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Archive - Obituary

December 1st

Eric Hoffman, 19

December 1, 2014

Feb. 2, 1995 — Nov. 28, 2014
Eric Dylan Hoffman, 19, of rural Columbia City, died Friday, Nov. 28, 2014 in a single-vehicle accident in which he was a passenger.
He was born Feb. 2, 1995, in Columbia City the son of Kent L. and Cheryl J. (Chaplin) Hoffman. He grew up on the family’s farm in Columbia Township, and graduated from Columbia City High School with the Class of 2013.

Savannah Labenz, 19

December 1, 2014

Dec. 23, 1994 — Nov. 28, 2014
Savannah Eileen Labenz (“Red” as she was called by some friends) 19, of Churubusco, passed away as the result of a single-car accident on Friday evening, Nov. 28, 2014 at 11:30 p.m. Born on Dec. 23, 1994 in Columbia City, she was the daughter of Lyle A. and Shelly M. (Kiefer) Labenz.

Perry ‘Joe’ Coffelt, 50

December 1, 2014

March 15, 1964 - Nov. 28, 2014
Perry “Joe” Coffelt, 50, of Columbia City, passed away as the result of a single-car accident Friday evening, Nov. 28, 2014 at 11:30 p.m. Born on March 15, 1964 in Columbia City, he was the son of Eugene Sr. and Marie (Roberson) Coffelt.

November 26th

Mildred Deubner, 79

November 26, 2014

Sept. 24, 1935 - Nov. 24, 2014
Mildred “Midge” L. Deubner, 79, of Columbia City, Ind., passed away at 7:23 a.m. Monday, Nov. 24, 2014 at Parkview Regional Medical Center, Fort Wayne.
Born on Sept. 24, 1935 in Fort Wayne, she was the daughter of Homer H. and Bonnie (Biggs) Bowlby.
She was a lifelong resident of Whitley County.

Helen Baxley, 83

November 26, 2014

Oct. 6, 1931 — Nov. 23, 2014
Helen L. Baxley, 83, of Columbia City, passed away Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014 at her home.
Born Oct. 6, 1931 in Columbia City, she was the daughter of Keith and Berniece (Wood) Leininger.
She grew up on her family farm outside of Columbia City and graduated from Coesse High School with the Class of 1949.
On April 17, 1953, she married Harley L. Baxley. The two had met while working together at U.S. Rubber.

Virginia Smith, 87

November 26, 2014

Sept. 18, 1927 — Nov. 23, 2014
Virginia Ruth Smith, 87, died at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014. She was born Sept. 18, 1927, a daughter of Frank and Viola (Hicks) Cherry.
Her husband is Herman Smith. She has three step-children, one sister and one brother. She was preceded in death by two sisters and three half sisters.
The funeral service will be held at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, at Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City, with visitation after 10 a.m. The burial will be in South Park Annex Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to

James Bowles III, 48

November 26, 2014

Dec. 6, 1965 — Oct. 17, 2014
James”Jimmy” Harvey Bowles III, 48, of Little Rock, Ark. passed away Friday afternoon Oct. 17, 2014.
Jimmy is preceded in death by his father James Harvey Bowles, Jr. and his grandparents James Harvey Bowles, Sr. and Dollie Mae Bowles.
He is survived by his mother Sandi Bowles Chaffin, sisters; Cathy Lee (Tim), Denise Carroll (John), Sandra Bowles Johnson; brother, Ellis Ray Chaffin; aunt, Alison Furge (Jay); uncle, Denis Glenn (Anita) along with many loving nieces, nephews, and other relatives.

Jean Benson, 99

November 26, 2014

Oct. 3, 1915 — Nov. 24, 2014
Jean M. Benson, 99, of Columbia City, died Monday morning, Nov. 24, 2014 at Parkiew Pointe where she had been a resident since 2006.
She was born Oct. 3, 1915 in Columbia City, a daughter of Delmor and Ethel (Reese) Mosher. She graduated from Columbia City High School in 1933 and International Business College.
She was employed at Farmers Loan and Trust, Woolen Mill and was a Deputy for Whitley County Auditor.

November 24th

Georgia Reeg, 96

November 24, 2014

Jan. 28, 1918 — Nov. 21, 2014
Georgia Louise (Menzie) Reeg, 96, passed away peacefully at 11:55 a.m. Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, with her loving family surrounding her.
She was born the daughter of Charles J. and Mary B. (Gawthrop) Menzie in Washington Township, near Pierceton, in Kosciusko County.
Georgia grew up on Twin Pines Farms, the Menzie family homestead, in Kosciusko County, which was in the family for more than 100 years. She attended Pierceton Schools, graduating as Salutatorian from Pierceton High School with the Class of 1935.

November 21st

Kevin Minnix, 48

November 21, 2014

April. 5, 1966 — Nov. 18, 2014
Kevin Joel Minnix, 48, of Columbia City, died Tuesday evening, Nov. 18, 2014.
He was born April 5, 1966 in Columbia City, a son of Mendell and Irma Sue (Lovely) Minnix.
He made his home in Columbia City with the exception of 1980 to 1985, when he was in Cleveland, OH.
He was employed at C&H Concrete, Kilgore Manufacturing and Corporate Construction.

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