Columnists

Remembering those we lost in 2021

While every birth and death is significant, The Times remembers some of those who we lost in 2021, from ages 17 to 99:

Paul Edward Woodward, 96, Noblesville, died Dec. 3, 2021.

He served as an MP in the U.S. Army in Hawaii during World War II. He was a Hamilton County Co-Op director, 4-H leader, member of Hamilton County 4-H Council and 70-year 4-H volunteer who received the Sagamore of the Wabash award. He had a registered Angus herd, sold breeding stock and grew corn, beans, wheat, hay, oats, eggs, poultry, lambs, wool, pork and beef with his legacy not only being his work as a farmer but his lifelong dedication to educating and influencing the youth of today and tomorrow.

Glen Harold Harper, 92, Noblesville, died Sept. 29, 2021.

He served his country in the Indiana National Guard for 10 years. He graduated in 1951 from Butler University, where he played basketball under Tony Hinkle and helped launch his career as a basketball coach. He moved to Noblesville in the fall of 1956, and was the head basketball coach at Noblesville from 1957-70, compiling an overall record of 149-130. His basketball teams won seven out of eight sectionals from 1957-1964 and two Kokomo regional championships in 1957 and 1963. The 1957 team lost to State Champs, undefeated South Bend Central. He was named Indiana Basketball Coach of the Year by the sportscasters and newswriters for 1957.

Ted Rowland, 81, Noblesville, died June 28, 2021.

He graduated in 1958 from Noblesville High School, where he met future wife, Mary Sue (Staton) Rowland. He served in the U.S. Navy aboard the U.S.S. Alamo and the U.S.S. Ester AGC 12 as a lithographer (printer). They started their own printing company in 1972 in downtown Noblesville in the historic Union Traction Terminal Station known as Imagine Builders Rowland Printing, which is now run by his sons, Dane and Dean. Ted Rowland owned and operated the Noblesville Times weekly newspaper of which he served as editor until selling in 2002. Rowland in 1976 produced a Hamilton County history book called “Remembrances,” which sits today in the National Library of Congress, the State and local libraries.

Gwendolyn Geraldine Potter Tetrick, 71, Noblesville, died Oct. 23, 2021.

She was the media specialist at Stony Creek Elementary School in Noblesville 1997 to 2014 and had worked at Hamilton East Public Library in Noblesville and Fishers. She and Stony Creek first-grade teacher Karen Duvall won the 2009 TEAMS Award (for teacher and media specialist collaboration) for elementary schools from Gale and Library Media Connection magazine, presented during the American Association of School Librarians annual conference in Charlotte, N.C.  The educators brought students into the library once a week for The Lunch Bunch to eat lunch and hear a story, with 113 students in grades 1-4 participating. Fourth-graders were the focus of their second program, the Young Hoosier Book Club.

Earl Eugene McMahon, 92, Noblesville, died Dec. 12, 2021.

He grew up in a family of nine during the Depression and worked at his father’s grocery business in Noblesville. He graduated valedictorian of the Noblesville High School Class of 1946 and was an officer in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.  He, along with his brothers, Bud and Ed, owned and operated McMahon Food Co. from 1953-1987, with the company becoming one of the largest independent foodservice distributors in the nation and was at one point the largest employer in Hamilton County. Earl was a fourth all-time leading point producer/breeder of quarter horses in the nation.

Jimmie “Jim” Ray Flanders Sr., 84, Noblesville, died June 28, 2021.

He graduated in 1954 from Walnut Grove High School, attended the Purdue Ag Short Course, followed by seven years in the Indiana National Guard, an offshoot of the original Minutemen). He was a lifelong farmer in White River Township and a fifth-generation farmer in Hamilton County dating back to 1854.

He raised corn and soybeans and hogs, cattle, sheep, chickens and horses. Once Jim’s brothers retired from farming, he continued with his son, Jim Jr., as Flanders A-maizing Grain Inc. He was active in Hamilton County Farm Bureau and served many years as a Hamilton County 4-H leader, being found during the Fair watching the livestock shows enjoying a milkshake.

Mitchell Lee Russell, 67, Arcadia, died Feb. 23, 2021.

He played football, basketball and baseball at Hamilton Heights High School and followed in the footsteps of his older brother and became a police officer, first in Arcadia as a deputy marshal, and 29 years with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department where he retired as a lieutenant in 2006. After retiring, he was appointed marshal of Arcadia, and in 2012 became director of security for Riverview Health in Noblesville. He also served as president of Arcadia Town Council.

Ronald Hittle, 73, Noblesville, died Dec. 22, 2021.

He was a firefighter for 35 years, working for Westfield Fire Department, Carmel Fire Department and was battalion chief at Washington Township Fire Department. He was owner of Hittle Landscaping and also built the largest snow removal operation in Central Indiana. He was married to Nancy Hittle and had four sons, Jeremy, Josh, Brian and the late Chad Hittle.

Dean Allen Emmerson, 73, Noblesville, died April 27, 2021.

He was a board member of Noblesville Babe Ruth Baseball and Noblesville Girls Softball Association and proudly took care of the fields for Noblesville Babe Ruth in Forest Park and Noblesville Girls Softball. Due to his tireless work, Emmerson Field, at Forest Park, was named after him in 2008, and April 20, 2013, was declared Dean Emmerson Day in the City of Noblesville. He also participated in the Choose to Move Race for Parkinson’s disease every year.

James Casey “Jim” Castor, 93, Noblesville, died Feb. 23, 2021.

He was a graduate of Noblesville High School and joined the U.S. Navy where he served in World War II on the U.S.S. Columbia. He worked at Firestone Industrial Products in Noblesville and in 1956 bought his first business, Pure Oil Gas Station on 10th Street, and in 1999 retired from his second business, Castor’s Auto Clinic, where he worked for 46 years. He served on several ministries and sang in the choir at Noblesville First United Methodist Church, and was past chairman of Round Dance Council of Indiana and past president of Merry Mixer Square Dancer’s Club and member of Do-Si-Squares dance club of Noblesville. He was commander-in-chief of Noblesville Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post No. 6246 2014 to 2016, and was married to Jane (Kingsolver) Castor since 2002. 

Dr. Ben L. Bromley, 79, Noblesville, died Jan. 28, 2021.

He graduated from Indiana University School of Dentistry and attended the U.S. Naval Academy, then served as a dentist with the Navy and Marine Corps. He had a dental practice in Noblesville for more than 50 years and was married to Carmen Bromley for nearly 60 years, since 1962.

Richard Charles Davis, 88, Noblesville, died Dec. 7, 2021.

Davis served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War and in 2016 was selected for the Honor Flight to Washington, D.C.  He was on the board of directors for St. Vincent dePaul, Harbour Trees Golf Club and Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville of which he was honored with the prestigious Founders Award in 2015. He served the City of Noblesville on the Planning, Zoning & Appeals Commissions before becoming a Noblesville City Councilman from 1976-1980.

George Ray Beason, 90, Noblesville, died June 23, 2021.

He was an auto mechanic for White’s Oldsmobile for many years before opening his own mechanic business out of his home. He was a Noblesville Schools bus driver for 27 years, retiring in 2004. While driving the bus and as a die-hard Miller fan, he committed to driving a variety of Noblesville sports teams to and from games. Each year, he’d adopt a new family in every team he drove, transporting them safely to and from home, away, sectional, state and regional games, often sent with tins of fresh cookies from his wife, Doris, when she didn’t travel with him. He dedicated 28 years to the Noblesville City Planning Commission.

Velda R. Boenitz, 81, Noblesville, died June 7, 2021.

While for more than 30 years she was a legal secretary for the Indiana State Court of Appeals, she was best known as a tireless animal advocate, helping to establish a Low Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic in Noblesville and pushing for legislation to make dog owners more responsible for their pets. She directed numerous fundraisers for the Exotic Feline Rescue Center in Center Point, Ind., and the USA Dog Greyhound rescue.

Martha C. Stevenson, 95, Noblesville, died March 25, 2021.

She was a well respected and talented artist in watercolors and oils and won many accolades from Hoosier Salon, Watercolor Society of Indiana and was named Conner Prairie’s Artist in Residence one year. She was married to the late attorney Frank Stevenson, who died in 2019.

Bob Jenkins, 73, died Aug. 9, 2021.

The former Noblesville resident was a legendary auto-racing broadcaster for the Indy 500 and NASCAR radio and TV. He was one of the first on-air employees of ESPN in 1979 and worked covering the Indy 500 since then, also spending more than 20 years as the lead commentator for the network’s NASCAR races. He was radio “Voice of the Indianapolis 500” on the IMS Radio Network 1990 to 1998 and on ABC Sports television from 1999 to 2001. He was inducted into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum’s Hall of Fame in 2019. He continued his IMS public address announcing through 2020.

Gerald L. Bolden, 84, died Sept. 19, 2021.

He served in the U.S. Navy and was co-owner of Bolden’s Dry Cleaners in Noblesville, retiring in 1997.

 Robert E. “Bob” Gagle, 78, Noblesville, died May 4, 2021.

He worked for NAPA as a salesman and later co-owned the Noblesville NAPA store, retiring after 40 years.

Kalen Rae Hart, 18, Arcadia, and Lendon Cole Byram, 17, Noblesville, died May 1, 2021.

She was a Hamilton Heights High School senior, and he was a Cathedral High School junior. They were prom dates who were tragically killed in an automobile accident on the way to Hamilton Heights High School prom.

 Bradley Harrison, 58, Westfield, died Dec. 25, 2021.

He served as an official for Westfield basketball and was former president of Westfield Athletic Booster Club.

Jean Ann Huff Hammer, 91, Noblesville, died Sept. 1, 2021.

She graduated in 1948 from Noblesville High School  and worked for many years as the “ice cream lady” at Alexander’s Ice Cream in Noblesville.

Florence Elaine Mosbaugh, 91, Noblesville, died May 9, 2021.

She co-owned Mosbaugh’s Grocery in Noblesville for 27 years with her husband, Leon Mosbaugh.

Naomi C. Gang, 98, Noblesville, died May 10, 2021.

During World War II, she worked in a riveting factory. She was the mother of Tom Gang, 1967 Noblesville High School grad.

Cleetus R. Owens, 99, Noblesville, died Oct. 3, 2021.

He served in the U.S. Air Force and was a Shriner and a member of more than 50 years of the Noblesville Masonic Lodge.

Virginia Ruth Miller, 99, Sheridan, died Dec. 15, 2021.

She and her sister, Phyllis, and a small group of dedicated people from Sheridan commandeered a portion of the First Christian Church basement and started MAMA’s Cupboard, which grew and gained nonprofit status and continues to serve residents of Sheridan.

Mabel L. Dillinger, 96, Noblesville, died Sept. 28, 2021.

She was the mother of Hamilton County Commissioner Steve Dillinger and worked in the office of Firestone Industrial Products for 17 years.

Matt D. Flanigan, 86, Noblesville, died Aug. 23, 2021.

He was a Korean War veteran who served in the U.S. Army and was a lifelong meat cutter and became the owner of Arcadia Meats and Meat Locker and cut all of the meat and made the sausage for Tipton Pork Festival for 19 years. He was also owner and operator of Flanigan Septic and Backhoe Co.

Margaret M. “Maggie” Jowitt, 94, Noblesville, died Feb. 12, 2021.

She was a nurse manager for Community Hospital East, a Hamilton County Master Gardener and a volunteer at Conner Prairie and the mother of former Noblesville Police Chief Kevin Jowitt.

Linda Ann (Veach) Illyes, 72, Fishers, died Oct. 11, 2021.

She was a graduate of Purdue University, where she met Andy Illyes, who enjoyed raising their children together for 42 years before his death in 2014. She was a beloved teacher for many years.

Kelly J. Jones, 62, a Noblesville native, died March 19, 2021.

She was a 1977 graduate of Noblesville High School and started working at a young age in her family-owned restaurants, The Forest Park Inn, Wilson’s Cafeteria and Golden Manor. She also worked for The Noblesville Ledger, Topics Newspapers, Indy Star and The Times newspapers.

 Shirley A. McConnell, 87, Noblesville, died Sept. 10, 2021.

She worked for Danners and Topics Newspapers and The Noblesville Ledger and was married to the late Darrell McConnell, who was a production manager for Topics Newspapers and The Ledger for 43 years.

 Victor “Vic” Caleca, 64, Fishers, died in March 2021.

He was a respected and gifted newspaper journalist and editor and married to Linda Graham Caleca for nearly 45 years. He worked 27 years for The Indianapolis Star as state desk editor, suburban bureau chief, city editor and assistant managing editor. 

Robin Miller, 71, died Aug. 25, 2021.

He was a lifelong motorsports fan who became one of the sport’s most recognized and influential media personalities. He was best known for writing motorsports, mainly IndyCar, for The Indianapolis Star from 1968-2001. He died just 12 days after he was honored at a special Hall of Fame induction ceremony during Brickyard weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

 -Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.