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Alumni Facts

FW Friends & Family

Stephen Walley

Stephen (Steve) Walley passed into the presence of the Lord March 16 after a long battle with ALS. He served the college as a piano instructor and as arranger for Benediction (1975) and Sounds Together (late 1980s). He also did many other recording sessions. Here is an example of his arrangement for Benediction:

Also, here is a PDF of Steve that was supplied by Steve's sister.

/news/Steve Walley & ALM Memorial.pdf

A memorial service for Steve will be held in the Fort Wayne area. Details will be announced at a later date. 

Judy Martin (Hakes)

Judith A. “Judy” Martin, 71, of Decatur, Indiana passed away Tuesday evening, September 3, 2019 at Adams Woodcrest.
She was born on September 3, 1948 in Decatur, Indiana to Don L. and Mildred M. (Stonebraker) Hakes. She was united in marriage to Lowell F. Martin on August 3, 1968 in Decatur, Indiana.
Judy attended Pleasant Dale Church of the Brethren.
She received a bachelor’s degree in piano performance and taught at both Fort Wayne Bible College and IPFW. Judy owned and operated Martin Music in Decatur for over 40 years. Being a very talented pianist, she used her talents in playing in the Messiah for several years at the First Mennonite Church in Berne and also notably played for the USO Indiana Hoosiers IPFW in Greenland in 1969. She was previously the pianist/organist for First United Methodist Church, The Crossroad, 1st Presbyterian Church in Van Wert, Decatur United Brethren in Christ Church, & others in the area.
Survivors include her husband, Lowell Martin of Decatur; daughter, Melanie (Joe) Wolpert of Decatur; son, Matt (Dee Ann) Martin of Plainfield; and five grandchildren, Rileigh Wolpert, Sydni Wolpert, Quincy Wolpert, Kiersten Martin, and Cooper Martin. She was preceded in death by her parents and a half-brother, Ted Hakes.
A funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, September 8, 2019 at Cornerstone Community Church in Decatur with Pastor Jay Carter, Verlin Rice, Pastor Harold Klinker, & Pastor Matt Moore officiating. Burial will follow at Decatur Cemetery.
Family & friends will be received from 3 to 4 p.m. Friday, September 6, 2019 at Woodcrest Auditorium; 2 to 5 & 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, September 7, 2019 at Zwick & Jahn Funeral Home in Decatur; and one hour prior to the service at the church on Sunday.
Preferred memorials are to Adams County Community Foundation – Cancer Fund.


Lindsay Stump (Thompson)

Lindsay (Thompson) Stump g09, owner of Organized to Save on YouTube, was featured in the March 2020 issue of Glo Magazine. The issue featured “mompreneurs” who have found a way to balance their family life while running successful businesses.


Angelo Mante

Alive Community Outreach logo.jpg

Alive Community Outreach logo.jpg


Angelo Mante g08 has returned to Fort Wayne to head Alive Community Outreach, an organization whose goal is "to cultivate a community of non-violence through relationship and education." Here is a PDF of the brochure regarding this organization.


Courtney Bilbrey (Stoppenhagen)

Courtney (Stoppenhagen) Bilbrey g07 has started a new Psychotherapist-Counselor practice in Rogers Park, IL, a Chicago neighborhood. She and Jason g07 live in Evanston with Norah, 11, Augie, 5, and a new Golden Doodle, which Courtney is training as a therapy dog.


Rick Fortier Jr.

Rick Fortier Jr. g04 passed April 14. He had been living in Indianapolis, IN.

Heather Burgette (Neilson)

Heather Burgette Publishes Book 390x390.jpg

Heather Burgette Publishes Book 390x390.jpg


Alumna Overcomes Debt, Publishes First Book

           After Heather (Neilson) Burgette g04 graduated from Taylor University Fort Wayne (TUFW), she ended up accumulating a lot more debt than she could handle. She moved to California for a few years, and when she returned to her home state of Indiana, she was a “hot mess.” 

           “I went bonkers financially,” she said. “I didn’t have any close friends or family to say, ‘What’s wrong with Heather?’ As I was adjusting to adult life, I made a lot of bad choices with my money. Some of them were actual emergencies, but I spent frivolously.”

          To read her story, click on Heather's story

           Heather’s book is available on as a Kindle eBook and as a paperback.


Erin Haywood (Green)

Erin (Green) Haywood g03 serves as a clinical social worker at the Cleveland VA Medical Center, one of the largest and most complex VA hospitals in the country.


Daniel “Bo” Holden

Daniel “Bo” Holden g02 was recently named partner at Rothberg Logan & Warsco LLP in Fort Wayne. Bo has served with the law firm since October 2017.


Joe Boway

Joe Boway g95 continues his service with The Liberian Children’s Ministry. The ministry’s goal for 2020 is to reach 2020 new students and families with the gospel. They ask for your prayers as they work toward this goal and as he travels back and forth between Liberia and his home in Fort Wayne.

Leon and Anne Amstutz

We give thanks that former professor Leon, and his wife, Anne g95 Amstutz, survived an accident en route from their home in Elkhart, IN, to Berne, IN, on December 23, when their vehicle was hit twice in the same accident. While both went to the hospital, they are recovering and now home. Leon serves with SonSet Solutions in Elkhart, IN.


Patricia Vincent (Teall-Brinkman))

Patricia (Teall-Brinkman) Vincent g88 has started offering life coaching services to those who might be facing difficult choices, new challenges, transitions, or any other difficulty being faced in life.  Set up by phoning or requesting an outline of coaching by emailing her at, or by calling (208) 514-4813.


Gary Carlyle

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Gary Carlyle g86.png


Gary Carlyle, 55, g86 passed away on May 9, 2020. Gary was a financial planner in Fort Wayne. Gary is survived by his wife, Tamie, a daughter and two sons, along with his brother, Greg g92 and sister-in-law, Tami (Miller) g96. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a private service will be held at a later date.

Donovan Coley

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Dr. Donovan Coley g86 Honorary Doctorate 390x390.jpg


Dr. Donovan Coley g86 received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Indiana Wesleyan University in November 2019. Donovan is the Executive Director of Fort Wayne Rescue Ministries.


Joan Smith (Ronde)

Joan (Ronde) Smith g85 completed her recertification as a Project Management Professional (PMP) with the Project Management Institute. Joan and her husband, Tim g86, live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


Allen Sudmann

Rev. Allen Sudmann g83 concluded an interim pastorate at Berne Evangelical Church, where he had served since September 2019. He now serves as the interim pastor of the Grace Missionary Church, Celina OH. 


Glenn Tamagawa

Glenn Tamagawa g80 married Daezsa Tomas on the signature 16th-hole tee box at the Ocean Course at Hokuala, which features the longest stretch of ocean-front golf in Kawai, Hawaii. The nuptials took place on February 22. Glenn now works for Costco, when not golfing, and the newlyweds live in Kapaa, Hawaii.

Skip and Rosie Kite

Skip g80 and Rosie Kite continue to serve with Fellowship International Mission and have reached over 800 people with the Gospel so far, this past year. They ask for your continued prayers as they continue to pursue God's calling in their lives. They live in Salem, NJ.

Ellen Hanson (Springer)

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Ellen Hanson 390x390.png

Ellen Springer Hanson g80 passed into the waiting arms of her Lord, Saturday morning, Feb. 1 after about 7 months of fighting colon/liver cancer. While she was at FWBC she was known for her smile, friendliness and multiple talents. She sang with Positive Side in 1976-77 and with the Chorale the following two years. She graduated in 1980 majoring in Elementary Education.
She and her husband Bob have three sons, R. Spenser (and wife Audrey and grandsons Mason and Isaac), Trace (fiancée Veronica), and Turner. Ellen worked as Assistant to the Director in the Global Outreach Department of Cedarville University. She and Bob had worked for years with young people, both in paid and volunteer positions.  Ellen had a one-on-one ministry with many young women. 
Her Celebration of Life service will be next Sunday in Cedarville, Ohio. Her obituary 
Our thanks to Deb Springer Nussbaum g82 (her sister) for her contributions to the above.


Bruce Rocke

Bruce Rocke g79 began ministering at Berne Evangelical Church on April 1 as Senior Pastor. He and his wife Dianne (Yerke fs79) now reside in Berne, IN.


Terry Bovinet

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Terry Bovinet current 390x390.png

Terry Bovinet g78 suffered a massive heart attack January 2 at home and passed away. Obviously, the kids and his wife, Jackie Abbott Bovinet-and many who loved him-are devastated. Celebration of Life service on Monday, January 6 at 11:00 AM at Summit Christian Church, 133 S. Hawkins Avenue, Akron, OH 44313. Please respect Terry’s wishes of NO FLOWERS. If you feel so led, please make a donation to Summit Christian Church in Terry's honor.
Please keep Jackie, the kids, and family and friends in your prayers.


Bill Shoemaker

Bill Shoemaker g76 suffered a fatal heart-attack on Friday, May 30. Survivors include his wife, Candice (Gibson) g77, and brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Brad g80 and Karol Gibson.


Rebecca Leonard (Duff)

Duff Rebecca Leonard .png

Duff Rebecca Leonard .png


THOMASTON — Rebecca Joy (Duff) Leonard , 67, beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, passed on to her eternal reward on August 21, 2019, at the Sussman House.

Born in the Aroostook County town of Houlton, Maine, she was the daughter of Harold and Evelyn Smith Duff. She graduated from Fort Wayne Bible college with a degree in music education, and from the University of Southern Maine with a master’s degree in school administration.

Becky began teaching music in MSAD 50 on August 27, 1987.  She taught vocal and general music K-12 at Lura Libby School, Thomaston Grammar School, and Georges Valley High School (GVHS).

In September 2000, she became fulltime vocal music teacher at Georges Valley High School until MSAD 50 merged with MSAD 5. 

She then taught vocal music at Georges Valley High School and Rockland District High School (RDHS) for two years. When the two high schools combined she taught vocal, instrumental, and general music at Oceanside West and finished her career teaching vocal and general music at Oceanside Middle School.

Her motivation to teach music was inspired by her love of music and her love of her students. 

In 1994, she developed a vision for providing a broader music experience for her students and began planning for the first GVHS Broadway musical. Over the next 17 years she produced and directed 17 musicals. She never met a challenge too great and when there was no money in the budget for a musical, she donated many long hours producing, directing and raising funds to cover costs.

Her musicals included 1995 Fiddler on the Roof, 1996 Hello Dolly, 1997 Oklahoma, 1998 The King and I, 1999 The Music Man, 2000 My Fair Lady, 2001 Fiddler on the Roof, 2002 Guys and Dolls, 2003 Hello Dolly, 2004 Singin’In The Rain, 2005 Cinderella, 2006 The Music Man, 2007 The Pajama Game, 2008 Crazy for You, 2009 Thoroughly Modern Millie, 2010 Fiddler on the Roof, and 2011 Hello Dolly.

She also raised funds with the assistance of Mrs. Angela Johnson and their students for annual trips to Portland Symphony’s The Magic of Christmas concerts, trips to Boston to see professional musicals, and end of year trips to Funtown.  The Funtown trip was an appropriate ending activity each year, because Becky’s goal was to maintain high standards of musical excellence, but to make it fun, as well.

Becky’s love for people and her love for music emanated from her faith in Christ which led her to also pursue sacred music opportunities.  She served for several years as choir director at Littlefield Memorial Baptist Church, and as Director of the Thomaston Baptist Church’s Living Christmas Tree choir for ten years.

Becky is survived by her loving husband, William (Bill) Leonard, of Thomaston; five siblings and their spouses: Ruth and Robert Clements of Dayton, Ohio; Timothy and Laura Duff, of Springfield, Mass.; Lois and Richard Chaffee, of Marietta, N.Y.; Eunice and Robert Bragg, of East Longmeadow, Mass.; John and Desiree Duff, of Grand Rapids, Mich.; five children and their spouses/partners, Timothy and Rebecca Couch, Joslyn Couch, Steven and Casey Couch, Jennifer and Jared Burns, Erin Leonard and Aaron Crossman; eight grandchildren, Luisa Couch, Katelyn Couch, Christian Couch, Aubrey Couch; Gavin Burns, Arabelle Burns, Samuel Moody, Lucas Moody;  as well as many nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank the staff and volunteers at the Sussman House, Rockport, for their loving care and support for Becky and our family during her final days on this earth.

Relatives and friends are invited to visit from 4 to 7 p.m., Friday, August 30, 2019, at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland.  

A Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, August 31, at Thomaston Baptist Church, 212 Main Street, followed by a reception at Oceanside Middle School, 47 Valley St., Thomaston. 

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Rebecca Joy Leonard Music Education Scholarship Fund (R J Leonard Scholarship Fund), Camden National Bank, 188 Main Street, Thomaston, Maine 04861. To share a memory or story with Becky’s family, please visit their online Book of Memories at


Naomi Wiederkehr

Naomi Wiederkehr g68, 87, passed away October 10, 2019. Naomi worked in the FWBC library and served as a Sunday school teacher at West Missionary Church in Berne. She is survived by her brother, Gareth g52.  Naomi will be remembered for her deep love of her Savior and for her jovial spirit.  For her full obituary, click here.


James Welty

Jim Welty.jpg

Jim Welty.jpg


After battling cancer for multiple years, Jim Welty g66 passed away peacefully on November 14. He is now reunited with his wife, Patricia (Mayo) g67, whom he met at Fort Wayne Bible College. She passed in March 2019. Jim Welty's Celebration of Life service will be Saturday, December 7, in the Chapel at Woodstock First Baptist Church at 11 a.m.  Visitation will begin at 9:30 a.m. View his obituary


Carolynne Kay Foust (Clappe)




Carolynne Kay (Clappe) Foust g65 passed away on June 22, 2020 in her home in Bryan, OH. Carolynne was a teacher at Central Local Schools. She was active at Christian & Missionary Alliance Church and Calvary UMC in Williams Center. Carolynne also hosted the local Prayer Breakfast in her community. Here is a link to her obituary:

Martin David "Dave" Berggren




Martin David "Dave" Berggren g65, age 77, of Phoenix, AZ passed away May 14, 2020. Viewing will be held on Thursday, May 21, from 6 to 8 PM at Hansen Mortuary Chapel, 8314 N. 7th Street, Phoenix. A funeral service will be at 10 a.m. (1 p.m. EST), Friday, May 22, at Hansen Mortuary Chapel. Follow this link to watch the service: A private burial will follow the service at Paradise Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Dave is survived by his wife, Carolyn (Mitchell) g66. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to GLOBAL TRAINING NETWORK at Please visit to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Dave.


Sharon Hastings (Steiner)

Sharon (Steiner) Hastings fs63 was received by her Lord April 22, 2020 after fighting a blood disease for multiple years. While a student Sharon sang with the S.M.F. Trio. Her husband, the Rev. J. Edward Hastings fs63 still survives.


Rev. Ron Mayforth

Rev. Ron Mayforth g60 was called home on December 28, 2019. Surviving is his wife, Sharon (Yntema) g60, whom he met at Fort Wayne Bible College—they were married 60 years. He served as a pastor in three states and two countries, and later he served as a professor.

TA Strader

TA Strader g60 married Kathie Strader on November 8, 2019. The Straders reside in San Antonio, TX, and Kathie serves as a hospice nurse in Houston, TX, on weekends.


Mary Weidner (Fultz)

Mary (Fultz) Weidner g59, 83, went home to be with the Lord on March 5. Mary volunteered for multiple years for your Fort Wayne Alumni Center, among other organizations, churches, and groups.

John Wommer

Rev. John Wommer g59 passed away on January 3, 2018. He is survived by his wife, Margaret Wommer g60 and daughter Jenifer Hirschy fs85.


James Sowers

James Sowers g58, 84, passed away on October 29, 2019, after battling Alzheimer’s. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Blanche (Schwarzwalder) Sowers g58, their son Allen Sowers g84 as well as 2 other sons, 14 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren.


Gerald Myers

Gerald Myers g56 passed into the presence of the Lord on May 2, 2020.


Ed Widmark

Ed Widmark g54 passed away on Thursday night October 31, 2019 around midnight. During his time at FWBC he was an integral part of Crusaders Quartet and the radio ministry of the college. 

Visitation and funeral will be at Cable Road Alliance Church - Lima, Ohio.  Visitation Friday, November 8th; 4:00pm to 7:00pm and Funeral, November 9th at 11:00 am with 1 hour calling before the Service. Burial will take place at Memorial Park Cemetery of Lima.

Here is a link to his full obituary


Robert Crockett

Robert Crockett g53, who went home to be with the Lord on December 26, 2019. You can read his full obituary here


Betty Young (Blosser)

Betty (Blosser) Young g50, 89, passed away on October 28, 2019. She is survived by her son Roger and daughter, Linda (Young) Hale g81Click here to view her obituary. Was a faithful pastor's wife for her husband, Don, who predeceased her.


Julia Ellen Farley (Erdel)

Julia Ellen (Erdel) Farley g49 was born on her parents’ farm in Clinton County, Indiana, on Oct. 25, 1929. She died peacefully at The ACRES, New Carlisle, Indiana, on Feb. 24, 2020, age 90. She was preceded in death by her parents, George W Erdel, Bessie M. (Glick) Erdel, her aunt, Mary D. (Glick) Reed, her husband, Harrison O. (Taylor) Farley, her sister-in-law, Chloetta E. (Egly) Erdel, her step-son, Carlton W. Farley, and her step-grandsons, John L. (Muzquiz) Farley & Charles “Chuck” F. Bowles. She is survived by her elder brother, Paul (Ruth) A. Erdel, by his children, Timothy (Sally) Erdel, David (Lolly) Erdel, John (Lorena) Erdel, & Ruth (Tim) Stuck, and by 12 grand & 9 great-grand nieces & nephews, as well as by the family she gained through marriage, her children, Wanda (Mal) McSwain & Ann (Larry) Wright, her grandchildren, Deborah (Mike) Badger, Mark (Lynn) Farley, Rebecca (Jaycee) Hunter, Jeff (Susan) McSwain, Melissa Gully, Laura (Jeffrey) Kier, & Troy (Janelle) Bowles, and 20 great & 3 great-great-grandchildren. Her name lives on in a great-grandchild, Olivia Ellen Erdel Gully, and in children of former students.

Julia graduated from Stockwell High School and won a Rotary International Scholarship (1947). She attended Fort Wayne Bible Institute, then Greenville College (B.A.,1952) & Purdue University (M.S. Ed., 1955). A career high school business teacher, first in Indiana (1952-1954), then in Arizona (Phoenix Christian, 1954-1963; Coronado High, 1963-1989), she was repeatedly recognized as an outstanding educator (Delta Pi Epsilon, 1967) and citizen (among the “Phoenix One Hundred,” April 1996). Her former students loved her, kept in touch with her, and took her out at least once a month for as long as she lived in Phoenix (2015), among them Jerry & Nancy Simmons.

An excellent musician, Julia faithfully attended First Missionary Church, Central United Methodist Church, and Bethany Bible Church (women’s Bible study teacher) during her years in Phoenix. Vonda Kay Van Dyke was among her Sunday School pupils, the only Miss America pageant winner to also be named Miss Congeniality.

A long-term Treasurer on the Board of Governors of the Palm Lane Gardens Cooperative, Julia forged many close friendships there, including with the late legendary Democratic state politician, Polly Rosenbaum, though Julia remained a staunch Republican. A connoisseur of antique furniture, she was a volunteer docent for over 15 years at Rosson House.

Julia’s greatest legacy was her unswerving loyalty to her family and friends, to whom she repeatedly offered support during troubled times. Many persons were touched by her Christian graciousness, kindness, and charity, including her caretakers during her difficult last years, when her keen mind succumbed to dementia.

The family is thankful for the care she received at Fellowship Square in Phoenix, at The ACRES outside of New Carlisle, especially from Susan Lies, and through the Center for Hospice, Mishawaka.

Julia’s principled life lived for others is captured in a Christian song she loved, “Find Us Faithful,” by Steve Green.

Memorial gifts may be sent to World Partners, PO Box 9333, Fort Wayne, IN 46899-9333. A memorial service will be held at College Park Missionary Church, Mishawaka, Indiana, on March 7, 2020, at 2 pm, with visitation starting at 1 pm.

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