Obituaries 2019

With each passing year, we mourn and celebrate the lives lost of members of the community who made a difference in their places of work, to civic organizations, and to their families and others. We pored through death records and obituaries to find notable men and women who helped shape the Tri-State through their contributions.

Richard L. Snodgrass, 76 — Dec. 17, 2018
Richard’s career as a florist started in Indianapolis, where he won many awards for his floral presentations. He moved to Evansville in 1968 and continued his career, opening Snodgrass Floral Co. in 1989 with his wife Marianne. Richard was known for being a gentle man who spent his life making others happy, not only through his expression of art but through his generous spirit. He lived to laugh.

Janie Harp, 66 — Jan. 2, 2019
An Evansville native, Janie co-founded the well-known Harp’s Pets with her husband Gary. She truly was a people person and never met a stranger. She loved her grandchildren, animals, gardening, and reading.

Joshua Schaefer, 17 — Feb. 11, 2019
A junior at New Tech Institute (where he competed at Nationals in 2017 and 2018 as a member of the Thunderbolt Archery Team), Joshua was a part of the SICTC program studying precision metals. He made three mission trips to Honduras with his grandparents, participated in “Mission Evansville,” and volunteered at North Park Baptist Church’s food pantry. In 2019, he was awarded the Maria Goretti Distinction Award by the Diocese of Evansville. He understood that we become better people when we stop thinking of ourselves and encourage others to carry on that legacy.

Virginia Rech, 94 — Feb. 23, 2019
Ginny spent her early adulthood as the soloist with a local traveling orchestra and also sang duets on local Evansville radio with Alvin Asby. She was influential in encouraging her six children in musical pursuits. Ginny also was a seamstress who made her girls’ dresses and prom gowns. She survived the Great Depression and polio, yet was known for her positivity and permanent smile.

Robert F. Doerr II, 51 — Feb. 26, 2019
Robert followed in the footsteps of his father and other members of his family when he joined the fire department services. He served in the Evansville Fire Department for 28 years and also was a member of the International Association of Firefighters Local 357. Robbie enjoyed fishing, bowling, and spending time with his granddaughters.

Rev. Gordon A. Mann, 59 — Feb. 28, 2019
An Father Gordon Mann was a vibrant, faithful priest with a gentle heart filled with the love of Jesus. At the time of his death, he was serving as associate pastor of St. Philip Parish in Posey County and Corpus Christi Parish in Evansville. Father Mann served the people of the Dioceses of Evansville faithfully for 27 years and also served as chaplain for the Indiana State Police.

Charles B. James, 69 — March 8, 2019
Charles spent his life in love with antiques, NPR, music, art, literature, women, and friends — most of all his friends at the Peephole Bar and Grill. He valued conversation with those he liked and snark with those he didn’t. A masterful storyteller, Charles could usually be found talking about the history of Main Street, art, music, family, friends, and the many shenanigans in his youthful (and not so youthful) years.

Jerry Noble, 83 — March 17, 2019
A retired Castle High School English teacher, Jerry was a very well-known local Southern gospel singer. He spent the last 10 years singing with Victoria Mason Ford and recorded several albums through his life, including his last gospel album, “By Grace Alone.” Jerry was very active in promoting Southern gospel music.

Carl W. Mann Sr., 96 — March 30, 2019
Carl was a veteran of the U.S. Army and served under General George Patton during World War II. He was a part of all five major battles in the European Theater and the second wave to hit Omaha beach at Normandy. Carl worked to free prisoners from two concentration camps, earning seven Bronze stars and three Purple Hearts for his service. For many years, Carl spoke at local schools on Veteran’s Day.

Ted Ziemer, 84 — April 11, 2019
Devoted to community service, Ted worked tirelessly to better Evansville and help those in need. Ted practiced law for more than 50 years, starting his career as an associate in a small firm before later becoming a founding partner of Ziemer, Stayman, Weitzel & Shoulders LLP. He especially enjoyed serving as Evansville’s City Attorney for the last six years. Ted gladly gave time and energy to numerous efforts and organizations throughout the city. Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke recently said of Ted, “He was the most prolific and persistent fundraiser the City of Evansville has ever known. If there was a cause of distinction, Ted Ziemer raised money for it.”

Joyce Hall, 91 — April 12, 2019
Joyce spent 45 years as a paralegal with a focus on probate law. She worked freelance for many law firms in Evansville throughout the last four decades and was often seen sprinting through the courts building and clerks offices until her 90th year. Joyce was known for her love of helping clients through the financial and legal confusion of wills and estates, working until the wee hours of the morning balancing every account to the penny. Joyce loved traveling the world and adventured in London, China, Europe, Egypt, Canada, and any island where the beaches were renowned.

Bud Schultheis, 84 — April 16, 2019
An Evansville native, Bud actively worked for more than 60 years in the Schultheis Insurance Agency, which was started by his father Frank M. Schultheis. Continuing the business with his brother Frank J., Bud introduced his sons Brett and Kenan to the family company. He later welcomed his grandson Benjamin into the company, making Schultheis Insurance a four-generation family organization. Bud loved Indiana University and University of Evansville basketball and spending time with his family.

Kelsey Anna Hipp, 27 — April 27, 2019
The first University of Evansville student accepted into the inaugural Physician Assistant program, Kelsey was kind, sensitive, and had an incredible work and life ethic. She recently completed all requirements for her third UE degree. Kelsey cared for the environment, recycling, and had a “nothing wasted” mantra she shared with others. Her great love of animals had her rescuing many over the years; she cared for several cats, dogs, snakes, and chameleons.

Heather Dunn Niemeier, 43 — May 15, 2019
Heather had a passion for teaching that flourished as her career touched many students at Percy Priest Elementary, Highland Elementary, and North Middle schools. She also taught at the University of Southern Indiana and Oakland City University. She loved children’s books and shared that passion with her children and students. Heather also was certified in meditation and mindfulness and taught this practice to many.

Ralph Albert Winnecke, 89 — June 7, 2019
A proud West Sider and lover of golf, Ralph spent a long and happy career at Mead Johnson & Co. after his return from serving in the Air Force during the Korean War. He worked in the labs testing drugs under development, rising to help lead the animal testing division. He loved his work and rarely missed a day. The father of Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke, Ralph retained his characteristic warmth and sense of humor to the end, always ready with a joke and a hearty laugh to cheer his many friends, family members, and all he encountered.

Raymond Wayne Hodges, 60 — June 9, 2019
Wayne was well known around Evansville and the Tri-State as an official for baseball, basketball, soccer, and volleyball games. He was a member of the Umpire Association and was adored by his family. He honorably served in the U.S. Army for more than 10 years.

Doug Patberg, 56 June 13, 2019
Doug was an event and wedding coordinator, a floral designer, and cheerleading coach for William Henry Harrison High School in Evansville. He also was an avid collector of vintage china, which he incorporated into events he planned in Evansville; Indianapolis; Bloomington; Nashville, Tennessee; New York; and Connecticut for about 15 years. Aside from his professional collection, Doug also amassed more than 300 pieces in his own personal collection.

Herman “Mac” McGregor, 95 June 13, 2019
A veteran of World War II (serving in the Army Air Corps in China), Herman was known for his loving nature and wry wit. He also is remembered as a classic film buff who never tired of talking about or screening old movies. Many remember him as the man who showed old movies out of his garage window to scores of neighborhood kids in his backyard. He also taught cinema studies, literature, and composition in the English department at the University of Evansville. Herman was a part of the St. Paul’s Film Society and hosted “Classic Cowboy Cinema” with his long-time friend Leroy “Skip” Bawel on WNIN.

Jack E. Caine, 92 July 26, 2019
Jack was a life-long resident of Evansville and served one term as an elected state representative from 1954 to 1955. He had a solo law practice from 1955 to 2000 before he retired at 75 after 50 years in law. Through his life, Jack was a member of the Hadi Shrine and the committee to re-elect President Kennedy. He personally met and talked with JFK and was invited to the inaugurations of President Kennedy and President Lyndon B. Johnson. Jack also loved to sing and was a member of a barbershop quartet.

Kenneth Wayne Caplinger, 92July 25, 2019
Kenneth was a master carpenter for more than 54 years and upon retiring, became the in-house carpenter for Olympia Fields Hospital. A veteran of the U.S. Navy who served on the USS Roche during World War II, he attended the Honor Flight in April 2016 with his sponsor and granddaughter Jessica Ryan Delgado. The trip was a bright light in his life. Kenneth and his wife Constance came to Newburgh, Indiana, in 2001 when their daughter Chris Ryan opened the Deaconess Women’s Hospital as CEO.

Wilma Louise Taylor, 94 — Aug. 4, 2019
Wilma was a Warrick County native, graduating from Lockyear Business College before beginning work at Servel during World War II. She had been interviewed by the National Archives about her memories of the war and is listed in the WWII museum in New Orleans, Louisiana, for her participation. She also worked for Boeing Aircraft in Seattle, Washington, and New Orleans in the 1960s supporting the “Put a Man on the Moon-Saturn V” mission.

Keith Nix, 57 Aug. 7, 2019
Keith had a beautiful spirit and served as an inspiration to all who knew him. Given little chance of seeing his first birthday, he proved to be a miracle and lived to the age of 57. His love for everyone knew no bounds and was unconditional. He held and rocked countless babies who grew up adoring him and then brought their babies to him for his loving touch.

Allen Kurtis Eicher, 65
Timothy R. Arnold, 59,
Grant Weythman, 49
Aug 29. 2019
Allen, Timothy, and Grant tragically passed away as a result of a plane crash in Montana.

Allen spent 35 years as an environmental engineer/reclamation with Peabody Energy. He also was an avid wood worker, creating many specialty pieces of furniture, turned wooden bowls, and other unique artistic pieces.

Timothy was the owner and operator of ProSource Wholesale. He was a passionate man who completed all tasks in his life with delight and vigor. He loved his work family and greeted every customer, member, installer, sales rep, and delivery man with a smile. He also had a profound love for friends and family, especially his grandbabies.

Grant was a veteran of the U.S. Army and served in the Gulf War as a tank mechanic. He owned and operated Helper Airport and Weythman Aviation. He called himself a helicopter mechanic, but could master anything aviation related. Although an Indiana transplant, he never stopped loving the mountains.

Doris Clayton, 101 Aug. 31, 2019
Doris was a veteran of World War II, having served with the Navy Waves and stationed at the Naval Air Station in Clinton, Oklahoma, where she met her husband James W. Clayton. After the war, the two returned to Evansville and founded Claytons Fine Dry Cleaning. Doris was a designated expert shooter of the National Rifle Association and enjoyed ceramics, knitting, sharp shooting, and auctions.

John Michael Hoon Sr. Sept. 19, 2019
Mike was an avid sports fan, especially of Mater Dei athletics. He was actively involved with his children’s and grandchildren’s sporting activities, traveling across the Midwest and into Canada to take them to tournaments. A hockey lover, Mike was proud his children became involved with coaching the sport as a way to give back. He also loved classic cars and restoring them and was a known tinkerer who could fix anything. He was selfless with his time and always willing to help others.

Roger H. Zion, 98 Sept. 24, 2019
A Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration graduate, Roger served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He moved to Evansville in 1954 to work as director of sales training for Mead Johnson. In 1964, D. Mead Johnson recommended Roger run for Congress. Roger lost, but never gave up, eventually serving as a U.S. Congressman for eight years. He became the president of Resources Development Inc., in Washington D.C. and was a consultant for several companies in Washington, traveling back and forth from Evansville to the capital into his 80s. He loved playing bridge and once played in a Parliament vs. Congress match alongside partner Warren Buffett.

Bettie Engelbrecht, 98 Oct. 2, 2019
Bettie began her career as the physical education teacher at Centennial Grade School. She married John A. Engelbrecht and the two of them became the founders of WIKY AM and FM radio stations in Evansville. WIKY-FM was the first FM radio station to sign on in the Evansville market. Bettie and John went on to start WTVK television in Knoxville, Tennessee, and soon were franchise holders of several Muzak franchises for the South Central Broadcasting company, today known as South Central Inc. Bettie also was very philanthropic and served many organizations in the Evansville community.

Sara Rappee, 36 Oct. 6, 2019
Sara was well known in the arts community of Evansville and the Tri-State being a self-employed jewelry artist. Her unique and creative jewelry was an expression of her beautiful open heart and her love of nature. Sara embraced her life as an artist, adventurer, and seeker of the wisdom in all her endeavors. Once she found the Evansville Lapidary Society, her passion in creating beauty from rocks found expression in her meticulous work creating jewelry. She lived passionately with a curiosity for life and its meaning.

Cynthia Lee Nord, 66 — Oct. 7, 2019
Cynthia started a career at AT&T for several years as a design specialist before retiring and turning her talents to her lifetime passion for writing. She was an award-winning author of several successful historical romance novels and was a longtime member of Romance Writers of America. Cindy and her husband Tom were history lovers and for many years participated and planned Civil War living history events as well as gave presentations about the Civil War era across the country.

Joseph Annakin, 80 — Oct. 17, 2019
A former Assistant U.S. Attorney in Indianapolis, Joe joined the Evansville law firm of Fine, Hatfield, Sparrenberger and Fine in 1967. Three years later, he became a partner at Lacey, Terrell, Annakin, Heldt & Baugh Law Firm where he practiced for 20 years. Joe also was a part-time U.S. Magistrate from 1970 to 1977. In 1990 he began serving as in-house counsel for Traylor Bros., Inc before later becoming a vice president of the company. In the early ’70s, Joe worked with others to bring youth and high school soccer to Evansville. As a lawyer, coach, and advocate, Joe helped develop what we now know as a strong Evansville soccer community.

Gayle W. Begley, 91 — Nov. 15, 2019
Gayle believed in the importance of volunteering in her community. She served on the executive board of the Evansville Junior League as vice president and recording secretary, then as president from 1964 to 1965. She helped start the University of Evansville Theatre Society and was a longtime member of its board. She also served as president of the UE Harlaxton Society. Gayle especially was active with the Evansville Museum of Art, History and Science. She was a founding member of the museum’s docent associate and served as a docent for more than 35 years.

Charles Lacer, Jr., 85 — Dec. 9, 2019
Charles worked as a produce manager in the grocery business. In his younger days, he spent time with his dad and brother digging for artifacts, which turned into a passion for archaeology for Charles. He gained much of his notoriety from digging in Posey County to hunt for Native American artifacts. Charles was an avid reader who was self-taught in his craft. In 2018, the Indiana State Museum dedicated an exposition to his work. He had been featured in Evansville Living magazine in 2010 and was celebrated at Angel Mounds with a large event honoring his work.

Alphonso Baity, 56 Dec. 11, 2019
Al worked as a self-
employed agent for State Farm Insurance. He was a graduate of the University of Evansville, a trustee of the Alumni Association Board of Directors at UE, a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and well-accomplished in the community.

Michael A. Owen, 66 Dec. 16, 2019
Being the son of two coaches, Mike developed a true passion for competition. He attended Murray State University on a tennis scholarship and earned a degree in education. In 1975, he won the Indiana Men’s State Singles title. He and his mother were the only mother-son pair to be inducted into the Indiana Tennis Hall of Fame at the same time. Mike coached girls’ tennis at Central for more than 40 years and served as the head tennis professional at Evansville Country Club. He also served as head football coach from 1986 to 2006. He never missed a CHS football game in more than 40 years.

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