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January 17, 2017 • Obituaries
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Carroll “Buddy” L. Hooton

Carroll ‘Buddy’ L. Hooton, age 81, of Holton, passed away Thursday, January 12, 2017 at the Columbus Regional Hospital in Columbus. Born in Ripley County on January 21, 1935, he was the son of the late Carroll E. and Edna B. Selig Hooton. Carroll married Aldean Kathryn Thomas on June 25, 1960 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Dewberry in Cross Plains. To this marriage, they were blessed with three children.

Carroll graduated from Vevay High School in 1953. He was a proud US Army veteran. After his marriage, he became a member of Dewberry Church where he served as a past elder and also a church trustee. Starting in 1987, he became a board member and served as treasurer of the Dewberry Church Cemetery Endowment Fund. Along with serving his church, he sat on the Holton Water Board as one of its directors. When he retired in December 1987, he had worked thirty-two years for the Cummins Engine Company located in Columbus, Ind., ending his career there as an electrician.

After retiring, he and his wife were able to enjoy wintering in Florida for several years. He decided that he no longer wanted to spend a lot of time away in the winter because they missed too many of their grandchildren’s functions. Watching his only grandson Allen play basketball along with being very proud of the fact of the great grades that all of his grandchildren made were the reasons he stayed in Ripley County. Carroll had many interests besides his family. Like many people in this area, he was a huge IU fan. He thoroughly enjoyed woodworking and gardening. Ice cream tastes good anywhere and anytime, and Carroll was living proof of it. The cold treat was his favorite snack as everyone knew, and he was always ready for it.
He was a wonderful husband, dad, and grandfather who will greatly be missed.

Survivors include his wife: Aldean Kathryn Thomas Hooton of Holton; son: Michael (Jean) Hooton of Osgood; daughters: Wanda (Rick) Bales of Versailles and Brenda Hooton of Friendship; grandchildren: Chelsae, Alanie, and Allen Hooton; Brittany and Megan Bales; Abby Field and Kayla Fields; great grandchild: Lexie Fields; and sister: Janice (Benny) Taylor of Canaan. He was preceded in death by one brother, Robert McCreary.

Funeral services were held Monday, January 16 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Dewberry, Cross Plains. Burial was in the church cemetery. Memorials may be given to the Dewberry Cemetery Endowment Fund. Neal’s Funeral Home, Osgood, was entrusted with arrangements.

Diana D. Edwards

Diana D. Edwards, 69, of Olean, passed away Saturday, January 14, 2017 at her home. She was born at the Margaret Mary Hospital in Batesville on August 17, 1947, the daughter of Charles and Georgia Jordan Smith. She was married to John Edwards and he preceded her in death.

Survivors include one son, Kevin (Sherry) Rutherford of Aurora; one daughter, Kimberly (Eric) Minch of Vevay; six grandchildren and one great grandchild; two sisters, Dorene Kash of Milan and Donna (Larry) Thomas of Versailles. She was also preceded in death by her parents, her sister Florine Eldridge, and her brothers James Smith and Charles Smith, Jr.

Mrs. Edwards retired from the Muscatatuck State Developmental Center where she worked as a supervisor. She had also been employed as a Corrections Officer at the Indiana State Women’s Prison in Indianapolis as well as jobs with Brockway Glass in Lapel an as independent truck driver for Ritz Management. Diana was a member of the Milan American Legion Auxiliary.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, January 18 at 11 a.m. at the Stratton-Karsteter Funeral Home in Versailles with Tom Holt officiating of the Hope Baptist Church, Dillsboro. Burial will be at the Busse Cemetery near Sunman. Visitation will be on Tuesday from 5-7 p.m. at the funeral home. Memorials may be given to the Busse Cemetery in care of the funeral home.

Betty Jean Saylor Webster

Betty Jean Saylor Webster, age 84, of Madison, passed away Wednesday, January 11, 2017. Funeral services were held Monday, January 16 at the Faith Alliance Church, Madison. Burial followed in the Springdale Cemetery in Madison. Morgan & Nay Funeral Centre, Lytle Funeral Homes and Ransdell Funeral Homes served the family. Online condolences can be made by visiting

Thomas W. Merkel, Jr.

Thomas W. Merkel Jr., age 88, of Oldenburg, passed away Wednesday, January 11, 2017. Funeral services were held Monday, January 16 at Holy Family Church. Burial followed in the church cemetery. The family requests memorials to the Batesville E.M.S. Lifesquad. Weigel Funeral Home, Batesville, was in charge of arrangements.

Ray L. Raney

Ray L. Raney, 85, of Versailles, passed away at 4 p.m. Saturday, January 14, 2017 at the Manderley Health Care Center in Osgood. He was born in the Splashville community, near Versailles on September 21, 1931, the son of Herschel and Edith Black Raney. He was married to Elizabeth Daugherty Jackson on December 6, 1979 and she preceded him in death on July 24, 2009.

Survivors include one son, Mike (Bonnie) Raney of Versailles; four grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother William Raney, and his sister Marianna Hyatt.

Mr. Raney was a 1949 graduate of Versailles High School. He was a farmer and had also worked at the IKE power plant, for the Indiana State Highway Department, and was manager of the Versailles State Park from 1961 to 1965. In 1998 Indiana Governor Frank O’Bannon named Ray a Distinguished Hoosier and in 2003 Governor O’Bannon honored Ray as a Sagamore of the Wabash.

Ray was a member of the Dabney Baptist Church, the Indianapolis Valley of Scottish Rite, a life member of the William F. Rayner FOP, and was a member of both the Versailles and Holton Masonic Lodges where he held several offices. Ray, along with his father, and his son had ridden their horses in over 70 Pumpkin Show parades as well as the Regatta Parade in Madison and in other area parades.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, January 19 at 11 a.m. at the Dabney Baptist Church with Rev. Michael Bell officiating. Burial will be in the Tanglewood Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday from 5-8 p.m. at the Stratton-Karsteter Funeral Home in Versailles and from 10 a.m. until time of services Thursday at the church. Masonic services will be conducted at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. Memorials may be given to the Tanglewood Cemetery or the Dabney Baptist Church in care of the funeral home.

Carol A. Ronnebaum

Carol A. Ronnebaum, age 57, of Milan, died Sunday, January 8, 2017. Born July 5, 1959, she is the daughter of Georgene (Nee: Hirt) and Carl Gillman.
She is survived by her loving husband, Ray; her three children, Eric (Kim) Benz, Craig (Lindsay) Benz, and Ashley (Travis) Powell; her two stepchildren, Jarrid and Jerica Ronnebaum; and her three grandchildren, Ryan, Alex, and Blake Benz. She is also survived by her nine siblings: Mary Ellen Gillman, John Gillman, Rose Hughes, Sr. Therese Gillman, George Gillman, Charlie Gillman, Steve Gillman, Annette Gillman, and Carl Gillman.

Carol lived life to its fullest and poured all of her love and energy into her family. She was a loving wife and enjoyed her many vacations to the Caribbean with her husband Ray. She loved slowing down together to take a walk on the beach or to sit and watch a sunset. Her outlook on life was unmatched and she found the positive in any situation. No matter the circumstance, she would often inform her family that “it’s all good” and reminded everyone to enjoy each day they are given, constantly inspiring those around her. She referred to her family as her “pride and joy” and her favorite moments were when all of her family members would gather together for any occasion.

Carol was a wonderful mother to her children, never stopping to impart all of life’s little lessons to them. She cherished time with her grandchildren, enjoyed watching them grow, listening to their stories, and taking every opportunity to spoil each of them.

Carol’s wishes were to be cremated with a service attended by her closest family members gathering at the paradise location she loved the most. Memorials can be made out to the American Cancer Society. Weigel Funeral Home, Batesville, is in charge of arrangements.

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