C. Justin Schafer



10/31/1916-02/19/2017
C. Justin Schafer age 100, 945 Patriot Drive Portland passed away Sunday evening in Persimmon Ridge Healthcare in Portland. He was born in Randolph County October 31, 1916 the son of Charles and Vera Beatrice (Sarff) Schafer. He was married to Helen M. Spahr in 1937 and she passed away in 1986, he later married Ruth Starlin and she passed away in 2014. He was a Randolph and Jay County farmer and sold farm machinery through Justin Schafer Co. Inc. He was president of Indiana Implement Dealers Association, charter member of Jay County FFA, member of Saratoga United Methodist Church, Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite and Shrine. Member of Portland Rotary, Jay County Historical Society, recipient of Sagamore of the Wabash, traveled to Russia with Gov. Bowen on agriculture trip, graduate of Saratoga High School and served on the Jay County Hospital Board during construction of the new hospital.
Surviving are one son Richard Schafer of Waianae, HI., two step-sons Randy Starlin of Crawfordsville and Steve Starlin of North Salem, two step daughters Barbara White of Fremont, Ohio and Paula Norris of Greenfield, two granddaughters Dr. Erica Schafer of Santa Cruz, CA and Dr. Karen Ginn of Walnut Creek, CA and one great grandson Spencer Ginn, 12 step grandchildren and 10 step great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be Friday at 11:00 AM in the Baird-Freeman Funeral Home with Pastor Rogers Durham presiding and Jay Lodge #87 F&AM having a Masonic Service. Private burial rites will be held later in the Saratoga Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday from 10:00 – 11:00 AM Memorials can be made to the State of the Heart Hospice or Jay County Historical Society.


Hedwige “Hattie” Perkins



10/21/1925-02/16/2017
Hedwige “Hattie” Perkins age 91, of Fort Wayne passed away early Thursday morning in The Cedars in Leo. She was born in Fort Wayne October 21, 1925 the daughter of Stanley and Hedwige Klejnot. She was married July 19, 1945 to George J. Perkins and he died December 22, 2016.
Surviving are two sons George A. Perkins of Fort Wayne and Mark Perkins of Kendalville, one daughter Lisa Pyle of Fort Wayne and seven grandchildren. She was preceded in death by a daughter Linda Bovine.
Funeral services will be Wednesday at 11:00 AM in Our Lady of Good Hope Catholic Church in Fort Wayne with visitation one hour prior to the services. Burial will follow in the Catholic Cemetery in Fort Wayne. Memorials can be made to the choice of the donor. Baird-Freeman Funeral Home in Portland are in charge of the arrangements.


Jerald D. “Jerry” Smitley



09/19/1942-02/14/2017

Jerald D. “Jerry” Smitley age 74, Portland passed away Tuesday afternoon in Miller's Merrry Manor in Dunkirk. He was born in Portland September 19, 1942 the son of Grant and Martha (Wiley) Smitley. He was married to Gloria Jean Lough and she died October 30, 1977. He was a 1961 Portland High School graduate and had worked for CTS in Berne and Cooper Farms retiring in 2001. In 1962 he had worked for Hurricane Hell Drivers stunt team. He was an avid sprint car racing fan.

Surviving are two sons Duane Smitley of Portland and Joel Smitley of Portland, one daughter Martha Walker (husband Dave) of Muncie, step-son Kevin Grayson of Geneva, three step daughters Chris Grayson of Portland, Carmen Grayson of Portland and Cinda Grayson of San Falipa, N.M., one brother Melvin Smitley of Portland, speicial friend Judy Smitley of Portland, Four grandchildren, nine step grandchildren and three step great grandchildren
Funeral services will be Tuesday at 10:00 AM in the Baird-Freeman Funeral Home with Pastor Claude Creel presiding. Burial will follow in the Springhill Cemetery in Fort Recovery. Visitation will be Monday from 4:00 – 7:00 PM. Memorials can be made to Noble Christian Church or USAC Injured Drivers Fund.


David Michael Oxley



3/4/1975-2/7/2017
David Michael Oxley age 41, 2790 South Como Road Portland passed away Tuesday morning at his residence. He was born March 4, 1975 in Bluffton the son of Tony and Lois (Schoenling) Oxley. He was a 1993 Jay County High School graduate and member of Quail Forever. He had worked at the Tire Center in Portland and Teledyne Portland Forge for seventeen years.
He leaves to cherish his parents Tony and Lois Oxley of Portland, one brother Greg Oxley of Portland and several cousins and lots of friends. His faithful companions Duster and Dixie his Blue Heeler dogs. A speicial thank you goes to his speicial friends that stood by his side all the way, Mark and Jenny DeHoff of Portland, Jeff and Cathy Trausch of Geneva, Ryan and Amber Fifer of Portland and Josh and Amanda Walker of Pennville and all their kids that called him “Uncle Dave”. David was an avid outdoorsman loving to hunt, trap, fish and riding horses.
Funeral services will be Saturday at 2:00 PM in the Baird-Freeman Funeral Home with Pastor Earl Doll presiding. Burial will follow in the Claycomb Cemetery. Visitation will be Saturday from 12:00 – 2:00 PM. Memorials can be made to the Jay County Humane Society or Choice of the Donor.


Roberta “Nell” Miller



11/13/1938-02/04/2017
Roberta “Nell” Miller age 78, 745 Patriot Drive Portland died Friday evening in Persimmon Ridge Heatthcare in Portland. She was born in Portland November 13, 1938 the daughter of Isaac and Francis (Long) Haines. She was married September 10, 1988 to Melvin Miller and he died April 6, 2007. She was was a hairdresser and owned Avon Beuty Shop in Portland, she was a member of Asbury United Methodist Church, Rebeccah Lodge and a 1956 Portland High School graduate.
Surviving are a step-son Larry Miller of Portland, brother Allen Haines (wife Vicki) of Portland, sister Helen Williams (husband Richard) of Decatur and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be Wednesday at 2:00 PM in the Baird-Freeman Funeral Home with Pastor Jill Howard presiding. Burial will follow in the Gravel Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday from 11:00 – 2:00 PM. In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to Jay County Cancer Society or Hospice Group of Indianapolis.


Lura Janet “Jeanette” Rowles



01/17/1926-02/05/2017
Lura Janet “Jeanette” Rowles 1136 North 550 West Portland passed away Sunday morning in Persimmon Ridge Healthcare. She was born in Portland January 17, 1926 the daughter of Cornelius and Esther (Geesaman) Valentine. She was married to George H. Rowles and he died November 9, 1987. She was a homemaker and member of Center United Methodist Church, Portland Grange #2190 and Farm Bureau.
Surviving are on son Darry Rowles (wife Cheryl) of Portland, one daughter Donna Hudson (husband Brice) of Portland, one sister Louanna Hurst of Portland, nine grandchildren, ten great grandchildren and five great great grandchildren, five step great grandchildren and nine step great great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by a son Danny Rowles.
Funeral services will be Friday at 11:00 AM in the Baird-Freeman Funeral Home with Pastor Gary Phillips presiding. Burial will follow in the Center Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday from 3:00 – 7:00 PM. Memorials can be made to the Jay County Cancer Society or Center United Methodist Church.


James M. Walker



06/07/1930-02/04/2017
James M. Walker age 86 passed away Saturday afternoon in the Jay county Retirement Center in Portland. He was born in Jay County in Jackson Twp. June 7, 1930 the son of Ervin and Edith (Bash) Martin. He was raised by Orla and Louisa (Shatz) Walker. He was married to Pauline Scott and she died July 4, 2007. He attended Portland High School and served with the US Army from 1953-1956 during the Korean Conflict.
He worked for Dana Corporation for several years and also had a backhoe business.
Surviving are a son J.R. Walker of Silver Lake, Mi., two sisters Mary Bridges of Wills Point, Tx and Clela Saxman of Yorktown, IN. Several nieces and nephews
Funeral services will be Thursday at 11:00 AM in the Baird-Freeman Funeral Home with Pastor Rogers Durham presiding. Burial will follow in the Green Park Cemetery. Visitation will be one hour prior to the services. Memorials can be made to the Jay County Retirement Center.


Levon Irvin Junior Rockwell



Levon Irvin Junior Rockwell was born in Noble Township Jay County, Indiana on June 18, 1924. The parents were Inez Opal (Loy) and Irvin Claude Rockwell. He attended the Noble Township Elementary School and graduated from Fort Recovery High School in 1942. He volunteered for military service in January 1943 and served with the 255th Field Artillery in the European Theater where he was involved in four major campaigns in France and Luxenburg. He returned home with the 44thBombardment Unit 8th Air Corp. Served four years in the Indiana National Guard 221 Maintanence Squadron and retired as Staff Sergeant.
On July 1, 1945 he was married to Martha Catherine (Brumm) Rockwell. They had three daughtersConnie Louise Bricker (husband Max) of Leo, In., Cynthia Darlene Kasmer (husband Bruce) of Tempe, AZ., and Lesa Beth Rockwell of Portland. Three sons Vernon Levon Rockwell (wife Wendell) of Portland, Michael Lynn Rockwell (wife Judy) of Portland and Robert Neil Rockwell (wife Jennifer) of Portland, Eight grandchildren, thirteen great grandchildren and one great great grandchild
He was a farmer and carpenter, Jay County Highway Superintendant for 4 years, Jay County Republican Chairman for 8 years and Indiana State Highway Dept. sub district superintendant for over 8 years. Hew was a member of Fort Recovery Church of Christ and served most offices in the church. He was a member of the Salamonia VFW 2840 where he was commander for several years, member of American Legion Post #211, Portland Omega 281 IOOF, Life member of Jay County Historic Society, Jay County Geneolgy Society and Indiana Retired Public Empoyees Association 255 FA. He was awarded two Indiana Sagamore of the Wabash Awards, retired from the Indiana State Highway in 1989.
Funeral services will be Friday at 11:00 AM in the Fort Recovery First Church of Christ with Pastor David Nicholson presiding. Burial will follow in the Salamonia Cemetery with graveside military rites by American Legion Post 211. Visitation will be Thursday from 4:00 – 8:00 PM in the Baird-Freeman Funeral Home and one hour prior to the services at the church. Memorials can be made to the Fort Recovery First Church of Christ or Martha Catherine Rockwell Memorial Fund at Portland Foundation.


Judith Merriman



05/08/1944-01/18/2017
Judith Merriman age 72 passed away early Wednesday morning in Pine Knolls Rehabilitation in Winchester. She was born in Jay County May 8, 1944 the daughter of Arthur and Delsie Brosher (Philebaum) Merriman. She had attended the First Church of the Nazarene in Portland.
Funeral services will be Monday at 1:00 PM in the Baird-Freeman Funeral Home with Pastor Steve Arnold presiding. Burial will be in the Mt. Hope Cemetery in Berne. Visitation will be Monday from 12:00 – 1:00 PM. Memorials can be made to Jay - Randolph Developmental.


John “Mike” Retter



10/3/1951-01/17/2017
John “Mike” Retter age 65, 6702 West 900 South Ridgeville passed away Tuesday at his residence. He was born in Portland October 3, 1951 the son of Carl and Melba (Grady) Retter Jr. He was married to Christa Watson who survives. He was a lifelong farmer, served in the National Guard, 1970 Redkey High School graduate and attended Gray Schools. He was a member of the American legion, Little League Baseball coach and West Jay Junior High School baseball coach. He was an avid Cincinnati Reds Baseball fan.
Surviving are his wife Christa, Five sons Chance Retter (wife Felicia) of Redkey, John Retter Jr. (wife Hannah) of Redkey, Rhett Retter of Redkey, Case Retter of Redkey and Travis Steed of Indianapolis, one brother Barry Retter (wife Judy) of Redkey, Uncle Max Grady (wife Jackie) of Portland, Four grandchildren and several nieces and nephews
He was preceded in death by his parents Carl and Melba Retter and a sister Karen Robbins.
Funeral services will be Saturday at 2:00 PM in the Baird-Freeman Funeral Home with Pastor Joe Hines presiding. Burial will follow in the Hillcrest Cemetery in Redkey. Visitation will be Saturday from 11:00 – 2:00 PM. Memorials can be made to the choice of the donor.


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