The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Jun. 12, 2021

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

Robert Lawrence Bolenbaugh, 95, of Ohio City, died at 7:54 p.m. Monday, June 7, 2021, at Lima Memorial Hospital.

Robert Lawrence Bolenbaugh

He was born May 17, 1926, in Willshire Township, Van Wert County, the son of Clarence Bynon and Rea Agnes (Taylor) Bolenbaugh, who both preceded him in death. On October 9, 1948, he married the former Lois Irene Sidle, who survives.

Other survivors include his four children, Dean Frances Bolenbaugh of Decatur, Indiana, Sue Ellen Boroff of Ohio City, Jean Ann (Todd) Bevington of Van Wert, and Carl Dalton Bolenbaugh of Ohio City; six grandchildren, Michelle (Richard) Spridgeon, Clint (Ginny) Boroff, Melissa (Justin) Kis, Robert Bolenbaugh, Shelby Bolenbaugh, and Ashley Snazenko; eight great-grandchildren, Kelsey, Abbi, Trevor, Gavin, Lennox, Kylie, Alex, and Carlee; and many children who called him “grandpa.”

Bob was also preceded in death by a brother, Glen Bolenbaugh, and two sisters, Betty R. Archer and Mary F. Bigham.

Bob was a 1944 graduate of Ohio City-Liberty High School and served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from Continental Can Company in Van Wert with over 35 years of service. He was a member of Harvey Lewis Post 346 of the American Legion in Ohio City.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 12, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home in Van Wert, with Pastor Randy Bevington officiating. Burial will follow in Woodlawn Cemetery in Ohio City, with graveside military honors rendered by Harvey Lewis American Legion Post 346. 

Visitation is from 11 a.m. until time of services Saturday at the funeral home.

Preferred memorials: Lima Memorial Hospice.

Condolences may be expressed on the Tribute Wall at

POSTED: 06/09/21 at 12:21 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Anita Tanner Daubenspeck died Sunday, June 6, 2021, in Danbury, Connecticut.

Anita Tanner Daubenspeck

She was born September 25, 1938, in Van Wert, the daughter of Warren Leslie Tanner, DVM, and Myrdith (Hartzell) Tanner, who both preceded her in death.

Anita attended public schools in Ohio and was awarded a full academic scholarship to Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, where she received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award and was a member of the women’s honorary fraternity Libra (later ODK) and Kappa Alpha Theta fraternity. She studied with the Washington Semester program at American University in spring1959 and graduated Rollins in 1960. 

She married David F. Daubenspeck in June 1960 and resided in Pennsylvania and New Jersey before moving to Ridgefield in 1973.

Anita earned master’s degree in Library Science from Villanova University in 1966. She was director of the Ridgefield Library from 1975 to 2000, where she managed four expansions of the facility from 8,000 to 26,000 square feet, and introduced automation technology to library operations. She was a member of the American Library Association, an officer and board member of the Connecticut Library Association, a board and founding member of the regional library automation consortium, and served on several statewide automation committees. She was named Connecticut Librarian of the Year in 1996 by the Connecticut Library Association.

The sculpture “Storytime” by Glenna Goodacre was donated anonymously to the library in her honor to celebrate Anita’s retirement in 2000. Anita was a member of Ridgefield Rotary (president 19900, and served on the boards of Ridgefield VNA and Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce.

Her husband, David, to whom she was married 60 years, recently died May 26 of this year. She is survived by Leslie Daubenspeck Henderson (Alastair) of Glenview, Illinois; Rick Daubenspeck and companion Judy Johnson of Scottsdale Arizona, and by Timothy Daubenspeck (Kacey) of Ridgefield; by seven grandchildren, Derek (Nicole) Henderson of Ridgefield, Douglas (Emma) Henderson of Manchester, United Kingdom, David T. Daubenspeck of Scottsdale, Arizona, Margaret Daubenspeck of Boston, Massachusetts, and by Tanner, Edward, and Lily Daubenspeck of Ridgefield; and a great-granddaughter, Winter Rose Henderson. Included in her family is AFS daughter, Junko Kobayashi (Lee) Saltzgaber of Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. Also survived by Philip Tanner of Sylvania and Jean Tanner of Dagsboro, Delaware. 

She was also predeceased by a brother, Michael Tanner.

Funeral services are incomplete and will be announced. Kane Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Preferred memorials: Ridgefield Library or Ridgefield VNA.

POSTED: 06/08/21 at 2:14 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Donna K Feasby of Van Wert died Sunday, June 6, 2021, at home after bravely battling cancer for 30 years.

Donna K Feasby

Donna was born October 22, 1948, to Robert and Ruth Dasher, who both preceded her in death.

On June 15, 1968, she married Alan L Feasby, and they shared 52 years together. During that time they also raised two sons.

Donna enjoyed yard work, sewing, and cooking. She was a dedicated mother and a loving wife.

Survivors include her husband, Alan; two sons, Jeffrey (Danielle) Feasby and Daniel (Tiffany) Feasby; two grandchildren, Zachary Feasby (Vanessa Lanham) and Cassidy
Uchman; a sister, Barbara (Joseph) Crist; and one brother, Kenneth (Lori,
deceased) Dasher.

Funeral services will be private. 

The family suggests memorial contributions be directed to CHP Homecare and Hospice.

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

To share in Donna’s online memorial, visit

POSTED: 06/07/21 at 11:03 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Lois Eileen Egley, 87, beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, went to be with her Lord and Savior at 6:40 p.m. Friday, June 4, 2021, at Adams Memorial Hospital in Decatur, Indiana.

Lois Eileen Egley

She was born July 25, 1933, in Mercer County, the daughter of Arlie Oscar and Nora Marie (Bauer) Miller, who both preceded her in death. On March 28, 1954, she married Wayne Egley, and he survives in rural Ohio City.

Other survivors include a daughter, Susan (Larry) Fennig of Celina; a son, Kent (Robin) Egley of Van Wert; and a daughter, Judy (James) Perrott of Van Wert. Also surviving are seven grandchildren, A.J. (Amber) Perrott, Andrew (Alicia) Perrott, April (Matthew) Leigh, Amanda (Dan) Creek, Arin (Michael) Krugh, Gwen (Jeremey) Gerken, and Mark (Amanda) Fennig; 14 great-grandchildren; and a brother, Lowell Miller of Findlay.

Eileen was also preceded in death by three brothers, Roma Lee Miller, Floyd Miller, and D. Gene Miller; and three sisters-in-law, Gloria Miller, Joan Miller, and Madonna Miller.

Eileen was employed by Egley Farm Equipment. She had also worked at G.C. Murphy and Company, the John Earl Store, and the Van Wert YWCA. She was a charter member of Calvary Evangelical Church in Van Wert, where she had taught elementary Sunday school and served with her husband as youth counselors for 35 years. She has been attending Grace Bible Church. 

She was a member of the Van Wert County Farm Bureau, YWCA, YMCA, and a 1951 graduate of Rockford High School.

Her greatest joy was teaching Sunday school classes for over 30 years and the time she spent with her family and friends.\

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, June 10, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home in Van Wert, with Pastor Lance Hostetler officiating. Burial will follow in Woodland Cemetery in Van Wert. 

Visitation is from 3-7 p.m. Wednesday, June 9, at the funeral home.

Preferred memorials: Gideons International.

Condolences may be expressed on the Tribute Wall at

POSTED: 06/06/21 at 5:10 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Eldon M. Helmke, 77, of Fort Jennings, died at 4:16 a.m. Friday, June 4, 2021, at Mercy Health St. Rita’s Medical Center in Lima.  

Eldon M. Helmke

He was born April 15, 1944, in Lima, to Louis Helmke and Margaret (Rower) Helmke Saul, who both preceded him in death. On November 21, 1964, he married Dorothy Huber, and she survives in Fort Jennings.

Eldon is also survived by two sons, Rob (Lori) Helmke of Ohio City and Brent (Jennifer) Helmke of Kalida; six grandchildren, Paige Helmke, Grant Helmke, Katie Brown, Katie (Tony Brown) Marbaugh, Cammie (Shola) Ogunkayode, and Colt Marbaugh; three great-grandchildren, Andrew Brown, Breklynn Creekmore, and Dara Ogunkayode; and a sister, Ruth Oglesbee of Columbus Grove.

He was also preceded in death by two half-sisters, Willina Lisk and Wavel Weaver; a half-brother, Louis A. Helmke; and a brother-in-law, Herb Oglesbee.

Eldon spent most of his working life managing farmer owned co-ops. He worked as an assistant manager at Scott Equity for nine years, general manager of Spencerville Farmers Union for three years, was general manager of Scott Equity for 20 years, and regional manager for Land O’ Lakes for three years. Eldon retired from Deshler Farmers Elevator after five years. 

He served on the Board of Directors of Affinity Mutual Insurance for 33 years, serving the last 22 years as chairman of the Board. Eldon was a supporter of the Fort Jennings Athletic Boosters, as well as the Fort Jennings Band Boosters. 

Funeral services will begin at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 8, at Love-Heitmeyer Funeral Home in Jackson Township. Burial will follow in Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Fort Jennings.

Visitation will be held from 4-8 p.m. Monday, June 7, and an hour prior to services Tuesday at the funeral home.

Preferred memorials: Fort Jennings Athletic Boosters, Fort Jennings Band Boosters, and/or a charity of the donor’s choice.

Condolences may be expressed at

POSTED: 06/05/21 at 3:41 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Billie J. Fisher, 91, of Van Wert, passed away at 7:52 a.m. Thursday, June 3, 2021, at Vancrest Health Care Center in Van Wert.

Billie J. Fisher

She was born January 6, 1930, in Wabash, Indiana, the daughter of Robert W. and Ferry (Fast) Roth, who both preceded her in death. On July 6, 1947, she married Marvin Dale Fisher, who passed away September 23, 2010.

Survivors include her three sons, Michael L. (Brenda) Fisher of Linden, Michigan, Gary A. Fisher of Abingdon, Virginia, and Randy (Tammy) Fisher of Lyons; a brother, Jack Lee Roth of Texas; three sisters, Betty (Melvin) Figley of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Shirley Grace DeSanto of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and Kittie Wise of Van Wert; 10 grandchildren, Cori Kline, Nicole (Mark) Brewster, Patrick (Sheena) Fisher, Jennifer (Zach) Bush, Michelle (Quinn) Barlow, Chad Fisher, Natalie Villasenor, Brittany Fisher, Austin Fisher, and Alexis Fisher; and 13 great-grandchildren.

Billie was also preceded in death by a son, Jeffrey Marvin Fisher; two brothers, David Walters and Jack Roth; and two sisters, Patricia Rose Kline and Betty G. Koos.

Billie was a 1947 graduate of Van Wert High School and worked in retail sales. She was a member of Calvary Evangelical Church in Van Wert.

Private services will be held at the convenience of the family.

Preferred memorials: Calvary Evangelical Church.

Condolences may be expressed on the Tribute Wall at

POSTED: 06/04/21 at 1:37 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Jerri Poling Bacino was born on April 1, 1957, to Bette (Norbeck) and Glen L. Poling in Van Wert. 

Jerri Poling Bacino

She graduated from Van Wert High School and earned her degree from Bowling Green State University. She then moved to Alaska, where she learned to love outdoor activities, including skiing, hiking, and windsurfing, and began her 30-year career as a legal secretary. There, she married and raised her daughter. She loved to sing and did so with her church choir, as well as the Anchorage Concert Chorus for many years. 

She returned to Van Wert in recent years to be closer to her local family. There, she worked continually to improve her foreign language skills, played handbells and sang in the Chancel Choir at First United Methodist Church, rode her bike in the summer sun, and enjoyed walks with her sisters and friends. 

Following retirement, she travelled frequently to see her daughter and granddaughter. She bravely fought cancer for four years, until June 1, 2021, when God called her home.

She is survived by her daughter, Hannah Haynes, and granddaughter, Maia Casallas; her twin sister, Sherri Poling of Wasilla, Alaska; two other sisters, Michele Amstutz of Van Wert and Jackie Dearbaugh of Murrieta, California; a brother, Mike Poling of Payson, Arizona; and her father, Glen Poling, of Van Wert.

She will be dearly missed.

A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 10, at First United Methodist Church in Van Wert.

Visitation is from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, June 9, and an hour prior to the celebration of life, both also at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial gifts be made to the Pipe Organ Preservation Project at First United Methodist Church in Van Wert.

POSTED: 06/03/21 at 5:07 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Ralph W. Eversole, 74, passed away Thursday, May 27, 2021, at Van Wert Health. 

Ralph W. Eversole

He was born February 7, 1947, to Milo and Marjorie (Mohr) Eversole, who both preceded him in death. He later married Brenda Wurst, with whom he shared three children.

Ralph graduated from Lincolnview High School and was a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam war.

He was a member of Loyal Order of Moose Lodge 1320, Elks Lodge 1197, the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, American Legion Post 178 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5803, all in Van Wert. 

He enjoyed bowling, golfing, playing cards, fishing, and hunting. Ralph was chief deputy for the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office for 27 years and served a total of 37 years in law enforcement.

Ralph is survived by his three children, Tracey (William) Allenbaugh of Ohio City, Mike (Christina) Eversole of Van Wert, and Scott (Renae) Eversole of Delphos; 10 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; two brothers, Roger Eversole of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Donald (Pam) Eversole of Middle Point; a sister, Ladonna (Robert) Allenbaugh of Ohio City; and one sister-in-law, Mary Jane Eversole of Middle Point.

He was also preceded in death by a brother, Arthur Eversole.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 2, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory in Van Wert. Burial will be in King Cemetery in rural Van Wert County at a later date.

Visitation will be from 2-6 p.m. Tuesday, June 1, and an hour prior to services Wednesday at the funeral home.

After the funeral there will be a meal at noon hosted by American Legion Post 178. 

Preferred memorials: Tunnels to Towers.                      .

Condolences may be expressed at

POSTED: 05/29/21 at 10:46 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Richard P. “Rick” Say, 70, of Van Wert, died at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 26, 2021, at Van Wert Health.  

Richard P. ‘Rick’ Say

He was born August 19, 1950, in Van Wert, the son of Charles R. Say, who preceded him in death, and Mary (Pollock) Say, who survives in Van Wert.

He is also survived by his wife, Linda J. (Showalter) Say; two children, Amy (Tom) Williamson of Van Wert and Jeffrey Say of Washington; two grandchildren, Jacob and Ryne Williamson; and a brother, Robert (Gina) Say of Van Wert.

Rick was the retired owner and manager of the Van Wert NAPA auto parts store. He is a member of St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Van Wert and Council 6034, Knights of Columbus, where he was a past grand knight. Rick served his country as a member of the Ohio National Guard.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 1, at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, with Father Chris Bohnsack celebrant.  

The family will receive friends from 3-7 p.m. Monday, May 31, at Brickner Funeral Home in Van Wert, where a Rosary service will follow at 7 that evening.

Preferred memorials: St. Mary of the Assumption School.

Condolences may be expressed at or emailed to

POSTED: 05/28/21 at 10:01 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Wilfred C. Davis, 90, of Van Wert, passed away Tuesday, May 25, 2021, at Van Wert Manor.

Wilfred C. Davis

He was born November 23, 1930, in Van Wert, the son of Pryse E. and Georgia (Ashenfelter) Davis, who both preceded him in death. On May 6, 1951, Wilfred married the love of his life, the former Berneice Alice King, who also passed away following 65 years of marriage, on July 1, 2016.

Wilfred was a graduate of Ridge High School and a lifelong farmer. Throughout the years, he also worked for Ley Equipment, Kill Brothers, and finally Aeroquip Corporation, from which he retired after 29 years. 

Wilfred was a former member of Bethel United Methodist Church and the Middle Point Fox Hunters Club. He had many hobbies, including farming the 144-year-old family farm. Wilfred enjoyed fishing and traveling to Minnesota for his annual fishing trip. 

He also loved to hunt, especially fox. Wilfred traveled to all 50 states with family and friends and played cards weekly with his friends. He always looked forward to the annual Fourth of July family reunions.

He was a great supporter of Lincolnview and was a basketball season ticket holder for many years. He was also an avid Ohio State Buckeyes fan.

Those left to cherish his memory are his sons, Charles and Deb Davis of Ohio City, Roger and Tina Davis of Montello, Wisconsin, and Lester and Cindy Davis of Englewood, Florida; a brother, Don (Mary) Davis of Dayton; eight grandchildren, Melissa (Steve) Krindle, Stephanie (Jerry) Hare, Rose (Matt) Powell, Tracy (Keenan) Yelliot, Matthew Davis, Millie Davis, Kasey Davis, Taylor (Patrick) Snead; 10 great-grandchildren: Landon Krindle, Ryan Hare, Austin, Rynleigh, and Cooper Priest, Harvin Yelliot, Alexandra and Wyatt Powell, Latten Lugenbill, and Logan Franks; a great-great granddaughter, Annalynn Priest; one brother-in-law and five sisters-in-law, Sue Braun, Terry King, Dean (Kathy) King, Linda (Bob) Riley, Rita (Ken) Johansen, Marcile King as well as many nieces and nephews.

He was also preceded in death by two siblings, Jean Evans and Ray Davis; two brothers-in-law, Junior King and Leonard King; and two sisters-in-law, Joann and Shirley King.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 29, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory in Van Wert, with the Rev. Chris Farmer officiating. Burial will follow in Ridge Cemetery in rural Van Wert County.

Visitation is from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home.

Preferred memorial contributions in Wilfred`s memory may be sent to Lincolnview FFA.

Condolences may be expressed at

POSTED: 05/27/21 at 9:28 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries