The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Dec. 3, 2021

Obituaries can be emailed to editor@thevwindependent.com 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

Raymond L. O’Daffer, 85, of Middle Point, passed away at 2:45 p.m. Wednesday, December 1, 2021, at The Gardens of Paulding.

He was born on July 2, 1936, in Van Wert the son of William Carnley and Cecile Marie (Overley) O’Daffer, who both preceded him in death.

Survivors include his sister, Rosemarie Paxton of Cecil; a nephew, Ron (Myrna) Paxton of Cecil, and several cousins.

Ray was a 1955 graduate of VanDel High School and a veteran of the U.S. Army. He drove truck for D&D Grain.

Funeral services will be conducted at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 7, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home in Van Wert with Pastor David To of Trinity United Methodist Church officiating. Burial will follow at Ridge Cemetery where military rites will be conducted by the combined honor guard of the American Legion and V.F.W. Posts of Van Wert. Calling hours will be held from 5-7 p.m. Monday and one hour prior to the service on Tuesday.

Preferred memorials: Middle Point AmVets or the Middle Point Fire Department.

Online condolences may be expressed on the Tribute Wall at cowanfuneralhome.com.

POSTED: 12/03/21 at 11:06 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Joan M. Custer, 84, of Van Wert, passed away at 11:35 p.m. Wednesday, December 1, 2021, at Vancrest of Van Wert.

She was born September 30, 1937, in Van Wert, to Harley and Myra (Goings) Welker, who both preceded her in death. She married the love of her life, Allen “Whitey” Custer September 18, 1955 and he preceded her in death in 1986.

Joan M. Custer

In her younger years, Joan helped her parents operate the Colonial and Betty Ann Restaurants. She was also self-employed, operating her own cleaning business.

Joan was a member of American Legion Isaac Van Wert Post 178 and Loyal Order of Moose Lodge 1320. She was also a longtime member of St. Paul’s Reformed Church and regularly attended St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, where she enjoyed quilting in the Piece Makers Quilting Group.

One never to know a stranger, Joan had an outgoing personality and loved to visit with people. She adored her family and will be greatly missed by those who knew her.

She is survived by her children, Charles Custer, Pam Waltmire, and Gordon (Malynda) Custer, all of Van Wert, and Vicki (Scott) Vonderembse of Delphos; grandchildren: Emily (Nathan) McGreevy of Toledo, Kayla (Jonathan) Knippen of Cloverdale, Adam (Liz) Custer of Van Wert, and Jordyn Custer of Van Wert; great-grandsons: Hunter Burton and Colin McGreevy.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by granddaughter, Brandy Hartman Burton; son-in-law, Robert Waltmire, and longtime companion, Charles “Rock” Kesler.

Funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday, December 4, at St. Paul’s Reformed Church 6077 German Church Road, Ohio City, with Rev. Will Haggis and Rev. Steve Drake officiating. Burial will follow in Woodlawn Cemetery in Ohio City. Family and friends will be received two hours prior to the funeral, 12-2 p.m. at the church.

In lieu of flowers, preferred memorials: St. Paul’s Reformed Church.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.alspachgearhart.com.

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

POSTED: 12/02/21 at 7:11 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Francis E. Black, 85, of Berne, Indiana, passed away Wednesday, December 1, 2021, at Adams Memorial Hospital in Decatur, Indiana.

He was born on October 20, 1936, in Scott to William Black and Iva (Fox) Black, who both preceded him in death. He was united in marriage to Florence Perry on June 8, 1963, and she preceded him in death on November 3, 1989. He was then united in marriage to Norma Egly on April 19, 1991, and she preceded him in death on April 2, 2004.

Francis E. Black

Francis was an honorably discharged member of the United States Army.

He was a former member of Calvary United Methodist Church in Van Wert and a former member of First Missionary Church in Berne. Francis retired in 1999 after 34 years of service from Aeroquip now Eaton in Van Wert.

Francis loved spending time with his family.

Survivors include his daughter, Denise (Mike) Harrigan of New Haven, Indiana; brother, Lowell (Sherry) Black of Hillsdale, Michigan; sister, Emma Griffith of Angola, Indiana; two sisters-in-law, Yvonne Black of Pittsford, Michigan and Wanda Black of Hillsdale; and four grandchildren, Emily (Joe) Davis, Austin Harrigan, Brenden Harrigan, and Caleb Harrigan.

Francis was preceded in death by four brothers, John, Lester, Herb, and Leonard Black, and a sister, Evelyn Underhill.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, December 4, at the Zwick & Jahn Funeral Home, Yager-Kirchhofer Chapel in Berne. Military honors will be conducted by the American Legion Post 468 Color Guard immediately following the service on the funeral home parking lot. Burial will be held at Woodland Cemetery in Van Wert. Family and friends will be received from 9 a.m. until the time of services at the funeral home.

Preferred memorials: donor’s choice.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.zwickjahn.com.

POSTED: 12/02/21 at 6:57 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Jay A. Clem, age 62, entered the gates of heaven on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 after a short illness at the hospital in Bartow, Florida. His brothers and sister-in-law were with him as he left this earth.

Jay Clem

He was born July 4, 1959, to James N. and Jessie I. (Heck) Clem who both preceded him in death. Jay was a fun loving adventure seeker. Motorcycles and drag racing were some of his favorite things, but most important to him was laughing with friends and family. He attended Van Wert High School and held various jobs in the Van Wert area before moving to Florida.

He will be sorely missed by his brothers and sister, Zoe (Terry) Longstreth, Duke Clem, K.C. (Chris) Clem, and Richard Clem as well as several nieces and nephews, a few great nieces and nephew, and a couple great-great nieces and nephew. Jay was preceded in death by his sister, Alice H. Clem.

Family and friends are invited to Jay’s life celebration from 4-6 p.m. Saturday, December 4, at 760 132nd St. Circle NE, Bradenton, Florida 34212.

POSTED: 12/01/21 at 10:01 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Paul A. Wilson, 79, passed away Sunday, November 28, 2021, surrounded by his wife and children. Because Paul knew Christ as his Lord and Savior, his family is comforted that he is now in Heaven and that they will see him again.

He was born September 4, 1942 in Van Wert, to Floyd and Ruth (Bates) Wilson, who preceded him in death. He married Sandra (Hipsley) Wilson July 23, 1966 and she survives in Van Wert.

Paul Wilson

Paul was a 1960 graduate of Van Wert High School, and he served in the United States Army for three years. He worked a variety of jobs including helping with road work for Union Quarry, delivering boats for Duo Trucking in Decatur, Indiana, and applying acid coating at Aeroquip in Van Wert, Ohio. However, for most of his working life, he was a long-haul truck driver, working for companies Beatrice Foods in New Bremen, Case Carriage Company and Penske Logistics in Celina.

He enjoyed eating a good meal–especially a steak dinner, watching Ohio State football, and talking and laughing with the guys over morning coffee. However, Paul was happiest when serving and helping others and after retirement he volunteered for many behind-the-scenes activities at Calvary Evangelical Church, where he was a member, and at Niswonger Performing Arts Center. He also enjoyed helping as a poll worker on election days.

Paul became very active serving in local veterans organizations. He was a member of the Van Wert Veterans of Foreign Wars, the current First Vice of the Van Wert American Legion, and the current Treasurer for Van Wert Disabled American Veterans. He enjoyed helping with parades and fundraisers, and he was also a member of the Color Guard. Paul also assisted veterans through the Van Wert County Veterans Service Office.

In addition to his wife Sandra, survivors include children Kassy (Jeff) Robenalt of Van Wert, and Robert Wilson of Scott; grandchildren Derek Poling of Bremerton, Washington, Rachael, Reanna, and Deberah (fiancé Keaton Davis) Wilson of Convoy, Nathan (Fiona) Robenalt of Dallas, Texas, and Ian Robenalt of Van Wert, and two great-grandchildren.

Paul’s three brothers, James Wilson, Floyd “Gene” Wilson, and Jay Chawcraft, and stepfather Razzie Springer also preceded him in death.

Funeral services will be conducted at 1 p.m., Monday, December 6, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home in Van Wert with Pastor Clark Williman officiating. Burial will follow at Van Wert Woodland Cemetery where military rites will be conducted by the combined honor guard of the American Legion and V.F.W. Posts of Van Wert. Calling hours will be from 12-3 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.

Preferred memorials: Disabled American Veterans.

Online condolences may be expressed on the Tribute Wall at cowanfuneralhome.com.

POSTED: 12/01/21 at 12:56 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Janet Sue Kever, 70, of Van Wert, passed away at 12:03 p.m. Monday, November 29, 2021, at Van Wert Health.

Janet Kever

She was born on September 15, 1951, in Decatur, Indiana the daughter of Robert and Norma (Tumbleson) Lord, who both preceded her in death. She married Dennis Jay Kever November 5, 1977, and he preceded her in death July 2, 2017.

Survivors include her daughter, Brittney Ann Kever of Columbus; a sister, Becky Bayles of Celina; three nieces, Tina Decker, Lora Krieg and Valerie Hayes; a nephew, Shane Bayles; sister-in-law, Patricia (Roy) Hauter and their two sons, Dustin and Jason Hauter, and special friends, Mary Hasselschwart and Barb Nichols.

Janet was a member of Convoy United Methodist Church. She had taught as a substitute at Lincolnview Schools for 30 years. She also operated a bakery out of her home and had worked at Wal-Mart for seven years. Janet taught Bible School and worked at the YWCA in childcare.

Funeral services will be conducted at 1 p.m., Saturday, December 4, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home with Pastor Bill Thomas officiating. Burial will follow at Convoy I. O. O. F. Cemetery. Calling hours will be held from 11 a.m. until time of services on Saturday.

Online condolences may be expressed on the Tribute Wall at cowanfuneralhome.com.

POSTED: 12/01/21 at 10:04 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Karen L. Smith, 85, of Van Wert, passed away at 1:46 p.m. Wednesday, November 24, 2021 at Van Wert Health.

Karen L. Smith

She was born on October 8, 1936, in Wapakoneta, the daughter of Gilbert and Anna (Drexler) Brockert, who both preceded her in death. She married her true love, Richard J. “Dick” Smith, June 19, 1954, and he passed away on February 2, 2018.

Karen retired from the Van Wert County Soil and Water Conservation District in 1988, after 14 years of service. Karen was strong in her faith and attended church regularly. She and Dick also volunteered for the American Red Cross. She enjoyed any type of crafting, gardening, floral design, cooking and spending time with her family and friends.

Surviving are five children and her grandchildren, Vicky (Tedd) Dunno of Arizona and her daughter, Tawney Jo; Dianne (Jeff) Unterbrink of Etna Green, Indiana and their children, Lorna and Austin; Mark (Sheila) Smith of Warsaw, Indiana and their children, Jeremy, Cortney and Lydon; Richard B. (Cathy) Smith of Monroeville, Indiana and their children, Shubitha and Natasha; and Jon Eric (Trisha) Smith of Van Wert and their children, Kolton and Keenan; 9 great grandchildren, and two sisters, Jane Seibert of Lima and Barbara “Anita” Kintz of New Haven, Indiana.

In addition to her parents and husband, Karen was preceded in death by a brother, Joe Brockert, and a sister, Dolores “Ann” Weichart.

Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, December 11, 2021 at Calvary Evangelical Church, Van Wert, with Rev. Clark Williman, officiating. Private burial will be held in Woodland Cemetery, Van Wert. Visitation will be two hours prior to services at the church.

In lieu of flowers, preferred memorials: Wounded Warrior Project.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.alspachgearhart.com.

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

POSTED: 11/29/21 at 1:44 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Rosita Arlene (Bauer) Nothstine age 78, of Derby, Kansas, passed to eternal rest on Saturday, November 20, 2021.

Rosita Nothstine

She was born December 23, 1942 in Van Wert to Robert and Mildred (Fiock) Bauer, who both preceded her in death. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Harry A. Nothstine.

Rosita is survived by her son, Darren (Kirsten) Nothstine of Campbell, California; daughter, Shannon (Billy) Moss of Kansas City, Missouri; grandchildren, Niklas Nothstine, Liam Moss, and Lazarus Moss, and a sister, Shirley (Ronald) Schumm of Van Wert.

Friends and family may call from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, November 28, at Smith Familyi Mortuary, 1415 North Rock Road, Derby, Kansas. Funeral services will be conducted at 10 a.m. Monday, November 29, at the funeral home. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Cemetery.

Preferred memorials: American Brain Tumor Association, 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. Suite 550, Chicago, IL 60631.

POSTED: 11/27/21 at 4:01 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

William H. Peters V, age 68, of Plaistow, New Hampshire, and a former longtime resident of Kingston, passed away Tuesday, November 23, 2021, at Saint Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston.

William H. Peters V

He was born in Van Wert to William H. Peters IV and Cora Mae (Walter) Peters, who both preceded him in death. He attended Franklin Elementary School, and Van Wert Junior and Senior High Schools, graduating in 1971. He later received his degree in electrical engineering from ITT Technical Institute in Fort Wayne, graduating first in his class.

Bill was employed for several years as a senior computer engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation, and later as a consultant for several companies.

An accomplished musician, proficient in keyboard instruments and guitar, he was a member of a local band in his younger years. He also enjoyed painting in different media, science fiction books and movies and he was a big fan of the Lord of the Rings series of novels. He most enjoyed being at home with his family.

He will be sadly missed and lovingly remembered by his loving wife of forty-one years, Kyong Ae (Park) Peters; two daughters and their husbands, Stacie L. Peters and Michael Loehr of Riverview, Florida, and Lindsay A. Peters and William Toscano, of Los Angeles, California; a brother, David Peters of North Royalton; two sisters, Kay (Bob) Barnes of Van Wert, and Jill Kight of Connelly Springs, North Carolina and two aunts, one cousin and several nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend Bill’s life celebration to be held from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Tuesday, November 30, 2021 at Brookside Chapel & Funeral Home, 116 Main St., Plaistow, New Hampshire. Funeral services will be at 12:15 p.m. in the funeral home, followed by burial in Maplewood Cemetery, Plaistow.

Online condolences or precious memories may be shared at www.brooksidechapelfh.com.

POSTED: 11/26/21 at 5:45 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Ned A. Springer, 75, passed away on Thursday, November 25, 2021, at 1:46 a.m. at Van Wert Health.

Ned was born on December 6, 1945 in Willshire Township to Kenneth A. and Reba E. (Myers) Springer, who both preceded him in death. On March 4, 1967, he married Linda K. (Schaadt) Springer, the daughter of Herbert and Laura (Kreischer) Schaadt.

Ned A. Springer

Ned was a faithful husband and father, he loved his grandchildren and worried about them all the time. After a kidney transplant he retired from farming and truck driving. He stayed involved in farming as a landlord and loved to take long drives to check out the crops and if he had the chance he was going to tell you about the markets and how they were doing or how they were going to go.

He loved and missed his wife of 53 years dearly, he always wanted to know everything about his grandchildren, and missed his dog “Abby” after she passed. He enjoyed listening to Dr. David Jeremiah on a daily basis, listening to old church hymns, creating lists of things for his daughters to do for him, and enjoyed planting and caring for flowers and a small garden.

Ned is survived by five daughters and a niece that he considers a daughter: Dianna (Rick) Ashbaugh of Middle Point, Susan (Tim) Ries of Dyersburg, Tennessee, Denise (Mike) Swick of Delphos, Sally (Kevin) Wannemacher of Payne, Ruth (Justin) Sinning of Crystal Beach, Florida and Stephanie (Ken) Keysor of Van Wert 15 grandchildren, Macey and Macala Ashbaugh, Jacob, Reba, and Martin Ries, Curtis and Victoria Swick, Kristin and Konnor Wannemacher, Emma, Addison, and Ashlin Sinning, and Dalton and Brenna Keysor. He is also survived by a brother-in-law James Anspaugh and three sister-in-laws: Donna Schaadt, Ellen Schaadt, and Janice (Dean) Berry.

He was preceded in death by is loving wife Linda; his sister Elaine; his special support animal Abby; a grandson Steven Ries; four brothers-in-law and one sister-in-law, Herbert Schaadt Jr., Doyt and Phyllis Schaadt, Paul Schaadt, and Robert “Bob” Schaadt.

Calling hours for Ned will be on Tuesday, November 30, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Cowan & Son Funeral Home, Van Wert, followed by funeral services at 1 p.m. Burial will be at Evangelical Protestant Cemetery, Harrison Township.

Preferred memorials: the National Kidney Foundation, Wren Fire & EMS Department or charity of the donor’s choice.

Online condolences may be expressed on the Tribute Wall at cowanfuneralhome.com.

POSTED: 11/26/21 at 4:22 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries