Dr. Frank Alan Utes, 69, of Winamac

Our beloved Dr. Frank Alan Utes, aged 69, passed away peacefully on Thursday, March 25, 2021, at his home in Winamac.  He was born on April 20, 1951 in Chicago, IL to Frank E. and Esther [Rowoldt] Utes.  Alan graduated from Maine West High School in Des Plaines, IL in 1969 and University of Illinois in 1973.  He earned his doctorate at Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1978.  On June 23, 1973, Alan married Karen M. Younker in Rochester, IL.  In 1979, they moved to Winamac where they raised their three daughters, Christy, Julie, and Laurie.


Alan was a board certified family practice physician for 46 years, retiring from the Pulaski Memorial Hospital Clinic in December 2019.  He served most his medical career alongside his faithful staff at Utes Family Practice.  He also served on the medical staff of Pulaski Memorial Hospital since 1979 and on the PMH Board of Trustees for several years.


Alan was a dedicated member of First Christian Church in Winamac, where he served many roles including elder, trustee, and deacon as well as a longtime board member and former chairman of Guidance Nursery School.  Throughout the years, he enjoyed being a part of the church choir, musical productions, and bell choir.  He was a talented Sunday school, VBS, and Junior Church teacher.  Alan will always be remembered for his lively children’s sermons and entertaining stints as worship leader. 


Throughout his life in Winamac, Alan was involved in numerous community activities, which usually started with his loving support of his daughters.  For many years, Alan coached softball and baseball.  He spent many summer nights in the town park as the commissioner of the summer softball league as well as many Friday nights in the fall on the sidelines serving as team doctor for the Winamac Warrior football team.   Alan was a former member of the Winamac Kiwanis Club and recently became a board member of the Pulaski Animal Center. 


Alan had various hobbies and interests, including gardening, fishing, horsemanship, tennis, swimming, and cross country skiing.  Many did not know that he was a talented artist and that his oil paintings rivaled those of Bob Ross.  He also dabbled in gem cutting and stained glass creations. 


More than anything else, Alan loved his family very much, especially his grandchildren.  He will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him.


He is survived by:

Karen M. [Younker] Utes, Winamac, IN Wife

Christy (Jason) Hague, Winamac, IN Daughter

Julie (Mike) Warner, Anderson, IN Daughter

Laurie Utes, Greenville, SC Daughter

Ella Hague, Winamac, IN Granddaughter

Alex Hague, Winamac, IN Grandson

Blake Warner, Anderson, IN Grandson

Emily Warner, Anderson, IN Granddaughter

Frank E. Utes, Des Plaines, IL Father

Gary (Marci) Utes, Brother

Glen Utes, Brother

Karen (Jim) Chelsvig, Sister 

Several nieces and nephews


He is preceded in death by:

Esther [Rowoldt] Utes, Mother


Visitation will be from 2-8 PM EDT Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at Frain Mortuary in Winamac, IN.


Funeral Services will be held at 11 AM EDT Thursday, April 1, 2021 at First Christian Church in Winamac, IN with Pastor Jeff Seger officiating.


Memorial Contributions may be made to First Christian Church, Guidance Nursery School, or Pulaski Animal Center.


Online Tributes may be offered at


Cremation Arrangements have been entrusted to Frain Mortuary in Winamac, IN. 

Chloeann (Chloe Ann) Choate, 65, of Rochester

Chloeann (Chloe Ann) Choate, 65, of Rochester, passed away on March 24, 2021 at her cherished home at Sandhill Church. She was surrounded by Frank, her husband, Jace, her son and Kara, her stepdaughter.


Chloeann was born on February 20, 1956 in Rochester, Indiana, the daughter of Calvin R. and Frances Elizabeth (Wood) Mummert.


She married Tim Hoppes on June 28, 1974. Their son, Jace Q. Hoppes, was born on December 2, 1979. They later divorced but remained friends. She married John Jones on August 28, 1983, and they divorced. In January of 2001, she met the love of her life, Frank Choate. They remained together until the time of her death and had been married since August 7th, 2010.


Chloeann highly valued education. She graduated from Indiana University, South Bend with a Masters of Public Administration. She was a lifelong and voracious reader and was a professional writer for the South Bend Tribune.


Chloeann had a passion for work and did so for as long as possible. She worked for the Center for Mental Health and was manager of the Supported Employment Department at Four County Counseling. She worked for many years at the Fulton County Library as a Reference Librarian. She and her husband owned and operated Decisions Psychological Services since 2006. She worked for the practice until her passing. She was a charter member of Fulton County Crime Stoppers. She actively served as an Elder at First Christian Church, Rochester.


Chloeann had a love for animals her entire life. She especially loved flamingos. She had many furry kids, which are typically referred to as cats. Merlin, Artie, Buddy and Tuxedo currently survive.


She is survived by her husband, Dr. Frank Choate and they enjoyed traveling. They visited Denver, Boston, San Francisco, New Orleans, Hawaii and most recently China. Chloeann also took several Road Scholar trips with friends.


She is also survived by her son, Jace Hoppes, Minneapolis, Minnesota and step- daughter, Kara (Kenny) Dowell, Fowler, Indiana. She was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Prudence Hott.


Her wish was to be cremated. A celebration of life will be held at a future date at First Christian Church, Rochester. In lieu of flowers the family asks you make a donation to your local library or animal shelter in her memory. Arrangements by Zimmerman Bros. Funeral Home, Rochester, Indiana. Online condolences may be expressed at

John Thomas "J.T." Reffitt, 79, Peru

John Thomas “J.T.” Reffitt, 79, Peru, Indiana, passed away on Tuesday, March 16, 2021.

Born May 23, 1941, is Risner, Kentucky, he was the son of Clyde and Dorothy Stephens Reffitt. He was married to Karen S. Bowman, and she preceded him in death on Jan. 28, 2013.
He was retired from Dyer Construction, where he worked as a heavy equipment operator. He served in the United States Army, serving in Vietnam. He loved to hunt, fish, watch westerns, collect coins, and in his younger years, riding motorcycles. He was a hard worker who enjoyed life and kept on working even when his health tried to restrict him.

Survivors include four children, Billy Joe (Donna) Reffitt, Columbia City; Jaclyn (Jeff) Nelson, Macy; Clayton (Marrianne) Reffitt, Rochester; and Brandon Reffitt, Peru; eleven grandchildren; one sister, Mary Lou (Lee) Bradley, Denver; one brother, Clifford (Candy) Reffitt, Rochester; and many great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, three siblings; Clyde Hershel Reffitt, Larry Dean Reffitt, and Harold Reffitt; daughter, Jami Reffitt; and one grandson, Nicholas Reffitt.

A time of visitation will be from 3 - 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23, 2021, at McClain Funeral Home, Denver, Indiana. Military Rites will be presented at the funeral home at 6 p.m.
McClain Funeral Home, Denver, Indiana, has been entrusted with arrangements. Condolences may be sent online at

Former Rochester resident, Richard "Dick" Alber, 89

Former Rochester resident, Mr. Richard "Dick" Alber, 89,  was surrounded by his loving family when he passed away on March 20, 2021 at 6:10 PM in his Winamac home.


On February 25, 1932, Richard Lee Alber was born in Rochester.  He was a treasured son of  Norvannah and Lillian Marie Barnhart Alber.  Growing up as the sixth of the Alber kids Dick shared his childhood with a sister Margie and five brothers Wayne, Larry, Phillip, Raymond and Addison.  As a Richland Center High School Wildcat, his basketball team was led by legendary Coach Paul “Rocky” Rockwell. The team ascended to the Semi-State during Dick's senior season in 1950.  He played at the forward and guard positions while getting out of his farm chores he said, was the best. Dick graduated as a proud member of the top ten scholars of his class. A stellar baseball player, after high school, Dick was invited to try out for Chicago Cubs baseball team.


Dick worked  at the Kingsbury Ordnance Plant for a few months, then when patriotism beckoned; he answered the call by joining the United States Navy.  He served as a radio man aboard the USS Juneau CLAA-19 also known as the "Galloping Ghost.".  It was the second largest warship sailing at that time. During the Korean War he was stationed in Korea on board USS Juneau and completed his tour of duty on Bermuda Island.  He was honorably discharged returning home to Rochester in 1955.


In Richland Center, Dick and Shirley Ann Clay were married on September 9, 1951.    Sadly, she passed away on November 22, 1974.  On January 17, 1976, Dick and Helen “ Jeanie” Fagan were married. They have shared over 45 years of life’s adventures.


With a strong work ethic, Dick began his career at Studebaker in South Bend. An opportunity to join the Dean’s Milk Company arose. He worked with great dedication for 40 years,  28 years he served as the plant manager. Dick was a hard worker,  great boss and was known for his cussing “Lesson” to each plant employee during the  “evaluation meeting.”  The office girls learned to leave the office and go outside until he taught them the correct way to do their job. But at the end of the day, you could count on finding him and that employee at the bar drinking a beer.  Dick retired in 1996.


Dick was known by many names to his inner most circle. "Babe," to his beloved wife Jeanie, Dad and Grandpa to his family.  He also answered to Capt. Dick, Leatherhead, Dickie Bird and a few other choice names by other friends. 


A gifted wood craftsman, Dick could be found in his woodshop working on projects and creating custom gifts.  He made lanterns, various trucks, cabinets, carving out pocket knives for friends and family. If the kids had a request, he would make it. One Christmas he made boxes for the grandkids with their names on each box. By the end of the day, they all fell apart, we never let him forget that.  Annually Dick planted two truck patch gardens.  With a green thumb he yielded a bountiful harvest that was shared with family, friends and usually enough to feed a small village. His produce was in demand and Dick delivered.  


Paramount in Grandpa Dick's life was his family.  As the patriarch he was proud to oversee four generations. His family loved him immensely. Grandpa was an amazing role model, teaching us to celebrate life and to love. His influence and memories will be carried on by all of us. He looked forward to our holidays and special celebrations with family and friends. We looked forward to his authentic, acclaimed, forever turkey call! Shared with family and friends, he never denied his followers and obliged when anyone asked. He loved a good party!  We will miss you Babe, Dad and Grandpa, you will continue to live within all of us: in our hearts and through the memories we made!


Left to cherish Dick's memory are his wife, Jeanie, children, Pam Locke of Winamac, Rick J. Alber and wife Karna of Rochester, Debbie Girton of Winamac, John Ingram and wife Carrie of Winamac,  Denise Hiatt and husband Troy of Kewanna, Mike Ingram and wife Holly of South Bend; 15 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren; three brothers, Wayne Alber and wife Mary of Plymouth, Larry Alber and wife Sharon of Brookfield, Ohio, Phillip Alber and wife Dian of Fort Wayne.

Preceding Dick in death are his parents, first wife, Shirley, a grandson, Jeremy Locke, a great grandson, Tyler Thomas, son-in-law Tim Girton; sister Margie Minark, three Alber brothers,  infant Norvannah, Raymond and Addison.


A celebration of the life of Richard “Dick” Alber will be at 11:00 AM on Thursday,  March 25, 2021 in the Good Family Funeral Home, 1200 West 18th St., Rochester. Chaplain Jason See will officiate. Friends may visit with the family from 4-7 PM on Wednesday, March24, 2021. Interment will be in the Rochester IOOF Cemetery.  Military honors will be conducted by the Fulton County Veterans Honor Guard and the US Navy Honor's Team.  Memorials may be made to the Fulton County DAV Van Fund, 815 Main Street, Rochester, IN  46975.  Online expressions of sympathy may be made to his family at .

Paul Dean Reed, age 67, rural Akron

Paul Dean Reed, age 67, rural Akron, died unexpectantly at his home on Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 1:31 pm.


He was born on April 24, 1953 in Rochester, Indiana to Lloyd F. and Francis “Grethel” (Hutchison) Reed. 


Dean had lived all of his life in the Akron area.  He retired on July of2014 from DePuy(Synthes) Orthopaedics, later Johnson & Johnson in Warsaw, Indiana where he worked as a polisher.  He was married to Velvet Mannies and later divorced.  Together, they had four children.  He was a former member of the Akron Masonic Lodge.


Surviving Dean are (2) sons: John Dean Reed of Akron; Joseph Aland (spouse Kayla) Reed of Columbus, (2) daughters: EmileaArine (Reed) (spouse Ron)Kenworthyof Poneto; Ashlynn Nicole Reed of Fort Wayne, (7) grandchildren: John Wyatt, Cody Dean, Emma Elise, Kora Jo, Cleyton Lane, Connor Aland, Faith Brooklyn,

(2) brothers: Michael (spouse Mary Lou) Reed of Akron; David Reed of Austel, Georgia, (3) sisters: Marcille Needham of Wabash; Joyce Greer of Peru; Wanda Wildermuth of Rochester, and numerous nieces and nephews.


Preceding Dean in death are his parents, (1) brother, James “Jim” Reed; (2) sisters:Marilyn Maynard and Carol Leedy; (1) granddaughter: Kali Marie Reed


A public visitation with the family will be on Saturday, March 27, 2021 at the Silver Creek Church of God, 6504 W. 1300 S., Silver Lake, Indiana from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  The memorial service will begin at 1:00 p.m. officiated by Pastor Dave Philips with burial and committal service at the Silver Creek Cemetery.


Online condolences may be sent to


The staff of Earl-Love Funeral Home considers it a privilege and an honor to care for the family and friends of Paul Dean Reed.

Kendra L. Fuentes, 51, Rochester

Kendra L. Fuentes 51, Rochester, Indiana, passed away at 12:50 A.M. Saturday, March 13, 2021, at Visiting Nurse and Hospice Home, Fort Wayne, Indiana.


She was born on April 5, 1969 in Rochester, Indiana, the daughter of Darrell and Kay (Newman) Creviston (Jeff Brubaker). On February 3, 2007, in Rochester, Indiana, she married Reinaldo O. Fuentes and he survives.


Kendra had been a homemaker and previously worked at Wendy’s and the Dam Landing. In her free time, she enjoyed camping and spending time with her family and friends.


Survivors include her husband, Reinaldo Fuentes, Rochester, Indiana, children, Skyler Creviston and fiance’ Robert Hardesty, Rochester, Indiana, Ember (Jacob Williams) Lambert, Miami, Indiana, Ebony Lambert, South Bend, Indiana, Raven (Miguel Gomez) Lambert, Silver Lake, Indiana, Quincy Lambert, Rochester, Indiana, bonus children, Cortnie Tuttle, Delong, Indiana, Ayriel Eytcheson, Montgomery, Texas, grandchildren, Emery Lambert, Jayce Williams and Sawyer Williams, Tileasha, D.J., Ciarra , and Noah, sisters, Julie (Shanan) Shafer, Rochester, Indiana, Michelle (Paul) Shanklin, Rochester, Indiana, brother, Donald (Crystal) Creviston, Rochester, Indiana, several nieces and nephews.


Friends may visit with the family from 4:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. Thursday, March 18, 2021 at Zimmerman Bros. Funeral Home, Rochester, Indiana.


Online condolences may be expressed at

Margaret Clay Burkett, 94, of Rochester

Margaret Clay Burkett, 94, of Rochester was surrounded by her loving family when she passed away at her home on March 13, 2021.


In Fulton County, Margaret Clay was born on October 5, 1926.  She was the treasured daughter of Roscoe and Mildred Hearn Clay. Margaret was the oldest of the three Clay children.  She shared her childhood with a brother Max and sister Shirley.   Most of her childhood was spent near Talma.  She attended Talma High School for two years then moved with her family to Richland Township.  A young spirited woman with great enthusiasm, Margaret was a cheerleader during all of her high school years at both Talma and Richland Center. She graduated in 1944, as a Richland Center Wildcat.


On September 22, 1944,  Margaret Clay married the love of her life and best friend,  Mr. Richard "Dick" Haggerty Burkett in Marshall County. Their union spanned 67 years and produced 2 handsome sons, David and Randy. The family tree continued to grew over the years with the added blessings of two more generations.


In the early years Dick and Margaret began raising baby chicks who later produced eggs.  Their start in poultry came from Uncle Bert Leedy.  Enjoying life in Richland Township they proudly oversaw a fine herd of 50 crossbred beef cows, sheep and a few Holsteins.  They also looked forward to spring when they tapped for maple syrup.  Passionate environmentalists, Dick and Margaret planted over 34,000 trees during their lifetime.


A vibrant leader of the Fulton County Republicans, Margaret served as vice-chairman with chairman Jim Heyde during the years of President Ronald Reagan.  She was also elected as county treasurer.  Margaret owned the License Branch for 4 years and later was appointed as supervisor.


A great memory was in the early years when Margaret raced horses with her brother Max at the Rochester Racetrack (City Park). Aboard her horse Dan, Margaret consistently beat Max and others who challenged her.  She had a love and appreciation for antiques. Paramount in Grandma Margaret's life was her family.  There was nothing better than gathering for the holidays and special family celebrations, making memories.


Left to cherish Margaret's memory are 2 sons:  David Burkett, Randy Burkett and wife Beth all of Rochester;  2 grandchildren: Dustin Burkett and wife Jennifer, and Jessie Burkett;  3 step-grandchildren: Terry, Andrea, & Debra; 4 great-grandchildren:  Alexa, Kamrynn, Avery and Lola; 7 step great-grandchildren:  Adrian, Breanne, Ayden, Haylin, Cole, Abby, and Delany; a brother, Max Clay of Florida; a sister-in-law, Jackie Burkett of Rochester; 2 nieces and 4 nephews: Pam Alber Locke, Jeralyn Burkett Hines, Rick Alber, Jay L. Burkett,  Bill Burkett, and Pat Burkett.                                                       

Margaret was preceded in death by her parents. Roscoe and Mildred Clay,  beloved husband Dick, sister Shirley Alber, and daughter-in-law Linda Burkett.


A graveside celebration of life for Margaret Clay Burkett will be held in the Richland Center IOOF Cemetery at 3:00 PM, Wednesday, March 17, 2021. 


Rev.  Steve Hartman will officiate.  

Carol Ann Grandstaff, 75, of Winamac

Carol Ann Grandstaff, 75, of Winamac, passed away on Friday, March 12, 2021 at her home in Winamac. 


She was born on August 24, 1945 in Winamac to the late Lewis and Viola [Hettinger] Grant, Sr.  Carol was a graduate of Star City High School.   She worked many years as a cook at the Pulaski County Justice Center and most recently, she worked at Casey’s in Winamac. 


Carol was a member of Fellowship Baptist Church.  She loved spending time with her family and will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved her.


She is survived by:

Paul (Shannin) Grandstaff, Winamac, IN Son

Melissa Hurlburt, Winamac, IN Daughter

Donnetta (Keith) Ernest, Winamac, IN Daughter

Kyle (Shannon) Grandstaff, Grandson

Sean Grandstaff, Grandson

Dakota Heims, Granddaughter

Julie Heims, Granddaughter

Cassie (Kevin Bowman) Hurlburt, Granddaughter

Cheyenne Hurlburt, Granddaughter

Savannah Hurlburt, Granddaughter

Madilynn Conley, Granddaughter

Hunter Conley, Grandson

7 Great Grandchildren

Wanda Wagner, Winamac, IN Sister

Many Nieces and Nephews


Preceded in death by:

Lewis and Viola [Hettinger] Grant, Sr., Parents

Lester Hurlburt, Jr., Son-in-law

Ryan Grandstaff, Grandson

Faye Handy, Sister

Lewis Grant, Jr., Brother

Donna Robinson, Sister

Norma Jean Grant, Sister

Julia May Grant, Infant Sister


Visitation will be from 4-7 PM EDT Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at Frain Mortuary in Winamac, IN.


Funeral Services will be held at 11 AM EDT Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at Frain Mortuary in Winamac, IN with Pastor Ryan Eaton officiating. 


Burial will take place at Star City West Cemetery in Star City, IN. 


Memorial Contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society or American Diabetes Association.


Online Tributes may be offered at


Arrangements have been entrusted to Frain Mortuary in Winamac, IN.