South Whitley Obituaries

Robert Rucker

Robert RuckerRobert H. Rucker, 84, formerly of rural Columbia City, died at 3:50 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014, at Lutheran Hospital, Fort Wayne, where he was transported Sunday from Markle Health & Rehab.

He was born July 26, 1930 in Champagne County, Ohio a son of William E. and Josephine (Hart) Rucker. His formative years were spent in Ironton and Springfield, Ohio.

He served in the United States Army from Aug. 12, 1951 until Aug. 1, 1953, serving during the Korean War.

On April 5, 1968 he was united in marriage to Sharon L. Braddock. They made their home Whitley County.

He was employed at General Electric for 26 years. He was known as “Rocky Rucker”, a Lightweight Golden Glove Boxing Champion.

His memberships included Tri Lakes Baptist Church, GE Boxing Club and American Legion Post No. 98.

Surviving relatives include his wife, Sharon; eight children, Robin (Sharon) Rucker of South Whitley, Chris (Rob Menzie) Cornelius of Warsaw, Kelly Rucker of Ocala, Fla., Laura (Ted) Wisniewski of Cherryville, N.C., Bobbi Jo “BJ” Rucker of Columbia City, Gary (Lisa) Nierman of Columbia City, Linda Eloph of Fort Wayne and Duane (Laurie) Nierman of Columbia City; 15 grandchildren; 17 great grandchildren; and a sister, Mary Louise Verro of Auburn.

A brother, William Rucker, preceded him in death.

The funeral service were held Friday, Aug. 29, Tri Lakes Baptist Church, 5679 N. Center St., Columbia City. The burial was in Blue River Cemetery with military honors presented.

Preferred memorials are to Tri Lakes Baptist Church Food Pantry.

Arrangements are by Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City

Virgil E. ‘Sonny’ Hicks Jr.

Virgil E. ‘Sonny’ Hicks Jr., 79, of rural South Whitley, Ind., passed away at 7:52 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, at Parkview Regional Medical Center, Fort Wayne, Ind.,where he was admitted the previous Thursday.

He was born March 3, 1935, in Huntington, Ind., a son of Virgil K. and Laura Elizabeth (Shellenbarger) Hicks. His formative years were spent on a farm in Washington Township, Whitley County. He graduated from Washington Center High School. On Sept. 4, 1954, she was united in marriage to Janel R. Ott. They made their home in Washington Township until 1962 when they moved to their home in Cleveland Township.

A livestock and grain farmer, he served in the Huntington National Guard from 1955 until 1965. His memberships include Columbia City Church of the Nazarene, 50-year member of Eel River Masonic Lodge, former chairman of the Democratic Party, former Whitley County Councilman and former Washington Township Volunteer Fireman.

He is survived by his wife: four children: Lora (Ray) Mata, Columbia City; Sue Southall, South Whitley; Thomas (Cindy) Hicks, Kendallville, Ind.; Margaret (Todd) Fry, South Whitley; seven grandchildren; a great-grandchild; and a brother: Terry (Pam) Hicks, South Whitley.

Visitation will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 pm. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22, at Smith and Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City, and from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, at the Columbia City Church of the Nazarene, 506 North Main Street. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, at the church.

Memorial contributions may be directed to Columbia City Church of the Nazarene.


Thomas Rudd

OI1022453780_RuddobitThomas Rudd, 88, of South Whitley, Ind., passed away at 3 p.m. Thursday, July 17, 2014, at his home after a brief illness.

He was born on January 6, 1926 in Culver, the son of Maurice Henry and Lois Isabelle (Todd) Rudd.

Tom graduation from South Whitley High School with the class of 1944 and went on to attend Butler University. He served with the United States Army Air Corp during World War II from 1944 and was discharged in 1946.

He married Lulu Caroline Myers on Dec. 27, 1946, in South Whitley. He owned and operated Myers and Rudd’s Friendly Service Station downtown South Whitley for 47 years. 

He was a member of South Whitley United Methodist Church, Columbia City American Legion Post #98, I.O.O.F Lodge and the South Whitley V.F.W. Tom also proudly served on the South Whitley Town Board for over 20 years. 

He is survived by his wife: Lulu C. Rudd, South Whitley; sons: David Rudd and John (Darlene) Rudd, both of South Whitley; daughters: Cheryl Wright and Jane (Les) Cripe, both of South Whitley; six grandchildren: Susan, Tom, Todd, Caroline, Donelda and Ashley; six great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister: Virginia Lee Purkey; a son-in-law: Donald Wright; a granddaughter: Mary Beth Wright; and a grandson: James Cripe. 

Visitation will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 20, at DeMoney-Grimes, 600 Countryside Dr., Columbia City. Graveside services will be held 10 a.m. Monday, July 21, at South Whitley Cemetery, South Whitley. Chaplain Forrest Tabor from Heartland Hospice will be officiating.

Memorial donations may be given in Mr. Rudd’s memory to Heartland Hospice or Riley Children’s Foundation.


Elizabeth M. Mallock

897_0000173665Elizabeth M. Mallock, 93, of South Whitley, Ind., died at 8:50 a.m. Tuesday, June 24, 2014, at Parkview Huntington Hospital. She had been a resident at Norwood Nursing Center since November 2009.

She was born May 31, 1921, in Laketon, Ind., to James Esta and Golda (Rutledge) Price. Her formative years were spent in Laketon. She completed her education at Laketon High School. On May 27, 1949, she was united in marriage to Rodney N. Mallock. He preceded her in death.

With the exception of 5 years in Leesburg, Fla., from 1985 until 1990, they made their home in South Whitley. She owned and operated the Beauty Nook for 26 years and retired from D & C Construction in 1985 with 16 years of service.

She is survived by three children: Dean (Carol) Abbott, North Manchester; Carl (Rachel) Abbott, South Whitley; Glenda (Richard) Armstrong, Fort Wayne; a step-daughter: Jane Mason, Elkhart, Ind.; eight grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; 12 step-great-grandchildren; and three brothers: Edward R. Price, Wabash; Rex E. Price, Wabash; and Lon G. Price,  Hobart, Ind.

She was preceded in death by her husband; two brothers: James E. Price and Lester L. Price; and four sisters: Mabel Schenkel, Ruby M. Montel, Eleanor Eubank and Kathryn Curtis.

Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, June 27, at Smith & Sons Miller Chapel, South Whitley. The funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, June 27, at the funeral home. The burial will be in South Whitley Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be directed to Parkview Hospice.

roy jackson

Roy Jackson

roy jacksonRoy Jackson, 75, of South Whitley died at 2:15 p.m. Friday, June 20, 2014 at Parkview Regional Medical Center, Fort Wayne where he had been admitted the first of May.

He was born July 13, 1938 in Magoffin, Kentucky, a son of Smith and Goldia (Ramey) Jackson. As a young boy, the family moved to Sidney, Indiana where he completed his schooling. On August 25, 1955 he was united in marriage to Mary Lou Keel.

He was employed for 43 years as a machinist at the former Gripco, South Whitley. An avid NASCAR fan, he also enjoyed local area sprint car racing. He loved and cherished his great grandchildren.

He is survived by two sons: Roy Alan Jackson and Roger Allison Jackson, both of South Whitley; two grandchildren: Christal Jackson and Timothy Jackson; 6 great grandchildren and two brothers, Kelly (Lilly) Jackson, Wabash and Junior Jackson, North Manchester.

In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by a son, Robert Alan Jackson; 11 brothers and 4 sisters.

The funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Smith & Sons Miller Chapel, South Whitley. The burial will be at Fairview Cemetery, Servia. The visitation will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.

Preferred memorials are to Cleveland Township Fire Department.

John Graber

John Graber, 64, of rural South Whitley, Ind., passed away Friday, June 13, 2014, at his home surrounded by his family. 

He was born April 5, 1950, in Grabill, Ind., a son of Andrew and Anna (Lengacher) Graber. On June 13, 1968, he married Kanoshia Schmucker. They moved to South Whitley in 1971 where they have since made their home. Around 1990 they established Graber Greenhouse. 

John loved his family and cherished them all.

He is survived by his wife: Kanoshia; four sons: Joseph (Betty) Graber, Wallingford, Ky.; Tobie (Sarah) Graber, South Whitley; Andrew (Barbara Jane) Graber, Quincy, Mich.; and John Graber at home; six daughters: Anna Mary (Marcus) Schwartz, Kanoshia (Menno) Hilty and Clara (Martin) Schwartz, all of South Whitley; Miriam (Matthew) Graber, Wallingford, Ky.; Kristina (Martin) Graber and Lorene (Nathan) Schwartz, all of South Whitley; 37 grandchildren; two brothers: Henry (Susann) Graber, Grabill, Ind.; and Alvin (Barbara) Graber, Camden, Mich.; and three sisters: Margaret (John Henry) Schwartz, South Whitley; Amanda (Christy) Eicher and Malinda (Amos) Kauffman, all of Grabill. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister and her husband: Martha and Reuben Schwartz; and a grandson: Jeremiah Schwartz. 

Visitation began at 4 p.m. Saturday, June 14, and continues on Sunday and Monday, June 15-16, at the John Graber resident, 5850 W. Whitley Rd., South Whitley. The funeral service will be held at 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 17, at the Graber home. Burial will be in the Cleveland Township Amish Cemetery North. 

Arrangements are being completed at Smith & Sons Miller Chapel, South Whitley.