Virginia Hunt

Virginia Hunt age 88, former Portland resident passed away Monday evening in Brookdale Senior Living in Marion. She was born in Portland September 12, 1928 the daughter of Glen and Hazel (Leonhard) Hutchens. She was married to Robert Hunt in 1951 and he died in 2010.
She was a retired school teacher having taught in the Jay School Corporation for 40 years. She was a Portland High School and Ball State graduate. She was a member of Asbury United Methodist Church, Portland Morning Optimists and Psi Iota Xi Sorority.
Surviving are two daughters Jani Jo Antrim (husband Todd) of Las Vegas and Kerri Andreshek (husband Michael) of Gaston and two grandsons.
Memorial services will be Monday at 5:00 PM in the Baird-Freeman Funeral Home. The family will receive guests from 4:00 – 5:00 PM.
Memorials can be made to Heart to Heart Hospice in Marion.

Cheryl Lynn Rowles


Cheryl Lynn Rowles age 58, 1121 North 550 West Portland passed away Sunday morning at her residence following a sudden illness. She was born in Portland April 14, 1959 the daughter of Tim and Phyllis (Taylor) Upp. She was married June 25, 1983 to Darry Dane Rowles who survives. She worked in food services at the Jay County High School.

She had worked for People's Bank, volunteered for 4-H shooting sports, the Optimist Club and the German Club. She was an avid gardener and foreign exchange mother to Tanja, Patricia and Isabella from Germany.

Surviving are her husband Darry, parents Tim and Phyllis Upp of Pennville, two sons Dane George Timothy Rowles (wife Shelby) of Indianapolis and Will Henry Virgil Rowles of Cincinnati, one daughter Lydia Icy May Rowles of Indianapolis, two brothers Darrell Upp (wife Michelle) of Portland and Scott Upp (wife Melanie) of Dunkirk and a niece Lindzy Upp of Portland
Funeral services will be Saturday at 10:00 AM in the Baird-Freeman Funeral Home with Pastor John Retter presiding. Burial will follow in the Center Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday from 3:00 – 7:00 PM Memorials can be made to the Jay County High School German Club.

George Ronald Bickel


George Ronald Bickel age 88, 207 West 12th Street Portland passed away early Monday morning in Persimmon Ridge Healthcare. He was born in Jay County August 1, 1928 the son of Earl and Pearl (Whitacre) Bickel. He was married August 26, 1949 to Mary Ellen Shreeve and she died October 18, 2015. He was a parts manager for thirty two years working for Price Impliment in Portland and Lefeld's John Deere in Coldwater. He was a member of the West Walnut Street Church of Christ.

Surviving are two sons Dennis D. Bickel of New Haven and Edward L. Bickel of Portland, Seven grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a son Jeff.
Funeral services will be Thursday at 10:00 AM in the Baird-Freeman Funeral Home with burial in the Salamonia Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday from 4:00 – 7:00 PM Memorials can be made to the West Walnut Street Church of Christ.

Betty Messner

Betty Messner age 82, of Louisville, Kentucky and a Pennville native passed away Thursday morning in Louisville. She was born in Pennville May 4, 1934 the daughter of Harley and Catherine (Richey) Hapner. She worked in management with PNC Bank in Louisville.
Surviving are two sisters Linda Hapner of Ft. Mills, South Carolina and Shirley Hapner Thayer of Marco Island, Florida , sister in law Linda Hapner-Jackson of Pennville and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by a brother Thomas Hapner of Pennville.
Graveside services will be held 1:30 PM Sunday April 23rd in the IOOF Cemetery in Pennville with Pastor Earl Doll presiding. Memorials can be made to the Hickory Grove Church, Pennville , Indiana or Melbourne Heights Baptist Church on Taylorsville Road, Louisville.
Baird-Freeman Funeral Home in Portland are in charge of arrangements.

George S. Lare

George S. Lare age 74, 3683 West 400 South Portland passed away Thursday in Oxford, Ohio following a sudden illness. He was born in Portland May 10, 1942 the son of Clyde and Anna Bell (Goodyear) Lare. He was married August 29, 1966 to Naomi Fields and she passed away May 17, 1996. He was a lifelong Jay County Farmer. He attended Union Chapel Church in Muncie.
Surviving are one son John Lare (companion Angie Hirst) of Ridgeville, three daughters Lynne Daurbert (husband Tom) of Oklahoma, Jane Brewer (husband Lonnie) of Redkey and Sarah Phipps (husband Gail) of LaFontaine, Four grandchildren and preceded in death by one granddaughter
Funeral services will be Friday at 11:00 AM in the Baird-Freeman Funeral Home with Pastor Collins Glenn presiding. Burial will follow in the Green Park Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday from 3:00 – 7:00 PM. In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to the Jay County Fair.

Jacqueline Sue Haffner


Jacqueline Sue Haffner age 78, 3413 West 100 South Portland passed away Friday in Persimmon Ridge Healthcare in Portland. She was born in Brazil, IN on October 21, 1938 the daughter of William Jackson and Mary Katherine (Wright) Carty. She was married March 21, 1957 to Dickie Haffner who survives. She was a school teacher and guidance counselor for Mercer County Schools, a certified Course of Miracles Counselor, Food Sponsor for Daycare Homes and entrepreneur of several businesses. She had been secretary for Indiana Ostrich Association and had earned her Masters at Ball State.

Surviving are her husband Dickie, two sons Jeffrey D. Haffner of Portland and Michael D. Haffner of Ridgeville, two daughters Kathleen S. Haffner of Indianapolis and Brenda E. Reitz of Greenville, Ohio, Eight grandchildren and eight great grandchildren
Funeral services will be Tuesday at 7:00 PM in the Baird-Freeman Funeral Home with Pastor Matthew Miller presiding. Visitation will be Tuesday from 4:00 – 7:00 PM. Memorials can be made to Bryant Community Center or The Hospice Group.

James Robert Landers


James Robert Landers age 90, 146 East 500 North Bryant passed away Thursday afternoon in Persimmon Ridge Healthcare in Portland. He was born in Randolph County March 5, 1927 the son of Clarence and Anna (Simmons) Landers. He was married June 24, 1951 to Martha Spillman who survives. He served in the US Army during WWII in the China Burma India Campaign. He was retired from Teledyne Portland Forge after 42 years as a machinist and foreman. He was a member of American Legion Post #211 where he served in the Honor Guard, Jay County Historical Society, Jayland Antique Car Club, Dunkirk Elks Lodge, Bryant Senior Citezens, Local 1595 Machinist Union, and attended Westchester United Methodist Church and Jefferson High School in Randolph County.

Surviving are his wife Martha, two sons Michael Landers (wife Rebecca) of Portland and Robert Landers (companion Elaine McCaffery) of Portland, one daughter Connie Kenyon (husband Dan) of Avon, IN., two brothers Jon Landers (wife Lola) of Indianapolis and Harold Landers (wife Norma) of Marion, Six grandchildren and five great grandchildren
Funeral services will be Tuesday at 10:00 AM in the Baird-Freeman Funeral Home with Pastor Darrell Borders presiding. Burial will follow in the Gravel Hill Cemetery with military rites by Americian Legion Post #211. Visitation will be Monday from 4:00 – 7:00 PM and prior to the servies Tuesday. Memorials can be made to Westchester United Methodist Church.

June Eleanor (Maitlen) Beard


June Eleanor (Maitlen) Beard, 100, died Friday, April 7, 2017, shortly after 10:00pm in the Coopervista Rehabilitation Center at Westminster Village in Muncie.

She was born June 8, 1916, at home in Jay County, to Lula (Wise) Maitlen and Riley Maitlen, and was the last member of the 1934 Class of Portland High School.
She was married for 63 years to (Glen) Merrill Beard (born 1913) who died December 2, 1998. Merrill and June owned and operated the Quality Furniture Store in Portland from 1939 to 1980. She was also a teller and assistant cashier at the former Portland First National Bank.
A former member of the Delta Theta Tau Sorority, Portland Country Club and Portland Elks, she was a current/long-time member of Asbury United Methodist Church.
June moved to Muncie in 2004 to establish a residence with her daughter on North Vienna Woods Drive. Her last Portland address was on Rayburn Drive.
Loved by all who knew her, with an adventurous spirit, happy laugh, and a love of life and family, June always made everyone feel welcome and important. She loved flower gardening; feeding and watching the birds; needlework; bridge; euchre, especially in Michigan while on yearly Crooked Lake family vacations; decorating; crossword and jigsaw puzzles; reading, and spending time with her great-grandchildren, the loves of her life. She continued to host two extended family parties at home each year.
Her siblings (all deceased) were Rex Lanford Maitlen, George Edward Maitlen (brothers); Howard Eugene Bowman (half brother); Woodrow Wilson Bowman (step-brother) and half sisters Alice Joan (Bowman) Kellum, Blanche (Bowman) St. John and Mildred (Bowman) Dickson. A son, Jeffrey Lynn, died in 1955.
Survivors include her son, Steven Merrill Beard (wife, Melinda), Los Angeles, CA; daughter Nancy Ann (Beard) Baker, Muncie, IN; grandson Anthony Warren Baker (wife, Jodi), Arlington, VA; great grandchildren William James Baker and Katherine Grace Baker; David and Sally (Beard) Carlson, Portland, IN; Dorothy Bowman, Muncie.
Surviving nieces and nephews include Phillip Maitlen, CA; Gary Maitlen (wife, Bonnie), IN; Susie Maitlen Blizard (husband, Norman), IN; Bill Bowman (wife, Linda), MO; Ann Bowman Myers, SC; Beth Kellum, IN; Lisa Kellum (companion: Martin Hancock), IL; Kay Dickson Rinard (husband, Gerald), TX; Larry Dickson, TX, and several great nieces and nephews.
After moving to Muncie, she continued to play regularly with her Portland bridge buddies: Sue Dunn, Joan Vormohr, Mary Howell, Estelle McDaniel, Betty Tatman, Gwen McDaniel, Merlyn Strohl, Linda Ashcraft, and Norma Puckett. And she visited, took short trips and ate Friday dinners with her Muncie friends, including Janie Brimhall, Priscilla Davis, Jo Hains, Pat Fife, Sue Ann Wantz Dashiell, Nancy Watson, Cindy Miller and son David, Tom Beaty, Jerry and Nanette Rushton, Bill and Linda Elliott, Jack and Rita Disher, Judy Barnes, Glenda and Ken Miller.
She felt blessed beyond measure with the wonderful care she received from all the medical personnel she came in contact with, especially Dr. John Peterson, Beth, Stephanie, Kim and Ruth, and home health aide Patty Mitchell. And a special thank you to Charlotte Overmyer and Elizabeth Hudson for the spiritual care they provided.
Services will be at 10:00am Wednesday, April 12, at the Baird-Freeman Funeral Home, Portland. Burial will be in Green Park Cemetery. Calling is 4:00 to 7:00pm Tuesday, April 11, at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to Asbury United Methodist Church, Portland, or High Street Methodist Church, Muncie.

Christina L. Smith


Christina L. Smith age 47, 106 Honeysuckle Lane Portland passed away after a brief battle with cancer at IU Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie. She was born in Ft. Belvoir, Virginia the daughter of James and Kay (Reece) Smith. She was a 1988 Van Wert High School graduate. She was a manager for Kentucky Fried Chicken in New Castle.

Surviving are her best fried and caregiver Carmen Martyne of Portland, her father James Smith (Wife Claire) of Scott, Ohio, her mother Kay Sweeney (husband Charles) of St. Marys, Ohio, grandmother Monnie Smith of Van Wert, Step-grandmother Alma Rhoades of Middlepoint, Ohio, brother Ronald Smith of Scott, Ohio, two step-brothers Thomas Sweeney of St. Marys, Ohio and Robert Sweeney of Pippa Pass, KY., several nieces and nephews including Kristen Smith and Elijah Smith both of Van Wert.
Funeral services will be Tuesday at 7:00 PM in the Baird-Freeman Funeral Home in Portland, Indiana. Visitation will be Tuesday from 4:00 – 7:00 PM. Memorials can be made to Hospice at IU Ball Memorial Hospital.

Ernest Byrley


Ernest Byrley age 70, 23 Oakwood Trailer Court Portland passed away Friday in IU Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie. He was born in Celina, Ohio December 27, 1946 the son of Ernest F. and Mary J. (Brown) Byrley. He was marrried to Gracie Hutchins who survives. He was retired from Teledyne Portland Forge and was a US Army veteran. He was a member of American Legion Post #211.

Surviving are his wife Gracie, Two sons Ernest H. Byrley Jr. of Portland and Clinton Byrley of Huntington, Three daughters Jessica Henemyre of Union City, Peggy Byrley of Portland and Mary Ann Griffith of Anderson, two brothers Robert Byrley of Portland and Paul Byrley of Portland, Fourteen grandchildren and several great.
Funeral services for Ernest Byrley will be held at a later date. Baird-Freeman Funeral Home are in charge of arrangements. Memorials can be made to Jay County Animal Control.

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