORTA (Ohio Retired Teachers Association). Retired educators of Van Wert County, persons receiving STRS benefits, or those who wish to support public education are welcome to join ORTA and the Van Wert County local organization and are also invited to attend this luncheon program and meeting. Contact President Deb Kleinhenz at 419.203.2283 for more information on ORTA or to make a new guest luncheon reservation for this important meeting.

POSTED: 03/30/22 at 3:37 am. FILED UNDER: Lifestyles, News

Van Wert Lodge 1197, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, recently recognized Debra Laudick as Van Wert Lodge’s “Elk of the Year” for the 2020-2021 Lodge Year.  Laudick was presented with a special certificate issued by the Grand Lodge and signed by Grand Exalted Ruler Paul R. Ryan. The “Elk Of The Year” is awarded by a lodge to one of its members who performs extra service “above and beyond” to the lodge and its charitable works. Shown are (from the left) Van Wert Exalted Ruler Mary Weisman and Debra Laudick. Elks photo

POSTED: 09/29/21 at 9:43 pm. FILED UNDER: Lifestyles