The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, May. 18, 2022

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. As of April 15, 2021, the cost of full obituaries will be $75 (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

Vearl “Whitey” Ellis, 93, of Van Wert passed away at 8:05 a.m. Saturday, May 14, 2022, at Vancrest Healthcare.

Vearl Ellis

He was born October 7, 1928, in Mercer County, the son of Harry and Ada (Smith) Ellis, who both preceded him in death. On September 3, 1948 he married the love of his life, Lois L. Gallant, September 3, 1948, and she survives him.

He is also survived by two daughters, Marcia (Tim) Moody and Linda (Ron) Wells and grandchildren, T. Anson (Laura) Moody, Brendon (Kylee) Moody, Kevin Linton, Ashley (Jason Horstman) Wells, Angela (Jesse) Wiseman; three sisters, Betty (Doc-deceased) Schroder, Dorothy (Dean-deceased) Nonamaker, Margie (Russ) Poor and eight great-grandchildren.

He was prreceded him in death by a son, Vernon Ellis, December 4, 1989. Vernons wife, Cheryl also survives. Two sisters and four brothers also preceded him in death.

In 1945 Vearl went to work for the New York Central Railroad and in 1946 he was drafted into the U. S. Army. He served with the 8th Army in Japan and took jump training and was then assigned as a paratrooper/medic with the 11th Airborne Division. Returning to civilian life he took employment for a few years with Reynolds Paper in Celina. He returned to Van Wert and was employed with the former Continental Can Company for 42 years. During this time in his life he also worked at Hilly Cordells Open Air Market.

Vearl loved raising roses, spending time with his family, feeding the birds and collecting scale models of old cars. In their earlier years the family went camping and traveled over most of the United States. Vearl was also a member of the Ohio City United Methodist Church.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, May 20, at Brickner Funeral Home, Van Wert. Friends and relatives will be received from 2-6 p.m. Thursday May 19, at the funeral home and for one hour prior to services on Friday. Burial will follow at Scott Cemetery.

Preferred memorials: donors choice.

POSTED: 05/16/22 at 7:50 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Mr. James V. Worthington, Sr., after being lovingly attended to by his family, went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Saturday, May 14, 2022.

James Worthington

Jim was born on Sep 3, 1931 to Mr. & Mrs. Virgil “Jack” Worthington (Lenora Greenwade). He married the love of his life, Jeanne (Faulkner) Worthington May 9, 1952, and they celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary before her death May 10, 2011.

They had five children – three daughters, Jeanna Worthington and her family, Kimberly L. Rowe and Tara J. (d. Mark W.) Schannen, their children Niall and Madeline Schannen; Janet (Robert L., Sr.) Galloway and her family, Rachel L Davis, her children Elijah and Eden Davis, Robby L. Galloway and his children Kortnie, Jaxson, Jaelen Galloway and Jordan E. Galloway; Judge Jill T. Worthington (fiancé Dr. Craig Hanson) and her family Zachary J.R. and Lauren E. Leatherman; two sons, James Worthington, Jr. and his family, Lisa M. Young, Jaryd (Amber) Worthington McGuire and their children, Jaryd (JJ) and Zoey McGuire, Nicolette J. Worthington, Jerry S. Worthington and his family, Jesicca (Bruce) Luersman and their children, Tristan, Bryce, and Arabella; Jacqueline P. Worthington & Angelique M. (Stuart) Quakenbush and their child Braylin.

Other survivors include his half-sister Dorothy Louise (d.James) Reeves and her family of Urbana.

He retired 20 years ago after more than 50 years of service to Ford Motor Co. in Lima, starting that career at the Sandusky plant. He brought his seniority with him and had more years of service than the plant was old at the time of his retirement, ending his career there as a skilled tradesman, gauge setter and inspector.

He cherished his wife and family above all else, and was also proud of his other accomplishments over his lifetime of accumulating land as well as being a collector of all things, and taking flight lessons with the Tuskegee Airmen was a personal achievement.

He was a U.S. Army Veteran, serving with the 101st Airborne Division at Ft. Campbell Kentucky. He loved to share with all his family that while in the service, on the day that he and Mom married all of the church bells in the town rang out, and to them that was a sign from God that their union was blessed.

A celebration of life will be held at a future date.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Arrangements were handled by Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory, Van Wert.

POSTED: 05/16/22 at 3:10 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Lillian L. Hall, 96, of Van Wert, passed away Sunday, May 15, 2022, at Vancrest of Van Wert.

Lillian Hall

She was born on February 26, 1926, in Indianapolis, the daughter of John W. and Cora D. (Helms) Pate, who both preceded her in death. Lillian and her family came to Van Wert when she was a child.

Surviving are her daughter, Kathy L. (John Eugene) White of Van Wert, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, Lillian was preceded in death by her husband, Charles William Hall in 1994; sons, Steven Charles Hall in 2020, and Jeffrey L. Hall in 2022; brothers, Glenn L. Pate and Clifford D. Pate, and a sister, Edna Pate Bank.

Lillian was buried next to her husband in Woodland Cemetery during a private ceremony.

In lieu of flowers, preferred memorials: a charity of the donor’s choice.

Online condolences may be expressed at

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

POSTED: 05/16/22 at 12:06 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Karle Oliver, 51, of Van Wert, passed away on Wednesday, January 19, 2022.

He was born in New York on June 2, 1970, to Lauchland and Jean Matthews-Oliver, who both preceded him in death.

Karle was a loyal New York Yankees fan. He was very proud of his New York roots and enjoyed cheering his team on through the years. He was also a car audio enthusiast and a lover of assorted genres of music. Karle worked for several years at Cooper Farms in Van Wert.

He is survived by four sons, Rob (Julie) Cook of Marion, Indiana, Tony Oliver and Malcolm Oliver of Van Wert, and Isaiah Oliver of McArthur; brothers, Terrance Oliver, Danny Oliver, Irving Oliver, and Clinton Oliver; sisters, Ollivette Oliver, Ernestine “Gretal” Sylvester, Rae Oliver, and Geneva Humphrey; three grandchildren, Princeton Oliver, Greyson Oliver-Wilder, and Mykah Cook.

In addition to his parents, Karle was preceded in death by two brothers Robert Oliver and Lauchland Oliver Jr.

A celebration of life will be held from 3-7 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, at the EMR room in the extension building at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds.

In lieu of flowers, preferred memorials: the Shriners Hospital for Children in Cincinnati.

Online condolences may be expressed at

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

POSTED: 05/11/22 at 3:55 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Joshua Reichert, 44, of Wren, passed away on Sunday, May 8, 2022, at his residence.

Joshua Reichert

He was born in Decatur, Indiana, May 16, 1977, the son of Joseph and Jo E. (Brunner) Reichert.

He attended Trinity Church in Van Wert.

Joshua is survived by his father, Joseph Reichert of Wren; a son, Chase Reichert of Sidney; a daughter, Bailey Reichert of Decatur; two brothers, Luke (Kristy) Reichert and Zachary Reichert both of Wren; a sister, Lachelle (Scott) Clifton of Wren; nieces and nephews, Mekale, Colby (Godchild), Gavyn, Ariah, Emory, and great nieces, Mavery and Marlow.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Jo Reichert, who passed away in August of 2021.

Visitation will be held from 2-7 p.m. Thursday, May 12, at Haggard-Sefton-Hirschy & Zelt Funeral Home, Decatur. Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Friday, May 13, at the funeral home with visitation one hour prior from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Pastor Rocky Evans will be officiating and burial will follow in Mt. Tabor Cemetery.

Preferred memorials: Wren Community Chest.

To sign the guest book, click on

POSTED: 05/10/22 at 10:56 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Fern Lucile Miller, 90, of Van Wert, passed away at 8:45 a.m., Monday, May 9, 2022, at Hearth & Home, Van Wert.

Fern Miller

She was born on May 27, 1931, in Van Wert County, the daughter of Walter Edwin Schaadt and Emma Marie (Kiehl) Schaadt, who both preceded her in death. Fern married Harold W. Miller October 29, 1955 at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, and he passed away on October 10, 2021.

Family survivors include her three children, Steven W. Miller of Van Wert, Vicki L. (Thomas) Clark of Spokane, Washington, and Deanna (David) Ray of Van Wert; five grandchildren, Michael (Abby) Clark, Josh (Morella) Ray, Shelley (Nick) Fischer, Amy (Patrick) Soares da Rocha and Danielle Ray and three great-grandchildren; one brother, Dale F. (Ruth) Schaadt.

She was preceded in death by her three brothers, Ervin L. Schaadt, Romy W. Schaadt and Norman J. Schaadt; three sisters, Virginia L. LeValley, Lola Maire Woods and Pauline Marjorie McGarvey.

Fern was a homemaker, a member of Grace Bible Church and a 1949 graduate of Convoy High School. She loved spending time with her grandchildren and family.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 14, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home , Van Wert, with Pastors Lance Hostetler and David Ray officiating. Calling hours will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Friday, May 13, at the funeral home, and one hour before services on Saturday. Interment will take place at Woodland Cemetery, Van Wert.

Preferred memorials: Grace Bible Church or to Modern Day in support YWAM missionary Amy Soares da Rocha, Fern’s granddaughter.

Online condolences may be expressed on the Tribute Wall at

POSTED: 05/09/22 at 1:53 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

It is with deep sorrow and much love that we mourn the passing of Jim Bagley, 87, on Thursday, April 7, 2022, in Sarasota, Florida.

Jim Bagley

He was born December 3, 1934, in Van Wert, to Helen and Floyd Bagley, who both preceded him in death. After graduating from Van Wert High School, he became an Ohio State Buckeye, was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity, and played on the basketball team. While in college, Jim met his wife-to-be, Sara, to whom he was married for 66 years.

Jim originally worked for John Hancock Insurance in Columbus after graduating from the Ohio State University then in 1962, he became associated with Ryan Homes, beginning in sales and eventually working his way to Vice President and Division Manager, beginning in Columbus, then moving to Pittsburgh. In 1989, he became Vice President and Florida Regional Manager for M/I Homes until retiring in 2000.

Jim and Sara then moved to Sarasota where he could fish and play golf in his free time while enjoying the beautiful sunshine rather than the gray skies of the Midwest. He also became a skilled woodworker. Lifelong friendships were developed while living in Columbus, Pittsburgh, and Sarasota. Jim shared his subtle, but quirky, sense of humor with all those he met. Spending time with his children and grandchildren were the highlights of his life.

Jim was a wonderful husband, a great father and grandfather.

He is survived by his wife, Sara; son, Mark; daughter Kristin (husband, Jim Shand) and grandchildren – Bonnie, Chelsea, and Devon. He is also survived by his sisters Coleen Etzler, Diane Webb, and Janelle Boroff. In addition to his parents, Jim was preceded by his brothers Gene and Ron.

A private service will be held at the Church of The Palms in Sarasota at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, preferred memorials: SunCoast Blood Center in Sarasota.

POSTED: 05/09/22 at 10:55 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Laura Lee Schaadt, 62, of Van Wert, passed away at 7:42 a.m. Wednesday, May 4, 2022, at her residence while surrounded by her family.

Laura Schaadt

She was born November 12, 1959, in Phoenix, Arizona, the daughter of Raymond Harman Sr and Mary (Chatman) Harman. On November 12, 1983, she married Mark Schaadt November 12, 1983, and together they shared years of memories.

In her younger years, Laura enjoyed volleyball and worked as a nurse’s aide for several years. She loved baking and cooking for her family and friends, always making enough to feed an army. Laura hardly missed a Fountain Park Concert, and was also an animal lover who enjoyed her dogs and cats.

Of all Laura’s hobbies and activities, there was nothing she loved more than to spend time with her family. She adored her grandchildren and would stop anything at a moment’s notice to attend their events. She was a dedicated fan of the Van Wert Cross Country and Track teams.

Surviving are her husband and mother; sons, Ray (Lisa) Sherer of Van Wert and Christopher (Amanda) Sherer of Convoy; daughter, Bonnie (Scott Miller) Thompson of Van Wert; bonus daughter, Stacey (Lee) Clay of Paulding; sister, Rea (Dr. Marc) Letellier of Arizona; brothers, David (Jennifer) Harman of Arizona, Robert (Lisa) Harman of Lousiana, Roger (Melinda) Harman of California, and Raymond (Dee) Harman Jr. of New Mexico; grandchildren, Emily, Hunter, Breanna, Kimberley, Allison, Lexie, Gavin, Gabriel, Jaden, Emma, Sophia and Vincent; two great-grandchildren and one on the way, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her father; a son, Gale Lynn Sherer Jr; a sister, Linda Richmond, and a brother, Richard Harman.

Family and friends will be received from 1-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Monday, May 9, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home, Van Wert.

In lieu of flowers, preferred memorials: to the family for final expenses.

To share in Laura’s online memorial, please visit

POSTED: 05/05/22 at 7:41 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Andrea L. Van Gundy-Army, 83, of Ohio City, passed away at 10:52 a.m. Wednesday, May 4, 2022, at Van Wert Manor.

Andrea Van Gundy-Army

She was born on January 18, 1939, in Van Wert, the daughter of George and Bernice E. (DeWitt) Scarpelli, who both preceded her in death. She married James William Van Gundy August 22, 1958 and he passed away on August 31, 1990. She married William Elmer “Bill” Army February 22, 1997 and he preceded her in death May 8, 2002.

Family survivors include three children, Mary (Donald) Rosenbeck of Jackson Center, Teresa Dunlap of Ohio City and Russell Van Gundy of Ohio City; four grandchildren, Roger Dale Dunlap, Amy Elaine Wooten, Larry James (Charity) Dunlap, and La Tina Kaye (Dustin) Elston; ten great- grandchildren, six stepchildren and a sister, Peggy Jo Scarpelli of Paulding.

She was preceded in death by a son, James Bartley Van Gundy, and two sisters, Jacqueline Barnhart and Shirley Ann Taylor.

Andrea was a 1957 graduate of Van Wert High School and a 2009 graduate of Faith Bible Institute. She was a member of Liberty Baptist Church where she was AWANA Teacher for 20 plus years. She retired from Aeorquip Corp. in 1994 after 29 years of service.

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, May 7, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home, Van Wert, with Pastor Keith Stoller officiating. Interment will follow at Tomlinson Cemetery near Mendon. Calling hours will be held from 4-7 p.m. Friday, May 6, at the funeral home.

Preferred memorials: Disabled American Veterans of Van Wert.

Online condolences may be expressed on the Tribute Wall at

POSTED: 05/05/22 at 10:35 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Barry Lynn Thatcher, 69, of Van Wert, passed away at 8:51 a.m. Sunday, May 1, 2022, at Van Wert Health.

He was born on April 13, 1953, in Van Wert, the son of Vincent and Gertrude (Stocklin) Thatcher, who both preceded him in death.

Barry Thatcher

In the pursuit of the American dream, Barry lived life to the fullest. As a teenager he became an avid enthusiast of motorcycles and horsepower. This includes everything from searching the aisles at swap meets to chasing down leads on that next rare piece. He was truly inspired by his own father in such things, and made his own path of it.

Barry held many ventures from construction to auctioneering. He often donated much of his time to charity auctions of many causes. Skilled in so many aspects, he built two of his own homes to raise his family. He desired a place for everyone, family and friends, to enjoy as their own. As a son, brother, father and friend, Barry held everyone around him dearly, and every loss was as impactful as the next. He truly was a man that cherished every memory shared with people over the years.

Surviving are his daughter, Kayla Lynn Thatcher of Van Wert and her children, Connor Streets and Alice Sowers; a son, Travis (Amanda) Neiferd of Van Wert County and their child, Seth Nieferd; sister-in-law, Joyce Thatcher of Convoy; brother-in-law, Randy Prince of Spencerville; nieces and nephews, Steve (Vickie) Thatcher of Decatur, Michele (Tim) Miller of Fort Wayne, Bill Voirol Jr. (Heather Grennay) of Defiance, Tracy Voirol of Sherwood, and Matthew (Leslie) Foust of Cambridge, as well as numerous great-nieces and great-nephews and many friends.

In addition to his parents, Barry was preceded in death by his wife and love of his life, Lisa Wagner; brother, Jerry Thatcher and sister, Virginia Prine.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m, Sunday, May 8, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home, Van Wert. Private interment will be in Woodland Cemetery, Van Wert. Family and friends will be received two hours prior to the service, from 12-2 p.m. at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, preferred memorials: to the funeral home via their website or to on behalf of the family for final expenses.

To share in Barry’s online memorial, please visit

POSTED: 05/04/22 at 12:51 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries