The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, Jul. 14, 2024

Obituaries can be emailed to The Van Wert independent no longer accepts no-cost death notices. As of October 1, 2023, the cost of full obituaries will be $95 (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

A celebration of life for Dora Mae Hoffman, 84, of Ohio City, who passed away on June 10, will be held from 3-7 p.m. on Saturday, July 13, at the Wassenberg Art Center, Van Wert.

POSTED: 07/11/24 at 6:24 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Mary Wright

Mary Melissa Wright, 76, passed away on Monday, July 8, 2024, in Van Wert.

She is survived by a loving family, including her son, James J. Lackey; daughter-in-law, Melissa Lackey; daughter, Lisa Morgan; son-in-law, Dave Taylor; grandchildren, Racheal Elder, Brandon Zilka, Gage Hopper, Kellie Morgan, and numerous great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

There will be no calling hours or funeral service.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Mary can be made to Deb’s Dogs of Lima.

POSTED: 07/10/24 at 8:55 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Douglas D. Parrish, of Oakwood, passed away peacefully on Thursday, July 4, 2024, at home. He was 76 years old. 

Douglas (Doug) was born in Defiance on January 25, 1948, the son of Richard and Helen (Fitzwater) Parrish, who both preceded him in death.

Douglas Parrish

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Glola L. (Bidlack) Parrish of Oakwood; children, Carrie (Justin) Waid of Wapakoneta, Kendra (Todd) Clementz of Marysville, and David (Theresa Jones) Parrish of Van Wert; three grandchildren, Ally and Brayden Clementz and Samuel Waid; siblings, Pam (Joe) Morisy of Defiance, and Jim (Terri) Parrish of Miamisburg; four nieces and nephews, Liz (Milan) Patel, Kat Morisy, Andrew (Lindsay) Parrish, and Rachel Parrish, and four great-nieces and nephews, Maya and Dylan Patel, Callan and Keira Parrish. 

Doug was a retired mathematics teacher and house painter. He also served in the Ohio National Guard for six years. He was an avid fisherman and anyone that went fishing with him knew they would not out fish him…EVER. He loved to cook fish for his family and friends knowing that everyone loved “Doug’s fish.” Over the last 13 years, Doug enjoyed making maple syrup with friends and family using the sap from local maple trees. He also enjoyed collecting coins. Doug was a fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes, Cleveland Browns, and Cleveland Guardians. One of his favorite downtime activities was to feed the fish in his pond with remnants of the refrigerator. He also looked forward to attending the early morning breakfast groups that included former and current Van Wert City School staff. 

Doug was deeply invested in his family. He enjoyed supporting his children and grandchildren in their extracurricular activities. He shared his vast knowledge and work ethic with them. Doug also loved playing games especially cards with his family and friends.

A celebration of life for Doug will be held at 12 p.m. Monday, July 15, at Oakwood Community Church with Pastor Bud Larimore officiating. There will be calling hours from 10 a.m. until time of services at the church.

Memorial contributions may be made in Doug’s memory to the American Cancer Society.

Online condolences may be shared at

POSTED: 07/10/24 at 3:25 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Eileen Elizabeth Hurless, 84 of Columbus and formerly of Van Wert passed away at 1:45 a.m. Friday, July 5, 2024, at the Smith’s Mill Health Center of New Albany, Ohio.

She was born on May 31, 1940, in Lodi, Ohio, the daughter of Rev. Waldo E. Byers and Elsie Caroline (Bennett) Byers, who both preceded her in death. On August 2, 1959, she married Paul Eugene Hurless who preceded her in death on December 28, 2008.

Eileen Hurless

Eileen is survived by two sons, John E. Hurless of Convoy and Michael P. Hurless of Columbus; three grandchildren, Aleyna S. Hurless of Van Wert, Chandler R. Hurless of Convoy and Caden E. Hurless of Van Wert, and a sister, Marcielle Edgell of Westerville.

Eileen was a teacher and taught at Parkway Middle School where she taught for 35 years. She graduated from Willshire High School and then graduated from Wright State University with bachelor’s degree in science and education. Eileen was also was a former member of Bethel United Methodist Church.

She was preceded in death by her parents; a daughter, Myra Sue Hurless, and a brother, David W. Byers.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, July 11, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Van Wert. There will be calling hours 10 a.m. until time of services on Thursday. Interment will follow at Fletcher Cemetery in Willshire Township.

Preferred memorials: the donor’s choice.

Online condolences may be expressed on the Tribute Wall at

POSTED: 07/08/24 at 8:43 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Tyler David Dunn, 33, of Van Wert, passed away unexpectedly on Friday June 28, 2024, at his residence.

A beloved son, he was born on August 29, 1990, in Van Wert, to his parents, Ronald D. Dunn and Lisa R. (Leiter) Dunn.

Tyler’s love for movies knew no bounds, reflected in his role as an attendant at Van Wert Cinemas where he was a familiar face. An aficionado of the silver screen, Tyler found solace in the world of cinema, embracing the magic it brought into his life each day.

Tyler Dunn

Beyond the confines of movie theaters, Tyler was known for his questionable poker skills, his enjoyment of fishing, and his never-ending affection for Mountain Dew. His favorite pastimes included throwing hatchets and knives, showing his unique talents and passions to those around him.

Above all, Tyler’s heart belonged to his family. Family get-togethers filled his soul with joy, each gathering a testament to the love and bond that united them all. His presence was a beacon of warmth and love, shining brightly in the midst of shared laughter and fond memories.

Tyler is survived by his father, Ronald (Jessie) Dunn of Van Wert; mother, Lisa R. Leiter Dunn of Hoagland, Indiana; grandparents: Jerry (Deb) Leiter of Van Wert; Jan (Lee) Lepper of Fort Wayne; siblings, Angel (Ryan) Masters of Auburn, Indiana; Jessica Dunn of Napoleon; Ashley (Curtis) Thees of Celina; Justin (Jaycie) Dunn of Van Wert; Jasni Gardner of New Haven, Indiana; Jordan Hurless of Van Wert; Shauna Hurless of Oakwood, and Jacob Sheets of Van Wert; three nieces, four nephews, as well as numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

Tyler was preceded in death by his grandparents, Carl and Fern Dunn and his uncle, David Dunn.

A celebration of Tyler’s life will take place from 12-4 p.m. Saturday, July 13, at The Marsh Foundation Foster Care Building, 1151 Westwood Drive, Van Wert. Please feel free to stop by and share stories and memories of Tyler.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to any local organization that supports Van Wert County mental health and homelessness.

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

To share in Tyler’s online memorial, visit

POSTED: 07/02/24 at 9:42 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

John Craig Callow, 67, of Ohio City, went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Thursday evening, June 27, 2024, at Lima Memorial Hospital. His death followed a sudden cardiac event and was unexpected.

He was born on October 9, 1956 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to John W. and Marilyn “Dot” (Thatcher) Callow. His parents both preceded him in death.

John Callow

Craig was a member of Pleasant View Church where he had previously served as the Sunday school superintendent, elder and song leader. He was also a member of the NRA and the Van Wert Stroke Support Group.

He was a 1974 graduate of Crestview High School and graduated from Lincoln Technical School with a degree in diesel mechanics. Craig had worked at Kennedy Kuhn in Van Wert for ten years and was a self-employed truck driver for over 25 years.

He is survived by two brothers, Brian (Cindy) Callow and Kerry (Julie) Callow both of Ohio City; and nieces and nephews, Elizabeth (Mark) Boyer, Elliot (Katelyn) Callow, Victoria Callow, Joe (Chloe) Callow, Erin (Brad) Camenisch, Ami Callow, Layne Callow, and Grace Callow.

A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 2, at Pleasant View Church, Ohio City, with Pastor Jeff Millay officiating. Burial will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery in Ohio City. Family and friends will be received from 4-7 p.m. Monday, July 1, at Zwick & Jahn Funeral Home in Decatur, Indiana, and one hour prior to the service at church on Tuesday.

Preferred memorials: Gideon’s International.

For complete obituary information and to sign the online guestbook, visit

POSTED: 06/28/24 at 2:05 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Nancy Ann Shaffer, 65, of Spencerville, passed away peacefully in her sleep early Saturday, June 22, 2024, in her home.

Nancy was born on June 5, 1959, in Lima, to Donald John and Beatrice Elizabeth (Lindeman) Kaverman.

Nancy Shaffer

Nancy graduated from Delphos St. John’s High School in 1977. She attended florist school at Hixon’s School of Floral Design. Nancy was rich in all the good deeds she did for others. She was a smiling face and sympathetic touch to those in need as they walked through the doors of Fettig’s Flowers for over 40 years. She was a member of St. Charles Catholic Church Lima where she served on various committees. Nancy enjoyed cooking meals for all of the holidays, countless trips shopping with her best friend Kathy McCollow and her monthly dinners with “the girls.”

She is survived by her father, Donald Kaverman; her husband, William “Bill” whom she married September 22, 1990, and a daughter, Calla Miller of Spencerville. Since 2018 her life has been dedicated to being the best Mimi to her grandchildren Henry and Sawyer Miller.

Also surviving are a brother, Larry Kaverman of Toledo; mother-in-law, Dorothy Shaffer of Delphos; brothers-in-law, Brent Shaffer of Spencerville and Richard (Patty) Shaffer of Delphos; niece, Cassandra (Kane) Baumgartner of Delphos, and nephew, Cory Schimmoeller of Coumbus.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Beatrice Kaverman, and father-in-law, Rex Shaffer.

Visitation will be held from  3-8 p.m. Wednesday, June 26, with a prayer service starting at 7:45 p.m. at Thomas E. Bayliff Funeral Home in Spencerville. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 27, at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Spencerville with Father Hunyor officiating. Burial will take place following the service at Spencerville Cemetery.

Memories may be shared and viewed by visiting

In honor of Nancy, preferred memorials may be given to the Spencerville Ambulance Service.

POSTED: 06/26/24 at 9:15 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Joe Allen Howell, 88, of Convoy, passed away at his home Thursday morning, June 20, 2024, surrounded by family in Crestview, Florida.

He was born on July 17, 1935, in Arcanum, to Russell “Bud” Howell and Helen Elizabeth (Owens) Howell.

He was preceded in death by his parents; stepmother, Clarabelle Howell; two brothers, Larry and Ralph, and his former spouse, Delores “Dee” Howell (Simpson).

Joe Howell

A stranger to none and welcoming to all who called him family, Joe was a devoted father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

He is survived by his children, Wayne A. (Christina) Howell, Yvonne K. (Brian) Phillips, and Elizabeth O. Howell; a brother, Tom Howell; grandchildren, Marcus A. (Anissia) Howell, Elizabeth, Cheyenne, Sadie, Dakota “Skye”, Cassandra; great-grandchildren, Miles, Hayes, Alester, and Ellie, as well as countless nieces and nephews.

After graduating from The Ohio State University in 1953, Joe taught generations of local Van Wert County and Mercer County high school students, remaining an avid high school sports fan and devoted Buckeye until his death. He enjoyed spending his free time volunteering at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center, The Salvation Army, and the Recycling Center of Van Wert.

Funeral services will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, June 28, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home, Van Wert. Calling hours will be held from 1 p.m. until the time of service on Friday, with private interment to be held at a later date.

Preferred memorials: the Salvation Army of Van Wert.

Online condolences may be expressed on the Tribute Wall at

POSTED: 06/23/24 at 3:10 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Marcia Lou (Hoy) Priest passed away at Vancrest Skilled Nursing facility surrounded by family on Saturday, June 22, 2024.

She was born September 19, 1944, in Van Wert, to Burton Hoy and Loma (Dunlap) Hoy, who both preceded her in death.

Marcia was also preceded in death by a sister, Phyliss (Hoy) Max, and grandson Tyler Priest.

Marcia Priest

She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Bob, whom she married on December 2, 1962, in Grover Hill; her daughters, Robin Priest, of Glenmore and Rhonda (Jeff) Cunningham of Bluffton, Indiana; her son, Bob (Karlene) Priest of Van Wert; her sister, Greta (John) Szabo. She also leaves behind six grandchildren, Carsan, Hunter, and Dalton Cunningham, Ericka (Casey) Gibson, Reagan and Cassie Priest, two step-grandchildren: Tyler (Haley) Williams and Morgan (Taylor) Guinther, as well as two great-grandchildren and two step great-grandchildren.

Her life was marked by a profound dedication to her family and her passion for horses. As a devoted 4-H advisor, Marcia inspired many young minds, sharing her expertise and love for horses. Her accomplishments in showing her horses is a testament to her dedication and love for the animal, earning her numerous awards over the years. Marcia especially loved cross-country trail riding as she found joy and peace in exploring the outdoors on horseback. Her adventures on the trails were as much about the journey as they were about the destination and competition. Bob and Marcia began racing thoroughbreds in the 1980’s and continue to own and race today.

Professionally, Marcia dedicated the majority of her life to working as a bookkeeper for a family owned business, Ed Bolton and Sons. Her unwavering commitment made her an invaluable asset to the company and throughout the years a member of the family. She later retired from Wortman Brothers, concluding a distinguished career marked by integrity and excellence. Above all Marcia’s greatest accomplishment was the love and care she poured into her family and friends. Her warm heart, unwavering support, and selfless dedication were the cornerstone of her life, leaving a mark on all who were fortunate enough to know her. Her legacy of love, strength, and passion will continue to inspire and guide her loved ones for generations to come.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, July 1, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home, Van Wert. Visitation will be held from 2-5 p.m. Sunday, June 30, at the funeral home. Burial will be in Van Wert Woodland Cemetery.

Preferred memorials may be directed to Wesley Church or to the Van Wert County 4-H Exchange Club.

Online condolences may be expressed at

POSTED: 06/23/24 at 7:41 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Shawn Michael Kimmet, of Delphos put his kickstand down for the final time the evening of Thursday, June 20, 2024, after a year long journey with brain cancer. He was surrounded in his home by his loving family and friends.

He was born with his twin sister, Dawn Richelle on July 24, 1971, in Lima to Robert C. and Susan M. (Nagel) Kimmet who both survive in Delphos. Dawn preceded him home to the arms of Jesus February 21, 1973. He married his “person” and best friend Kimberly (Gillespie) Kimmet on July 11, 2020, and she survives in Delphos. Shawn also gained the honorary title of Padre to three stepsons on that day. Connor Army of Cridersville, Corbin Army of Van Wert and Colson Army of Delphos.

Shawn Kimmet

Also surviving are his brother, Ryan M. Kimmet and his wife Crystal K (Voorhees) Kimmet; two nephews, Logan B. Kimmet and his wife Justine P. (Cook) Kimmet and Blake R. Kimmet all of Delphos. He is also survived by many family members who will all miss him dearly.

He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Carl M. Kimmet and Margaret R. (Hickey) Kimmet Bellman; paternal step-grandfather, John Bellman; maternal grandparents, Arnold G. (Dutch) Nagel and Alice B. (Kill) Nagel, and cousin Justin Runser.

Shawn was a 1990 graduate of Delphos St. John’s and attended University of Toledo where he attained a bachelor of business administration degree. He resided in Toledo for many years after graduation, was employed in banking positions and moved back to Delphos in 2006. For the last 17 years he was employed by Unverferth Manufacturing in both Kalida and Delphos where he was a welder but was best known far and wide for his exceptional talent as DJ for his own business All Occasions Professional DJ Service. Over 28 years he provided the very best for countless couples on their special day and took pride in making it absolutely perfect for them, as he did in everything he did. He also provided his service as the resident DJ at the I Don’t Care Grill in Van Wert during the years it was in operation.

Shawn loved spending time with his family, working on the house and landscaping and wanted to make it a perfect place to call home. His love of riding his Harley was known by everyone and was a big part of his life, if just riding around town, in poker runs or on multi state trips with friends. He never met a stranger that didn’t immediately become a friend and was loved deeply by all who knew him. Shawn brought an infectious smile and light into the room that lasted even after he left and his absence will not only be felt by his family but he will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Visitation will be held from 2-8 p.m. Friday, June 28, at Weber Funeral Home, Delphos. Funeral services will be held at the same location at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 29. There will be a luncheon immediately following the service on Saturday at the Eagles in Delphos. The family also asks for anyone wanting to come together for a celebration of life in honor of Shawn to join them starting at 5 p.m. Saturday also at the Eagles. This will be to share in lots of laughs and stories just as Shawn would want from all those who knew and loved him so very deeply. There will be a cash bar/food available at this time.

In lieu of flowers, preferred memorials: St. Mark’s Lutheran Church or to the charity of choice.

POSTED: 06/23/24 at 7:32 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries