Obituaries


Norida T. Hilgeman, 91, Ferdinand

Norida T. Hilgeman, 91, of Ferdinand, died Thursday, April 18, at her home. She was born in Ferdinand  April 28, 1927, to Robert and Marie K. (Uebelhor) Albert. She married Ellis Hilgeman June 12, 1943, in Huntingburg. He died February 9, 1977.

Norida worked at Huntingburg Wood Products and Styline for 28 years. She volunteered for 23 years at a number of local nursing homes. She was a member of Huntingburg VFW and enjoyed pinochle, playing cards, bingo, her flower garden, and being with her friends.

She is survived by one son, Larry Hilgeman and wife Jayne, Ferdinand; one daughter, Judy Hilgeman, Ferdinand; four grandchildren, Christy and Larry Jr. Hilgeman and Mick and Chris Feldmeyer; six great-grandchildren; and one sister, Romilda Mayes, Louisville.

In addition to her parents and husband she was preceded in death by four brothers, Fred, Robert Jr., Cletus, and Ivo Albert.

Funeral services and burial will be held in Fairmont Cemetery at a later date. Becher Funeral Home in Ferdinand is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences can be shared at www.becherfuneralhome.com.

James C. “Jim” Gunselman, 68, Jasper

James C. “Jim” Gunselman, 68, of Jasper, died Thursday, April 18, at St. Charles Health Campus in Jasper. He was born in Huntingburg August 18, 1950, to Clements J. and Anita (Schmidt) Gunselman. He married Belinda “Lindy” Zink February 19, 1972, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Huntingburg.

Jim was a 1968 graduate of Huntingburg High School. He retired as the office manager of Hoosier Bandag in Huntingburg after 40 years of service. He was a co-founder of G-Crew L.L.C. in Jasper. He was a member of Precious Blood Catholic Church in Jasper, the Huntingburg YMI, a past president and board member of the Huntingburg Optimist Club and a member of the Jasper Optimist. He was involved in coaching youth baseball and softball for over 40 years, serving as a coach and board member in the Huntingburg Little League. He enjoyed spending time with his family, working on sports fields, coaching youth baseball, watching the St. Louis Cardinals and Notre Dame Football, and maintaining his yard.

He is survived by his wife, Belinda “Lindy” Gunselman; one daughter, Alyssa Smith and husband Darrell, Louisville; one son, Brady Gunselman and wife Gwen, Jasper; four grandsons, Nick and Zack Smith and Cohen and Keaton Gunselman; two sisters, Beth Hassfurther, Florida, and Bonnie Eble and husband Bill, Boonville; and two brothers, Lee Gunselman, Evansville, and Rick Gunselman and wife Malia, Norton, Ohio.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Clements and Anita Gunselman.

Friends may call from 2-7 p.m. Monday at the Becher-Kluesner Downtown Chapel in Jasper and from 9-10 a.m. Tuesday at Precious Blood Church. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be made to Precious Blood Church, Friends of Jasper Baseball, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, or Huntingburg Little League. Online condolences can be shared at www.becherkluesner.com. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the church with burial following in Fairview Cemetery.

Matilda “Tillie” Burger, 92, Jasper

Matilda “Tillie” Burger, 92, of Jasper, died Wednesday, April 17, at Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center in Jasper. She was born in St. Anthony April 24, 1926, to Martin and Rose (Schnell) Leisman. She married Elmer Burger October 26, 1948, at St. Anthony Catholic Church in St. Anthony. He died December 23, 2004.

Tillie was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jasper, the St. Anne Society, Daughters of Isabella, and the VFW Post 673 Auxiliary. She retired from Aristo-Kraft Furniture Company in Jasper. She enjoyed gardening, playing cards, country music, and being with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She is survived by one daughter, Donna English and husband Robert, Vincennes; one son, Elmer A. Burger Jr., Jasper; two grandchildren, Tracy Sayles and husband Chris and Michael English; two great-grandchildren, Ariana and Darrius; and one sister, Dorothy Sherman, Jasper.

In addition to her parents and husband she was preceded in death by three sisters, Rita Leisman, Mary Doherty Rottet, and Roseleana Waninger, one brother, Albert Leisman, and sister-in-law Donna Burger.

Friends may call from 2-8 p.m. Monday at the Becher-Kluesner North Chapel in Jasper.  The St. Anne Society and the D of I will lead a rosary service at 1:30 p.m. Monday at the funeral home. St. The VFW Auxiliary will conduct a memorial service at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the funeral home. Memorial contributions can be made to St. Joseph Church or to a favorite charity. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. Joseph Church with burial following in Fairview Cemetery.

Barbara J. Balka, 66, Jasper

Barbara J. Balka, 66, of Jasper, died Wednesday, April 17, at Northwood Retirement Community in Jasper. She was born in Evansville September 5, 1952, to Don and Norma Jean (Clayton) Bruce. She married Dan Balka August 3, 1974, at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Evansville.

Barbara retired as a director of Planned Giving at the St. Meinrad Arch Abbey and also worked as a probation officer in Dubois County. She was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church in Jasper where she was a member of its first CRHP group and served as a Eucharistic minister and reader. She enjoyed sewing, reading, Boston Terriers, exercising,  and spending time with friends and family.

She is survived by her husband, Dan Balka; three sons, Mike Balka and wife Jeni, Greencastle, Eric Balka and wife Abby, Indianapolis, and Jeff Balka,  New York City; two grandchildren Emma and Dylan Balka; his parents, Don and Norma Jean Bruce, Evansville; three sisters, Sandy Wilson and husband John, St. Meinrad, Patti McBride, Evansville, and Lisa Monk and husband Gaylan, Murfreesboro, Tennessee; and one brother, Steve Bruce and wife Jodi, Evansville.

She was preceded in death by her grandparents.

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 Holy Family Church. Memorial contributions can be made to St. Meinrad Arch Abbey. Online condolences can be shared at www.becherkluesner.com. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Holy Family Church with burial following in Fairview Cemetery.

Judy Kerstiens, 61, St. Anthony

Judy Kerstiens, 61, of St. Anthony, died Tuesday, April 16, at her home. She was born in Huntingburg February 28, 1958, to Roman and Stella (Welp) Lubbers. She married Ralph Kerstiens March 12, 1983, at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in St. Anthony.

Judy worked at Kimball International. She was a member of Divine Mercy Parish, St. Anthony of Padua Church, St. Anthony, Christian Mothers, and the St. Anthony Legion Auxiliary. She enjoyed planting flowers, making crafts, spending time with family, and motorcycle rides.

She is survived by her husband, Ralph Kerstiens; one son, Lucas Kerstiens and wife Alexandra, St. Anthony; one daughter, Rachel Kerstiens and fiancé Tyler Mangiacapra, Coxs Creek, Kentucky; two brothers, Joe Lubbers and wife Janet and Ronnie Lubbers, all of St. Anthony; four sisters, Janet Kluemper and husband Dave, Jasper; Ruth Geopfrich and husband Jim, and Jean Weyer and husband John, all of Ferdinand, and Rhonda Knust and husband Gary, St. Anthony; and one grandson, Colt Kerstiens.

In addition to her parents Judy was preceded in death by sister-in-law Micheline Lubbers and one sister, Joyce Lubbers, who died in infancy.

Friends may call from 2-8 p.m. Monday at Becher Funeral Home in Ferdinand and from 9-10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Anthony Church. Memorial contributions can be made to Divine Mercy Parish, St. Anthony of Padua Church, or to the Sisters of Saint Benedict. Online condolences can be shared at www.becherfuneralhome.com. Funeral services 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Anthony Church.

Rocky Dugan, 44, Jasper

Rocky Dugan, 44, of Jasper, died Monday, April 15, at his home in French Lick. He was born in Centralia, Illinois, January 14, 1975, to Clifford II and Carolyn (Rine) Dugan. He married Angela Volz-Cassidy November 23, 1996.

Rocky was a 1993 graduate of Jasper High School. He worked as a shipping and logistics manager at Indiana Furniture.

He is survived by his wife, Angela Dugan; five children, Clifford “Cassius”, Cadence, Camruk, Cali, and Cazvina Dugan, all of French Lick; three sisters, Christina (Robert) Pace, Montpelier, Vermont, Corinna Dugan, Velpen, and Coletta (Todd) Armstrong, Newburgh; and his parents, Clifford II and Carolyn Dugan, Jasper.

Private services were held at Becher-Kluesner Funeral Home. Memorial contributions can be made to Springs Valley Bank in memory of Rocky Dugan. Online condolences can be shared at www.becherkluesner.com.

Michael S. Kemker, 47, Huntingburg

Michael S. Kemker, 47, of Huntingburg, died Sunday, April 14, at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. Funeral arrangements are pending at the Becher-Kluesner Funeral Home in Jasper.

Shirley A. Ballenger, 83, Jasper

Shirley A. Ballenger, 83, of Jasper, died Thursday, April 11, at Northwood Retirement Community in Jasper. She was born in Jasper September 14, 1935, to Urban and Dolores (Gutzweiler) Bochart. She married Hugh A. Ballenger March 30, 1957, at Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis. He died February 1, 2008.

Shirley retired from Buehler Foods in Jasper. She also worked for the Jasper School Corporation and the St. Joseph Catholic Church Parish Center. She was a member of St. Joseph Church and its St. Anne’s Society. She enjoyed spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren.

She is survived by three daughters, Kathy Michel, Farmington Hills, Michigan, Karen Brush and husband Christopher, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Beth Otto and husband Dan, Cannelburg; two sons, two sons, Mike Ballenger and wife Connie, Upper Arlington, Ohio, and Todd Ballenger and wife Jill, Springfield, Illinois; nine grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and one brother, Terry Krodel, Jasper.

In addition to her husband she was preceded in death by her parents.

Friends may call from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Becher-Kluesner Downtown Chapel in Jasper. Memorial contributions can be made to St. Joseph Church, the National Kidney Foundation, 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. Monday at St. Joseph Church with burial at a later date in Fairview Cemetery.

Lucille M. Kellams, 93, Jasper

Lucille M. Kellams, 93, of Jasper, died Tuesday, April 9, at the Golden Living Center in Newburgh.

Lucille’s life consisted of family, farming, traveling, and adventure.

She is survived by two daughters, Cynthia W. and husband E.B. and Linda S. and husband Stanley; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by James, her husband of 69 years.

Private family services and burial will be conducted by the Nass and Son Funeral Home in Huntingburg. Online condolences can be shared at www.nassandson.com.

Elsie S. Kieffner, 94, Haysville

Elsie S. Kieffner, 94, of Haysville, died Monday, April 8, at Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center in Jasper. She was born in Boone Township May 11, 1924, to George and Mary (Sendelweck) Hoffman. She married Dennis C. Kieffner November 12, 1946, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Boone Township. He died March 10, 1984.

Elsie was a homemaker and a reading tutor at Northeast Dubois Elementary School. She was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Haysville and its Women of the ELCA. She served as the first woman church council president. She also served on the alter guild, archive  committees, and in the choir. She enjoyed volunteering at the Dubois County Museum, researching genealogy, gardening, flowers, reading, sewing, crocheting, blanket tacking, and sitting in her backyard swing.

She is survived by three daughters, Sarah Giesler and husband Kenneth and Martha Buchta and husband Robert G., all of Haysville, and Mary Bunnell and husband Tad, Middletown, Ohio; five grandchildren, Greta Foll, Graham Giesler, Melissa Krempp, Rachel Mazzier, and Nicholas Bunnell; and 11 great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents and husband she was preceded in death by three sisters, Nora Wening, Clara Meyer, and Hilda Mann, and two brothers, Edgar and Albert Hoffman.

Friends may call from noon-4 p.m. Wednesday at St. Paul’s Church. Memorial contributions can be made to St. Paul’s Church or to a favorite charity Online condolences can be shared at www.becherkluesner.com. Funeral services at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the church with burial following in the church cemetery.