February 29th, 2012
LAOTTO â€” Ralph E. Shafter, 63, of rural Laotto, died at 3:20 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012, at his home.
He was born March 23, 1948, a son of Richard L. and Evelyn A. Shafter.
His formative years were spent at the family home on Shriner Lake.
He graduated from Columbia City Joint High School in 1966.
Ralph proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy.
His service included a tour in Vietnam where he was awarded a Purple Heart medal and the Bronze Star with a combat V for Valor.
He retired from the U.S. Postal Service.
COESSE â€” Circumstances prevented a devastating fire Tuesday from being even more tragic. â€śThe farm hand had just left about a half hour before and a passerby called it in,â€ť said Union Township Fire Chief Chad Radke this morning about Tuesdayâ€™s fire that destroyed a horse barn at Stockamp Ranch east of Columbia City.
Radke said today the damage was too extensive for fire investigators to determine the cause.
COLUMBIA CITY â€“ Numbing pain at the gasoline pump continued during the past 18 hours when many fueling spots in Whitley County increased prices from $3.69 per gallon to $3.85 and more.
Last Thursday gas prices jumped more than a quarter a gallon â€“ and the spike continues this week.
The White House last Thursday reiterated its continuing philosophy that leadership on this issue was difficult and household economic problems were to be expected.
Recovery from the recession is at risk, note experts outside of the White House.
COLUMBIA CITY â€”The beat of the drums resounded in the band room as 16-year-old Whitko High School sophomore Jalen Gregory displayed his musical talent.
In Jalenâ€™s eyes, the drums produce a self-expressing beat, giving his audience the opportunity to peer deeper into his character and learn more about him through music.
â€śWhen I play the drums I want people to not just listen, but to feel it,â€ť said Jalen. â€śI want people to know who I am through my music.â€ť
Steven Gregory Birchum, 48, of Columbia City, passed away at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, 2012, at Parkview Oaks, Columbia City.
Born Sept. 11, 1963, in Whitley County, he was the son of Clarence and Reva M. (Banks) Birchum.
He attended Columbia City Joint High School and then moved to Monroe, Ga. for 30 years where he did maintenance at a recreational vehicle park.
He attended Freewill Baptist Church.
SOUTH WHITLEY â€” Leola Williamson, 88, of South Whitley, died at 8:35 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012, at Parkview Oaks, Columbia City where she became a resident one week prior.
She was born Aug. 20, 1923, in South Whitley, a daughter of Reed and Ida Irene (Rivet) Brower.
Her formative years were spent in Collamer.
She completed her education at South Whitley High School.
On Nov. 3, 1945, she was united in marriage to James A. Williamson.
They made their home in South Whitley and Tunker, returning to South Whitley in 1953. Mr. Williamson died Dec. 31, 2007.
Nolt N. â€śPorkâ€ť Wilcken, 80, of Columbia City, passed away at 3:41 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, 2012 at St. Joseph Medical Center, Fort Wayne.
Born on Feb. 24, 1932, in Columbia City, he was the son of Everett Edward and Turah Mae (Nolt) Wilcken.
Except for a few years when he was very young, he had lived his entire life in Whitley County and at Shriner Lake since 1939.
He received his formal education in the elementary school of Thorncreek Township and graduated from Columbia City High School with the class of 1950.
He served in the U.S. Navy from 1951 to 1955.
LIGONIER â€” Marjorie H. Roe, 98, of Albion, died at 7:15 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012, at Parkview Noble Hospital.
She was born Nov. 22, 1913, in Ligonier, a daughter of Guy and Mildred Tucker.
On April 14, 1934 she was married in Goshen to Elbert O. Roe, who preceded her in death Oct. 25, 1994.
The surviving relatives include her daughters, Janet Brumbaugh of Albion and Jayne Barron of Houston.
There are 12 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.
In addition to her parents and spouse, she was preceded in death by a son, Stephen Roe on April 3, 1986.
COLUMBIA CITY â€”Congratulations were in order for 18-year-old Columbia City High School student Michaela Thomas as she walked through the front door of the Whitley County Community Foundation, holding two awards in her hands. â€śNothing should hold anyone back from this experience,â€ť said Thomas Sunday afternoon.
INDIANAPOLIS â€” Columbia Cityâ€™s standout performance in the post-season came to an end Friday at the swimming state finals in Indianapolis.
The Eagles broke six school records at sectionals and advanced to state in three events.
Senior Cole Smith participated in three events in Indianapolis, the 50- and 100-yard freestyle and the 200-yard freestyle relay.
Smith broke his own school record, set at sectionals, in the 50 free with a time of 21.76.
Smith was seeded 28th going into the meet and improved to finish 19th.