Obituaries


Dennis L. Wilz, 76

Dennis L. Wilz, 76, of Jasper, died Thursday, June 25, at his home. He was born in Jasper January 30, 1944, to John and Helen (Giesler) Wilz. He married Sue Ann Hedinger July 11, 1970, at St. Meinrad Catholic Church in St. Meinrad.

Dennis worked at Jasper Cabinet for 40 years and retired from Jasper Chair, where he worked for many years. He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jasper and loved sports, fishing, camping, and spending time outdoors.

He is survived by his wife, Sue Wilz; one son, Brian Wilz, Avon; one daughter, April Lee, Selvin;  two sisters, Mary Spellmeyer and husban James and  Ann Ward, all of Jasper;  and two brothers, Edward Wilz and wife Linda and Tom Wilz and wife Sharon, all of Jasper.

Friends may call from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Becher-Kluesner Downtown Chapel in Jasper. Memorial contributions can be made to St. Joseph 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 a.m. Monday at the church with burial following at a later date.

Mary Lou Eckert, 76, Birdseye

Mary Lou Eckert, 76, of Birdseye, died Tuesday, June 23, at her home. She was born in Huntingburg July 5, 1943, to John Edward and Pauline (Abell) Steffen. She married Eddie Dale Eckert June 29, 1963, at First Pentecostal Church in Birdseye. He died October 17, 2013.

Mary Lou was a lifetime member of First Pentecostal Church, a 1962 graduate of Birdseye High School, and enjoyed crafting and attending flea markets.

She is survived by three sons, Todd Eckert, Shoals, Brian Eckert, Evansville and Pastor Bret Eckert and wife Erica, Birdseye; her mother, Pauline Steffen, Birdseye; one brother, Carl Steffen and wife Frances, Birdseye; five grandchildren, Dustin, Caden, Danielle, Austin, and Felecia; and two great-grandchildren.

In addition to her father and husband she was preceded in death by one daughter, Carla Michelle “Missy” Eckert..

Friends may call from 4-8 p.m. Friday at Nass and Son Funeral Home in Huntingburg and from 10-11 a.m. Saturday at First Pentecostal Church. Online condolences can be shared at www.nassandson.com. Funeral services at 11 a.m. Saturday at the church with burial following in Mentor Cemetery. Brother Jerry Cottrell will officiate at the service.

Virlee K. Durcholz, 90, Ferdinand

Virlee K. Durcholz, 90, of Ferdinand, died Sunday, June 21, at her home. She was born in Ferdinand May 16, 1930, to Leo and Caroline (Weyer) Kippenbrock. She married Harold P. Durcholz July 4, 1953, at St. Ferdinand Catholic Church in Ferdinand.

Virlee retired from General Electric after 27 years of service and was a bookkeeper at Ferdinand Railroad. She enjoyed gardening and was a member of the St. Anne’s Sodality.

She is survived by one son, Allen Durcholz, Louisville; three daughters, Mary Dauby, Ferdinand, Jayne Stewart and husband Gary, Dalton Springs, Illinois, and Dianne Lee and husband Edward, Washington, D.C.; seven grandchildren, Laurel, Shaina, and Ross Dauby, Brandon and Tyler Stewart, Brian Sullivan, and Arden Lee; and three great-grandchildren, Ellie and Dawn Stewart and Briana Sullivan.

In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by one daughter, Ann Lynn Durcholz, three sisters, Mildred Klem, Virginia Pieper, and Isabelle Tarullo; four brothers, Robert, Reynold, Hubert, and Aloysius Kippenbrock, and one son-in-law, William F. Dauby.

Friends may call from 9-10:45 a.m. Friday at Becher Funeral Home in Ferdinand. Memorial contributions can be made to Bright Focus Alzheimer’s and Glaucoma Research. Online condolences can be shared at www.becherfuenralhome.com. Funeral services at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Ferdinand Church with burial following in the church cemetery.

Carol J. Oser, 77, Ferdinand

Carol J. Oser, 77, of Ferdinand, died Friday, June 19, at her home. She was born in Huntingburg June 21, 1942, to Clarence and Dolores (Schepers) Klem. She married Walter Oser September 2, 1961, at St. Mary Church in Ireland. He died October 8, 2012.

Carol retired from MasterBrand Cabinets. She was a member of St. Meinrad Catholic Church and the St. Meinrad Legion Post 366 Auxillary. She enjoyed being with her grandchildren and doing jigsaw puzzles.

She is survived by three daughters, Denise Oser, Bandon, and Susan Burch and husband Paul and Bonnie Oser, all of Bristow; two sons, Kurt Oser, Siberia, Rick Oser, Bristow; 17 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; her mother, Dolores Klem, Jasper; five brothers, Stan Klem, Nashua, New Hampshire, Tim Klem and wife Janet, Newburgh, Mark Klem and wife Elaine, Cleveland, Ohio, and Brian Klem and wife Patty and Jeff Klem, all of Jasper.

In addition to her husband she was preceded in death by one daughter, Diane Oser, one son, Scott Oser, one brother, Ron Klem, one grandson, David Mattingly, and one great-granddaughter, Adrianna Blair.

Friends may call from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday at Becher Funeral Home in Ferdinand. Online condolences can be shared at www.becherfuneralhome.com. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Saint Meinrad  Church with burial following in the church cemetery.

Thomas E. Leighty, 78, Jasper

Thomas E. Leighty, 78, of Jasper, died Saturday, June 20, at Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center in Jasper. He was born in Otwell September 8, 1941, to Homer and Nora (Frentress) Leighty. He married Susie Streicher December 26, 1992, in Jasper.

Thomas retired from Indianapolis Power and Light Company after many years of service. He and his wife were very active in prison and church ministries and mentors to many aspiring ministers. He enjoyed golf, singing, playing the guitar, and spending time with family and friends.

He is survived by his wife, Susie Leighty; three daughters, Kimberly Miller and husband Alan, Sullivan, Kristi Gross, Newburgh, and Dawn Bartley and husband Gary, Jasper; two sons, Brian Leighty and wife Bea, West Palm Beach, Florida, and Kenny Sibrel and wife Kelly, Loogootee; eight grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; one sister; Elzena Strain, Petersburg; and one brother, David Leighty and wife Brenda, Cato.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by three brothers; Doin, John, and George Leighty, and two sisters, Barbara Joann Swain and Mary Jane Ingersoll.

Friends may call from 2-6 p.m. Thursday at the Becher-Kluesner Downtown Chapel in Jasper. Memorial contributions can be made to a favorite charity. Online condolences can be shared at www.becherkluesner.com. Funeral services at 6 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home with burial following at a later date.

Julia A. Olinger, 78, Huntingburg

Julia A. Olinger, 78, of Huntingburg, died Friday, June 19, at her home. She was born in Huntingburg July 12, 1941, to Ervin “Bun” and Mildred (Souders) Kruger. She married Jerome “Jerry” Olinger February 10, 1962, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Huntingburg.

Julia was a homemaker and an active member of St. Mary’s Church, a member of the St. Mary’s rosary prayer group and served as a group prayer leader and prayer catechist for religious education.

She is survived by her husband, Jerry Olinger; one son, Jan Olinger and wife LeaAnn, Jasper; four daughters, Jennifer Beckwith and husband Michael, Newburgh, Jane Fritch, Jasper, Jill Tretter and husband Tim, Overland Park, Kansas. and Jodi Burdette, Boonville; one sister, Sharon Disinger. Santa Claus; 15 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Ervin and Mildred Kruger.

Friends may call from 3-8 p.m. Monday at Nass and Son Funeral Home in Huntingburg. Memorial contributions can be made to St. Mary’s Church. Online condolences can be shared at www.nassandson.com. Funeral services at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the church with burial following in the church cemetery. The funeral mass will be celebrated by Father Homero Rodriguez.

Allan L. “Allie” Gessner, 66, Jasper

Allan L. “Allie” Gessner, 66, of Jasper, died Thursday, June 18, at his home. He was born in Huntingburg January 29, 1954, to Oscar J. and Marie L. (Oeding) Gessner. He married Bonita “Bonnie” Eckerle January 16, 1987.

Allie retired from United Minerals Coal Mine. He was a member of the Jasper Moose, loved hunting and fishing, and was an avid fan of the St Louis Cardinals.

He is survived by his wife, Bonnie Gessner; one daughter, Jennifer Speicher and husband Chris, Haubstadt; one son, Luke Gessner and wife Stacy, Ferdinand; three grandchildren, Allayna and Madalyn Speicher and Calvin Gessner; five sisters, Carol Meyer and husband Bill, Martha Hempfling and husband Jerry, and Paula Vonderheide and husband Tom, all of Ferdinand, Marlene Gehlhausen and husband Roch, Jasper, and Clara Temple and husband Lee Ray, St. Meinrad; three brothers, Frank Gessner and wife Marie, Ferdinand, Mark Gessner and wife Joyce, Celestine, and Tony Gessner and wife Donna, St. Meinrad; nieces and nephews, including his two godchildren, Stephanie Flowers and Emily Lindauer; and great nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Oscar and Marie Gessner.

Friends may call from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday at the Becher-Kluesner North Chapel in Jasper. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be made to the wishes of the family. Online condolences can be shared at www.becherkluesner.com. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jasper with burial following in Fairview Cemetery.

Ilma M. Neukam, 100, Haysville

Ilma M. Neukam, 100, of Haysville, died Wednesday, June 17, at Northwood Retirement Community in Jasper, five hours short of her 101st birthday. She was born in Louisville June 18, 1919, to Johann Christopher and Laura Anna Katherina (Himsel) Harder. She married Elmer W. Neukam February 18, 1941, at Christ Lutheran Church in Haysville. He died May 1, 2002.

Ilma was a homemaker and an active and mission minded member of Christ Lutheran Church. She enjoyed quilting, bowling, music, camping with her husband, flowers, gardening, and spending time with her family at gatherings.

She is survived by two daughters, Judith Ann Angerer, Jasper, and Brenda S. Norman, Haysville; two sons,  Donald L. Neukam and wife Debbie, Huntingburg, and Kurt Neukam, Haysville; seven grandchildren;  Chris Angerer, Wes, Whitney, and Kaitlyn Neukam, Mandy Neukam-Hamby, Lucas Norman, and Leah Rose; nine great-grandchildren; and one sister, Shirley Street, Haysville.

In addition to her parents and husband she was preceded in death by one daughter, Carol Jean Neukam, one son; Farrell Neukam, one great-granddaughter; Lilly Neukam, and one brother; Nelson Harder.

Friends may call from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Christ Lutheran Church. Memorial contributions may be made to the church. Online condolences can be shared at www.becherkluesner.com. Funeral Services at 1 p.m. Saturday at the church with burial following in Haysville Community Cemetery.

Jason Lee Swinburne, 41, Jasper

Jason Lee Swinburne, 41, of Jasper, died Wednesday, June 17, at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, July 10, 1978. He married Amanda Davis August 11, 2015.

Jason worked for a number of restaurants in the Jasper area. He enjoyed fishing, bowling, and watching movies with his stepson.

He is survived by his wife, AmandaSwinburne; and one stepson, Leland Parker, Jasper.

He was preceded in death by one daughter, Amy Swinburne, who died in infancy.

Private funeral services were held at Becher-Kluesner Funeral Home in Jasper. Memorial Contributions can be made to the wishes of the family. Online condolences can be shared at www.becherkluesner.com.

Eli M. Anderson, 18, Jasper

Elijah M. “Eli” Anderson, 18, of Jasper, died Saturday, June 13, a drowning victim in a lake near Holland. He was born in Jasper April 12, 2002, to Scott and Nicole Anderson.

Eli was a 2020 graduate of Jasper High School, a member of the Wildcats’ cross country and track teams. He also played little league baseball and elementary basketball. He enjoyed playing video games, hanging out with friends, staying fit, and being a friend to many.

He is survived by his mother, Nicole Gramelspacher and husband David, Jasper; his father, Scott Anderson, Jasper; one sister; KayLee Anderson, Jasper; three brothers; Josh Mehringer, New Albany,  and Isaac Anderson and Jace Gramelspacher, both of Jasper; his maternal grandfather; Don Wilson, Morristown, Tennessee; his paternal grandparents, Jerry and Peg Anderson, Boswell; and his step-grandparents; David and Mary Gramelspacher, Jasper.

He was preceded in death by his maternal grandmother, Jean Wilson.

Private funeral services Thursday at the Becher-Kluesner Downtown Chapel in Jasper. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be made to the Jasper High School cross country team and/or the JHS track team. Online condolences can be shared at www.becherkluesner.com.