FW Friends & Family
Judy Martin (Hakes)
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.
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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.
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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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.