Obituaries, March 19, 2024

Written on 03/19/2024

Shirley A. Kaufman

Shirley A. Kaufman, 82, Kokomo, passed away at 9:48 a.m. Thursday, March 14, 2024, at Methodist Hospital, Indianapolis. She was born July 23, 1941, in Kokomo to Robert and Pauline (Kobel) Eikenberry. On February 26, 1962, she married Jerry Kaufman, who survives.

Shirley worked with her husband in risk management at CFD in Kokomo as well as other secretarial positions when they lived in Florida. She was a member of Bible Baptist Church in Kokomo and First Baptist Church in Merritt Island during their time in Florida. Shirley enjoyed traveling with her husband, especially cruising. Cooking, baking, reading and tending flowers were a few of her passions. She also enjoyed high tea twice a week with her husband Jerry.

She is survived by her husband, Jerry Kaufman; children, Paige Kaufman, Deborah Hoover, and Patrick Kaufman; grandchildren, Chance Hoover, Bailey Hoover, and Morgan Hoover; siblings, Robert Eikenberry, Richard Eikenberry, and Barbara (Tom) LaFollette.

She was preceded in death by her parents; son-in-law, Charles Hoover; sisters-in-law, Judy Eikenberry and Carolyn Eikenberry; and mother-in-law, Emma Glass.

A memorial service celebrating Shirley’s life will be at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, 2024, at Shirley & Stout Funeral Home & Crematory, 1315 West Lincoln Road with Keith Treadway officiating. Friends may visit with the family from 1:00 p.m. until service time Wednesday at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made in Shirley’s name to Thy Will Ministries. Messages of condolence may be left at

Markus Allen Miller

Markus Allen Miller, 32, Fairmount, IN, passed away at 9:07 a.m. Saturday, March 16, 2014. He was born April 2, 1991, in Kokomo to James Allen and Michelle Christine (Buie) Miller.

A 2009 graduate from Eastbrook High School, Markus was a jack of all trades whether it was farming, operating heavy equipment, or repairing vehicles. He was also passionate about 4-H programs. Most of all he loved spending time with his family especially his sons.

Markus is survived by his parents, James Miller and Michelle Miller; sons, Hayden Miller and Bryce Miller; brother, John Miller; grandfathers, Jack (Beth) Buie, Donald Miller, and David Chenoweth; mother of his children, Britnee VanMatre; great-aunt, Jean Benson; aunts, Robin Chenoweth and Debbie Miller; nephew, John Lukas Miller; as well as several cousins.

He was preceded in death by his grandmothers, Betty Miller and Shirley Chenoweth; and great uncle, Harold Benson.

Friends may visit with the family from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Friday, March 22, 2024, at Hasler Stout Funeral Home, 112 East Main Street, Greentown. Messages of condolence may be left at

David Eugene “Dave” Engle

David Eugene “Dave” Engle, 86, Kokomo, passed away on March 11, 2024, at Community Howard Regional Health. He was born on September 1, 1937, in Kokomo, to the late W. Russell and Virginia (Chancellor) Engle. In 1983, Dave married Barbara (Daily) VanSickle, she preceded him in death on November 18, 2021.

Dave graduated from Kokomo High School in 1955 and went on to attend Valparaiso Technical Institute. After he graduated, he went on to work in radio repair at Motorola in New York. In the late 1950s, Dave worked part time for WIOU as an engineer while also working for GM Delco Radio. He was proud to be one of the first people to work on engine control modules and the early airbag systems at General Motors. He was a lifetime member of the IEEE and received his General Radio Lifetime License. Dave retired from Delco after 35 years of dedication.

Dave was honored to say that he achieved the rank of sergeant and was part of the 150th Field Artillery, in the Army National Guard. He was great at woodworking and was able to build and play dulcimers. Dave loved to travel, garden, research genealogy, listen to bluegrass music, and explore the Amazon and all its wonders. His family remembers him for his love of storytelling and flowers, especially carnations.

Dave is survived by his children, S. Kathy (Steven) Maack and Scott (Maureen) Engle; stepdaughter, Jill VanSickle.

Grandchildren, Rebecca (Cody) Shuler, Markus Maack, Nicole (Michael) Leming, Clair (Jordan Jeffers) Kieft, Brentt (Bethany) VanSickle, Brandon (Brittany) VanSickle, and Brock (Aleisha) VanSickle.

13 great-grandchildren, Scarlett, Cash, Paisley, Chancellor, Jett, Quinton, Kai, Margaux, Mei, Adalynn, Baylin, Kiera, and Kent.

First wife and the mother of his children, Katie Regan.

Dave was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Barbara; and stepson, Kent VanSickle.

A memorial service celebrating Dave’s life will be held at 1 pm, on Thursday, April 11, 2024, at Shirley and Stout Funeral Home, 1315 W. Lincoln Road, Kokomo, with Pastor Paul Nicholson officiating. Burial will follow in Kokomo Memorial Park Cemetery. Friends are invited to visit with the family, on Thursday, from 11 a.m. until the time of the service, at the funeral home. In addition to flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation. Messages of condolence may be left online at

Jeffrey Eugene Bitner, Sr.

Jeffrey Eugene Bitner, Sr., 72, passed away March 13, 2024, at his home in Mexico, Indiana. Jeff, known as Bud to many, was born in Kokomo on July 25, 1951, to Ralph and Nancy (McClain) Bitner. He was predeceased by his parents and a sister, Janet Hulsey.

Bud grew up and lived in Indiana until he moved to Florida in 1976. He lived there until 2015 when he and Anita moved back to Indiana to be near family. He had a great sense of humor and liked making people laugh. He loved hearing stories from the older generation, was a beach lover, looking for treasures like seashells, sand dollars, and driftwood. Bud was a car enthusiast and became a member of Corvettes of Naples Car Club and was Treasurer for several years. He traveled throughout Florida and Georgia showing his 1998 corvette in the car shows and enjoyed the fellowship of members from other corvette clubs. At a car show in Plains, Georgia, he met, shook hands with, and had a picture taken with former President Jimmy Carter, as well as acquiring his autograph.

Bud also like visiting and learning about historical sites with his family. He worked a variety of jobs including construction in Indiana as well as in Florida which included building million-dollar homes with his favorite boss, Jim Valerio. He liked staying busy doing projects like building furniture for the home and was a good handyman fixing things around the house, working on his cars and coming up with ideas to help his wife with garden needs. Bud's favorite music was classic rock and some country. He thoroughly enjoyed working with Bob Seger for a short time when Seger first started up. And later in life he enjoyed raising chickens for the fresh eggs.

He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Anita, two sisters Judy Kay Early and Jennifer Jean Inabenett, two stepbrothers Bill Pearson (Diane and Jerry Pearson (Mary), two children, Jeffery Bitner (Tracy) and Lori Orr, and four stepchildren Tracy Lynn Williams (George), Damon Forbes (Tiffany), Danika Miller (Lloyd), and Crystal Forbes. He had many grandchildren and several great grandchildren.

There will be a celebration of life for Bud May 19, 2024, from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. at his home in Mexico.

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

Francis E. "Sunny" Hunt

Francis E. "Sunny" Hunt, known affectionately as Sunny to all who knew him, passed away peacefully on March 16, 2024, at the age of 84. Born on December 30, 1939, Sunny was a beacon of light and warmth throughout his life, touching the hearts of those around him with his loving and kind nature.

Sunny was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Letha Hunt, his parents, Francis L. and Evelyn Lewis Hunt, and his siblings, Mary Tanner, Carolyn (Harold) Marisette, and Franklin Leroy. He is survived by his cherished son, Mark Hunt, and his adored grandchildren, Amber, Paige, Arianna, and A.J. Sunny also leaves behind his caring siblings, Linda Hillman, David Hunt, Archie Hunt, and Ron (Ruth) Hunt, along with many nieces and nephews who held him dear.

In his younger years, Sunny worked diligently at Cuneo Press until health issues led him to seek a different path. Despite these challenges, he found great joy and purpose in his involvement with the Kokomo Rescue Mission during its formative years, dedicating countless hours to helping those in need. The community at North Woods Village became very dear to him, and he cherished the time spent and the friendships made there.

Sunny was a loving and caring brother. His love for watches was well-known, as was his fondness for the simple pleasure of KFC chicken. His presence was a comforting and familiar one, and his friendly demeanor made him a beloved figure in his community.

The family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to the staff and workers at North Woods Village and Anew Hospice for their compassionate care and support during Sunny's final days. Their dedication to his well-being was a source of great comfort to him and his loved ones.

Sunny's life was characterized by love, kindness, and friendliness. He had the rare ability to brighten a room with his smile and to make each person he met feel valued and important. His legacy is one of joy, generosity, and unwavering positivity, traits that will continue to inspire those who were fortunate enough to have known him.

As we bid farewell to Francis E. "Sunny" Hunt, we celebrate a life lived to the fullest, marked by an enduring spirit of giving and a heart full of love. Sunny's memory will forever shine brightly in the lives of his family, friends, and all who were touched by his remarkable presence.

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

Gloria Marlene (Cottingham) Ailor

Gloria Marlene (Cottingham) Ailor, age 85, of Sharpsville, Indiana passed away on Monday, March 18, 2024. Gloria was born in Kokomo, Indiana.

Gloria will be laid to rest in Crown Point Cemetery, 1101 E Sycamore St, Kokomo, Indiana 46901-4918.

Gary Eugene Bitner

Gary Eugene Bitner, 78, Frankfort, passed away at 11:45 am on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, at his home. He was born on May 25, 1945, to the late Harold E. and Maxine Elizabeth (Graham) Bitner.

Gary worked for Cuneo Press, Wilson Foods, and Indalex. He was a kind and friendly man who never met a stranger, and Barb’s favorite brother. He loved spending time with his grandchildren, great grandchildren, and his cat, Nosey. He enjoyed traveling and eating peach pie.

Gary is survived by his children, Rick Bitner, Dan (April) Bitner, and Gary Bitner II; former wife, Jeannette Bitner; several beloved grandchildren and great grandchildren; and sister, Barbara Bitner.

He was preceded in death by his parents, son, Mark Bitner; six brothers; and five sisters.

In keeping with Gary’s wishes, there will be no services at this time. Shirley & Stout Funeral Home & Crematory has been entrusted with cremation. Messages of condolence may be left online at

Wilretha Coleman

Wilretha Coleman was born February 26, 1952, to Wayne and Aileen Sears. She spent her youth in Somerset, KY, with her sister Melinda (Robert) Hare and brothers Timothy (Ellen) Sears and Jonathan Sears as well as many, many aunts, uncles and cousins.

Somerset High School is where she met the love of her life Frederick Coleman. After high school Retha attended Eastern Kentucky University and would later attend Somerset Community College.

Fred and Retha’s love story continued through high school and college, and they were married in 1973 at First United Methodist Church in Somerset. Marrying Fred expanded her family to include her in laws, Barry and Lou Ada Coleman, sisters in law Rebecca Coleman, Julia Coleman, Catherine Coleman and Carol (Kelly) Mikles and brother-in-law Patrick Coleman.

Fred and Retha spent the early part of their marriage in Knoxville Tennessee and then found their way home to Somerset where they would start their family. They had two daughters, Ashley (Tom) Colvin and Courtney Coleman who they loved fiercely.

In 1989 the family moved to Lexington where they would live until 2001 when they relocated to Louisville. While in Lexington Retha worked as a teachers aid and was involved with Special Olympics.

Retha’s life would change forever when she lost her husband and true love suddenly in 2010. She and Courtney then moved north of Indianapolis to be with Ashley and her family.

Retha was a friend to many who will miss her jokes and irreverent humor. She was quick witted and funny.

She was a great artist and an advocate for women’s rights.

She will be remembered as a woman who adored her children and grandchildren Coleman Williams and Chandlar Williams (Todd Williams) In her eyes the grandkids could do no wrong and she was incredibly proud of them.

She loved her many nieces and nephews and in recent years enjoyed watching their lives unfold via social media. Phillip (Kristin) Hare, Max (Addie) Hare, Caleb Sears, Benjamin Sears, Addison Sears, Katie Sears, Brian (May) Sears, Ben Sears and Emily Sears.

She was usually found with a cup of coffee, or a diet coke and she thought a donut was a perfectly acceptable meal. She was an avid reader and passed her love of books on to her daughters. Retha loved music (especially sung by Fred), elephants, eating out, the ocean and her dog Sydney. She claimed to love a vodka martini, but she rarely finished one. She was an avid collector of “stuff” and rarely threw anything away.

She was preceded in death by husband Fred Coleman, her parents Wayne and Aileen Sears, brother Timothy Sears and sister-in-law Rebecca Coleman, in laws Barry and Lou Ada Coleman and several aunts, uncles, friends and cousins.

No services are planned at this time per her wishes.

In lieu of flowers please consider donating in her honor to Agape Therapeutic Riding Resources where both daughter Courtney and granddaughter Chandlar utilized therapy. Agape Therapeutic Riding Resources, 24970 Mt Pleasant Rd., Cicero IN 46034

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