The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022

Obituaries can be emailed to 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). Local funeral homes are billed for full obituaries, while out-of-town funeral homes can also be billed, if so requested. Obituaries submitted by individuals must be paid in full prior to publication. The Van Wert independent accepts credit cards by telephone from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Monday-Friday at 419.238.1220. 

POSTED: 12/28/10 at 3:42 pm. FILED UNDER: Info

Michael M. DeMoss, 83, of Van Wert passed away Wednesday night, November 30, 2022, at Parkview Hospital North, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

He was born December 19, 1938, in Van Wert, the son of Raymond C. DeMoss and Ellen Joanne (Rucklos) Ebersole, who both preceded him in death. He married Jane A. (Good) DeMoss November 26, 1971, and she survives in Van Wert.

Michael M. DeMoss

Other family survivors include his six daughters, Michelle (Travis) Dickson of Van Wert, Kristie (Jim) Harshman of Ohio City, Kassi (Jason) Crone, Robin White, Shelbyan (Scott) Clyde all of Van Wert and Lorna Cotterman of Celina; one daughter-in-law, Traci E. DeMoss of Van Wert; one sister, Margaret Wearley of Payne; 18 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren and two great-grandchildren on the way.

In addition to his parents, Michael was preceded in death by a son, Jeremy Jay “Jake” DeMoss on September 19, 2022.

He was a 1956 graduate of Van Wert High School and was a truck driver instructor at Vantage Career Center retiring in 2001. Michael also served in the Army National Guard.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, December 8, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Van Wert. There will be visitation hours from 11 a.m. until time of services on Thursday.

Preferred memorials: to the family to help with funeral expenses.

Online condolences may be expressed on the Tribute Wall at

POSTED: 12/02/22 at 5:32 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Ora Lee Eddins, 80, of Van Wert, passed away Tuesday, November 29, 2022, at her residence.

She was born on May 9, 1942, in Lexington, Kentucky, to Elmer and Ora B. (Winn) James, who both preceded her in death. She married David L. Eddins, who passed away June 26, 2010. Together, they shared many years of memories.

Ora Eddins

Ora was an avid bowler in her younger years. A music lover, she enjoyed singing and was a dancing queen. Not afraid to speak her mind, Ora was also outgoing, fun to be around and always made others laugh. She retired from Eaton after 25 years.

Surviving are her children: Troy Eddins of Van Wert and Nicole James-Ricker of Fort Wayne; sister, Mary Moore of Van Wert; grandchildren: Tyrell Eddins of Florida, Parker Ricker of Lima, and Ariel Benton of Lima, as well as a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.

In addition to her parents and husband, Ora was preceded in death by her daughter, Lillie James; brothers, William, Stanley, Elmer Jr., Raymond and Clarence James, and sisters, Louella Virginia Morgan, Lillie James and Parthenia Hardin.

Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 7, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home, Van Wert, with Rev. Ted Kelly officiating. Interment will follow in Woodland Cemetery. Family and friends will be received prior to the funeral on Wednesday, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the funeral home.

Preferred memorials: Dementia Society of America at

To share in Ora’s online memorial, visit

POSTED: 12/02/22 at 9:46 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Toni S. Searfoss, 69, of Haviland, passed away Wednesday morning, November 30, 2022, at her home with her husband by her side.

She was born on April 23, 1953, in Van Wert, the daughter of Elmer Marshall Baker and Thelma Marie (Rodman) Baker, who both preceded her death. She married George G. Searfoss August 4, 1973, and he survives in Haviland.

Toni Searfoss

Other family survivors include her daughter, Kim (Jamie) Ream of Dayton; a son, George (Sarah) Searfoss of Bellefontaine; five grandchildren; Austin (Emily) Ream of Middle Point, Shad (Alli) Ream of Urbana, Emma Ream of Dayton, and Carissa and Olivia Searfoss of Bellefontaine; one great grandchild, Tessa Ream of Middle Point; one brother, Elmer (Cheryl) Baker of Payne, and one sister, Joann (Roger) Barker of Defiance.

In addition to her parents, Toni was preceded in death by a grandson, Andrew Searfoss; two brothers, John Baker and Glen Baker, and four sisters, Erma Friend, Rose Marie Maples, Carolyn Goins and Nellie Mae Hartman.

Tonie worked at R&B Fabrication as a seamstress. She was loving wife and grandmother to her grandkids.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, December 3, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home, Van Wert with Pastor Chuck Oliver officiating. There will be calling hours 3-7 p.m., on Friday, December 2, at the funeral home. Interment will take place at Hedges Cemetery near Broughton.

Preferred memorials: American Diabetes Association.

Online condolences may be expressed on the Tribute Wall at

POSTED: 12/01/22 at 7:09 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Albert R. Taylor, 82, of Fort Myers, Florida, formerly of Van Wert, passed away Tuesday, November 29, 2022, at Heritage Pointe of Huntington in Huntington, Indiana.

He was born on October 21, 1940, in Van Wert, to James F. and Velma L. (Sites) Taylor. He married the former Betty Baker. November 28, 1958, and together they shared 64 years of marriage.

Albert Taylor

He retired in 2000 as a heavy equipment operator from the Shelly Company, Van Wert. He also spent 30 years in maintenance and served as a trustee for Union Township, Van Wert County.

Albert enjoyed spending time with his family and supporting their interest, racing, truck pulls and spending hours in his garage with his sons and grandchildren.

Surviving are his wife, Betty Taylor; a son, Bradley (Lei Lonnee) Taylor of Fort Myers; a daughter-in-law, Diana Taylor of Van Wert; a brother, Rock (Connie) Taylor of Van Wert, a sister, Jo Ann (Tony) Lippi of Venedocia; grandchildren, Joshua Taylor of Celina, J.D. (Jessi) Taylor of Willshire, Chris Taylor of Convoy, and Sarah (Jared) Perrott of Huntington, Indiana; and nine great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Kent Taylor; a brother, Jim Taylor, and a sister, Ginger Black.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, December 4, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory, Van Wert, with Pastor David Ray, officiating. Interment will follow in Taylor Cemetery, Union Township. Visitation will be one hour prior to services Sunday at the funeral home.

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

To share in Albert’s online memorial visit

POSTED: 11/30/22 at 7:27 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Sharon Rose Felver, 89, passed away Tuesday, November 29, 2022, at her daughter’s residence in Van Wert, where she made her home.

Sharon Felver

Sharon was born January 17, 1933, in Lima, the daughter of Gale and Helen (Goodwin) Polen, who both preceded her in death. She married Ralph Felver, Jr., March 26, 1949, and he preceded her in death July 22, 2017.

She is survived by her daughter, Deborah K. (James) Boroff, of Van Wert, her son, Neil W. (Jeannette) Felver, of Lynchburg, Tennessee, daughter-in-law Karen Felver, of Zanesville; 12 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren.

Sharon was preceded in death by three children: infant son Tod Eric Felver (1968), daughter Kristy Lynn Felver (1992), son Curtis A. Felver (2020), and daughter-in-law Tiffany (Neil) Felver. The last of her family, she was also preceded in death by two brothers, Patrick Polen and Greg Polen, and two sisters, Gayle Schaaf and Ruth Ann Craft.

A homemaker in the truest sense, Sharon Rose was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. She leaves with us her legacy of kindness, love, and a lasting light of genuine goodness.

Friends may call at the Miller, Long & Folk Funeral Home, St. Marys from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, December 3. Funeral rites will be conducted 1 p.m. Saturday in the funeral home with Rev. Tim Benjamin officiating. Private family burial will be conducted at Resthaven Memory Gardens near Moulton, Ohio on Monday, December 5.

POSTED: 11/30/22 at 4:43 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Spencer Davis of Van Wert passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, November 16, 2022, at age 31.

He was born on April 1, 1991 in Van Wert to Gary and Lynette (Lewis) Davis. His father is deceased.

Spencer Davis

He is survived by his mother, Lynette, his children, Nation Davis and Bau Davis, fiance, Lyndell Ramos, a sister, Lynzee Davis, a half sister Michelle and a half brother, Michael Woods who is deceased.

Spencer had a very strong work ethic. He worked various jobs, a favorite being a crane operator for Whemco of Lima. He was currently working at Cooper Farms.

Spencer was a spiritual man. He was very musically gifted and played with some church bands. Spencer loved to play softball and other sports with his fiance, sister and cousins. He enjoyed cooking for loved ones and had many other passions. Spencer was such a giving person. He was kind, so creative and funny. Spencer was a big jokester, with a contagious smile and a personality that really lit the room up.

He will be deeply missed by friends, family and the many other lives he touched.

Those who knew him are welcomed to attend a memorial at a later date.

The family was assisted with arrangements by Brickner Funeral Home, Van Wert.

Condolences may be left at or emailed to

POSTED: 11/29/22 at 8:31 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Christopher A. Stemen, 57, of Lima, passed away Saturday evening, November 26, 2022, at Lima Memorial Hospital.

Christopher Stemen

He was born on September 25, 1965, in Van Wert the son of Harold Doyle Stemen and Martha (Easterling) Garretson, who both preceded him in death.

Family survivors include his three sons, Adam (Lindsay) Stemen of Van Wert, Corey (Tyme) Stemen of Silver Springs, Florida, and Caleb Stemen of Salt Springs, Florida; nine grandchildren, Gage, Alexis, Tripp, Bryce Harper Stemen, Averie Moynihan, Adelyn, Aubrey, and Aaron McCormick; three brothers, Jaime Stemen of Ohio City, Mark Stemen of Indiana, and Robin (Kim) Stemen of Van Wert, and a sister, Tracie Vincent of Willshire.

In addition to his parents, Chris was preceded in death by a brother, Carl David Stemen and a sister, Holly Semer.

There will be private services for the family at a later date.

Online condolences may be expressed on the Tribute Wall at

POSTED: 11/28/22 at 9:40 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Nedra Ellen Schrader, 81, of Van Wert, passed away at 7:05 a.m. Wednesday, November 23, 2022, at Hearth and Home of Van Wert.

She was born on July 12, 1941, in Van Wert, to Carl E. and Wanda I. (Girod) Wise. On September 2, 1961, she married James H. Schrader.

Nedra Schrader

Nedra was a 1959 graduate of Van Wert High School and worked as a dental assistant to Dr. Robert Saunier, in Van Wert, for over 35 years.

Nedra was a member of Calvary Evangelical Church in Van Wert. She was a member, and Past Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star, Van Wert Chapter, was a former mother advisor of the Rainbow for Girls and the past District 8 Deputy Grand Matron.

She enjoyed camping with her family and spending the winters in Florida for many years.

Surviving are her husband, James H. Schrader of Van Wert; sons, James H. (Sylvia) Schrader II of Saginaw, Texas, Christopher A. (fiancé: Donna Schuerman) Schrader of Van Wert and Scott R. (Tricia) Schrader of Urbana, Ohio; eight grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 30, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory, Van Wert, with Rev. Clark Williman, officiating. Interment will follow in Woodland Cemetery, Van Wert. Visitation will be held from 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, November 29, and one hour prior to funeral services Wednesday, all at the funeral home. There will be an Order of the Eastern Star Memorial Service starting at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday evening.

In lieu of flowers, preferred memorials: Community Health Professionals-Hospice or the Alzheimer’s Association.

To share in Nedra’s online memorial, visit

POSTED: 11/25/22 at 9:21 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Doyt L. Owens, 87, of Convoy died Thursday, November 17, 2022, at Majestic Care of Jefferson Pointe in Fort Wayne, Indiana. 

Doyt Owens

He was born on February 12, 1935, in Harrison Township, Van Wert County, Ohio the son of Lyman and Merle (Finkhousen) Owens, who both preceded him in death.  He married Lois Eileen (Krugh) Owens May 20, 1956, and she preceded him in death on August 3, 2014. 

Family survivors include his daughter, Cindy (Robert) Perkins and son Scott Owens both of Convoy; three grandchildren, Keri Perkins of Ashville, Ohio, Matthew (Katie) Perkins of Convoy and Jamie Perkins of Cincinnati; two great-grandsons, Nolan and Lane Perkins, and a sister, Juanita Christian of Van Wert. 

In addition to his parents and wife, Doyt was preceded in death by two sisters Marjorie J. Hoblet and Vivian M. Bowers; and six brothers, Marvin A. “Jake” Owens, Edward Owens, Waldo C. Owens, Marlin F. Owens, Donald L. Owens and Robert M. Owens. 

Doyt was a 1954 graduate of Convoy-Union High School. He worked at Aeroquip Corporation and farmed. He was a member of Countryside Chapel United Methodist Church of rural Convoy. 

Private services will be held for the family. 

Preferred memorials: the Countryside Chapel United Methodist Church. 

Online condolences may be expressed on the Tribute Wall at

POSTED: 11/23/22 at 3:31 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Margaret Jane Hughs, 71, passed away Monday afternoon, November 21, 2022, at Van Wert Manor Nursing Home. 

Margaret Hughs

She was born on November 27, 1950, in Ohio City the daughter of James Gerold and Lois Elinore (Johnson) Hughs, who both preceded her in death. 

Family survivors include her sister, Judy (Jack) Mauger of Warren, Indiana; a niece, Dea Mauger of Huntington, Indiana; a nephew, Thomas (Beverly) Mauger of Fort Wayne, and several great- nieces and nephews. 

Margaret was a 1968 graduate of Lincolnview High School and was a very active 4-H member. She was a member of the former Elgin United Brethren Church where she served as custodian for a number of years. She also helped on the family farm and was an expert gardener winning many prizes at the Van Wert County Fair. 

Services will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, November 25, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home, Van Wert, with calling one hour prior to the service. Interment will follow at Goodwin Cemetery near Elgin. 

Preferred memorials: the Van Wert Manor Activity Fund. 

Online condolences may be expressed on the Tribute Wall at

POSTED: 11/23/22 at 9:09 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries