With each passing year, we celebrate the lives of members of the community who made a difference in their schools, workplaces, civic organizations, and families. Here, we remember a few people whose lives have impacted the Tri-State in ways large and small.
Thomas W. Ashby, 74
Dec. 31, 2022
Tom was schooled in the family business, Brake Supply, and became its CEO and president in 1986. An automobile connoisseur, he helped form the Bullwinkle Racing Team, competing across the country. An avid lifelong fisherman, Tom co-founded American Legacy Fishing & Outdoors in his hometown and expanded it globally. He was a family man to his wife Dixie, their daughters and grandchildren, and his beloved golden retrievers.
Sharon Tuggle, 86
Jan. 2, 2023
Sharon dedicated her life to learning. Whether she was graduating with honors from Central High School and Indiana University or teaching literature at F.J. Reitz and William Henry Harrison high schools, she shared her love of education with others. Sharon was recognized many times for her efforts, including being named a Master Teacher, Reading Teacher of the Year, an Indiana All-Stars Outstanding Teacher, and to the Who’s Who list of American Educators. She was devoted wife to Dennis and volunteer for Friends of Willard Library and the Evansville Philharmonic Guild.
Natalie Elaine Jones, 61
Jan. 16, 2023
A dedicated educator, Natalie taught students in the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. for 37 years before retiring in 2020 and volunteered, co-chaired fundraisers, and was a PSTA leader. She blended her love of teaching and travel by leading 16 student trips to Washington, D.C., and New York. Wife to Barry and mother to twins Bailey and Brody, Natalie is remembered for her vivacious personality, unbridled spirit, and courage in the face of later-life health challenges.
Ashton Lee Pryor, 17
Feb. 17, 2023
Ashton was a rising softball star at Boonville High School. The Tennyson, Indiana, resident was part of the Pioneers’ 2021 Class 3A State Championship team and was named MVP in 2022. In addition to her excellence in athletics, she was highly regarded for her generous spirit. Lost in a car accident, Ashton is dearly missed by her parents, sisters, large extended family, classmates, teammates, and community.
Asson Anthony Hacker, 33
March 2, 2023
A native of Queens, New York, Asson’s family relocated to Bedford, Indiana, where he stood out in high school and college basketball. Asson was a coal miner before joining the VanderburghCounty Sheriff’s Office in 2022. He died of a medical complication during training with the Southwest Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. Husband to Kourtney and father to four sons, Asson enjoyed playing sports with his children and weekend getaways with his wife.
Jerry Purdie, 87
March 19, 2023
Upon returning home from serving two years in the U.S. Army, Jerry finished his studies at the University of Evansville and began his career as an insurance broker. Married to Jane for 62 years, the couple were known by their extended family and countless friends for their yearly party. Jerry remained active with UE, serving on the alumni board and as a passionate team sports supporter. A charter member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, he was called “the heart and soul” of the SAE Oldtimer’s Club.
William Frank Richardson III, 95
April 2, 2023
Frank spent World War II as a landing craft pi- lot in the U.S. Navy and later graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. In 1953, he founded the Hoprich Company (later Wedeking Investments) to develop and manage commercial properties throughout Evansville. Frank brought the first self-storage facilities to Evansville when he built East Side Mini Storage. Frank’s most recent project was the Burkhardt Square Commerce Centre on Evansville’s East Side. He was husband to Anne for 67 years and father to Debbie, Rick, and Mike.
Carole A. Reising, 82
April 25, 2023
Regarded as a great friend and a caring nurse, Carole’s acts of kindness will be long felt in the city where she was born, raised, and happily lived as a wife, mother, and grandmother. While she and her husband Charley raised their three children, Carole worked as a registered nurse at Dr. Thomas Burger’s office. She shared her gifts with Holy Rosary Catholic Church and its school, as well as by volunteering with the Pink Ladies, Saint Mary’s Auxiliary, and the Junior League of Evansville.
Amy Marie Casavant, 52
April 29, 2023
An engaged public servant, Amy remains deeply respected throughout Evansville and beyond for the effective acts of compassion, large and small, that she shared throughout her life. Amy began her career at Old National Bank as a teller and over the following three decades she married John, raised daughters Lily and Lauren, and earned her master’s degree from the University of Evansville, all the while rising through the ranks to become president of the Old National Bank Foundation. Amy received both the Live United Volunteer Award and the Phenomenal Woman of USI & the Community Award for her contributions and service on nonprofit boards.
Marion L. Brandenberger, 83
May 10, 2023
Marion was born in Spencer County and raised in Warrick County before he moved closer to his birthplace for his entire adult life. Marion’s degree from Evansville’s Lockyear Business College led him, in 1976, to open Heritage Federal Credit Union to serve Alcoa employees. He was its general manager for 18 years. He was a cycling enthusiast and member of the Evansville Bicycle Club, a member of the Richland Masonic Lodge 702, and an avid gardener. Marion endeared himself to the community through his many years portraying Santa Claus at area events.
Bill Wallace, 92
May 12, 2023
The area was gifted with another notable Santa — Bill played Saint Nick for 23 years and even wrote and published the book “Santa’s Magic Key.” The SIGECO power station safety and training coordinator and Newburgh, Indiana, resident made a huge impact on Little Leaguers and Babe Ruth baseball players. Twice widowed, Bill and his first wife Edythe raised their three children, Jeffrey, Teri, and Tracy; his second wife Margaret established him as a stepdad of six, with a combined total of 29 grandkids and 28 great-grandchildren.
Shane “Buc” Buchanan Labhart, 48
May 14, 2023
Before becoming a Cordon Bleu chef who prepared meals for the Orlando Magic and Saint Louis Rams professional athletic teams, “Buc” graduated from Boonville High School and earned a broadcast journalism degree at Franklin College, Indiana. In 1994, Buc attended his first Phish concert, becoming a “Phish Phan” and seeing 453 of the band’s performances over the course of his life. His fiancée Kari was with him for 126 of those shows. Buc enjoyed traveling and cheering for the Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers. He shared a love of animals with his daughter, Sawyer, with whom he cared for their two beloved dogs, Mikey and Gertie.
Dr. Shirley G. Price, 100
May 14, 2023
A pioneer in the medical field, Shirley took on a leadership role at Welborn Clinic and, later, in private practice as a surgeon. Born, raised, and educated in Vermont, Shirley was brought to Evansville in 1949 by Dr. Mel Welborn to tend to the community’s health. She is recognized for her breakthroughs for women in her field, as well as her equestrian skills and passion for showing her award-winning Morgans and American Saddlebreds. She also employed her precision skills as a surgeon to her creative passion, embroidery.
Ted David Bernhardt, 65
May 21, 2023
The Indiana Sports Hall of Famer is known throughout all levels of basketball, from fans to national team owners. In the 1980s, Ted coached at Newburgh Elementary School and then segued to his next career as a referee for the National Basketball Association. His 17 years with the NBA included officiating the 2002 Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and New Jersey Nets. Known for his large personality and good humor, the father of three later moved to Isabela, Puerto Rico, where he taught basketball to children.
Linda Kaye Kinkel, 81
June 7, 2023
Linda’s commitment to education — hers and others — was her trademark. She put her schooling on hold after marrying husband Jack in 1961 and raising their three children. She finished her degree in elementary education in 1989 from the University of Southern Indiana and went on to teach at Tekoppel, Fairlawn, and Harper Elementary schools. Her gift for kindness was shared with Christian Fellowship Church Sunday School children. She served her community on the Evansville Philharmonic board of directors and as a member of the Junior League of Evansville.
Betty Jean Roeder, 93
June 8, 2023
As a newborn member of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Evansville, Betty Knote was placed on the Cradle Roll near another infant, Fred Roeder. About two decades later, they entered into 73 years of marriage. Betty was a devout and active Lutheran who served in several capacities at the Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, which she helped start in 1977, and later Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer. Betty shared her talents with the congregation as the director for the adult and children’s choirs, a Sunday School leader, and church organist. Fred preceded Betty in death by only a year.
Janet Kathlyn “Jan” Howell, 83
June 11, 2023
Jan was woven into the fabric of Evansville shortly after she arrived in 1964. She owned and operated Potato Processors and, later with her husband Tom, Victor Emge Wholesale Meat Company. While raising their children, they also ran the much-loved Emge’s Deli on Main Street in Downtown Evansville. Jan filled several community leadership roles at organizations including Evansville’s Newcomers Club, Jaycees Wives Club, Harwood Middle School PTA, Deaconess Hospital Auxiliary, American Business Women’s Association (of which she was a three-time Woman of the Year honoree), YMCA of Southwestern Indiana, Chemo Buddies, Evansville Police Department Foundation, and the Evansville Wartime Museum.
Robert “Scott” Guzzo, 39
June 19, 2023
One of a kind, Scott lived with courage, curiosity, and determination. Scott was born with Crane-Heise Syndrome; only about a dozen cases of the rare condition have ever been documented. Surrounded by the support of family, friends, and professionals, Scott beat the odds and lived a big, adventurous life guided by his quick, intelligent wit and large personality that charmed all who met him. In October, a commemorative bench was dedicated to Scott outside the Ford Center, where he often greeted fans while scanning tickets.
Paul Arthur Jensen, 80
June 26, 2023
In 1998, Paul entered the University of Evansville Hall of Fame for his superior performances on the Purple Aces’ men’s swim and dive teams and indelible sports legacy. Paul set records for two Indiana Collegiate Conference races in 1964, and the following season broke his own records. He later was named UE’s director of aquatic programs. The programs he established and guided benefited more than 15,000 young swimmers. Paul taught for 30 years, chaired the Department of Human Kinetics and Sports Studies, and ran the shot clock at Aces men’s and women’s basketball games from 1985 to 2021.
Sue J. Morrison, 73
July 4, 2023
Sue wore many hats, including wife and mother, special education teacher, equestrian, musician, and artist. As an active leader in Evansville-area organizations, Sue served on boards for historic preservation, the arts, and Al-Anon. She may be best known as a cofounder and owner of Sunburst Stained Glass Co., which she began with her father in 1977 in New Harmony, Indiana, and moved to Newburgh, Indiana, in 1981. Sue retired in 2014.
John David Lutz, 83
July 9, 2023
During his unprecedented 53 years at the University of Evansville, John David’s talent and ability to inspire raised the school’s Theatre Department to national ac- claim. Born in Boonville, Indiana, John David he began his career as a theater instructor at UE in 1965, one year after himself graduating. A highly decorated instructor, he directed nearly 80 productions and led UE’s participation in 32 productions at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. His tutelage and direction helped launch the careers of scores of theater, film, and television professionals, including celebrated performers and creatives Ron Glass, Rami Malek, and Matt Williams. He married the love of his life, Kathy, in 1980.
Emma Margaret East, 92
July 21, 2023
Emma lived a life that made up one-half of the 71-year love story that she shared with husband Bob. Emma graduated from Central High School and within a few years she was employed at Finke’s Furniture, where she met Bob. Emma worked as a sales associate at DeJong’s department story and, later, a personal clothing stylist in Indianapolis. Her devotion and support of Bob and each of their five children was instinctual and directed her work as a fashion professional, gardener, church member, and president of the Jaycees Wives Club, and as a consistently thoughtful, generous friend and neighbor.
Robert Earl “Bob” East, 96
July 25, 2023
Bob joined his wife Emma four days after her death. One of 15 children, Bob’s childhood in a large family in Posey County preceded his U.S. Navy service in World War II and Korean War, education at University of Evansville, and membership of social organizations and Central United Methodist Church. He enjoyed serving with United Fund, American Red Cross, and the Evansville Jaycees, ending his tenure as president of the Old Timers Jaycees. In Emma’s final years, Bob became her main caregiver in a final demonstration of love and dedication.
The Rev. Richard Barnes Sr., 72
Aug. 19, 2023
Richard dedicated his life to Christ at age 9 and followed his example every day after. After earning a cosmetology and barber license, Richard helped launch several businesses, including Barnes’ House of Fame on Washington Avenue. The husband to Rosa — known as “Cookie” — and father also loved gospel music, helped promote several artists, and recorded the album “A Family Affair” with his family singing group. Richard had served as Eastview Missionary Baptist Church’s pastor since 2015.
Terry Becker, 75
Aug. 29, 2023
A singer, musician, arranger, and director, Terry’s engaging personality allowed him to share his passion for the musical arts far and wide. The F.J. Reitz High School alum taught and directed middle and high school students for decades, first in the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation and later at Signature School. A man of many talents, Terry performed as a vocalist and musician on community stages, including for the Evansville Civic Theatre, EVSC/PEF Summer Musicals, The Really Big Show, and Under the Beams — as well as with professional productions. He is survived by his devoted husband, Andy Herbertz.
Mark Hugh Miller, 71
Aug. 31, 2023
The Indianapolis trans- plant arrived in Evansville in 1970 to enjoy a rich, devout life, raising two children with his beloved wife Brenda. As a University of Evansville theater student, Mark’s involvement with radio led to a career in television. His dynamic personality came through in his work at WTVW and then WNIN. It was during the 1977 WNIN auction that he proposed, via telephone, to Brenda. Mark joined SIGECO (later Vectren), which led to a leadership position at the Vectren Foundation. Twenty-three years later, Mark retired but continued his volunteer work for numerous nonprofit organizations.
Virginia “Ginny” Schroeder, 99
Sept. 4, 2023
Intelligent, sophisticated, grounded — this list only scratches the surface when describing Ginny. Patron of the arts, she came to Evansville in 1975 with her first husband, Gilbert Graves, and deeply involved herself in the community. Known for great charm and wit, she is remembered for her love, support, and patronage of fine arts, edu- cation, community, and church. With second husband John H. Schroeder, she supported the Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science, University of Evansville, YWCA, Social Literary Circle, and Eastminster Presbyterian Church, among other organizations. Twice widowed, the Wellesley graduate is survived by her four children, two stepchildren, eight grandchildren, five step-grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren.
Ira Tinsley Neal, 91
Sept. 20, 2023
Ira was a man of limitless energy and purpose. His strategies for strengthening social equality through education, service, and community involvement facilitated positive change beyond Evansville. He entered the U.S. Army in 1948, extending his enlistment to serve in Korea. After earning his Ph.D. in education, Ira spent nearly 50 years as an educator, adviser, director, and small business partner. He was an adjunct professor at the University of Southern Indiana and joined several civic organizations as well as a second-decade member of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church.
Rick Stephens, 50
Sept. 21, 2023
The Newburgh, Indiana, resident is best remembered for his commitment to helping others, a personal philosophy that drove his career as a real estate agent for more than 30 years. Rick was an active member of One Life Church along with his wife Angela and their children Caleb and Abbie. An avid sports fan, Rick’s fervor for the Evansville Thunderbolts, University of Kentucky Wildcats, and Saint Louis Cardinals remains his trademark among his family and friends.
Azdyn Ja-Shaun Kinney Crite, 21
Sept. 29, 2023
Azdyn is remembered for his upbeat personality filled with humor and warmth. A gifted athlete at William Henry Harrison High School, Azdyn was a passionate motorcycle rider, racer, and mechanic. He enjoyed a strong community of friends who responded to his compassionate and supportive nature, as well as his good-natured pranks. The joyful impact of his life will always be held close by his parents Jeni Merrick and William Crite, stepmother Savannah, six siblings, his large extended family, and his girlfriend Kari Parsons.
Margaret A. “Maggie” Koetting, 83
Oct. 11, 2023
Known for the great enthusiasm she brought to every role, project, and adventure she chose, Maggie is missed by her family and all who were brightened by her smile and energy. The Missouri native and eventual Newburgh, Indiana, resident was wife to Tom for 57 years. After being a stay-at-home mother to Mike and Lori, Maggie expanded her interests in fashion, modeling, garden- ing, painting, sewing, hosting gatherings, pickleball, and cooking. An avid adventurer, she enjoyed traveling the world with Tom. Maggie is widely remembered as the fashion coordinator for DeJong’s department store, which included appearing in weekly fashion news segments on WFIE-TV.
Phyllis Ann Schreiber, 88
Oct. 11, 2023
It would be an understatement to say golf held an important role in Phyllis’ household. She was an avid golfer who cheered on her husband Jerry to nine Evansville City Golf Tournament wins. An F.J. Reitz High School alumna known for her high energy, Phyllis was an active supporter of her community and her children Tammy and Troy. In 2014, she and Jerry initiated the research fundraiser Melanoma Golf Classic in response to his cancer diagnosis. Phyllis helped found the Evansville Parks Foundation, which named its annual golf invitational in her honor.
Roger McBain, 73
Oct. 18, 2023
For three decades, Roger’s reviews directed Evansville Courier & Press readers to appreciate and support the area’s arts and their creators. The California native traveled the world as a U.S. Navy Seabee and around the U.S. as a student and writer. He and wife Jo Ann Learman arrived in Evansville in 1985, where his work for city newspapers established him as an authority for the region’s growing arts scene. The couple raised two children while continuing to travel the globe when possible. Upon retirement, Roger fulfilled his ambition to bicycle from Canada to Mexico along the Pacific Coast and, later, contributed cultural articles to Evansville Living.
Harris Ray Roach, 90
Nov. 7, 2023
A Lincoln High School graduate, Harris served in the U.S. Air Force for more than 22 years, including two years in Vietnam and six years as a provost marshal in Taiwan. Following his military career, Harris settled his family in Evansville. A sportsman who enjoyed hunting, fishing, and horse racing, Harris had several careers, including as an owner of a tavern and of a racing Thoroughbred. There were many who knew the altruistic man in his community, including his beloved eight children, and it was clear how close Harris held his time living in Taiwan, Japan, and Vietnam to his heart.
Brenda Elizabeth Murry-Pittman, 78
Nov. 8, 2023
Born and raised in Evansville, Brenda was a graduate of Benjamin Bosse High School and Evansville School of Practical Nursing. A woman of many careers, she was known as an advocate for minorities throughout her life. Brenda’s distinguished career included serving as a Licensed Practical Nurse at Welborn Memorial Baptist Hospital; director of community service for the Evansville Housing Authority; in marketing at Casino Aztar; in the Office of Minority Affairs at the White House; and on the local Human Relations Commission board. Brenda loved donning her best outfits for social events, volunteering with children, and living a full life.
Ruth Ann Miller, 102
Nov. 18, 2023
A woman of strength, intelligence, and resilience, Ruth lived a life of dedication to her church, her career, her community, and social causes. The University of Evansville graduate began her career at Mead Johnson as an executive secretary and climbed to manager of government sales, a position she held until her retirement in 1986. An active member of Holy Rosary Catholic Church, she received the Mauritius E. Bilskie Award for her stewardship. Ruth supported mental health associations and Evansville’s arts, and she holds the distinction of being the first woman to make a hole-in-one on Oak Meadow Country Club’s golf course.
Guy Wayne Minnis, 72
Nov. 18, 2023
A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Guy devoted more than 33 years to the Evansville Police Department, and served as a detective, bomb technician, field training officer, firearms instructor, and SWAT team member. Notably, he investigated the 1992 death of jailer Tammy Lohr and helped secure the conviction of fellow police officer Patrick Bradford. Guy joined the Fraternal Order of Police and was a top marksman and champion competition shooter. He cherished his family, including wife Debra, children Kori and Ryan, his grandchildren, and his dogs.
Thurman Carnal, 107
Nov. 22, 2023
As Indiana’s oldest veteran, it’s fitting that Thurman’s birthday — July 6 — is so close to American’s Independence Day. A truck driver delivering food and medical supplies in the U.S. Army, the Webster County, Kentucky, native served three years in Europe in World War II and stood on Omaha Beach mere days after the June 1944 Allied invasion of Normandy, France. He later moved to Evansville and worked in truck and mine supply until retiring in 1983. He was married to Agnes Cobb Carnal for 67 years before her death in 2008.
Ember Lynn Cabrillas, 6
Nov. 23, 2023
Aptly named, Ember displayed a fiery resilience in the face of health challenges. Born in Pensacola, Florida, to Lorraine and Carmen Cabrillas, Ember was a triplet, sharing every step of life with her brother Kai and sister Alyda. The Oak Hill Elementary School kindergartener had an affinity for piggyback rides, adventures, and the color lavender, and had visited Cathedral Rock, Grand Canyon National Park, Cascade Falls, Mount Rainier National Park, and Pikes Peak with her family. She radiated light; to Ember, every day was the “best day ever.”
Mollie Gayle Gerling, 85
Dec. 2, 2023
Beloved by many — especially her children Gary, Gayle, Grant, and Gretchen — Mollie led life with a sense of humor and spirit of fun that charmed all who knew her. In addition to her career as a realtor, Mollie was active in many organizations including the Junior League of Evansville, Boy Scouts of America’s Buffalo Trace Council, the Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science Guild, and Evansville Philharmonic Guild. Mollie’s appreciation for beauty was channeled in her art and influenced her work in fashion as a consultant for Ruth Kishline’s Country Clothes and as the manager and buyer for Ivy Tree Gift Shop at the former Welborn Memorial Baptist Hospital.
G.A. “Butch” Corne, 79
Dec. 8, 2023
Butch was a born mover and shaker. The Elberfeld, Indiana, native balanced home life with wife Patricia and children Todd and Tiffany while working at Alcoa before launching a successful career as a developer, entrepreneur, and restaurateur. He converted the old United Methodist Church into what is now Newburgh, Indiana’s Riverwalk Condominiums. He then opened and operated the nearby Scuffletown Saloon and Tiffany’s Ice Cream Shop, which became frequent stops for Rivertown Trail passersby. Butch’s love for the riverfont extended to his impassioned support for Historic Newburgh, Inc.
Tracey Ray Dallas, 87
Dec. 8, 2023
A man of adventure, ambition, and service, Tracey leaves a legacy of faithful community dedication and a spate of friends, family, and loved ones. A past West Side Nut Club president, Tracey was born the middle of seven sons in Joelton, Tennessee, and developed a deep love for his adopted hometown. He balanced working as a contractor with helping vulnerable members of the community through organizations like the Hadi Shriners and the Nut Club, the latter of which he was a member for nearly 50 years.
Elizabeth Rose Seng, 25
Dec. 9, 2023
As a child, Elizabeth was bestowed the nickname “Sparkles,” a tribute to the shimmering personality, glowing smile, and irrepressible spirit she carried into adulthood. The Mater Dei High School and University of Southern Indiana alumna had a passion for animals (except spiders), art, and photography. She loved beyond measure, laughed without limit, and was incredibly close with her family, including her parents Mark and Sarah and siblings Wyatt, Evan, and Audrey. She relished her role as aunt to her nephew Weston and niece Reese. An avid traveler and adventurer, Elizabeth passed away while on a trip to India with her boyfriend Mohit Prakash.
Benedict A. Brougham, 88
Dec. 14, 2023
After graduating from Reitz Memorial High School in 1953, Ben served five years in the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant junior grade. He operated Uncle Charlie’s Meats with his father Albert and made his name as a cofounder of Flair Molded Plastics. His son Bert and daughter Shannon carry on their father’s legacy at Flair. Ben enjoyed attending Good Shepherd Catholic Church and memberships with several community groups, including Constellation Ma- sonic Lodge #748, Hadi Shriners, the former 407 Club, and Knights of the Wrong Table.