Esther Reiter | Obituaries |

Esther Reiter

WARREN – Esther Marie Rider, 93, formerly of North Webster, Indiana, passed away on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at the Heritage Pointe Retirement Home in Warren where she had lived for the past few years. She was born on May 27, 1927 in Troy Township of Whitley County, Indiana, to Delbert and Irene (Wright) Martin.

She graduated from Larwill High School with the class from 1945.

On September 28, 1945, she married Arden Rider.

Esther worked for International Harvester in Fort Wayne and retired from Wawasee High School.

She was a member of the North Webster United Methodist Church and a past member of the Etna United Methodist Church and the Backwater Friends Home Economic Club.

She is survived by her 75-year-old loving husband, Arden Rider; Daughter Cheryl (Jack Lapinsky) Reiter; Brother Gail “Speedy” (Carol) Martin; Daughters-in-law Nora Kametani and Beth Rider; eight grandchildren, Sean Vyain, Alison Vyain, Justin Rider, Kate (Mike) Parks, Michaela Kametani-Rider, Aaron Kametani-Rider, Cheyenne Kametani-Rider, and Dustin Rider; and two great-grandchildren, Hannah Vyain and Reeder Vyain.

Her parents preceded her in death; and sons, David Paul Rider and Aaron Craig Rider; and sister Hilda Gaerte.

A gathering of family and friends will take place on Tuesday, September 28, 2021, 10-11 a.m. at the DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City, with a public memorial service at 11 a.m.

Sharon Brockhaus takes over the funeral service.

Esther was buried in Scott-Keister Cemetery in rural Whitley County in November 2020.

Visit to express their condolences online to Esther’s family or sign up for the online guest book.

George Haggenjos

COLUMBIA CITY – George “Butch” Jacob Haggenjos, 90, of Columbia City, Indiana, died at his home at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, September 20, 2021, after suffering from cancer for seven months.

Smith and Sons Funeral Home takes care of the arrangements.

James Pale

COLUMBIA CITY – James “Jim” Fahl, 75, of Columbia City, Indiana, passed away unexpectedly at his home on Tuesday night, September 21, 2021.

He was born on June 25, 1946 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to Fritz and Eileen (Meyer) Fahl.

He graduated from Columbia City Joint High School with the class of 1964.

On August 6, 1966, he married his high school girlfriend, Vickie O’Brien.

In addition to being a lifelong farmer, Jim worked for Dana from 1966 until he retired in 2002. He also worked for Stumps in South Whitley over the winter for more than 15 years, helping his son with Fahl Colors Landscaping.

He loved playing bowling, being outside, mowing, cycling Whitley County, horse riding, camping, and cutting firewood. Most of all, he loved watching his grandchildren play sports.

Jim leaves behind his 55-year-old, loving wife, Vickie Fahl; Twin daughters Gia (Mike) Reed and Tina (Jamie) Vandersaul; Son, Chad (Maggie) Wan; Brothers Frank (Donna) Fahl and Mike (Carol) Fahl; Sisters Vada (Ken) Gaff, Rhonda Pearson, and Sara (Randy) Tester; nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

His parents preceded him in death.

The tour will take place on Monday, September 27, 2021, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. at the DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home on 600 Countryside Drive in Columbia City.

The funeral service begins on Monday, September 27th, 2021 at 7 p.m.

Commemorative donations may be made in memory of the Humane Society of Whitley County, or at the donor’s choice.

Visit to express their condolences to Jim’s family online or to add themselves to the online guest book.

Austin Eckert

COLUMBIA CITY – Austin H. Eckert, 89, of Columbia City, Indiana, died on Monday, September 20, 2021 at Parkview Hospital.

Born on August 24, 1932 in Huntington, Indiana, he was the son of Paul and Agnes (Campbell) Eckert.

He grew up in Huntington County before his family moved to Whitley County in 1947.

Austin graduated from Washington Center High School with the 1951 class and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

On June 9, 1970, he married Linda (Rider) Gambrell in Columbia City.

Austin was a trained carpenter and has been the general contractor and owner of Bower and Eckert Construction for more than 40 years.

He was a member of the American Legion Post 98.

Austin enjoyed having a cup of coffee with his friends and watching sports, especially soccer and basketball. He found relaxation during a visit to his family in Kentucky for a month or two in the summer.

Austin leaves behind his 51-year-old loving wife, Linda Eckert; Son, Greg (Laura) Eckert; Daughter Kathy (Randy) Fryback; Stepson Tim (Susie) Gambrell; Stepdaughter Jennifer (Jamie) Hankins; 12 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren.

Apart from his parents, he was preceded in death by a stepdaughter, Kelly F. Clark; Brothers Earl Eckert and DeWayne Eckert; and sister Phyllis Reith.

Commemorative donations may be made in memory of Austin at the donor’s choice.

Donations can be made to DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City.

Visit to express their condolences online or to add their condolences to Austin’s family online.

Tiffin Mullenax Jr.

ABILENE, Texas – Tiffin Rinehart Mullenax Jr., 81, of Abilene, Texas, passed away in Abilene, Texas on Tuesday, September 21, 2021.

The funeral will take place on Saturday, September 25, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. at The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road, Abilene, Texas.

Services will also be held in Columbia City, Indiana, conducted by Smith & Sons Funeral Home, and Central Valley, California, both dates to be set.

Tiffin R. Mullenax “Junior” was born on April 7, 1940 in Arborvale, West Virginia, to Tiffin R. Mullenax Sr. and Letha V. Armentrout.

Born in West By God, Virginia, the youngest of six children in a farming family, he moved to Larwill, Indiana, in 1950.

In 1958 he graduated from Larwill High School, where he was President of the FFA and a member of the ECV Mountain Charlie Chapter.

Tiffin joined the United States Marine Corps from 1958 to 1961.

He met the love of his life, Alice Oryall, after just one blind date in San Francisco on May 13, 1961 in Beaufort, North Carolina, and married her.

From 1968 to 2000 he worked as a mechanic in San Francisco, California, for United Airlines.

Tiffin had unmatched love, devotion, and enthusiasm for God, family, friends, country, and a hell of a good time. He was loved, admired and respected by everyone who knew him. His many interests and preferences have included vintage cars, semi-pro motorcycle racing, camping, white water rafting, and taking his family on road trips to show them this beautiful country he loved.

His brother Thorald Tiffin (February 4, 1928 – December 30, 1947) preceded him in death; Father, Tiffin Sr. (September 4, 1894 – January 10, 1984); Mother Letha V. Armentrout (December 13, 1905 – February 16, 1983); Brother William Kay on February 28, 2007; and sister Letha Carol Waybright on August 31, 2007.

Tiffin leaves behind his wife Alice Oryall; Son, Tiffin “Chanse” III; Daughter Tonya and husband Eric Rendon; Daughter Tamara and husband Glenn Edwards Jr .; Brother George Fry of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Sister Fannie Margaret Davenport of Graff, Missouri; 13 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.

Reminders and condolences can be submitted online at

Sandra Johnson

COLUMBIA CITY – Sandra “Sandy” E. Johnson, 83 years old, of Columbia City, Indiana, passed away on Saturday, September 18, 2021 at 3:00 am at her home town.

She was born on June 27, 1938 in DeKalb County, Indiana, to Basil and Vera (Hills) Bickel.

Sandy grew up in Garrett, Indiana, attended local schools, and graduated from Garrett High School with the 1956 class.

Sandy married Duane Johnson on August 24, 1957 in Garrett, Indiana. They moved from Indiana to California before moving to Texas in 1965.

She attended the College of the Mainland in Texas City, Texas. Sandy earned her Certified Property Manager Certificate and worked in Houston until she retired.

In 2000, they moved to the Johnson family farm near Columbia City.

Sandy was a housewife, in addition to her work for the Bank of the Southwest, managed several bank-owned properties and helped set up a Unitarian Universalist Church in Clear Lake City, Texas.

Sandy loved music, quilting, gardening, stained glass and was also an artist.

Sandy attended Lake Chapel United Methodist Church in Allen County, Indiana, where she served as a pianist.

She was a member of the Master Gardeners of Whitley County and the Houston Horizon Chorus in Texas.

Survivors include her loving husband of 64, Duane Johnson of Columbia City; Daughters Denise (Mark) Gilliland from Columbia City, Kathie Johnson Daily from Lafayette, and Pam (Rev. Steve) Bahrt from north Manchester; Grandsons, Matt Daily, Erin Bahrt, Garrett Daily, Wesley Gilliland, Lindsey Bahrt, Weaver Gilliland, and Jason (Cassie) Bahrt; Great-grandchildren, Janelle, Matthias and Zara; and Sister Sheila Meyer of Clarksville, Indiana.

Her parents preceded her in death; and siblings, Barbara Brown, Marcia Shellenbarger, Basil Bickel, Bob Bickel, and Dick Bickel.

A memorial service for Sandy will be held on Friday, October 1, 2021 at the DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City, with memorial calls from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The funeral at a later date will take place in the Eel River Cemetery in Churubusco.

Memorial donations in memory of Sandy can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Visit to offer condolences to the family or to add yourself to the online guest registry.

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