The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020

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. The cost of full obituaries will remain at $50 (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

Ken A. Davies, 53, of Van Wert, died at 1 p.m. Wednesday, November 25, 2020, at Van Wert Health.

Ken A. Davies

He was born June 5, 1967, in Lima, the son of Rees O. Davies, who preceded him in death, and Diane (Harrison) Davies, who survives in Van Wert.

In addition to his mother, survivors include two sisters, Kay Lynne Baker of St. Marys and Kris (Dallas) Welker of Van Wert; a brother, Kevin Davies of Van Wert; several nieces, nephews, and cousins; his beloved dog Sheba; and many friends.

Ken was a 1985 graduate of Van Wert High School. He was employed at Stewart Sales Group of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and previously worked at Findlay Industries.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, December 2, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home in Van Wert, with Pastor Lance Hostetler officiating. Burial will follow in Woodlawn Cemetery in Ohio City

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

Preferred memorials: Van Wert County Humane Society Building Fund.

Condolences may be expressed at cowanfuneralhome.com.

POSTED: 11/28/20 at 11:30 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Larry Nighswander, 75, of Van Wert, passed away at 10:54 p.m. Wednesday, November 22, 2020, at St. Rita’s Medical Center in Lima.

Larry Nighswander

He was born September 25, 1945, the son of Clara (Beckman) Nighswander, who preceded him in death. Larry married Kathleen (Zwiebel) Nighswander in 1969 and together they had a daughter, Amy Nighswander, who survives in Delphos.

He then married Beverly J (Smith) Nighswander in 1987, and she passed away in 2017.

In addition to his daughter, Amy Nighswander, Larry is survived by two stepdaughters, Holly Kyle DeZorzi and Marcia (Bob) Berg; five siblings; and many nieces and nephews.

He was also preceded in death by a sister and a brother.

Larry was a veteran of the United States Army who proudly served during the Vietnam War. Some of his fondest memories were spending time with family each year at Huggy Bear Campground for the Nighswander family reunion and an Honor Flight trip to Washington, D.C., with his four brothers.

He also enjoyed traveling, fishing, being a foster parent, and hosting foreign exchange students.

Funeral services are private. Burial will be in Ridge Cemetery near Middle Point.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Larry`s memory may be sent to Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, 203 E. Ohio St,, Suite 304, Chicago, IL 60611-3201 or online at www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org.

Condolences may be expressed at www.alspachgearhart.com.

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

POSTED: 11/27/20 at 4:59 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Mary Alice Krendl, 89, of Delphos, passed away peacefully on Thursday, November 26, 2020, at her home.  

Mary Alice Krendl

She was born August 3, 1931, in Mount Clemens, Michigan, to Joseph and Monica (Thwaites) Schulte, who both preceded her in death. She was united in marriage to John M. (Jack) Krendl on November 21, 1953, and he passed away November 12, 2014.

She is survived by nine children, Lee (Kathy) Krendl of Van Wert, David (Debbie) Krendl of Delphos, Julie (Chris) Ernst of Batavia, Pat (Linda) Krendl of Cridersville, Kurt (Lucy) Krendl of Ada, Laura Stocksdale of Delphos, Thomas (Teresa Velasquez) Krendl of Marana, Arizona, Joe (Cindy) Krendl of Continental, and Jeff (Tracy) Krendl of Fort Jennings; 26 grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. She was also preceded in death by three siblings, Irvin Schulte, Margret “Peg” Damman, and Thomas Schulte; two children, Michael and Matthew Krendl; a daughter-in-law, Marcy Krendl; and one great-granddaughter, Faith Osting. 

After eight years of piano lessons as a child, Mary played the piano and organ for many church functions in her hometown of Mount Clemens, Michigan, and Delphos St. John’s, and accompanied soloists-students at St. John’s until her rheumatoid arthritis kept her from playing later in life. The piano was one vice she truly loved. 

She and her late husband, Jack, worked closely together building Krendl Machine Company into a prospering Delphos manufacturing facility, starting in the 1960s, which is still owned and managed by several of the children.

Early on in her married life, Mary belonged to Phi Delta Sorority in Delphos, as well as the CD of A (Catholic Daughters of America). Her life revolved around raising 11 children and spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren; she looked forward to their summer vacations, which were always spent at the lake cottage on Parry Sound, Ontario, where they developed some great longtime friendships. 

Thanks to the many wonderful caregivers who looked after our mother for the last few years, especially Ann Marie, Cindy, and Kerrie. Because of their personal care she was able to remain at home for the rest of her days on this earth.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, November 30, at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Delphos, with Father Scott Perry celebrant. The funeral mass will be open to all family and friends. Following the mandates from Ohio, social distancing and masks are required.

The committal and graveside services will be held privately for immediate family members only.

Memorial contributions may be made to Putnam County Hospice and Palliative Care or St. John the Evangelist Church Foundation. 

POSTED: 11/26/20 at 5:52 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Bruce A. Custer, 59, of Homosassa, Florida, went to be with our Lord on Friday, November 20, 2020. 

Bruce A. Custer

He leaves behind his parents, Rolland and Carolyn (Marsee) Custer of Homosassa, Florida; his brother and sister-in-law, Steven and Dawn Custer of Anywhere, USA; their three children, Christopher Kluge and wife Katy, Meghan Timko and husband Steve, and Kenneth Custer. Bruce also leaves behind his sister and brother-in-law, Karlene and Richard Anderson of St. Paris; and their three children, Jonathan Ellinger, Jessica and husband TJ Rouch, and Jayde Anderson. He also leaves behind many aunts, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews, cousins, and good friends.

Bruce was born September 24, 1961, in Celina. He grew up in Rockford, where he graduated from Parkway Local Schools in 1980. In 1985, he moved to Urbana and worked for Kroger of Urbana before pursuing a living with Honda of America in Anna. He then moved to Homosassa, Florida, in 2003 to be close to his parents. Of all the things he loved to do, his favorites were playing Texas Hold ‘Em with his friends and riding his motorcycle.

Bruce was cremated at the Hooper Funeral Home of Homosassa, Florida, and his remains will be held by his family until such a time a memorial can be arranged in Ohio. Bruce’s ashes will be spread among family members at several locations to include Woodlawn Cemetery in Ohio City, Riverside Cemetery in Rockford, and Greasy Hollow Cemetery and Yoakum Cemetery, both in Speedwell, Tennessee.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the National Kidney Foundation, 30 E. 33rd St., New York, NY 10016.

POSTED: 11/26/20 at 11:39 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Dean C. “Deano” Mollenkopf, 87, of Van Wert, died at 11:35 a.m. Tuesday, November 24, 2020, at Van Wert Manor.

Dean C. Mollenkopf

He was born November 9, 1933, in Convoy, the son of John Edward and Ruth Marie (Potter) Mollenkopf, who both preceded him in death. On September 16, 1979, he married the former Susan K. Poling, who survives.

Other survivors include his daughters, Lynn (Jeff) Johnson of Delphos, Cheryl Mollenkopf of Wren, and Mary Jo Smith of Van Wert; two sons, Randy (Pam) Olson of Van Wert and Barry Olson of Van Wert; a daughter-in-law, Rhonda Mollenkopf of Byrdstown, Tennessee; 13 grandchildren; and 21 great-grandchildren. Uncle Deano will be missed by many nieces and nephews.

A son, Jay Mollenkopf; one brother, David Mollenkopf; and two sisters, Linda Bower and Phyllis A. Gay (who passed away on November 22, 2020), also preceded him in death.

Dean was a graduate of Convoy High School and a veteran of the U.S. Navy. He retired from International Harvester in 1998. Dean served as a member of Convoy Village Council and supported the revitalization of the Crestview football program and Jack Mollenkopf Stadium. Dean loved harness racing and attending the races at local fairs and The Little Brown Jug.

To honor Dean’s request, he will be cremated and there will be no formal visitation or service. 

Deano, aka “Mean Dean the Dancing Machine”, will surely be missed by his family and friends.

Preferred memorials: Van Wert Manor Activity Fund.

Arrangements made by Cowan & Son Funeral Home in Van Wert.

Condolences may be expressed at cowanfuneralhome.com.

POSTED: 11/25/20 at 11:18 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Ruth Eileen Gribler, 95, of Van Wert, passed away at 4:05 p.m. Friday, November 20, 2020, at Vancrest Health Care Center in Van Wert.

Ruth Eileen Gribler

She was born August 14, 1925, in Mercer County, the daughter of Donald E. and Mabel I. (Lillick) Whitmore, who both preceded her in death. On February 5, 1949, she married Lawrence O. “Snook” Gribler, who passed away April 4, 1998.

Ruth is survived by her three daughters, Phyllis Lehman Gorman (Henry) Cocozza of Tupelo, Mississippi, Judy (Terry) Fox of Van Wert, and Donna Fulcomer of Miamisburg; five grandchildren, John (Christal) Lehman, Todd (Laura) and Tara Fox, Jenni (Greg) Allamon, and Steffinee (Tom) Doughty; seven great-grandchildren; Hannah Lehman, Braxton and Carson Fox, Kyle, Ethan, and Aiden Allamon, and Logan Doughty; and a sister-in-law, Carolyn (Dull) Whitmore of Spencerville.

She was preceded in death by a granddaughter, Cathy Lehman; one sister, Juanita (Whitmore) Bashore; and four brothers, Robert, Verl, Paul, and Don Whitmore.

Ruth was a member of Calvary Evangelical Church in Van Wert, and had worked at Ditto’s IGA Grocery and Van Wert Manufacturing.

Graveside funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, December 5, in Woodland Cemetery in Van Wert, with Pastor W. Clark Williman officiating.

There will be no public visitation because of the pandemic, and family only will be in attendance at the cemetery.

Preferred memorials: Alzheimer’s Association or State of the Heart Hospice.

Condolences may be expressed at cowanfuneralhome.com.

POSTED: 11/25/20 at 10:32 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Mary Alice Louagie, 89, of Van Wert, passed away at 5:59 p.m. Sunday, November 22, 2020, at Vancrest Health Care Center in Van Wert.  

Mary Alice Louagie

She was born February 21, 1931, a daughter of Emile and Julia (Deruytter) Louagie, who both preceded her in death.  

She is survived by many nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews, and great-great-nieces and nephews.  

She was preceded in death by four sisters, Lena (Joe) Miller, Marie (Dale) Stripe, Laura Marie Louagie, and Pauline (Victor) Garmyn; and four brothers, Joseph Louagie, Richard Louagie, Paul Louagie, and Maurice (Clara) Louagie.

She retired after many years of employment at Van Wert County Courthouse. She was a member of St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Van Wert.

A Mass of Christian Burial and burial will be conducted in private.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic there will be no visitation. 

Preferred memorials: St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Van Wert.

Service arrangements have been made with Brickner Funeral Home.

Condolences may be expressed at www.bricknerfuneralhome.com or emailed to bricknerfuneralhome@bright.net.

POSTED: 11/24/20 at 1:26 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Paul Perez, 87, died at 2 p.m. Saturday, November 21, 2020, at Vancrest Health Care Center in Van Wert.  

Paul Perez

He was born September 25, 1933, in Spencerville, the son of Jesus and Julia (Morales) Perez, who both preceded him in death.

He is survived by his sons, Stephan Perez of Van Wert and Andreas Perez of Harlan, Indiana; three grandchildren, Sarah and Stefanie Perez, both of Roanoke, Indiana, and Alisa Perez of Hartford City, Indiana; three great-grandchildren, Gavin, Conner, and Corbin; three siblings, Pat Robison and Evelyn Perez, both of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Alice Villagomez of Decatur, Indiana.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Marie L. “Marliese” Perez, on November 18, 2020. Paul was also preceded in death by seven siblings, Doe, Jessie, Richard, and Joe Perez, Juanita Kamos, Ruby Cuellar, and Connie Granados.

Paul was a proud United States Army veteran of the Korean Conflict and a member of Van Wert Post 178 of the American Legion.

He was a member of Van Wert St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and the United Auto Workers. Paul had been employed as a machinist and retired from International Harvester in Fort Wayne after 34 years of service.  

Combined funeral services for Paul and Marie will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, November 28, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Van Wert, with the Rev. Will Haggis II officiating.  

Visitation will be one hour prior to services Saturday at the church. Military honors will be rendered by combined units of Legion Post 178 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5803, both of Van Wert.

Preferred Memorials: Alzheimer’s Association,

Funeral arrangements have been made with the assistance of Brickner Funeral Home.

Condolences may be expressed at www.bricknerfuneralhome.com or emailed to bricknerfuneralhome@bright.net.

POSTED: 11/24/20 at 1:17 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Marie L. “Marliese” Perez, 84, died at Vancrest Health Care Center in Van Wert at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, November 18, 2020.  

Marie L. Perez

She was born March 19, 1936, in Daxlanden, Germany, the daughter of Franz and Klara Trautwein, who both preceded her in death.  

She is survived by her husband, Paul, who died three days after Marie’s death; two sons, Andreas Perez of Harlan, Indiana, and Stephen Perez of Van Wert; three grandchildren, Sarah and Stephanie Perez, both of Roanoke, Indiana, and Alisia Perez of Hartford City, Indiana; three great-grandchildren, Gavin, Conner, and Corbin; a sister, Gertrude Mox of Delphos; and a half-sister, Connie Huisman.  

She was preceded in death by a half-brother, Uwe Huisman.

Marliese was member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Van Wert and a retired employee of Crescent Laundry and Dry Cleaners on North Market Street in Van Wert.

Combined funeral services for Paul and Marie will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, November 28, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, with the Rev. Will Haggis II officiating.  

Visitation will be one hour prior to services Saturday at the church.

Funeral arrangements have been made with the assistance of Brickner Funeral Home.

Condolences may be expressed at www.bricknerfuneralhome.com or emailed to bricknerfuneralhome@bright.net.

POSTED: 11/24/20 at 1:06 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries

Freda (Adkins) “Granny” Farris, 84, of Grover Hill, passed away Monday, November 23, 2020, at Paulding County Hospital in Paulding.

Freda (Adkins) Farris

Freda was born November 6, 1936, the daughter of Ernest and Iva Ceola (Leonard) Adkins, who both preceded her in death. On June 21, 1954, she married Journey Farris, who passed away June 1, 2010.

Freda enjoyed listening to bluegrass and gospel music, sewing, and was famous for her biscuits and gravy and fried apples. She enjoyed playing Farkle, spending time with her family, and she loved her grandchildren.

Survivors include three sisters, Sandra Adkins Lee of Haviland, Betty Myers of Paulding, and Merri Adkins of Van Wert; a son, Phil (Robin) Farris of Van Wert; three daughters, Joyce Bland and Beverly (Steve) Bussing, both of Paulding, and Barbara (Steve) Jackson-Landers of Grover Hill; 11 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; and six great-great-grandchildren.

Freda was also preceded in death by three sisters, Shirley Yoh, Nancy Laukhuf, and Ruth Healy; three brothers, Charles, Virgil, and Weldon Adkins; and two sons-in-law, Kenneth Bland and Greg Jackson.

A graveside service will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, November 28, in Pleasant View Cemetery in Haviland, with the Rev. David To officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Freda’s memory may be directed to the Grover Hill Welcome Park Project. 

Condolences may be expressed at www.alspachgearhart.com.

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

POSTED: 11/24/20 at 12:58 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries