FW Friends & Family
Judy Martin (Hakes)
Phyllis J. Miller (Miller)
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Phyllis J. Miller ’53 TUU, 88, passed away on March 23, 2019. She was one the first women’s basketball and volleyball coach for Fort Wayne Bible College (FWBC) from 1973-1978. Here is a link to our 2014 Hall of Fame booklet, when we inducted her into our Fort Wayne Athletic Hall of Fame.
Leticia Starks-Underwood (Starks)
Dr. Leticia Starks-Underwood g13 published You Can Make It: A Kingdom Book of Encouragement Part I, the first in a series of books featuring testimonies from around the world that seek to encourage, empower, and inspire readers in their faith. She has also published a companion guided journal, I Know Who I Am in Christ, that prompts reflections on our identity in Christ. Leticia lives in Fort Wayne with her husband, Jay, and their daughter, Jayelle.
Katlyn Stryker (Smith)
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Pam Dykehouse fs09, 60, passed away after fighting pancreatic cancer, on Thursday, July 18, 2019. Pam served at TUFW as the bookstore manager and later as bookkeeper until May 2009. Survivors include her husband, Tim, daughter, Jill (Dykehouse) Brosman fs06, son, Zach, and multiple grandchildren. Her memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 3 at Harvester Missionary Church.
Nicole and Brock Treesh (Wentworth)
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Nicole (Wentworth g09) and Brock Treesh welcomed Calliope Ann on February 27, 2019. Calliope weighed 7 lbs. 6.8 oz. and was 20 in. long. The Treeshes live in Kendallville, IN.
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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.
Rick Schwartz g07 was named senior pastor of First Missionary Church in Berne in February 2019. He and his wife, Jamie (Knuth g07) had previously been at CrossPoint Community Church in Lima, OH for eight years. Rick grew up at First Missionary, where his dad, Jim g79 served as the youth pastor, Rick was a Pastoral Ministries major and held with great respect by his department chair, Dr. David Biberstein.
Charrell Stevens g07 (Williams)
Charrell (Williams) Stevens g07 was nominated as Distinguished Staff of the Year (District) in her role as Secretary of Student Services at Elkhart Community Schools. Charrell and her husband, Justin, have twin daughters and reside in Goshen, IN.
Traci Koenig (Bakie)
Traci (Bakle) Koenig g06 is the teen program administrator at Hands of Hope Pregnancy Services in Paulding, OH.
Sharyn and Matt Brisson (Thomas)
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Sharyn (Thomas g06) and Matt Brisson welcomed Alaya Grace on November 30, 2018. She weighed 6 lbs. 13 oz. and was 19 ¾ in. long. She joins her brother, Wesley, 2. The Brissons live in Castle Rock, CO
John Emenhiser g2005 passed away after a long battle with painful brain tumors. In recent years John helped as he was able with pastoral visits to hospitals and homes as a volunteer with the Pathway Church. He is survived by his wife, Danielle, and his three daughters. Those interested in contributing to the outstanding medical bills can send a donation to New Creation in care of Pathway Church.
Beth and Matt Overman (Armstrong)
Beth (Armstrong) g05 and Matt Overman welcomed Evelyn Leigh on March 7, 2019. Evelyn weighed 6 lbs. 13 oz. and was 19 in. long. She joins brothers Patrick, 8, Charlie, 5, and Markus, 2.
Patrick and Jessica Jessup (Yoder)
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Patrick g05 and Jessica Jessup welcomed their first child, Dietrich Lawrence, on January 6, 2019. The Jessups live in Spencerville, IN.
Michael and Catherine Clancy
Michael g05 and Catherine Clancy welcomed Clara Frances Thomasina on January 27, 2019. Clara weighed 8 lbs. 2 oz. and was 19 in. long. She joins her brother, Michael, 1. The Clancys live in Phoenix, AZ
Heather Burgette (Neilson)
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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 Amazon.com as a Kindle eBook and as a paperback.
Tauna Batiste (Herrell)
It is my pleasure to announce that Tauna Batiste g03 will be joining our Batten Disease Support and Research Association team as Executive Director on May 20, 2019.
Brooke and Jeff Hartman (Wilson)
Brooke (Wilson g03) and Jeff Hartman welcomed twins, Hanalei Brooke and Maya Katherine, on March 11, 2019. They join older sister Havana, 2. The Hartmans live in Madison, WI.
Tauna and Tremayne Batiste (Harrell)
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Tauna (Harrell g03) and Tremayne Batiste welcomed Andrew Christopher on February 5, 2019. Andrew weighed 9 lbs., 3 oz. and was 21 in. long, and joins Alex, 4. Tauna is Executive Director for the National Hemophilia Foundation/Central Ohio Chapter. The Batistes live in Reynoldsburg, OH.
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.
Kelley Sewell (Wayne)
Kelley Wayne g01 and Kelly Lyn Sewell welcomed Lilliana “Lillie” Joy on April 10, 2019. Lillie weighed 7 lb. 6.9 oz. and was 19 ¾ in. long. Kelley serves as the adult ministries pastor at Grabill Missionary Church in Indiana.
Sarah McCown (Burke)
Sarah (Burke) g98 married Chris McCown on June 15, 2019
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.
Doug Hood g93 published The Worship Unicorn: Ten Ways to Pursue Authentic and Engaging Worship. Doug currently serves as a musician, composer, and worship pastor at Central Ministries of Fort Wayne. He is also President of CSD Group, Inc., an award-winning design and integration firm that partners with churches to elevate their worship experiences through better audio, video, lighting, and acoustics. Doug and Kim (Butler) g91 live in Fort Wayne and have five children and two grandchildren.
Kathy Lauwers g92, 49, of Haskins, OH passed away on April 5, 2019. She had been a preschool teacher. Her obituary is posted
Lori Wilson-Snyder (Wilson)
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Lori Wilson-Snyder g91 started a new position with Ambassador Enterprises, a private equity company in Fort Wayne that helps build companies and leaders that seek to impact communities in northeast Indiana and beyond.
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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.
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Bob Herman g85 started a new position with The Rescue Mission in Fort Wayne as pastor of outreach and discipleship. In this role, he pastors and disciples men from the LifeHouse, which provides immediate relief for those experiencing hunger and homelessness.
While not much information is known, we learned last night that Lori Wilka g85, has unexpectantly passed away while at a job training event in Orlando, FL. Please pray for her family and friends. She was a National Service Officer at Military Order of the Purple Heart and lived in North Little Rock, AR.
Terry L. Diller g83, 57, of Elkhart, passed away early Saturday morning, May 18, 2019, at his home. Arrangements are pending at Billings Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 812 Baldwin Street, Elkhart. Arrangements are being made by Billings Funeral Home. See the following link for more details. https://www.billingsfuneralhome.com/notices/Terry-Diller
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Kayleen Reusser fs82 published her 16th children’s book, a biography of Meghan Markle, in January 2019. Her book is available on Amazon.
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Kathy Jones (LaBree)
Kathy (LaBree) Jones g78 retired from the Maine Judicial Branch after 33 years of public service. She served as Clerk of Court for three District Courts. She and her husband, Scott, have relocated to Augusta, ME to be close to family, including their son, Alex, who is a police officer.
William “Bill” Reeder
William “Bill” Reeder g78, 70, passed away January 29, 2019 at his home in Fort Wayne. He served in the U.S. Army as a veteran of the Vietnam War and as a Vietnamese translator. He worked as an electrical engineer with GE and Lockheed Martin, and was an accomplished Irish folk musician. Calling will be held at Sheets & Childs Funeral Home Sunday, February 3 from 2 to 6 p.m. and Monday, February 4 at 10 a.m., followed by a service at 11 a.m. Bill is survived by his wife, Connie, and his six children.
William “Jung” Wall
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Dr. William “Jung” Wall g76, 65, of Middlebury, IN, went to be his Lord on August 16, 2018. He was a licensed minster with the North Central District of the Missionary Church. Survivors include his wife, Judy (Brinker) Wall g72.
Rebecca Leonard (Duff)
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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 www.bchfh.com.
Eunice Oser (Keifer)
Eunice (Keifer g73) Oser, 70, was embraced by Jesus on February 25, 2019 after a battle with illness. Eunice was a kindergarten teacher for many years with First Christian Union Preschool and Kindergarten. She was a faithful member of Westview Alliance Church in Fort Wayne, where she served in the children’s ministry, taught Sunday school, and worked as a custodian. Eunice is survived by her husband, Rev. Randy Oser g77; daughter, Jana (Yearling g09) Pharr; and three step-children. A service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 2 at Westview Alliance Church in Fort Wayne.
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.https://www.zwickjahn.com/obituary/naomi-wiederkehr
Pat Welty g67 (Mayo)
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Pat (Mayo) Welty g67, 75, received her eternal reward on March 7, 2019. Pat loved her family and enjoyed playing games and spending time with her husband, kids, and grandkids. Pat worked as a bank teller before attending Fort Wayne Bible College, and then taught third grade in Zion, IL for two years before becoming a full-time mom and homemaker. She then worked at Mount Paran Christian School in the finance department and taught preschool. She is survived by her husband of 53 years, James g66.
Tom Norquist fs67, 70, passed away on January 18, 2019 in Burlington, WI. He had taught special education at schools in the northern suburbs of Chicago for close to 30 years, and coached volleyball and wrestling. He was a longtime member of Bethel Church and actively served there in many roles. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Kathleen; three children; and six grandchildren.
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
Jan (Janyce) Keller (Harris)
Jan (Janyce) Keller g64, age 76, was welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven on March 29, 2019. She was born in Barberton, Ohio, to the late Joseph Harris and Ruth Harris-Johns. Janyce worked as a teacher for Fort Wayne Community Schools for 35 years. She is survived by her children, Joe (Angie) Keller, Julie (Nate) Delagrange, and Jenna (Joel) Allen; grandchildren, Gracie, Austin, Kylie, Tyler, Myka, Leah, Zachary, Paige, Bryce, and Kate. She was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, Jack Keller. Memorials may be made to family. To sign the online guestbook, go to www.fairhavenfortwayne.com
Larry Eicher g61 has received his eternal welcome. He passed away June 9. Details regarding final arrangements will be posted as we receive them. Michael Mortensen and Bill Gerig commented that Larry was Wes Gerig's 1st cousin. Both passed on the same day. Larry's arrangements are 4-8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11th and 9-10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 12th at Jones Crossing, next door to Jones Family Mortuary in Mooresville. Pastor Jim Taylor will officiate Larry's celebration of life service at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 12th at Jones Crossing. His obituary is Larry Eicher's obituary.
Please be in prayer for the family.
Mary Jane Richardson g61 (Wolfe)
Mary Jane (Wolfe) Richardson g61, 79, passed away on February 24, 2019. Mary Jane served at the Salem Children’s Home in Flanagan, IL for 20 years and taught elementary school in Jacksonville, FL for 15 years. She was a foster parent as well as an active member of Calvary Evangelical Church in Van Wert, OH. Mary Jane is survived by her husband, the Rev. John Richardson g59; three children; three step-children; 12 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.
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.
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.
Dr. Wes Gerig
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Dr. Wesley Gerig passed into the arms of Jesus today about 6:30 pm today. If you would like to post a tribute, click Dr. Wesley Gerig tribute.
The Celebration of Life Service will be held at First Missionary Church (701 W. Rudisill Blvd., Fort Wayne, 46807) on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. A live stream of the service can be found at (click). https://www.firstmc.org/
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, June 12th at D. O. McComb and Son (Foster Park) at 6301 Fairfield Ave., Fort Wayne, 46807 from 3:00 - 8:00 p.m., as well as one hour before the funeral on Thursday at First Missionary Church. His obituary is posted at (click) https://mccombandsons.
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Donna Cottrell g51, 77, passed away on February 13, 2019 in Columbus, IN. Donna served as a missionary to Ethiopia and worked at the SIM USA office in North Carolina. She was a member of Wilson Chapel in Elizabethtown, IN and Sudan Interior Mission. Two of her favorite things were flowers and cats. Donna is survived by her sister, four nieces, and many great- and great-great nieces and nephews.
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Dr. Tim Warner g50 celebrated his 95th birthday on December 24, 2019.
Your Alumni Center had individuals send cards and will send the over 30 comments to Dr. Tim after the first of the year.
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 g81. Click here to view her obituary. Was a faithful pastor's wife for her husband, Don, who predeceased her.
Lois Dickenson (Vollmar)
Lois (Vollmar) Dickinson g48, 92, went to be with the Lord July 12, 2019. Lois spent her last days at Peabody Retirement Community in North Manchester, IN, where she had previously served as the resident manager for 15 years. She was a member of Wabash Presbyterian Church, the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators, and Church Women United; she also served as the secretary for Habitat for Humanity in Wabash, IN. Lois is survived by two sisters, Connie Vollmar g68 and Ricki Atkinson.
Miriam Escher (Schumacher)
Miriam (Schumacher) Escher g44, 102, passed away June 30, 2019 in Honolulu. She was preceded in death by her husband, George, and is survived by three sons, three daughters, 15 grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren.