Obituaries, May 15, 2024

Written on 05/15/2024

Patricia Joan Dillman

Patricia Joan Dillman, 95, Kokomo, formerly of Russiaville, passed away on Saturday, May 11, 2024, at Waterford Health Campus. She was born on April 7, 1929, the daughter of the late William Sr. and Mildred (Fellow) Walden. On September 7, 1957, at the Russiaville Friends Church, she married Max Dillman, he preceded her in death on November 12, 2013.

Patricia graduated from Russiaville High School in 1947. She retired from Continental Steel, where she worked in the billing department. She was a member of Chapel Hill Christian Church. She enjoyed reading, and being around her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

She is survived by her children, Todd (Marilyn) Dillman of Russiaville, and Sally (Dan) Fry of Butler; grandchildren, Adam (Tara) Dillman of Kokomo, Jenna (Derek) Lawhead of Greentown, Andy (Brandi) Dillman of Kokomo, Sam Fry of Butler, and Ben (McKenna) Fry of Spencerville; great-grandchildren, Jaxon, Leo, Baylee, Kaylee, Peyton, Scottlyn, Makenna, and Blakelynn; sisters-in-law, Shirley (Wayne) Watson, and Donna Walden.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband; daughter, Sarah Jane; brothers, William Walden Jr., Robert Walden, Richard Walden, and Danny Walden.

A funeral service will take place at 12 p.m. on Friday, May 17, 2024, at Stout & Son Funeral Home, 200 E. Main Street, Russiaville, with Pastor Steve Allen officiating. Burial will follow in Sunset Memory Garden Cemetery. Friends may visit with the family from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Riley Children’s Hospital or Chapel Hill Christian Church. Messages of condolence may be left online at

Bonnie Mae Baxter

Bonnie Mae Baxter, age 83, of Kokomo, Indiana, passed away on Sunday, May 12, 2024. She was born October 28,1940, in Lilbourn, Missouri, to Charles Ross Victory and Genelda (Taylor) Victory. On February 15, 1969, she married Leland C. Baxter, Jr. in Highland Park Church with Rev. Dwight Patterson officiating.

She worked part time as a bookkeeper while still in high school at Bolinger Brothers and Solar Petroleum Corp. in Windfall.

Upon graduation from Windfall H.S. in 1958, she continued full time at Solar Petroleum Corp. until working in Kokomo for the law firm of Cook, Bayliff, Mahoney & Martin; Turtle Creek Convalescent Centre; John L. Kiley Agency, Inc., and retiring from Kokomo Gas & Fuel Co. in 2004.

She attended Hoosier Girls State in Bloomington her Junior year and attended Kokomo Indiana Business College while working in Kokomo.

She was a member of Windfall Christian Church, Indiana Business & Professional Women and member and Financial Secretary of PACE International Union AFL/CIO.

She enjoyed traveling with her husband and friends and belonging to the Yackey Euker Club with close friends for over 40 years. She also enjoyed attending Broadway musicals and was very fond of Mickey Mouse.

Survivors include her husband, Lee; sister, Gene (Bob) Lahre; two special nephews, Bob and Steve (Janie) Lahre; great nephews, Joshua (Jenny) Lahre, Robbie (Chloe) Lahre, Griffin (Leah) Lahre, and great nieces, Dr. Jessica (Dr. Jonathan) Hughes, Sydney Lahre, and several cousins.

She was preceded in death by her parents and husband's parents.

There will be a time of visitation from 4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. with a funeral service at 5:00 p.m., on Friday, May 17, 2024, at Sunset Memory Garden Funeral Home, 2097 W. Alto Rd., Kokomo, Indiana.

Rodolfo “Rudy” Gutierrez

Rodolfo “Rudy” Gutierrez, 84 of Tipton died peacefully at his home with his family by his side on Monday, May 13, 2024. He was born in McAllen, Texas, one of eight children of Eligio and Aurora (Perez) Gutierrez. He married Maria Mireles on November 18, 1964, and she survives.

Rudy worked for Pioneer Hi Bred retiring in 1999 after doing all the jobs in the warehouse that came with each season. His Catholic faith was very strong. He was a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church after he moved to Tipton from San Juan, Texas. Rudy enjoyed his membership at the Moose Lodge in Tipton. He was an avid sports fan, watching many games on the television as each sport season progressed. He also spent many hours enjoying western reruns on the screen. When the weather allowed, he would spend time in the yard, tending to the maintenance of his property and would relish the produce coming from his garden plot.

Rudy is survived by his wife Maria, children Richard Gutierrez and wife Heidi of Noblesville, Veronica Gutierrez of Tipton, and Jerry Gutierrez and wife Alice of Indianapolis. Grandchildren include Allison Gutierrez, Sam Gutierrez, Sophia Durr, Macey Durr, Olivia Bentley and husband Blake and Beatrice Gutierrez. Rudy has one great-grandchild, Beckham Bentley, a sister Maria Eliserio of Tipton, and a daughter-in-law, Angie Gutierrez.

He was preceded in death by a son, Edward Gutierrez, and siblings Consuela Ramos, Federico Gutierrez, Eligio Gutierrez, Jr. Pablo Gutierrez Auroro Razo, and Homer Gutierrez.

The family will receive friends on Saturday, May 18, at Young-Nichols Funeral Home beginning at 11:00 a.m. with a memorial service to begin at 1:00 p.m. with Rev. Dennis Goth presiding.

The family wishes to extend a heartfelt thanks to Guardian Angel Hospice for all of their love and care during Rudy’s illness.

Condolences for Rudy’s family may be left on his obituary page at

Helen Elizabeth Pierson

Helen Elizabeth Pierson, age 79, of Kokomo, Indiana, passed away on Saturday, May 11, 2024. She was born in Greensburg, Indiana, on February 15, 1945, to William and Rosemary Ricketts.

Helen married Stephen Pierson on May 13, 1966. Together they raised four children: Larry, Stephen Jr., Theresa, and Sharon. Stephen preceded her in death on September 23, 1992. Helen was an avid bingo player. It was her favorite pastime. She worked at Wendy's for many years and developed a love for the chocolate Frosty. She would have had a Frosty every day if she could. Helen was also an animal lover; she absolutely loved her dogs.

She is survived by her mother Rosemary Ricketts, her children; Larry Ricketts (Becky), Stephen Pierson Jr., Theresa Johnson, Sharon Pierson, grandchildren; Michelle Shephard (Bill), Jennifer Howell (Caleb), William Turner, Samantha Jones (Matthew), Ashlie Myers (Dan), Jennifer Pearson (Zach), Aliya Cook (Shaffer), and Jayson Linde, great-grandchildren; Tyler Shephard, AJ Shephard, Kohlton Woolever, Nolyn Woolever, Ariley Hayen, and Austen Hayen, sister; Janice McKinney (Ronald), as well as many nieces and nephews.

Helen was also preceded in death by her father William "Bill" Ricketts.

A visitation for Helen will be held Monday, May 20, 2024, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at Ellers Mortuary, 725 S. Main Street, Kokomo, Indiana 46901, followed by a funeral service at 2:00 PM. Helen will be laid to rest in Crown Point Cemetery, 1101 E Sycamore Street, Kokomo, Indiana 46901.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Helen's memory may be made to the family to help cover expenses.

Nancy E. Bessler

Nancy E. Bessler, 82, of Nevada, Ohio, formerly of Kokomo, passed away at 1:25 p.m. on Friday, May 10, 2024, at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, Columbus, Ohio. She was born on May 21, 1941, in Kokomo, the daughter of the late Harry L. and Edna Irene (Hughes) Nay. On December 23, 1977, in Kokomo, she married the late James G. Bessler, becoming widowed on August 19, 2002.

Nancy graduated from Kokomo High School in 1959. She worked at The Salvation Army Thrift Store in Kokomo. She was a lifelong soldier of The Salvation Army, as well as a longtime member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Rebekah Assembly. Nancy enjoyed her family, friends, sports, storytelling, and especially reading. She was also a decades-long Elvis Presley fan.

Nancy knew a lot of people as well as a lot of local history. Her memory and mind were always sharp. She knew dates of birth, marriage, death, and more events, as well as the names and the places involved. She loved singing hymns, playing card games, and working word searches. Sometimes, she made up her own games. She had pride in her children and grandchildren and considered being part of a family her greatest honor.

Nancy is survived by her children, Douglas L. Mathews, Mark W. Mathews, and Justin E. (Crystal L.) Bessler; stepchildren, Christy (Matt) Minnick, and Michael J. Bessler; grandchildren, Quade Mathews, Jackson Mathews, Caitlin (Derrick) Pasquale, Sara (Josh) Ellis, Courtney Mathews, Eric Mathews (Shayla Gwynn), Jessica Frain, Atlee Frain, Isabel Bessler, Ethan Bessler, Zona Irene (Dakota) Marler, James E. Bessler, Franklin Bessler, Sarah Bessler, Olivia Bessler, and Miles Bessler; great grandchildren Aniyah, Kamila, Nakoah, Theodore, and Emmett; brother-in-law, David L. Osborn; nieces, Cindy (Ron) Coulter, Heather Nay, Amy Nay, and Angela Nay; grand-nephew and grand-niece, Harry (Hillary) Koon, and Makayla Nay; and many extended family members.

Nancy was preceded in death by her parents; husband, James; her first husband and father of her eldest sons, Samuel Mathews; granddaughter, Dani Frain; siblings, Ed (Mary) Nay, and Margaret Osborn; and grand-nephew, Waylon Coulter; and many, many cousins.

Funeral services will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Shirley & Stout Funeral Home, 1315 W. Lincoln Rd. Kokomo, IN. Burial will follow in Sunset Memory Garden Cemetery. Friends are invited to visit with the family from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service on Tuesday, at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, Contributions may be made in Nancy’s memory to establish a literacy fund in her memory in care of Birch Tree Bookery, 605 E. Center St., Suite B, Marion, Ohio 43302 or to assist with final expenses in care of Shirley & Stout Funeral Homes. Messages of condolence may be left online at

Wilma Eloise Jones

Wilma Eloise Jones, 96, Kokomo, passed away at 12:28 a.m., Monday, May 13, 2024, at Waterford Place Health Campus in Kokomo. She was born April 7, 1928, in Tampa, Florida, the daughter of the late Thomas W. Sr. & Lula (Petty) Frink. On July 28, 1945, she married Henry F. Jones in Tampa, Florida, who preceded her in death April 2, 2010.

Wilma loved reading the Bible, making ceramics, and was an amazing oil painting artist.

Wilma is survived by her son, Steven R. (Beverly) Jones; granddaughters, Heather Lea (Thomas) Maroney, Gwendolyn Vanessa (Anthony) Neher and Anne Colleen (Kurt) Hibler; 8 great-grandchildren and 5 great-great-grandchildren.

Wilma was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Henry; siblings, Juanita Hudson, Thomas W. Frink Jr., Wanda F. Taylor, Marian F. Revels, Kay F. Patterson, and Larry R. Frink.

Private funeral service will be held at Shirley & Stout Funeral Home & Crematory, with Pastor Joel Larison officiating. Wilma will be Buried in Florida National Cemetery in Florida with her husband Henry at a later date.

Michael Steve Anthony

Michael Steve Anthony, a cherished pillar of the Kokomo community, passed away peacefully on May 12, 2024, at the age of 78. Born on November 3, 1945, in Kokomo, Indiana, to the late George and Dollie Anthony, Michael's life was a testament to the enduring power of love, laughter, and dedication.

Michael, a proud graduate of Kokomo High School, dedicated over three decades of his life to Chrysler, where he formed lifelong friendships and earned the respect of his colleagues before retiring in 1997. His work ethic and commitment to excellence were matched only by his devotion to his family and his love for the great outdoors.

He was a man of many joys, finding solace in the simplicity of fishing and the adventure of camping. Michael's love for his family was the cornerstone of his life, and he cherished every moment spent with them. His laughter was infectious, his presence comforting, and his love unwavering.

Michael's life was beautifully shared with his loving wife of 45 years, Bonnie Anthony, who preceded him in death in 2011. The love they shared was the kind of rare and enduring love that continued to guide him long after her passing. He missed her dearly, and his family takes comfort in knowing they are reunited once more.

He leaves behind a legacy of love and laughter through his children, Steven Anthony (Becky), Gina Rayn, and Mark Anthony. His seven grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter will carry forward his spirit of kindness and joy. Michael is also survived by his brothers, Howard and Lane Anthony, who will miss their brother's thoughtful guidance and humorous anecdotes.

Michael's life was marked by the laughter he shared, the love he gave, and the thoughtfulness he showed to everyone he met. He was a beacon of light in the lives of his family and friends, and his memory will continue to shine brightly in the hearts of those who knew him.

Preceded in death by his beloved wife Bonnie, five brothers, and one sister, Michael's reunion with them is a comforting thought to all who mourn his passing. His family takes solace in the knowledge that he lived a full and happy life, surrounded by those he loved and who loved him in return.

Michael Steve Anthony's life was a journey filled with precious moments, a path marked by genuine connections and heartfelt laughter. As we say goodbye to a man who was the embodiment of love and humor, we celebrate the indelible mark he has left on our lives. His legacy will live on through the stories told, the memories cherished, and the love he nurtured in the hearts of his family and friends.

Michael's life was a beautiful reflection of the values he held dear: family, friendship, and the simple joys of life. As we honor his memory, we are reminded of the impact one life can have on so many. Michael Steve Anthony will be deeply missed, but his spirit will continue to inspire us all.

City of Firsts Cremation and Funeral Services by Rose and Geiger was entrusted with the arrangements.

Marsha Vonceille (DeWitt) Bristol

Marsha Vonceille (DeWitt) Bristol, 78, passed away peacefully at her home, on May 10, 2024, in Kokomo. She was born in Kokomo on August 25, 1945, the youngest daughter of Donald DeWitt and Louise (Weese) Stack. On February 14, 1981, Marsha married Tony Bristol in Jellico, TN, and he survives.

Marsha attended Kokomo High School and was a homemaker for most of her life. She was an auxiliary member of the VA, former member of the Howard County Vietnam Veterans Organization (HCVVO), and lifetime member of the Kokomo VFW. When she was young, she loved to do ceramics, roller skating, and dancing, especially ballet. As she got older, Marsha’s passion for reading romance novels developed and she’d also spend hours watching QVC, HSN, and TLC. She loved taking family trips to the beach, especially Myrtle Beach. She loved family and cherished any and all time spent with her family. Marsha’s pride and joy was her children and even more so, her grandchildren, who called her “Grandma”, “Nana”, and “GG”. Marsha loved to talk and would sit on the phone with her family for many hours at a time. She loved to recount stories and memories of when she was young and look at family picture albums whenever possible. When she was able, Marsha loved to attend her grandchildren’s games and competitions through school. Marsha always loved to look nice whenever she planned to go somewhere; she loved doing her makeup and hair and always wore fancy clothes with heels, if the outfit needed it. Although she was short in stature, Marsha was ornery, always had a huge, vibrant personality, and an amazing sense of humor. She loved to be silly and make people laugh and she loved to laugh right along with them. Marsha always made Christmas’s and birthdays so special, always giving some of the greatest presents. Every trip to her house ended with a hug, “I love you”, kiss on the lips, and watching her wave “bye” from the screen door or porch.

Words cannot describe how much she will be greatly missed, but her spirit and the joy and love she has given us will live on, forever.

Marsha is survived by her husband of 43 years, Tony; children, Carla (Brian) Cardwell, Bruce (Ashlie) Dittfield, and Shane (Meredith) Dittfield; stepchildren, Jeff (Robyn) Bristol and Amie Bristol; grandchildren, Nikole Franklin, Taylor Dittfield, Derek (Nicole) Dittfield, Trace Dittfield, Brady Dittfield, Danny (Cristal) Martinez, Emily Bristol, and Maicy Bristol; 8 great-grandchildren; sister, Judy Perez; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; children, Carl Dittfield Jr. and Glenda Sue and Linda Lou Dittfield; siblings, Ivan DeWitt, Donald “Junior” DeWitt, Ellen Cornwell, and Lois Lock; and special nephew, Bruce Yoder, who was KIA in Vietnam.

A private service will be held at Shirley & Stout Funeral Home, 1315 West Lincoln Road, Kokomo, IN 46902. Burial will be at Sunset Memory Garden Cemetery. Messages of condolence may be left online at

Meare Lynn Tyler-Banfield

Meare Lynn Tyler-Banfield, 61, of Russiaville, passed away Friday May 10, 2024. She was born in Indianapolis, IN, on May 5, 1963, the daughter of James L. Tyler and the late Phyllis J. Schrader. She was previously married to Mark Gross, the father of their son Levi Gross.

Meare was a graduate of Northwestern High School. She held various jobs focused on sales and marketing at the radio station and car dealership. She formerly owned and operated a clothing store in Plymouth, IN, called Harriett’s Closet. Meare was a big-hearted woman who was always there for you when needed. She was blessed with a magic touch to care for plants and flowers. She adored animals in general, but she spoiled her dog named Gizzy and her cat named Jackson. Her favorite hobbies were shopping, swimming, and watching TV.

She is survived by her son, Levi (Rebekah) Gross; grandson, Erik Hunt; sister, Theresa Sefton; nephew, Charlie Bolen; Goddaughter, Willow Lacey; lifelong friend and companion, Ralph Howard; and cousins, Sam Johnson, Steve Johnson, Scott Johnson.

She was preceded in death by her mom, Phyllis Schrader; grandmother, Maxine Wilmot; and beloved Maltese dog, Morgan.

There are no public services scheduled. Stout & Son Funeral Home – Russiaville Chapel has been entrusted with arrangements.