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March 28, 2015


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Norman Vercler was hospital X-ray technologist 22 years; later operated Norm's Electronics

J. Norman Vercler died at 9:30 a.m. March 27, 2015, at the Mennonite Memorial Home in Bluffton after a long struggle with Parkinson's disease.  He had been a resident of Bluffton for 58 years.

He was born March 14, 1925, in Meadows, Ill., to the late Elmer and Naomi (Claudon) Vercler. He graduated from Chenoa High School and went on for further studies at Illinois State Normal University where he majored in science.  After graduation, he began work at Mennonite Hospital in Bloomington as head medical technician, a position he held until 1956.


Paul Kersh was a Pandora-Gilboa HS graduate

Paul Dean Kersh, 57, of Pandora died March 26, 2015, at his residence following a sudden illness. He was born Sept. 27, 1957, in Columbus to Robert and Eleanor Pingle Kersh.

He worked for the Benton Ridge Telephone Company since 1983. He enjoyed bowling, fishing and hunting and was a member of the Leipsic Fishing & Hunting Assoc. He was a graduate of Pandora-Gilboa High School.


Shirley Benham was an Ada High School graduate

Shirley E. Benham, 78, of Beaverdam died at 7:25 a.m. March 22, 2015 at her residence. 

Shirley was born June 28, 1936, in Orange Township, Hancock County to the late John and Cora Balmer Marquart.  On Nov. 7, 1957 she married Billy A. Benham and he preceded her in death on Jan. 19, 2009. 

She was a homemaker and had worked as an executive secretary at the A.J. Heinz  Company, Bowling Green.  She was a 1954 graduate of Ada High School.  


Mary Fruchey worked at Triplett Corp. for 27 years

Mary  E. Fruchey, 79, died March 12, 2015, at 4:47 pm at her residence. She  was born Aug. 3, 1935, in Lima, to the late Lloyd and Pearl (McMillen) Haviland. She married Dick Inskeep who preceded her in death.  She later married Robert Fruchey on  February 25, 1961 and he died on Sept. 14, 2004.

Mary worked at Triplett Corp., Bluffton, for 27 years.  She had worked at Fredrick's Beauty School prior to that.  She attended Beaverdam Church of Christ.  Mary was a graduate of Lafayette High School.


Dr. Mark Hilty was part of a dentist family in Columbus Grove

Dr. Mark B. Hilty, 89, died Tuesday, March 10, 2015, at 9:20 a.m. at St. Rita’s Medical Center, Lima, Ohio.

He was born on Sept. 8, 1925, in Columbus Grove, to Alvan B. and Nettie (Schumacher) Hilty. They both preceded him in death. On June 17, 1950, he married Marjorie B. Basinger, and she survives in Columbus Grove.

He was a graduate of Columbus Grove High School, class of 1943, and The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, graduating Suma Cum Laude, class of 1952.


Rose Marie Grzybowski 1938-2015

Rose Marie Grzybowski, 77, died March 9, 2015, at her residence. She was born Jan. 20, 1938, in Chicago, Ill., to the late Bernard and Marie (Jozwiak) Twardowski.

She had been a waitress and licensed beautician. She was a graduate of Gage High School, Chicago, Ill.

Survivors include two sons Robert A. (Dava) Grzybowski, Jr,. of Lima, Ron (Amy) Grzybowski of Ada; four grandchildren; and a brother Tom (Arlene) Twardowski of Illinois.
She was preceded in death by two brothers John and Bernard Twardowski.


Funeral arrangements incomplete for Rose Grzybowski

Rose M. Grzybowski, 77 , died March 9, 2015, at her residence. Arrangements are pending at Chiles-Laman Funeral & Cremation Services, Bluffton.


Elizabeth McDowell was a former staff member of Bluffton University

Elizabeth Ann McDowell, 68, died March 7, 2015, at 11:35 pm at Mennonite Memorial Home, Bluffton.  She  was born Oct. 19, 1946, in Cincinnati to the late Troy and Evelyn (Schoenberger) Phillips.

She had been a secretary in the Bluffton University Athletic Office and later was a chaplain at Sunny Side Village, Sarasota, Fla. She was a member of First Mennonite Church, Bluffton. She volunteered at Mennonite Memorial Home, Bluffton. 

She was a graduate of Princeton High School, Glendale, Ohio and Capital University, Bexley, Ohio.


Keith Moyer, Mt. Cory HS grad, received Salvation Army's highest civilian award

A. Keith Moyer, 87, of Bluffton died at 7:52 p.m. March 7, 2015 at Bluffton Hospital.  He was born Feb. 13, 1928, in Bluffton to the late Floyd and Alice Steiner Moyer. On Nov. 22, 1952 he married Harriett Burkhart and she survives.

He was a retired professor and assistant director of student housing a the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He was a member of the English Lutheran Church, Bluffton. 


LaVonne Sommer, with her husband, operated Sommer Motor Sales in Pandora

N. LaVonne Sommer, 100, of Pandora, died at 10:08 a.m. March 6, 2015 at Hilty Memorial Home, Pandora. She was born Sept. 20, 1914, in McComb to Walter A. and Tressa Rader Otto. On Sept. 26, 1936 she married James D. Sommer and he preceded her in death on Nov. 8, 1982. 

She co-owned and operated Sommer Motor Sales in Pandora. She was a member of Pandora United Methodist Church and a graduate of Rawson High School.