DANVILLE — Imogene Rettig Blaha was born on Dec. 19, 1929, to Walter and Isadore (Starner) Didinger. Her father founded the Didinger & Son Fertilizer Company in Danville. Her brother Gary (Carol) Didinger currently owns and operates the family business with his two sons and daughter. Her sister, Edna (Chap) Sheldon, recently passed away in November 2005.
Imogene married Lloyd Dean Rettig of Dunkirk, Ohio, on Nov. 3, 1951, at St. Luke Catholic Church in Danville, where she was a member. They raised a family of five during the time of family reunions, picnics by the river, Sunday dinners, soda pop only on a Saturday night, and drive-in movies. Their children are Denise (Roger) Coffield of Danville, Debra (Don) Rettig-Hannah of Gambier, Darlene (Gary) Campbell of Danville, Donna (Doug) Hamilton of Newark, and Danny (Christine) Rettig of Howard. Dean passed away in August 1976. Imogene and Dean have 10 grandchildren: Shane Coffield, Shaun Coffield, Brooke Rettig, Sunny Adelaide Killina, Suzanne Campbell, Stacy Campbell, Nicholas Hamilton, Tyler Hamilton, Chelsea Rettig, and Cody Rettig. They have one great-grandchild, Rowan Eladriel Killina.
Imogene married George Blaha on Oct. 25, 1980. He passed away in June 2004. When they were not traveling, they shared their time with family and friends (especially dinners out) at their residence in Apple Valley and Bartow, Fla. The family would like to give a special thank you to special friend Nancy Hamm for adopting Imogene’s dog, Peppy.
In 1965, Imogene played a key part in launching the first home-based Head Start program in Knox County. Imogene received her Child-Development Associate certificate at Michigan State University to teach preschoolers. She was one of the first para-professionals of the program and she and many community people were able to build this pilot program into a nationally recognized program today. The government funded program was organized to give disadvantaged preschoolers a “head start” before entering kindergarten.
When the program first started, Imogene played multiple roles. For example, she drove the family station wagon to transport the children to the center, she recruited the children, was their teacher, driver, and you may have found her doing dishes too. Within her career, and among friends, Imogene radiated smiles, love and peace. She will continue to live on in us, and in the future generations of children. Her family invites you to volunteer at a Head Start center near you, and/or donate picture books to the program in memory of Imogene.
A Funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday March 24, 2006, at St. Luke Church in Danville, with the Rev. F. Richard Snoke officiating. Burial will be in St. Luke Cemetery. Calling hours will be from 6 to 8 p.m. today at the church, with a prayer service at 8. The Fischer Funeral Home in Danville is handling arrangements.
Ruie J. Cheek
MARENGO — Ruie J. Cheek, 96, of Marengo died Tuesday, March 21, 2006, at Bennington Glen Nursing Center. She was formerly of Centerburg.
She volunteered for the Red Cross for many years.
Surviving are a daughter, Lois Keaton of Marengo; son, Keith (Maxine) Brown of Centerburg; grandchildren, George William Keaton, Cindy Wolcott, Warren Brown and Lori Nonnemacher; great-grandchildren, Jacob Rutherford, George Keaton II, and Karen and Erin Nonnemacher; great-great-granddaughter, Savannah Keaton; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was precede in death by husbands, Harold Brown and Grover Cheek; grandson, John Evert Keaton; brother, Dwight Price; and sister, Iva Reed.
Friends may call today from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Johnson-Melick-Moreland Funeral Home, 49 W. Church St., Centerburg. Funeral service will be Friday, March 24, at the Centerburg Christian Church, 33 Church St., Centerburg, with the Rev. Chris B. Williams officiating. Interment will be in Eastview Cemetery.
Friends, if they wish, may contribute to Hospice of Morrow County, P.O. Box 86, Mount Gilead, OH 43338; or to the Centerburg Christian Church.
Eleanor M. Frye
HOWARD — Eleanor M. “Ellie” (Amato) Frye, 75, of Howard, died March 17, 2006.
She was born May 22, 1930, in Grosse Pointe, Mich. She had been a baptized Witness of Jehovah God since 1943, and her greatest love was her service to God.
At age 29, she met Gary Frye, whom she married Nov. 21, 1959, over 46 years ago. They traveled to many places sharing the truths of God’s Word. For the last 11 years, Ellie and Gary have resided in the Mount Vernon area.
As a spiritual lady, Ellie kept herself involved with Bible study; and a busy part of her weekly routine was a volunteer community service of telephoning people to share encouragement from the Bible. As a charming hostess and gourmet cook, she was a delight and loved by all who came to know her.
Ellie is survived by her husband; three sisters, Phyllis, Connie and Kathy; stepmother, Marcia; and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be conducted Sunday, March 26, at 3 p.m. at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 15 Taylor Road, Mount Vernon.
MOUNT VERNON — Thomas Hoffman, age 65, of Mount Vernon, passed away on Wednesday, March 22, 2006, at the Country Club Retirement Center. The services are under the care and direction of the Snyder Funeral Homes, Mount Vernon.
Roger P. Tussing
Roger Palmer Tussing, age 92, of Fredericktown, formerly of Reynoldsburg, passed away peacefully on March 20, 2006.
The youngest of six children, he was born to Llewellyn Whitcom and Cora Palmer Tussing on July 3, 1913 at the family home on Tussing Road in Reynoldsburg. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 55 years, Margaret; his son, Delmar; his parents and his siblings Fred, Homer, Laura McClarren, Ardella Bohnslav and Russell.
He is survived by children Gerald, (Linda) Tussing of Bellefontaine and Sylvia (Greg) Hering of Elma, Wash.; four grandchildren, Ellie (Ed) Link, Scott (Linda) Hering, Chad (Maria) Tussing, Todd (Seville) Hering; seven great-grandchildren, Margaret Hering, Andrea Hering, Jurrian Hering, Ethan Tussing, Gracie Link, Addisen Hering and Elisa Tussing; sisters-in law, Betty Lesher, Shirley (John) Vingle and Shelby Tudor; brothers-in-law Charles (Bobby) Tudor and Gene Schmitt and many nieces, nephews and friends.
Roger was known throughout the state of Ohio as a breeder and showman of Shropshire and Corriedale sheep. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, woodworking and playing cards with friends and family in his younger years.
Visiting hours will be 3 to 7 p.m. on Friday at the Synder Funeral Home, 33 East College St. in Fredericktown. Graveside services will be held at the Silent Home Cemetery in Reynoldsburg at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Following the graveside service there will be a celebration of Roger’s life at the Livingston House, 1792 Graham Rd. in Reynoldsburg. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Knox County, 17700 Coshocton Road., Mount Vernon, OH 43050.
To view this obituary and leave an online condolence to the family, visit snyderfuneralhomes.com.