Obituaries


Betty J. Drexler, 86, Jasper

Betty J. Drexler, 86, of Jasper, died Saturday, January 25, at Northwood Good Samaritan Retirement Center in Jasper. She was born in Huntingburg  February 15, 1933, to Ben and Stella (Zink) Heidorn. She married Donald Drexler November 14, 1953. He died August 20, 1991.

Betty retired as the art teacher at Southbridge High School after over 20 years of teaching. She received her master’s degree from Indiana University and her bachelor degree from Oakland City University. She was a member of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Holland, where she sang in the choir, and the Dubois County Art Guild. She enjoyed music and sang in local nursing homes with her family group, Generations. She loved her family, her animals, her flower garden, and scrabble.

She is survived by two daughters, Darcy Wadsworth and Stephanie Stark, both of Huntingburg; one son, John Drexler, Jasper; three grandchildren, Jason Wadsworth and wife Andrea, Chad Wadsworth, and Jennifer Stark and fiancé Andy Ripplinger; two sisters, Ruth Neuman, Huntingburg, and Karen Tierney; one brother, Steven Heidorn and wife Judy, Jasper; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents and husband she was preceded in death by three sisters, Evelyn Kehrer and Dorothy and Marcella Miller; and two brothers, Robert and Gerald Heidorn.

Friends may call from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Becher-Kluesner North Chapel in Jasper. Memorial contributions can be made to St. Paul’s Church. Online condolences can be shared at www.becherkluesner.com. Funeral services at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. Pastor Debbie Roe will officiate. Burial will follow in Fairmount Cemetery in Huntingburg.

Roy A. Yocum, 68, Schnellville

Roy A. Yocum, 68, of Schnellville, died Thursday, January 23, at his home. He was born in Lincoln County, Kentucky to Archie and Ella B. (Snow) Yocum. He was raised in Dubois County by the Tom and Betty Lechner and the Cleo and Jeanette Dishon families. He married Linda Wehr November 26, 1977, at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in St. Anthony.

Roy was loader operator at several coal mines, most recently United Minerals. He owned and operated Yocum Trucking and Yocum Excavating before retiring to hobby jobs. He was a member of the Schnellville Community Club and Schnellville Conservation Club and enjoyed rabbit hunting, gardening, UTV riding, and spending time with his friends and family, especially his grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife, Linda Yocum; one daughter, Kelly Bieker and husband Chris, Celestine; one son, Nathan Yocum, Ferdinand;  two grandchildren, Cam and Amelia Bieker; his parental guardians, Tom and Betty Lechner, Jasper, and Cleo Dishon, Princeton; 10 brothers, Richard Yocum, Tom Lechner Jr. and wife Chris, John Lechner and wife Ribbi, Perry Dishon and wife Connie, Kendall Dishon and wife Lori, Kerri Dishon, Gilbert Rowland and wife Karen, Franklin Rowland, Samuel Rowland, and John Rowland and wife Debbie; and eight sisters; Eileen Benedict and husband David, Bonnie Schwenk and husband Donnie, Roxanne Cockerill and husband Jim, Kim Basham and husband Don, Dina Lechner, Karen Dishon, Kathleen David and husband Doyle, and Colleen Abell and husband Dennis.

He was preceded in death by his parents, one guardian mother, Jeanette Dishon, and one sister, Arleen Bess.

Friends may call from 3-7 p.m. Monday at the Becher-Kluesner Downtown Chapel in Jasper. In lieu of flowers and gifts the family requests you honor Roy’s memory by supporting those less fortunate through charitable acts or donations of your choice. Online condolences can be shared at www.becherkluesner.com. Funeral services at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Sacred Heart Church with burial following in the church cemetery.

Manfred R. Groemminger, 81, St. Anthony

Manfred R. Groemminger, 81, of St. Anthony, died Wednesday, January 22, at Brookside Village in Jasper. He was born February 14, 1938, to Hugo and Luise (Muhlherr) Groemminger. He married Rose M. Stemle February 11, 1964, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Schnellville. She died February 9, 2015.

Manfred retired as a mechanic from Jasper Engines after 33 years of service. He was a member of St. Anthony Catholic Church, the St. Anthony Community Center, and the St. Anthony Conservation Club. He enjoyed German music, working on cars, fishing, and spending time with his friends and family, especially his grandchildren.

He is survived by one daughter, Becky Ann Schepers and husband Victor, Holland; one son, Brian Keith Groemminger and wife Jenny, Batesville; two grandchildren, Kaitlyn and Braydon Groemminger; one sister, Irma Mayer, Germany; one brother, Werner Groemminger and wife Rosemarie, Germany; and nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents and wife he was preceded in death by one brother-in-law, Johann Mayer, and one niece, niece, Edith Engst.

Friends may call from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Becher-Kluesner Downtown Chapel in Jasper and from 9-10 a.m. Monday at St. Anthony Church. Memorial contributions can be made to St. Anthony Church or to a favorite charity. Online condolences can be shared at www.becherkluesner.com. Funeral services at 10 a.m. Monday at the church with burial following in the church cemetery.

Clara A. Wilgus, 88, Ferdinand

Clara A. Wilgus, 88, of Ferdinand, died Tuesday, January 21, at her home under the care of Heart to Heart Hospice. She was born in Troy May 12, 1931, to Erwin and Gertrude (Bergman) Lamar. She married Paul Wilgus April 11, 1953, in Troy. He died February 14, 1981.

Clara was Salutatorian of the 1949 class of Tell City High School. She was a member of Christ the King Parish, St. Ferdinand Church and retired as a cook at Forest Park High School. She was a charter member of Ferdinand Home Economics Club and enjoyed gardening, crocheting, reading, and cooking, and was an avid bird watcher.

She is survived by five daughters, Patti Bos and husband Maarten, Sarasota, Florida, Mona Elder and husband Kenny, Tell City, Terry Brinker and fiance’ Wayde Jones, Evansville, Sandy Waninger and husband Tony, Fulda, and Marci Hansen and husband Michael, Ferdinand; two sons, Rick Wilgus and wife Tonya, Evansville, and Ron Wilgus and wife Shelly, Schnellville; 16 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Linda Lamar, Arkansas; brother-in-law Charlie Wilgus and wife Sue, Tell City; several nieces and nephews; and caregivers Ruth Sickbert, Angie Rahman, and Denise Schnell.

In addition to her parents and husband she was preceded in death by one daughter, Carol Wilgus, one great-grandson, Corbin Sarfos, three brothers, Albert, Marty, and Paulie Lamar, and one sister, Agnes (Bootz).

Friends may call from 4-8 p.m. Saturday at Becher Funeral Home in Ferdinand. Online condolences can be shared at www.becherfuneralhome.com. A mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Ferdinand Church with burial following in the church cemetery.

Veronica C. “Fronie” Hochgesang, 96, St. Anthony

Veronica  C. “Fronie” Hochgesang, 96, of St. Anthony, died Tuesday, January 21, at her home. She was born in Schnellville October 24, 1923, to Joseph and Mathilda (Gunselman) Brosmer. She married August X. Hochgesang April 22, 1941, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Schnellville. He died September 5, 1992.

Fronie was a member of Divine Mercy Parish – St. Anthony Catholic Church where she was a cleaner for over 35 years. She was a member of the church’s Christian Mothers and a recipient of the Simon Brute and Mother Theresa awards. She was a homemaker and cooked at the St. Anthony Community Center and St. Anthony Elementary School. She enjoyed cooking, baking, canning, crafts, planting flowers, playing bingo, helping people, and spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren.

She is survived by seven daughters, Darlene Tuell, Huntingburg, Mary Jean “Jeannie” Begle and husband Jim, St. Henry, Janet Braunecker and husband Joseph “Junie,” St. Meinrad, and Linda Hochgesang, Cindy Hochgesang (Jerry Young), and Brenda and Laura Hochgesang, all of St. Anthony; four sons, William “Bill” Hochgesang and wife Carol, Clarksville, Tennessee, Ernest “Ernie” Hochgsang and wife Eileen, St. Henry, Michael “Mick” Hochgesang and wife Tami, Birdseye, and Richard “Rick” Hochgesang and wife Jenny, St. Anthony; 15 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; one great-grandchild and one great-great-grandchild on the way; and one brother, Lawrence Brosmer, Schnellville.

In addition to her parents and husband she was preceded in death by two sons-in-law, Charles Tuell, and Arnie Heeke, three sisters, Dorothy Messmer, Anna Mae Brosmer, and Catherine Hartings, and five brothers, Isidore, Cletus, Edward, Philip, and Joseph Brosmer.

Friends may call from 3-8 p.m. Friday at the Becher-Kluesner Downtown Chapel in Jasper. The St. Anthony Christian Mothers will pray a rosary at 2:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be made to Divine Mercy Parish or to a favorite charity. Online condolences can be shared at www.becherkluesner.com. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Anthony Church with burial following in the church cemetery.

Verna Wollenmann, 85, Ferdinand

Verna Wollenmann, 85, of Ferdinand, died Sunday, January 19, at Scenic Hills at the Monastery. She was born in Ferdinand September 13, 1934, to Werner A. and Irene A. (Lindauer)  Wollenmann.

Verna attended Ferdinand Elementary Grade School and the Academy of the Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand. She received her nursing credentials at St. Vincent’s School of Nursing in Indianapolis and started her nursing career at Stork Memorial Hospital in Huntingburg. She worked as a nurse for Dr. J.P. Salb in Jasper and retired from her career working as a home health care nurse in Jasper. She was a member of Christ the King Parish, St. Ferdinand Church and its’ St. Anne’s Sodality. She was a Eucharistic Minister, Sacristan, a choir member, lector, and a religion educator.

She is survived by two sisters, Carolyn Tieken and husband Virgil, Ferdinand, and Gloria (Wollenmann) Shreve, Santa Claus; one brother, Paul Wollenmann and wife Joelle, Evansville; sisters-in-law Betty (Borho) Wollenmann, Ferdinand, Marilyn (Abel) Wollenmann, Naperville, Illinois, and Martha (Vehr) Wollenmann, Holland; and 37 nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by siblings Maxwell and Helen (Borders) Wollenmann, Leander Wollenmann, Aloysious and Mary Ann (Borho) Wollenman, Mary Margaret (Wollenmann) and Sy Hurst, John and Ann (Braunecker) Wollenmann, Charles Wollenmann, Matthew Wollenmann and brother-In-law Christopher Shreve.

Friends may call from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday and from 7-10:30 a.m. Thursday at Becher Funeral Home in Ferdinand. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the St. Anne’s Sodality. Online condolences can be shared at www.becherfuneralhome.com. A mass of Christian burial will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Ferdinand Church.

Thomas Owen Ellsworth, 92, Huntingburg

Thomas Owen Ellsworth, 92, of Huntingburg, died Saturday, January 18, at Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center in Jasper. He was born in Huntingburg October 4, 1927 to William Emil and Clementine (Carpenter) Ellsworth. He married Mildred Lee “Midge” Conner  April 13, 1952, at Central Christian Church in Huntingburg.

Tom was a 1945 graduate of Huntingburg High School where he was a member of the Huntingburg Happy Hunters football and basketball teams and the high school band. He attended Ohio State University under the Army Specialized Training Program and Oakland City College. He was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II and served with the 7th Infantry Division in Korea from 1946 to 1947. In the late 1940s and early 50s he was a member of Mike Kelly’s Orchestra playing the drums. He worked at Ellsworth Dairy and Styline Furniture and served the City of Huntingburg as a City Councilman and 12years as City Clerk-Treasurer. He was a member and Elder Emeritus at Central Christian Church and a member of Huntingburg VFW Post 2366.

He is survived by his wife, Mildred Ellsworth; one son, Tom D. Ellsworth and wife Elsie, Bloomington; one daughter, Suzanne Mastin and husband Mike, Zionsville; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by three brothers, Gordon, Bill, and Richard Ellsworth, and one sister, Mary Ellen Schultz.

Friends may call from 4-8 p.m. Tuesday at Nass and Son Funeral Home in Huntingburg. Memorial contributions can be made to Central Christian Church. Online condolences can be shared at www.nassandson.com. Funeral services at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home with burial following in Mt. Zion Christian Church Cemetery near Santa Claus. The VFW Post 2366 Memorial Detail will conduct military graveside rites.

William Russel Heitz, 90, St. Anthony

William Russel Heitz, 90, of St. Anthony, died Saturday, January 18, at North River Health Center in Evansville. He was born in Huntingburg January 14, 1930, to William and Louise (Pfaff) Heitz. He married Viola “Shortie” Kunkler June 27, 1953, at St. Anthony Catholic Church. She died February 7, 2016.

William retired from Central Concrete as a boom truck driver. He was a member of Divine Mercy Parish – St. Anthony Catholic Church, and the St. Anthony Community Center. He enjoyed watching sporting events and taking long drives trying to find a road he had not been on before. He liked to hang out at Commercial Truck Sales in Bretzville and Berg’s Garage in St. Marks, and enjoyed spending time with friends and family.

He is survived by one daughter, Tonya Wilgus and husband Rick, Evansville; two grandchildren, Trace Wilgus and wife Abby, Nashville, Tennessee, and Trev Wilgus and wife Page, New York City, New York; two great-grandchildren, Nora Jo and Mack Michael Wilgus; and nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents and wife he was preceded in death by two sisters, Emmogyne Schwartz and Patricia Jochem; and one brother, Fred Heitz.

Friends may call from 3-8 p.m. Tuesday at the Becher-Kluesner Downtown Chapel in Jasper and from 9-10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Anthony Church. Memorial contributions can be made to Divine Mercy Parish or to a favorite charity. Online condolences can be shared at www.becherkluesner.com. .A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the church with burial following in the church cemetery.

Louise H. Schitter, 90, Jasper

Louise H. Schitter, 90, of Jasper, died Saturday, January 18, at the Northwood Retirement Community in Jasper. She was born in Jasper March 25, 1929, to Bernard and Clarissa (Steffen) Kreilen. She married Earl Luker Jr. May 10, 1949, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jasper. He died March 14, 1966. She married Levienes Schitter November 17, 1979, at St. Joseph Church. He died September 30, 2018.

Louise worked at Masterbrand Cabinets until her retirement. She was a member of St. Joseph Church, the Daughters of Isabella, the St. Anne Socity, the American Legion Auxilary, and the Women of the Moose. She loved making crafts and playing Bingo with her sisters.

She is survived by one son, James Luker and wife Carol, Jasper; one granddaughter, Mandy Uppencamp and husband Jason, Winslow; three great-granddaughters; five great-great grandchildren; one sister, Florence Angerer and husband Delbert, Jasper; and two brothers, Dennis Kreilein and wife Virlee, Jasper, and Kenneth Kreilein and wife Marge, Celestine.

In addition to her parents and two husband she was preceded in death by four sisters, Marcella Rees, Anna Mae Messier, Alberta Kreilein, and an infant daughter, Joann Kreilein.

Friends may call from 3-7 p.m. Wednesday at the Becher-Kluesner Downtown Chapel in Jasper. The Daughters of Isabella and the St. Anne’s Socity will pray a rosary at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home and the American Legion Auxiliary will conduct a memorial service at 6 p.m. Memorial contributions can be made to the church or to a favorite charity. Online condolences can be shared at www.becherkluesner.com. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 9:30 a.m. Thursday at the church with burial following in Fairview Cemetery. .

Carolyn Matilda Sophia Kamman, 97, Zoar

Carolyn Matilda Sophia Kamman, 97, of Zoar, died Friday, January 17, at Scenic Hills at the Monastery in Ferdinand. She was born in Holland October 27, 1922, to Edwin and Ruth (Kahle) Meyer. She married Irvin H. Kamman December 25, 1940, at St. Paul United Church of Christ in Holland. He died March 26, 1999.

Carolyn was a graduate of Holland High School and retired as a nurse’s aid from the Huntingburg Covalescent Center. She was a member of Zoar United Methodist Church and its Methodist Women Club and was an avid quilter.

She is survived by two sons, Rev. Joe Kamman and wife Phyllis, Santa Claus, and John Kamman and wife Jackie, Huntingburg; two daughters, Judith Heilman and husband Bob, Santa Claus, and Janet Dunn, Indianapolis; nine grandchildren; 11 great-grand children; and two great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents and husband she was preceded in death by one brother, Glenn Meyer, two sisters, Geneva Ring and Janet Norris; son-in-law Michael Dunn; and one great-grandchild.

Friends may call from 3-8 p.m. Monday at Nass and Son Funeral Home in Huntingburg and from 9-10 a.m. Tuesday at Zoar UMC. Online condolences can be shared at www.nassandson.com. Funeral services at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the church with burial following in Zoar Cemetery. Rev.  Roy Carpenter will officiate at the service.