Obituaries 3-17-16


Hazel Knaus

Hazel (Keith) Knaus, age 88, of Vevay, passed away at 11:56 p.m. on Saturday, March 5th, at the residence of her son in Vevay.

Hazel entered this life on March 3rd, 1928, on a farm on Shiloh Road in Allensville, the daughter of the late, James Wilford and Avis O. (Chase) Keith. She was raised in Switzerland County, where she attended high school.

Hazel was united in marriage on December 24th, 1946, in Vevay, to Norman Dick Knaus, and to this union arrived a daughter, Lisa; and three sons: Paul, Barry and Dennis to bless their home. Hazel and Norman shared nearly 61 years of marriage together until Norman passed away on June 3rd, 2007.

Hazel was employed as a Fancy Stitcher for US Shoe Factory in Vevay or five years. She was employed as a Plastic Molder for the Plastic Molding Factory from September 1975 to 1989. Hazel was also employed for Belterra Casino and Resort as a Housekeeper for two years.

Hazel resided on Popcorn Ridge for the past 57 years. Hazel enjoyed her monthly visits to Columbus, Indiana to visit with her lifelong and dear friend, Flossie Lock. Hazel also enjoyed working crossword puzzles and word finds, cooking, watching game shows, IU Basketball, Cincinnati Reds and spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Hazel will be missed by her daughter: Lisa Knaus and her companion: Jimmy Jackson of Hanover, Indiana; her sons: Paul Knaus of Center Square; Barry Knaus and his companion: Donna Graham of Vevay; and Dennis Knaus and his wife: Lorie of Vevay; by her grandchildren: Nicholas Knaus and his wife: Kasia of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida; Jordan Knaus and his companion: Ashley of Manchester, Indiana; Brandon Knaus of East Enterprise; Zachary Knaus and his wife: Brittany of Battle Creek, Michigan; B.J. Miller of Vevay; Josh Wentworth and his companion: Richelle of Kalamazoo, Michigan; and Zachary Wentworth of White Pigeon, Michigan.

She will also be missed by her great-grandchildren: Ava, Easton, Jayden, Jake, Broox, Daniel, Cole and Olivia; her sisters: Juanita Koons of Palmyra, Indiana and Sarah McCreary of Allensville; her brothers: Jonas Keith of Florence and Roy “Red” Keith and his wife: Barbara of Vevay; her sisters-in-law: Martha Keith of Center Square and Ruth Ann Keith of Dillsboro; and her several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents: James Wilford and Avis O. (Chase) Keith; her husband of nearly 61 years: Norman Dick Knaus, who died on June 3rd, 2007; her brothers: Denver, Albert Wayne, Hubert Wesley, Kirby, Paul Dean, Clifford, Leon, Wilford “Junior” and Larry Keith; one infant brother and one infant sister.

Funeral services will be conducted Saturday, March 19th, 2016, at 11 a.m., by Reverend Wayne Daugherty, at the Haskell and Morrison Funeral Home, 208 Ferry Street Vevay, Indiana, 47043. Interment will follow in the Vevay Cemetery.

Friends may call from 5-8:00 p.m. on Friday, March 18th, at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions may be made to Loni Amber Lynn Turner Memorial Fund; or to the Alzheimer’s Association. Cards are available at the funeral home.

Theo Ralston

Theo Pearl (Bakes) Ralston, age 103, of Ryker’s Ridge in Madison, Indiana, formerly of Scott’s Ridge in Jefferson County, Indiana, passed away with her loving family by her side at 3:15 p.m. on Sunday, March 13th, 2016, at her residence.

Theo entered this life on April 1st, 1912, at the Bakes residence in Jacksonville, Indiana, the loving daughter of the late Charles A. and Mable Vivian (Hall) Bakes. She was raised in Jacksonville and was a 1929 graduate of Vevay High School. At the young age of 19, Theo started teaching after two years at Ball State. In 1932, Theo taught her first two years in the same school where she attended her first two years, a one-room school house in Center Square in Switzerland County.

Theo was united in marriage on June 24th, 1933, in Jacksonville, Indiana to the late David Thomas “Tommy” Ralston. They lived most of their married life on their farm on Scott’s Ridge in Jefferson County near Pleasant. This happy union was blessed with three children: Peggy Ann, Nancy Lou and Charles Edward.

After Theo was married, she taught from 1935 to 1936 at Big Brushy Fork in Jefferson County. Theo taught at Canaan in 1937 to 1938 then began to raise her family and did not teach again until her son Ed was in the first grade 1950 to 1951. That year Theo taught 4th, 5th and 6th grades at Cross Plains. When Theo started teaching in 1951 at Canaan School, she was to be the geography teacher for grades 4-5-6-7-8. She also helped with reading and some spelling in grades 1 and 2.

After teaching her first two years she received a life license, but in order to keep teaching she took summer workshops at Butler University and extension classes at Madison and Versailles until she got required hours for what was called a equivalency of a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Theo retired in 1976, after 30 years of dedication in teaching. Two of those years in Switzerland County, one of them in Ripley County and 27 years in Jefferson County. The last 26 years of her educational career was spent at the Canaan School, just a few miles across the Switzerland County line in Jefferson County.

Theo and Tommy shared 52 loving years of marriage together until he passed away on May 2nd, 1985. After the passing of her husband, Theo moved to Ryker’s Ridge, where she had resided for the past 31 years. Theo was a member of the Hope Rebekah Lodge #851 in Bennington; Belles of Saint Mary’s Homemakers and the Centralion Homemakers Club and the Red Hat Society. She attended the Senior Citizen Center in Madison for many years. She was also a member of the Retired Teacher’s Association of both Switzerland and Jefferson Counties.

She was a former member of the Brushy Fork Baptist Church in Pleasant, Indiana where she taught Sunday School and was a member of the Ryker’s Ridge Baptist Church in Madison. Theo enjoyed singing in the choir at Brushy Fork Baptist Church and at Ryker’s Ridge Baptist Church. At family gatherings, Theo enjoyed getting everyone together and harmonizing and singing old hymns. On Saturday nights, Theo enjoyed playing Euchre with her friends and family. She and her partner, Jessie, were notorious for being the winners.

She loved writing poems for special occasions such as, birthdays, graduations, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. She also enjoyed making small quilted items for her friends and family. Theo enjoyed refinishing antique furniture, gardening, reading her Bible, word search puzzles, solitaire and ice cream.

For the 103 years Theo lived on this earth, she served her family lemon desserts from their birth. Her family will miss her alto at the next birthday party, but now she is singing with the Heavenly Choir. The cards will be shuffled, then passed ’round, the ultimate game of Euchre will have finally been found. Theo will be dearly missed by her loving family and friends.

Theo will be dearly missed by her children: Peggy Ann Hord and her husband: William of Madison; Nancy Lou Stephan and her husband: Monty of Madison; and Charles Edward “Ed” Ralston and his companion: Sharon of Sand Lakes, Michigan; by her grandchildren: Lynn (Hord) Todd and her husband: John of Madison; Nathalie Stephan of Madison; Luann (Hord) Nay of Madison; Lisa Stephan Halleen of Palatine, Illinois; Carol (Hord) Lee and her husband: Mark of Canaan, Indiana; Jeff Ralston of Holland, Michigan; and Jill (Ralston) Beekman and her husband: Mark of West Olive, Michigan.

She will also be missed by her great-grandchildren: Benjamin Lee and his wife: Margaret; Matthew Todd and his wife: Hannah; Samantha (Lee) Johnson and her husband: Brice; Joseph Todd and his wife: Laura; Jessica Lee and her fiancé: Mark Fleming; Kayla Nay; Laura Nay and her fiancé: Joshua Reagan; Ty Ralston; Jacob Halleen; Mitchell Beekman; and Andrew Beekman; and her great-great-grandchildren: Graeme Henry Lee and Harper Elizabeth Todd; and her several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents: Charles A. Bakes, who died on September 14th, 1977; and Mable Vivian (Hall) Bakes, who died on January 30th, 1966; her husband, David Thomas “Tommy” Ralston; her brother: Hal Hall Bakes, and one infant-brother; and her sisters: Martha Alice Hamilton Liggett, Charlene Baird and Patricia J. “Patty” Works.

Funeral services will be conducted Friday, March 18th, 2016, at 10 a.m., by Pastor Kevin Crouch, at the Ryker’s Ridge Baptist Church, 2601 North Ryker’s Ridge Road, Madison, Indiana, 47250. Interment will follow in the Caledonia Cemetery, near Moorefield.

Friends may call 4-8 p.m. on Thursday, March 17th, at the Morgan and Nay Funeral Centre 325 Demaree Drive Madison, Indiana; and from 9 a.m. until time of service at the Ryker’s Ridge Baptist Church.

Memorial contributions may be made to Ryker’s Ridge Baptist Church or to the Brushy Fork Baptist Church. Cards are available at the funeral home.

Mike Sparks

Michael Allen “Mike” Sparks of Vevay, passed from this life on March 13th, 2016.

Mike graduated from Waldron High School in 1971. He moved to Florida in 1974, where he worked as an electrician for many years with Farmland Industries and the Polk County School Board. Mike moved his family back to Indiana in 1994 where he established Sparks Electric.

Mike is survived by his wife: Donna K. Sparks; his daughter: Melissa A. (John) Boggs; his son: Bryan A. (Lori) Sparks; his father: Tom A. Sparks; and his mother-in-law: Faye Garcia.

He is also survived by four grandchildren; his sisters: Karen (Bill) Barker, Julie (Mark) Cunningham; numerous nieces, great-nieces and great-nephews.

Mike was preceded In death by his mother: Maryjean Sparks; and his father-in-law: Charles W. Kimbril.

There will be no services.

In lieu of flowers and memorial donations, the family requests for remembrances and stories to: P.O. Box 116, Homeland, Florida, 33847; or emailed to

Haskell and Morrison Funeral Home in Vevay is assisting the family.