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  Banner Obituaries - July 2004 

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Luther A. Pidgeon

Feb. 22, 1918 - July 5, 2004

The president of Draper, Inc., Luther A. Pidgeon died at the age of 86 on Monday, July 5 at his residence in Spiceland after a long illness. He was born February 22, 1918, a son of the late Elma and Jessie Pidgeon.

The third president of the company, founded by his grandfather Luther O. Draper in 1902, worked for the corporation from 1940 until a few months before his death and had been its president since 1960. In 1957, Mr. Pidgeon decided to add projection screens to the company’s product line, and today Draper is the second largest manufacturer of projection screens in the world. The company also manufactures window shades and gymnasium equipment.

A native of Spiceland and former resident of Knightstown, he received a BS in economics from Purdue University and was a lifelong supporter of the school. He served in the Army from 1941 to 1945, attaining the rank of major. During that time, he was a classified communications officer in the Pentagon and was awarded the War Department Citation by Gen. George C. Marshall for actions, which resulted in saving the lives of U.S. troops. He also served as an aide to the U.S. delegation at the Second Quebec Conference in 1944.

Mr. Pidgeon served as an elder of Bethel Presbyterian Church, on the school board of the Charles A. Beard Memorial School Corp., on the Henry County Memorial Hospital Foundation Board of Directors and on the Henry County United Fund board of Directors. He was a member of the Henry County School Reorganization Committee from 1959 to 1962. In addition, he was active in the Republican Party at the county and state levels for many years. He was a kind man and a strong leader and gave generously to this community.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Wilson Pidgeon; one son John D. (wife Jane) Pidgeon of New Castle; a daughter, Sara P. (Peggy) Pechous of Carmel; a sister, Mary P. Broome of New Castle; one grandson, Matthew D. Pechous of Carmel; two granddaughters, Anna W. (husband Nicholas) Brown of Chicago, and Ellen J. Wight of Santa Monica, Calif.; a cousin, Joanne (husband Walt) McCormack of Spiceland; four nephews, Mike (wife Susie) Broome and Chris (wife Jill) Broome of Greenfield (who worked with him at Draper), Jeff (wife Kristin) Broome and Dr. James Broome of Nashville, Tenn. Other survivors include, brother-in-law, Dr. Richard L. Silver of Indianapolis; sister-in-law, Martha Clawson of New Castle; five step-children, Bob Wilson and Wendy Wilson of New Castle, Joan White of Bloomington, Garry Sharp of Galveston, Texas and Jim Sharp of Indianapolis; four additional nieces and nephews; and 15 step-grandchildren.

Two wives, Marian Silver Pidgeon and Edith Sharp Pidgeon and his parents preceded him in death.

Services will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, July 8 at Hinsey-Brown Funeral Service in New Castle with Sid Martin officiating. Burial will follow in Glen Cove Cemetery with military rites provided by the American Legion.

Friends may call from 3-8 p.m. today (Wednesday, July 7) at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Luther and Mary Pidgeon Fund, c/o Henry County Community Foundation, the Henry County Memorial Hospital Foundation or the American Diabetes Association.


Betsy Steele

Oct. 27, 1942 – July 4, 2004

Elizabeth Ann (Betsy) Steele, 61, died Sunday, July 4 at Carondelet Hospice in Tucson, Ariz., following a series of illnesses. She was born October 27, 1942 in Indianapolis, the daughter of Elizabeth (Betty) Mai (Kalleen) Steele and the late Richard Monticue Steele of Knightstown.

Betsy graduated in 1960 from Knightstown High School and in 1965 from Butler University with a degree in English. At Butler, she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma. She then embarked on a varied and interesting journey through life.

After a short stint as a welfare worker in Indianapolis, she became a Vista volunteer, serving Native Americans in Winnebago, Neb. She was hired by the Methodist Church to work with other Native Americans in North Carolina and Oklahoma. She was also sent to help survivors of the Buffalo Creek, W.V. flood disaster.

Betsy returned to school in 1977, graduating with a master’s degree in counseling from Arizona State University in 1979. She began her counseling career in Tucson at New Directions for Young Women, working with teenagers. When that agency was absorbed by Family Counseling Agency, she stayed with the group and marked her 20th anniversary on July 1. She contributed to the agency in many capacities: as an individual, couples and group counselor, as a member of the Domestic Violence Program team, as the elected staff representative to mediate internal conflicts and finally, as the Coordinator of all Counseling services at the agency.

She was certified as a Professional Counselor by the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health and by the National Professional Counselors Commission. She was a member of the American Counseling Assoc., the Arizona Counseling Assoc., the American Psychological Assoc., American Personnel and Guidance Associations and the National Association of Women Deans, Administrators and Counselors.

Her volunteer activities included counseling for the Tucson AIDS Project, participating in the HIV/AIDS Therapists’ Networking Group and serving as a volunteer at the University Medical Center, the teaching hospital associated with the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine.

Betsy is survived by her mother, Betty Steele of Knightstown; her brother and sister-in-law, David and Diane Steele, all of Knightstown; niece and nephew, Kalleen of the U.S. Air Force and Drew of St. Louis, Mo.; and one aunt, Betty Kalleen of Fishers. She also leaves loved ones, Sue and Laura Moran of Tucson; cousins, Julie Bubul, Oracle, Ariz, Rick Steele of Springfield, Va., Jenny Brown of Oak Harbor, Wash., Steve Bubul of St. Paul, Minn., Bob Russell of Geneva, Ill., Jim Russell of Rosswell, Ga., Chip Kalleen of Indianapolis, Cheryl Beerbower of Fishers, Bob Wilcox of Sherman Oaks, Calif., plus their spouses and cihldren.

Her father, Richard Steele and several aunts and uncles, preceded her in death.

All services will be held July 10. Visitation will be at 9 a.m. at the Todd Funeral Home Butcher Chapel in Knightstown, followed by the funeral at 10 a.m. Burial will be in Glen Cove Cemetery, Knightstown.

Memorial contributions may be made in the name of Betsy Steele to the Knightstown Public Library, the American Diabetes Association, or the Tucson Center for Women and Children, 2555 E. Adams, Tucson, AZ 86716.

Family and out-of-town guests will be served a luncheon at the Knightstown United Methodist Church following the service.


Joseph Ryan Ours

Aug. 16, 1983 – July 1, 2004

Joseph Ryan Ours, 20, a resident of Knightstown, died Thursday, July 1 at his residence. He was born August 16, 1983 in Indianapolis, a son of Richard and Patricia (Hynes) Ours of Knightstown.

Ours was a 2002 graduate of Knightstown High School and was a student of Indiana University in Bloomington. His hobby was playing the bass guitar and creative writing.

Surviving are his parents; a brother, Charlie Ours of Knightstown; and paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Ours of Knightstown.

He was preceded in death by maternal grandparents, Carl and Josephine Hynes and paternal grandfather, Earnest Ours.

Graveside services were held Tuesday, July 6 at Glen Cove Cemetery in Knightstown. Arrangements were handled by the Condo & Son Funeral Home in Wilkinson.


Mary Jean Ware

May 17, 1934 – June 30, 2004

Shirley resident, Mary Jean Ware, 70, died Wednesday, June 30 at Hancock Memorial Hospital in Greenfield, following an extended illness. She was born May 17, 1934 in Shirley, a daughter of the late Harry Eugene and Harriet Marie (Scarff) Johnson.

Mrs. Ware lived all of her life in Shirley and was a 1952 graduate of Wilkinson High School. She had been employed at Mallory’s in Frankfort. She was a member of the Shirley Christian Church and a member of the Women’s Aid Society at the church. She was a member of the Red Hat Society, Shirley Historical Society and the Shirley Senior Citizens.

Survivors include one aunt, Mary E. Johnson of Knightstown; one uncle, Everett Scarff of Crescent City, Fla., and four cousins.

Besides her parents, two infant sons preceded her in death.

Funeral services were held Saturday, July 3 at Marshall & Erlewein Funeral Home ~ Estell Chapel in Shirley with Pastors Jim Hill and Jim Jackson officiating. Burial was in Mechanicsburg Cemetery.

Visitation was held at the funeral home prior to the service on Saturday.


Doris E. Johns

June 7, 1915 – June 30, 2004

Doris E. Johns, 89, a resident of Wilkinson, died Wednesday, June 30 at Hancock Memorial Hospital in Greenfield. She was born June 7, 1915 in Hancock County, a daughter of the late Robert C. and Stella (Walker) Young.

After 24 years of service, Mrs. Johns retired in 1980 from Indiana Knitwear as a supervisor. On November 30, 1935, she married Robert Johns and they were married for 56 years. She was a member of the Ingalls Church of God and was an avid quilter and a good cook.

Surviving are two sons, Jerry (wife Donna) Johns of Anderson and Terry (wife Phyllis) Johns of Charlottesville; three daughters, Janet (husband Floyd) Neal of Shirley, Diana (husband Richard) Roberts of Wilkinson and Ruthie (husband Ronald) West of Wilkinson; 13 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren; two brothers, Ralph Young of Markleville and Robert Young of Middletown; two sisters, Evelyn Karpenski of Morristown and June Zirkle of Anderson; a sister-in-law, Emogene Young of Greenfield; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband in 1991; a brother, Gerald Young; a sister, Ruth Scott; and a granddaughter, Amy Jo West.

Funeral services were held Saturday, July 3 in the Condo & Son Funeral Home in Wilkinson with Rev. Michael West officiating. Burial was in McCray Cemetery in Wilkinson.

Visitation was held at the funeral home Friday, July 2.


Howard L. Finch

Sept. 30, 1914 – June 30, 2004

Greenfield resident, Howard L. Finch, 89, formerly of Carthage and Knightstown, died Wednesday, June 30 at Community East Hospital in Indianapolis following an extended illness. He was born September 30, 1914 in Muday, W.V., a son of the late George and Patience (Dewees) Finch.

A resident of Carthage and Knightstown for many years, he retired in 1969 from Carthage Container Corp. after 35 years of service. He retired from Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Children’s Home in Knightstown in 1980 after 11 years of service. He was a member of the Apostolic Pentecostal Church of Greenfield. He was an avid fisherman and outdoorsman.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by two sisters, Mary Jones and Mae Jones; a brother, William Finch; and one son, Leroy Finch.

Services were held Saturday, July 3 at the Apostolic Pentecostal Church in Greenfield with Rev. Kenneth Brown officiating. Burial was in the Carthage Cemetery.

Visitation was held Friday, July 2 at Hinsey-Brown Funeral Service, Knightstown Chapel.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association.



Velma E. Beach

Feb. 24, 1925 – July 11, 2004

Velma E. Beach, 79, of Knightstown died Sunday, July 11 at her residence following a brief illness. She was born February 24, 1925 in Christiana, Tenn., a daughter of the late Frank Newton and Eleanor Pauline (Boyle) Kelton.

She was a resident of Martinsville for many years, moving to Knightstown in 2000. A homemaker, she was an avid doll collector.

Survivors include her husband of 63 years, William E. Beach of Knightstown; six children, Dan R. (wife Kitty) Beach of Greenwood; James W. Beach of Martinsville; Margaret Ann Cross of Knightstown; Eldon T. (wife Carol) Beach of Martinsville; Patricia S. (husband Rick) Booher of Knightstown; and Michael W. (wife Tammy) Beach of Beech Grove; 25 grandchildren; 48 great-grandchildren; and 12 great-great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents, a sister preceded her in death.

Services will be 10 a.m. today (Wednesday, July 14) at Hinsey-Brown Funeral Service, Knightstown Chapel with Rev. George Maloyed, Jr. officiating. Burial will follow in Glen Cove Cemetery.

Visitation was held at the funeral home Tuesday, July 13.



Velma Howe

April 19, 1928 – July 17, 2004

Shirley resident Velma Howe, 76, died Saturday, July 17 at Regency Place Health Care Center in Greenfield. She was born April 19, 1928 in Merl, Ky., a daughter of Worley and Margaret (Hughes) Brown.

Mrs. Howe was a homemaker and attended Shirley Christian Church.

Survivors include a step-daughter, Eva (husband Forest) Reeves of Shirley; two step-sons, Robert (wife Charlotte) Howe of Shirley and Dale (wife Mary) Howe of Pendleton; five step-grandchildren, two step-great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Preceding her in death were her husband, Woodrow Howe in 1983; a son, Timothy Howe in 1976; and three sisters, Pearl Barton, Evalee Barton and Bonnie Hicks.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, July 20 in the Condo & Son Funeral Home in Wilkinson with Rev. Darrell Deck officiating. Burial was in Mechanicsburg Cemetery.

Visitation was held at the funeral home Monday, July 19.


Walter J. Getz

Feb. 9, 1940 – July 17, 2004

Walter J. Getz, 64 of rural Connersville, died Saturday, July 17 at Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis. He was born February 9, 1940 in Taylors Creek in Hamilton County, Ohio, a son of Walter H. and Helen Noes Getz.

A graduate of Whitewater High School in Franklin County in 1959, he played high school basketball and was also a member of the Old Timers Basketball Team. A U.S. Army veteran, he served from 1959 until 1961 and was a peacekeeper in Korea following the Korean War. For 32 years, he was employed at Stant Manufacturing in Machine Development.

He was a member of St. Gabriel Church and a devoted active member of Council #861, Knights of Columbus, where he was Knight of the Year in 1986. He was a member of the K of C Wednesday mixed couples bowling league and the Tuesday night league. He was always involved with the chicken fry at the St. Gabriel Church Festival, the Chicken at the Fair and any time his help was needed. He and his wife, Judy, were chairpersons of the Spaghetti Supper at the K of C for many years and also co-chaired the Lenten breakfasts. He enjoyed working in his flower and vegetable gardens, playing euchre and going out to eat with family and friends.

Mr. Getz was the uncle of Stacy and Eric Cox of Shirley. Other survivors include his wife, Judy “Fred” Maze Getz, whom he married July 1, 1977 in Tennessee; four sons, Brian (wife Chrissy) Getz of Connersville, Greg (wife Angie) Getz of Laurel, Mike (wife Emma) Getz of West Harrison, and Neil (wife Jennifer) Getz of Connersville; his mother, Helen Getz of West Harrison; five grandchildren; two brothers, Dave (wife Karen) Getz and Kenny (wife Diane) Getz, both of West Harrison; a sister, Mary (husband Gene) Sacksteder of West Harrison; and several nieces and nephews.

His father and stepmother, Walter and Ruby Getz preceded him in death.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. today (Wednesday, July 21) in St. Gabriel Church. Burial, with military rites conducted by the Fayette County Veterans Council, will be in Dale Cemetery.

Visitation was held at Miller, Moster, Robbins Funeral Home on Tuesday, July 20.

Memorial contributions may be made to the I.U. Bone Marrow Transplant Nursing Education Fund, 550 N. University Blvd., Indianapolis, IN 46202.


Roy A. Keller

Mar. 13, 1917 – July 14, 2004

Former Knightstown resident, Roy A. Keller, 87, died in Riverside, Calif., Wednesday, July 14. He was born March 13, 1917 in Cumberland, a son of the late Kosy and Alice Wheeler Keller.

Mr. Keller was a resident of Knightstown and New Castle until 1956 when he moved to California. He was a 1934 graduate of Knightstown High School. He served as a Deputy Co. Assessor of Henry County from 1939-41; was an insurance agent for Empire Life and Accident Insurance Co. in Indianapolis in 1946; Henry County Deputy Recorder 1947-1948; bank teller at Citizens State Bank in New Castle, 1948-1950; Assistant Manager, Commonwealth Loan Co. in New Castle, 1951-53; Manager Citizens Insurance Agency in Knightstown, 1953-1956; senior accountant at Motorola, Inc. in Riverside, 1956-1963; and retired from County of Riverside, California in 1980. Keller was a sergeant in the U.S. Army from 1942-1945, serving in the American Theater, EAME Theater and Asian Pacific Theater.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, L. Viola (Runyan) Keller; children, S. Kay Pratt, M. Jay Keller, Katrina D. Terkelsen, all of Riverside and Karen D. Hebeler of Sun City, Calif.; nine grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and numerous other relatives.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, John James Keller and C. Ray Keller and a sister, Emma Kennard.

Services were held Saturday, July 17 at Olivewood Cemetery in Riverside. Acheson & Graham Garden of Prayer Mortuary handled funeral arrangements in Riverside.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5900 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1100, Los Angeles 90036 and First United Methodist Church of Riverside, 4845 Brockton Ave., Riverside, CA 92506-0134.


Charles F. Soots

April 21, 1931 – July 19, 2004

Charles F. Soots, 73, of Knightstown, died Monday, July 19 at the home of his sister in Mooresville. He was born April 21, 1931 in Indianapolis, a son of the late Edward Lee and Dorothy (Oliver) Soots.

Mr. Soots worked for the Indiana State Highway Department for 50 years. He was affiliated with the Pentecostal Church.

Survivors include two sisters, Dorothy Lee Scaggs and Debbie (husband Hubert) Stapleton, both of Mooresville; two brothers, Junior (wife Helen) Soots and Eugene (wife Shirley) Soots, both of Mooresville; several nieces and nephews; and special friend, Janice Smith of Knightstown.

In addition to his parents, a sister, Louise Ooley, preceded him in death.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 22 at Hinsey-Brown Funeral Service, Knightstown Chapel with Rev. Gene Bennett officiating. Burial will follow in Glen Cove Cemetery.

Friends may call from 4-8 p.m. today (Wednesday, July 21) at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions may be given to the American Lung Association with envelopes available at the funeral home.


Billy Joe Brock

Dec. 13, 1932 – July 19, 2004

Greenfield resident, Billy Joe Brock, 71, died Monday, July 19 at his home in Greenfield. He was born December 13, 1932 in Curtsville, W.V., a son of the late Price and Dollie (Boyer) Brock.

Mr. Brock graduated from Pax High School in Pax, W.V. in 1950 and served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army from 1951-1954. He was an operator for Coastal Gas Co. in Greenfield before retiring in December 1989. He was a member of and had served on the Board of Directors of the Greenfield Conservation Club; a member of Knightstown United Methodist Church; past Commander (1972-1973) of the American Legion Post 119 in Greenfield; and past member of 40 & 8 in Greenfield.

Surviving him are his wife, Carolyn (Deweese) Brock of Greenfield, whom he married January 19, 1980; one daughter, Anita (husband Ron) Williams of Knightstown; four brothers, Jimmie Lee Brock and Larry Dan Brock, both of Gainesville, Ga., Bobbie Dale Brock of Monroe, N.C. and Jerry Alan Brock of Grayson, Ky.; step-son, Billy (wife Sara) Parnell of Martinsville; step-daughters, Tamara (husband Chuck) Austin of Paragon and Theresa (husband Jay) Smale of Greenwood; two grandchildren, Ryan Porter and Rayann Forbes; five great-grandchildren; eight step-grandchildren; and six step-great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, July 23 at Erlewein Mortuary in Greenfield with Rev. Steve Brackney officiating. Burial will be in Park Cemetery, Greenfield.

Visitation will be held from 4-8 p.m. Thursday, July 22 at Erlewein Mortuary, 1484 W U.S. 40, Greenfield.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, 1609 Garden St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101.


Charles E. Haznedl Sr.

Feb. 25, 1920 – July 19, 2004

Charles E. Haznedl Sr., 84, of Greenfield, died Monday, July 19. He was born February 25, 1920 in Chicago, Ill., a son of the late Charles and Pauline (Pospisil) Haznedl.

Charles worked for Eastman Kodak Co. for 45 years, retiring in 1983. He was a photographer for the Army Air Corps and served in WWII. He was a member of Better Breathers Group.

He is survived by his wife, Peggy Haznedl; children, Charles E. Haznedl Jr. of California, Peggy J. Hines of Greenfield and David N. Haznedl of Florida; three brothers, Clarence Haznedl of Illinois, Raymond Haznedl of Florida and Frank Thrams of Illinois; six grandchildren, Charles III, Terri, David, Sara, Jake and Joel.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 24 at Flanner & Buchanan Funeral Center, Washington Park East, Indianapolis. Burial will be at Washington Park East Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 4-9 p.m. Friday, July 23 at the funeral home.



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