The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Sep. 16, 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

Glen Lowell Poling, 97, passed away Thursday, September 9, 2021, at his residence. 

Glen Lowell Poling

He was born August 15, 1924, in Convoy, the son of Ralph Floyd Poling and Elizabeth Geraldine (Paxson) Poling, who both preceded him in death. On March 6, 1947, he married the former Bette June Norbeck in Delphos. 

Survivors include a son, Glen Michael (Lyn) Poling of Fountain Hills, Arizona; three daughters, Jacqueline June (Steve) Dearbaugh of Murrieta, California, Michele Louise (Greg) Amstutz of Van Wert, and Sherri Jean Poling of Wasilla, Alaska; eight grandchildren, James Michael (Leslie) Dearbaugh of Corning, New York, Lisa Michele (Nic) Cocis of Temecula, California, Alyssa Michele (Martin) Tisne of London, United Kingdom, Joshua Alan (Andrea) Amstutz of Perrysburg, Eric Michael (Micah) Amstutz of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Colin Kemberling of Wasilla, Alaska, Lindsey Renee (Brandon) Kruse of Houston, Alaska, and Hannah Haynes (Luis Miguel); and 13 great-grandchildren, Lue Grant, Lea Camille, Lily Claire, Sophia Grace, Fiona Michele, Carson Nicolaie, Marissa Elizabeth, Ethan Alan, Ema Lea, Eva Renee, Eliza June, Jack Michael, and Eliza Jayne. 

Also preceded him in death was a daughter, Jerri Bacino, the twin sister of Sherri, and a sister, Garnet Louise Bates. 

Glen was a 1942 graduate of the Van Wert High School. He was a veteran of World War II, enlisting in the U.S. Navy for three years as an aviation radioman assigned to the Patrol Bombing Squadron in the Asiatic Pacific Campaign: Sasebo, Japan. As the war wound down, he celebrated his 21st birthday on VJ Day.

Glen’s life’s work encompassed accounting, office management, and early computer technology, but his life passion was always music. 
In the high school band, he sat under the tutelage of legendary director Leonard Wolf, during which time he mastered the cornet, french horn, baritone, trombone, and, eventually, the flugel horn. 

At the age of 14, he received his first guitar and, shortly thereafter, he and a group of friends formed a dance band and played at the various high school dances. Later, when he joined the Navy, missing his music, he once again gathered a group of fellow musicians from the ship to entertain their shipmates. 

A few years after his discharge from the Navy, his musicianship had progressed to the point that he was offered a position with the Glenn Miller Orchestra. However, he and his young wife, Bette, decided the life they envisioned for their family would take precedence over a life of travel with the orchestra. He subsequently joined the Federation of Musicians Local 320 in Lima. For many years he played throughout northwest Ohio with groups of various numbers. A highlight of his career was a performance with the Lima Symphony Orchestra, during which time he and the other members of the Don Hurless Trio were featured. Upon retirement as he wintered in Florida, he greatly enjoyed playing with professional musicians from all over the country. 

Glen was an active life member of the YMCA and spent many years teaching swimming lessons there. As a longtime member of First United Methodist Church in Van Wert, he served in various capacities throughout the years, but his most satisfying contributions were always in the area of music. In addition to his playing in the Handbell Choir, he greatly enjoyed providing guitar accompaniment for musical presentations. He also enjoyed many years of playing in the Van Wert Area Community Concert Band. 

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, September 17, at First United Methodist Church in Van Wert, with the Rev. Chris Farmer officiating. 

Visitation will be an hour prior to services at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Pipe Organ Preservation Project. 

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

POSTED: 09/13/21 at 1:40 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Ryan Eugene Feasel, 50, of Bryan, passed away at 8:51 a.m. Friday, September 10, 2021, at his home surrounded by his family.

Ryan Eugene Feasel

He was born May 1, 1971, in Van Wert, the son of Dan and Toby Feasel.

Ryan graduated from Wright State University and worked for the public school system as a teacher until becoming disabled. Against the odds given him, he fought cancer for seven years.

Above all else, Ryan loved Jesus. He also loved weightlifting and was a huge fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes, Cincinnati Reds, and Las Vegas Raiders. Fall was Ryan’s favorite season. He loved the different colored leaves, shortened days, and walks in the park. Ryan was loved by all of his family. 

In addition to his parents, surviving are several aunts and uncles, Nancy (Reed) Shaffer of Rockford, Matt (Kimberli) Feasel of Woodburn, Indiana, Belle McAtee of Indianapolis, Indiana, Charles (Sharon) Sapp of Rockford, Linda Sapp of Mendon, Dick (Karen) Sapp of Rockford, Nancy (Dan) Kline of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Roger (Fran) Sapp of Rockford, and Steve (Connie) Sapp of Celina. Ryan is also survived by many beloved cousins who often referred to him as “Uncle Ryan”.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Tricia Ann Feasel; his grandparents, Harold and Betty Feasel and Paul and Jessie Sapp; and several aunts and uncles, Gus and Linda Feasel, Benny Sapp, and Larry Sapp.

All services will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Ryan`s memory may be sent to Ohio Living Hospice of Greater Toledo or to the Bryan YMCA.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Ketcham-Ripley Funeral Home in Rockford.

To share in Ryan’s online memorial, visit

POSTED: 09/12/21 at 5:21 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Gary R. Wagonrod, 73, of Ohio City, passed away Saturday, September 11, 2021, peacefully at his home under hospice care. 

Gary R. Wagonrod

Gary was born June 15, 1948, to Richard and Dorothy (Edsall) Wagonrod, who both preceded him in death. He graduated from Van Wert High School in 1966. He later married the former Eldonna Gurtner on June 9, 1984. 

Gary was a tool and dye specialist at Federal-Mogul in Van Wert for over 40 years. He was also a member of the Loyal Order of the Moose in Celina. Gary was a sports fanatic and loved watching the Buckeyes! He also enjoyed playing fantasy football and baseball, bowling, playing chess, and doing sudoku puzzles. Most importantly, he loved his family endlessly. 

Gary is survived by his wife, Eldonna Wagonrod of Ohio City, his children, Tammy (Patrick) Williamson of Fenwick, Michigan, Amy (Tom) Limbean of Riverton, Utah, and Angie Curtis of Lewiston; 10 grandchildren, Kayla, Ian, Hannah, Josh, Jake, Ellie, Lukas, Darrick, Sam, and Serenity; two great-grandchildren, Zainab and Ezra; two brothers, Richard Wagonrod Jr. of Findlay and Dennis Wagonrod of Van Wert; and a sister-in-law, Carol Wagonrod of Chicago, Illinois.

He was also preceded in death by a son, Christian Gurtner; a brother, Ronald Wagonrod; and a sister-in-law, Karen Wagonrod. 

There will be a Celebration of Life held from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, September 18, at the Ohio City Community Building and officiated by the Rev. Randy Bevington. 

In lieu of flowers, please send memorial donations to St. Jude’s Children Hospital.

To share Gary’s online memorial, visit

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

POSTED: 09/12/21 at 12:42 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Eloise J. (Miller) Shaw, 93, of Grover Hill ,passed away at the Garden of Paulding Saturday, September 11, 2021. 

Eloise J. (Miller) Shaw

She was born June 4, 1928, to Charles Miller and Velma (Ashbaugh) Miller, who both preceded her in death. Eloise (the cheerleader) and Carl (the basketball player) were married May 8, 1948. Carl also preceded her in death, on March 18, 2012. 

She was employed in various businesses in the area: General Motors of Defiance, the Tomato Plant in Paulding, a clerk at the Grover Hill post office, FFA jacket monogrammer, and best known for the years she served many family, friends, and neighbors, ice cream at the Grover Hill Dairy Dip. Her favorite job was full-time wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. 

Eloise is survived by her two daughters, Carla (Jim) Foster of Van Wert and Deena (Dale) Coppes of Grover Hill; four grandchildren, Regan (Jeff), Andy (Charlotte), Kim (Bubba), and Kay (Adam); and six great-grandchildren, Bailey, Brady, Lucas, Logan, Keegan, and Zachary. 

She was the last of eight children to pass away in her family. She was also preceded in death by Ralph Ashbaugh, Kate Dotson, Willie Miller, Ernie Miller, Bob Miller, Arlie Miller, and Dottie Sanderson. 

Eloise very much enjoyed attending Middle Creek Church. 

Private family graveside services are planned due to present health concerns. 

Preferred memorials: Grover Hill Fire Department and EMS, in memory of Eloise Shaw.

Condolences may be expressed at

POSTED: 09/11/21 at 8:12 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Dale G. Davies, 89, of Van Wert, passed away at 11 a.m. Wednesday, September 8, 2021, at Van Wert Manor.

Dale G. Davies

He was born December 10, 1931, in Van Wert, the son of James G. and Cecile (Vulgamott) Davies, who both preceded him in death. On March 28, 1968, he married the former Marcia Agler, who survives. 

Dale was a 1949 graduate of Van Wert High School, and had owned and operated Balyeat’s Coffee Shop for more than 51 years.

Dale was a member and past regional and national president of The Gardeners of America/Men’s Garden Clubs of America and a member of the former Van Wert County Gardening Club. He attended Wesley United Methodist Church, Van Wert.

Surviving are his wife, Marcia Davies of Van Wert; a daughter-in-law, Lorelei “Lori” Davies of Van Wert; two grandchildren, Emilee (Cole) Myers and Louis (Mariah) Davies; three great-grandchildren, Mara Myers and Greycen and Grant Davies; a brother, Donald J. Davies of Ottoville; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant sister and a second sister, Martha (Lloyd) Henney; and his son, Clark A. Davies, who passed away July 12, 2021. “So close in life, and then, in death.”

Funeral services will be held at noon Saturday, September 18, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory, Van Wert, with Pastor Laura Clark officiating. Burial will immediately follow in Venedocia Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, September 18, at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Dale`s memory may be directed to Gideons International or Wesley United Methodist Church.

Condolences may be expressed at

POSTED: 09/10/21 at 12:37 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Thomas Charles “Charlie” Brickner, 76, of Van Wert, died Wednesday, September 8, 2021.  

Thomas Charles Brickner

He was born June 22, 1945, in Van Wert, the son of Carl F. and Madge (Angevine) Brickner, who both preceded him in death.  

He is survived by his daughters, Aimee (Rich Rodriguez) Brickner of North Garden, Virginia, Major Virginia Brickner of Anchorage, Alaska, and Sarah (Philip Maxon) Brickner of Galena; his twin brother, Jim Brickner of Van Wert; two nephews, Carl Brickner of Tipp City and Michael (Katie) Brickner of Wilmington, Delaware; and a grandson, Robert “Bobby” Charles Brickner Rodriguez of North Garden, Virginia.

At age 16, Charlie and Jim assumed an active role in Brickner Funeral home and ambulance service when their father, Carl F. Brickner, died suddenly. They have continued the funeral business and grew the ambulance business into a major operation. 

Charlie graduated in the class of 1963 from Van Wert High School and then attended the Ohio Northern University branch campus at Celina (now Wright State University-Lake Campus). From there, he went on to attend the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science (class of 1967-1968) and received his Ohio Funeral Directors and Ohio Embalmers licenses in 1968. Charlie was recognized by the Ohio Funeral Directors Association for his 50 years of service award in 2018.   

Throughout the years, Charlie has been very active in the Van Wert community. For more than 40 years, Charlie held multiple roles on the board of Wee Care Learning Center. He was president when Wee Care built its current building on Van Wert-Decatur Road. Charlie was active in the Van Wert Lions Club for more than 50 years, receiving the Melvin Jones Fellowship award. He was also a life member and past governor of Loyal Order of Moose Lodge 1320, a life member of Knights of Columbus Council 6034, a life member of Elks Lodge 1197, and a life member of St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Van Wert, where he was an usher for many years. He was also a member of the Ohio Funeral Directors Association. Charlie was able to continue his high school band experience by playing tuba in both the Van Wert Area Marching Band and the Van Wert Community Band for many years.

Charlie was quite the character and prankster. If your paths have ever crossed, we hope the memory leaves you with a smile or even a laugh.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Monday, September 13, at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, with Fathers Keith Stripe and Chris Bohnsack officiating. Burial will follow in Woodland Cemetery in Van Wert. 

Friends may call at Brickner Funeral Home from 2-8 p.m. Sunday, September 12.

Preferred memorials: Wee Care Learning Center and Van Wert Area Community Band.

Condolences may be expressed at or emailed to

POSTED: 09/09/21 at 6:39 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Timothy A. Schoenle, 61, of Convoy, died at Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on Tuesday, September 7, 2021. 

Timothy A. Schoenle

Timothy was born August 14, 1960, to Paul and Donna (Dornick) Schoenle, who both preceded him in death. He married his beautiful wife, the former Annette McGillivray, on August 16, 1980, and they had three children. 

Timothy worked for 28 years driving construction and plumbing supplies for Industrial Piping and Engineering in Fort Wayne. He had a love for animals and building gates around his property. He also loved watching reality TV shows and collecting hats and gloves. Most of all he loved his family, especially his grandchildren.

Timothy is survived by his wife of 41 years, Annette Schoenle; his three daughters, Beth (Steve) Roberts, Laura Schoenle, and Leslie (Josh Kukelhan) Schoenle, all of Convoy; five grandchildren, Kane, Carter, Taylor, Scarlett, and Avery; three brothers, Paul David (Kathy) Schoenle of South Bend, Indiana, Jon (Nancy) Schoenle of Fort Wayne, and Chris (Laura Stieber) Schoenle of Fort Wayne; and four sisters, Judy Wagoner of Fort Wayne, Diane (Jerry) Burch of Fort Wayne, Emily (Gary) Grable of Fernandina Beach, Florida, and Elizabeth Schoenle of Mesa, Arizona.

He is also preceded in death by a brother-in-law, Bob Wagoner. 

There will be a visitation followed by a memorial service on Saturday, October 9, at Gearhart-Sauer Funeral Home, Convoy. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to noon, while the memorial service will begin at noon. 

In lieu of flowers the family asks that you please donate to the American Diabetes Association or Van Wert County Humane Society. Condolences may be expressed at

POSTED: 09/09/21 at 11:58 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Nancy R. Williamson, 70, of Celina, passed away Sunday, September 5, 2021 at Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  

She was born July 26, 1951, in Celina, to Walter and Rosemary (Byer) Piper, who both preceded her in death.  

Survivors include two sisters, Frieda (Richard) Neff of Coldwater, Michigan, and Rita (Steve) Phillips of Celina; three nieces, Marci Webb, Leah Rohrbach, and Andrea Knapke; two nephews, Michael Brehm and Mark Brehm; nine great nieces; three great-nephews; three great-great-nieces; one great-great-nephew; and a dear friend, Bob Dunlap of Celina. 

Nancy is also preceded in death by two infant siblings, James and Becky Piper, and a niece, Mellissa Schlarman. 

She was a graduate of Celina Senior High School and retired from Reynolds and Reynolds in Celina after many years of service.  

Nancy loved Ohio State football, listening to Jimmy Buffet and classic rock music.  She also enjoyed spending time with her family and friend.   

Private graveside services will be held in Mercer Memory Gardens in Celina.  

Cisco Funeral Homes are honored to care for Nancy and her family. To pay your respects and to leave online condolences and memories, visit or visit the Cisco Funeral Homes Facebook page.

POSTED: 09/07/21 at 10:50 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

David Wayne Rhoades, 78, went to be with his Lord and Savior at 4:40 a.m. Monday, September 6, 2021, at his residence in Delaware County.

David Wayne Rhoades

He was born May 23, 1943, in Van Wert, the son of Eldin John and Lucille Elmira (Marquardt) Rhoades, who both preceded him in death. On June 13, 1963, he married Alice A. (Mathew) Rhoades, who survives in Delaware.

Other survivors include a son, Joel D. (Laura) Rhoades of Delaware; two daughters, Jeanne O. (John) Fleming of Fairborn and Abigail R. (Aaron) Hartung of Powell; six grandchildren, Jasmine Cortner, Jermaine Defore, James Defore, Norah Rhoades, CJ Rhoades, and Hannah Hartung; two great-grandchildren, Jaxon Cortner and Jenson Cortner; two brothers, Dwight A. (Connie) Rhoades of Van Wert and Dennis M. (Susan) Rhoades of Convoy; a sister, Joy E. (Al) Goodman of Elgin, Illinois; and many nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews.

Also preceding him in death were two sisters, Janice L. Cumbey and Dorcas S. Rhoades.

David grew up on a dairy farm outside Convoy raising turkeys and chickens. Later, he raised sheep for years while living outside Ohio City. For much of his life he was an avid accordion player, including six years in a trio with two of his siblings and on a 1959 mission trip to Mexico. David was a 1961 graduate of Crestview High School and went on to graduate from Wheaton College in 1965 with a degree in psychology. In 1968, he attended St. Francis University in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and received his master’s degree in education. He also received an education specialist certificate from Bowling Green State University in 1972.

David started his education career as a science teacher at Paulding High School in 1965. In 1969, he became the youngest school superintendent in Ohio, beginning his career at Ohio City-Liberty School, where he served until 1982. He then became the Van Wert County superintendent until 1999. He also taught adult education computer classes at Vantage Career Center and BGSU with his son, Joel, for 10 years. He served on the Management Council for 20 years, including one year with his daughter, Abby, and culminating as chairman of the board. David and Alice also delivered RVs all over the lower 48 states from 1999 to 2001.

David was a very active member of The Apostolic Church, Van Wert, where he served in a variety of leadership capacities. Other civic involvement included Van Wert Rotary Club, Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Community Action Commission. After 48 years of living in rural Ohio City, David and Alice moved to Delaware in September 2020 to be closer to their children.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, September 10, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home, Van Wert, with the Rev. Robert Frake officiating. Burial with be in Woodlawn Cemetery in Ohio City.

Visitation is from 3-7 p.m. Thursday, September 9, at the funeral home. 

Preferred memorials: The Apostolic Church, Van Wert, or Gideons International.

Condolences may be expressed on the Tribute Wall at

POSTED: 09/07/21 at 10:37 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Nancy Sue (Miller) Chrisman, 76, of Willshire, passed away Saturday, September 4, 2021, at her residence.

Nancy Sue (Miller) Chrisman

She was born August 19, 1945, in Van Wert, the daughter of Paul G. and Nola M. (Sebring) Miller, who both preceded her in death

Nancy graduated from Lincolnview High School and retired as a supervisor from B.F. Goodrich in Woodburn, Indiana, after more than 20 years of service. She was the first woman foreman at the Woodburn plant. 

Nancy is known for taking great pleasure in keeping her lawn meticulously groomed, and enjoyed gardening and canning, sewing, and crafting, breeding and boarding champion show dogs, watching Cooper’s racing and Makenna’s theatre performances, and attending Jamison’s ball games.  She shared fond memories of her time spent in 4-H and attending Camp Palmer as a youngster.

She is survived by her two children, Jeff Clouse of Ohio City and Rhonda (Russ) Belt of Van Wert; three grandchildren, Cooper (fiancée Amelia Weller) Clouse, Jamison Clouse, and Makenna Belt; two sisters, Jeanne Zeigler of Van Wert and Catherine Ann Hall of Fort Wayne, Indiana; and a brother, John C. Miller of Titusville, Florida.

Nancy’s funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, September 8, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory, Van Wert, with the Rev. Stuart Wyatt officiating. A private family burial will take place in Woodland Cemetery, Van Wert.

Visitation is from 9-11 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, preferred memorials in Nancy’s memory may be directed to the Van Wert County Humane Society or Van Wert Agricultural Society.

Condolences may be expressed at

POSTED: 09/07/21 at 10:34 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries