Obituaries, May 18, 2024

Written on 05/18/2024

Mary Ella Speidel

Mary Ella Speidel, 79, Greentown, passed away at 3:31 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, at Century Villa. She was born in Huntington on July 23, 1944, to the late Bernard and Devota (Byrd) Shivley. She married Jim “Smiley” Speidel on August 5, 1962, and he survives.

Mary graduated from Huntington Township High School in 1962. She was a jack of all trades and took pride in caring for her family. She was a member of the Jerome Christian Church, Knitting Club, and Senior Citizen Club. Mary enjoyed square dancing, playing Euchre, crafting, crocheting, and was always the life of the party.

Along with her husband Jim, Mary is survived by her children, David (Lisa) Speidel, Ella (Jeff) Walker, and Leslie (Joe) Connolly; grandchildren, Jamie Speidel, Quinn (Taylor) Connolly, Micayla (Micah) Pier, Noah Connolly, Josh Speidel, Zach Connolly, and Molly Connolly; great-grandchildren, Owen, Annie, and Harper Pier; siblings, Jim (Bev) Shivley, and Garry (Bev) Shivley; sisters-in-law, Mary Shivley-Glisson, and Margaret Ann Harris.

She was preceded in death by her parents, and her brother, Dan Shivley.

A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 20, 2024, at Jerome Christian Church, 9535 County Road East 100 South, Greentown, IN, with Pastor David Stokes officiating. Burial will follow in the Garden of Memories Cemetery. Friends are invited to visit with the family from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday at Hasler & Stout Funeral Home, 112 E Main St, Greentown. Memorial contributions may be made to Century Villa in Greentown. Messages of condolence may be left online at

Robert “Bob” Bell Kitchel

Robert “Bob” Bell Kitchel, 86, of Galveston, Indiana, passed from this Earth to his Heavenly home in the early morning hours of Thursday, May 16, 2024, surrounded by his loving wife Mary and his 5 children.

Bob was larger than life, tall in stature with a commanding voice that he often used as “Big Bob” of the duo “Big Bob and Brother Dan” to create beautiful gospel harmonies. Bob was a self-taught guitar player, often singing at his church and in his Winter-home community in Florida.

Before he found his love of guitar-strumming and singing, he could be found on just about any sports field you could imagine. He played basketball briefly for Purdue University before returning home to the family farm and was a Hall of Fame pitcher for Punchy’s Fastpitch softball team in Kokomo. When he himself wasn’t playing sports, he could be found supporting his children in their athletic endeavors, and while athletics were something Bob cherished, he cherished nothing more than his family.

He could often be found on Sundays after church, with his family reciting the prayer that he wrote, gathered around the table at the family farm. Bob was a lifelong farmer, and his love of taking care of God’s earth will continue on through his family. Bob has built a lasting legacy, demonstrating the importance of faith, family and the value of hard work.

Bob was excellent at making people feel welcomed and had a gift of being able to recall names quickly, he loved his Chicago Cubbies and could often be found in a recliner in the house or out in the tool shed waving as people pulled in or drove past, a sight his family will dearly miss.

He is survived by his beloved wife Mary of 66 years, his children Pat (John) O’Brien, Jon (Diana) Kitchel, Jim (Tina) Kitchel, Andrea (Steve) Freeman and Kelly (Brooke) Kitchel, as well as his grandkids whom he loved dearly, Kyle (Emily) O’Brien, McCall (Greg) Aulbach, Kitt (Sarah) O’Brien, Bodie (Natalie) Kitchel, Alyx(Troy) Goodin, Laramie (Thomas) Shelton, Brock (Halie) Kitchel, Kace Kitchel, Lexi Freeman, Cooper Kitchel, Carson Kitchel, Kruz Freeman, Cade Kitchel and Kerrigan Kitchel. He is also survived by 11 great-grandchildren with one more on the way in June.

While we grieve for our tremendous loss on Earth, we find comfort knowing we will one day be reunited. Bob’s life will be remembered and celebrated on Monday, May 20th, 2024, at Galveston United in Faith with a viewing from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. and the funeral at 2:00 p.m.

John Bernard Cherven, Jr.

John Bernard Cherven, Jr., age 77, passed away peacefully on January 11, 2024, due to complications from a stroke.

John was born on October 28, 1946, in Corpus Christi, Texas to Marcyle (Green) Woodard and John B. Cherven, Sr. He graduated from Wilmot High School in Wisconsin in 1964. In 1966, John enlisted in the Marine Corps and served for two years. He then worked at Great Lakes Naval Station as a heavy equipment operator. He also earned his commercial pilot’s license during that time.

John moved to Anchorage in 1983 and managed the Long Branch Saloon for 10 years. After it sold, he worked again as a heavy equipment operator for various companies and was a member of Local 302.

John enjoyed a variety of interests including traveling and camping in his Airstream motor home, repairing and restoring cars and trail bikes, playing golf and target shooting.

John was preceded in death by his father John B. Cherven Sr., Eunice Cherven (stepmother). He is survived by his wife Rose Marie “Rosie” (Moore) Cherven, his mother Marcyle Woodard of Ft. Worth, Texas; his two sons John Cherven (Jocylyn) and Michael Cherven of Colorado, his granddaughter Hannah, his brother Richard Cherven (Dorothy) and niece Morgan, his stepsons Jason and Matthew Pawluk (Renata) and granddaughters, Julia and Luciana Pawluk.

A funeral mass will be held on Monday, May 20 at 11:00 a.m. at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church with Rev. Dennis Goth presiding. Burial to follow at St. John’s Cemetery. Young-Nichols Funeral Home is in charge of the local arrangements.

Memorial donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association of Alaska or the Wounded Warriors Project.

Thank you to all of the doctors, nurses, and aides who helped John during the last few years.

Rosa Maria Espinoza

Rosa Maria Espinoza “Rose Mary”, age 77, of Kokomo, passed away peacefully on Friday, May 17, 2024, surrounded by her loving family. Rosa was born on August 30, 1947, in Torreon Cohaula to her parents, Antonio Espinoza and Esabelle Padilla. Rosa married the love of her life, Abelardo Hernandez, and the two enjoyed many wonderful years together before Abelardo passed away in 2002.

Rosa was adored by many and will be lovingly remembered for her selfless heart. She had an impeccable work ethic, and proudly put the needs of her family ahead of her own. Rosa was a very strong woman and a true inspiration to her children and grandchildren. She never gave up, and was committed every day to working, learning, and improving.

Rosa was an encouraging person to be around. She gained a lot of strength from her faith in the Lord. She led by example and was a bright light in the lives of her family and friends. In Rosa’s spare time you may have found her singing or tending to her garden. Of course, her favorite thing in the world was spending time with her dear family. Even though her earthly body failed her, Rosa’s faith, unwavering love, and undying spiritual strength will live on in the lives of her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and all future generations!

Those left to carry on Rosa’s legacy of love are her children, Juanita Hernandez Espinoza, Guillermo Hernandez Espinoza, Rosa Maria Hernandez Espinoza, Carlota Hernandez Espinoza, Carlos Antonio Hernandez Espinoza, Maria Isabel Hernandez Espinoza, Violeta Hernandez Espinoza; grandchildren, Perla, Alexia, Edgardo, Melissa, Cristian Jr., Sammy, Abelardo, Jacob, Stefanie, Grecia, Lluvia, Aneesa, Aleen Abelardo, Alexandra; great grandchildren, Luna, Mariah, Alesandra Jr., Ariel, Anel; siblings, Domitila, Homero, Horario, Teofilo, Guadalope, Isabel; along with many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Rosa was welcomed into Heaven by her parents, Antonio Espinoza and Esabelle Padilla; husband, Abelardo Hernandez; and son, J. Guadalope Hernandez Espinoza.

A funeral service celebrating Rosa’s life will be held on Monday, May 20, 2024, at 1:00 PM at Taylor & Cowan Funeral Home, located at 314 N. Main St., Tipton, with Pastor Eric Roemer officiating. Visitation for family and friends will take place prior to the service from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM at the funeral home. Burial will be held at Tipton’s Fairview Cemetery immediately following the service.

Taylor & Cowan Funeral Home is honored to serve the Hernandez Espinoza family in their time of need.

Fred W. Schaefer

Fred W. Schaefer, 86, passed away on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, at Community Howard Regional Health surrounded by his loving family. He was born on August 10, 1937, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Frederick E. and Susan M. (Flegel) Schaefer. He married Sharon J. Merwin of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, on September 25, 1965, in Milwaukee.

As a ROTC Candidate, Fred attended and graduated from Marquette University in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering. After college, he proudly served in the United States Navy Reserve from 1959 -1962, earning the rank of Lieutenant. After the Navy, Fred started his career in Electrical Engineering at General Motors in Milwaukee, and later took a job with Martin Marietta Corporation in the Denver, Colorado area for 2 years. He then returned to GM in Kokomo, Indiana, at Delco Electronics, where he retired after 32 years.

Fred enjoyed spending his free time golfing, playing tennis, racquet ball, hiking, sailing, camping, and fishing. He was a huge Green Bay Packers fan and a season ticket holder. He also enjoyed traveling, fishing trips to Canada, wintering at his home in Ft. Myers, Florida, and family vacations.

Fred is survived by his children, Susan (Chris) Wagner, Scott (Yvonne) Schaefer, and Amy (Greg) Davis; grandchildren, Samuel Wagner, Melody Wagner, Zacharie (Angie) Schaefer, Alexandria (Michael) Ellis, Meagan (Tyler) Sanders, Mallory Davis, and Emily Davis; great-grandchildren, Lillie, Oakley, Carter, Harper, Nathan, Lane, Luke, and one more on the way; brother, David (Janet) Schaefer; and nieces and nephews, Mark (Lynn) Schaefer, Anne (Ron) Gneo, and Matt (Betsy) Schaefer.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and the love of his life, Sharon, after 54 years of marriage.

Fred was a member of Saint Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Kokomo, and a Memorial Mass will be celebrated there at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, August 10, 2024. Burial will follow Albright Cemetery with military honors provided by the US Navy and the Kokomo VFW Military Rites Team. Shirley & Stout Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 3155 County Rd S 200 W, Kokomo, IN 46902. Messages of condolence may be left online at

Patricia Bassett James

Patricia Bassett James, fondly known as BAP, passed away peacefully on May 13, 2024, in Randolph County, NC, at the age of 62. Born on March 17, 1962, in Kokomo, IN, Patricia was a beloved wife, mother, daughter, sister, grandmother, and friend.

Patricia had an enduring love for the outdoors and was an avid fan of the Dallas Cowboys. Her active lifestyle included participation in both a bowling league and a cornhole league, where she distinguished herself to the extent of being nationally ranked in cornhole due to her exceptional skill. Not only was she talented, but her 30 years of service to the United States Postal Service demonstrated her steadfast devotion to her career.

Known for her big heart, Patricia was always eager to help those in need. She had looked forward to traveling with her devoted husband, David Rhodes, upon retirement, but unfortunately, her illness prevented these plans from coming to fruition.

Patricia is preceded in death by her father, Kenneth Lee Bassett. She is survived by her loving husband, David Rhodes; her mother, Martha Sue Smith; her stepmother, Crete Bassett; her daughter, Shila Mabe and husband Kenneth; her son, Gary Johnson and wife Jennifer; her sisters, Becky Crone and Pamela Keller; her granddaughters, Kailey Mabe, Rayleigh Johnson, Katelynn Johnson, and Serenity Moore; and her grandsons, Brayden Mabe and Jayden Johnson.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Patricia’s memory to Hospice of Randolph County. Midstate Cremation & Funeral Service is honored to assist the family of Patricia James.