Obituaries for 2/17/05


Helen M. Cochrane

Helen M. (Mathews) Cochrane, 85, of Vevay, formerly of Madison, passed away Wednesday, February 9th, at Swiss Villa Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Vevay.
She was born July 10th, 1919, in Switzerland County. She was raised in Switzerland and graduated from Vevay High School in 1938. She moved to Madison and began employment with the Madison State Hospital on August 23rd, 1943. This was a job that became her life’s work. She began working in clerical, accounting and fiscal management. She would hold one of the longest tenures in the hospital’s history upon her retirement December 30th, 1987, enjoying 44 years of service with the hospital as fiscal officer. In 1983, she was honored by Governor Robert D. Orr for her 40 years of service to the State of Indiana. She was awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash by Governor Evan Bayh on May 13th, 1993.
She was a life member of the Madison Tri Kappa, life member of Phi Beta Psi Sorority Theta Mu Chapter, was a faithful member of Trinity United Methodist Church until her health did not permit her to attend. She was awarded a certificate of appreciation for her 2000 hours of service to the Madison State Hospital after her retirement. She was dedicated to her life’s work and enjoyed walking. She had suffered with Alzheimer’s disease the past seven and one half years.
On May 11th, 1963, she married James F. “Mose” Cochrane, who died December 8th, 1989.
Survivors include her brother, James Cecil “Petie” Mathews of Vevay; her nieces and nephews who cared for her: Bonnie Detraz and husband Edsel, Phyllis Christman and husband Ronald of Bennington, Sharon Johnson and husband Dave of Madison, Kathy Scott an d husband Grady of Taccoa, Georgia, Linda Ricketts and husband Larry of Edinburgh, JoAnn Hartzell and Patsy Jane Hartzell, both of Michigan, Nelson Mathews and wife Betty of Vevay, Raymond “Bimbo” Mathews and wife Bonnie of Moorefield, Mickey Mathews of Vevay, Jim Mathews of Vevay, Charles Evan and William Hartzell of Michigan; several nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, cousins and other relatives.
She was also preceded in death by her father, Otis Mathews; her mother, Minnie Brindley Mathews Rayl; her stepfather, Jeff Rayl; and her sister-in-law, Louise Mathews on November 12th, 2001.
Funeral services were conducted Saturday, February 12th, by Reverend Nancy Harmon Chizmar at Haskell and Morrison Funeral Home in Vevay. Burial was in Springdale Cemetery in Madison. Memorial contributions may be made to the Jennings County Hospice or Alzheimer’s Research. Online condolences may be sent to the family via the funeral home’s website guest book at

Erma Turner

Erma Madelynn (Deegins) Gant Turner, 90, of Markland Pike, near Vevay, passed away Saturday, February 12th, at King’s Daughters’ Hospital in Madison.
She was born July 10th, 1914, in Degnan, Oklahoma, the daughter of James Madison and Maxie (Lovejoi) Deegins. She was a 1931 graduate of Taylor High School in North Bend, Ohio, and a 1959 graduate of Tomilson Career Institute, receiving her licensed practical nursing degree.
She was united in marriage on December 15th, 1938, to Adolph H. “Pinky” Gant in Covington, Kentucky. Unto this union two daughters arrived to bless their home. They shared 38 years of marriage together until his death on June 14th, 1974. She was later united in marriage to Ephriam Louis Turner on August 8th, 1975, in St. Petersburg, Florida. They shared 26 years of marriage together until his death on August 14th, 2001.
She resided in St. Petersburg for nearly 50 years. She worked early in life in the television and radio show business and starred in several shows and productions in the 1930’s and 1940’s. She owned and operated Dolph’s Delicatessen in St. Petersburg for many years. She later worked as an insurance agent in St. Petersburg.
She was an accomplished yodeler, winning the 1946 U.S. National Yodeling Championship and holding that award for four years. After receiving her degree in nursing she worked as a charge nurse and operation room nurse in New Orleans and Cincinnati for many years, until she retired in her 70’s. She resided back in Switzerland County since 1985. She was a faithful member of Markland Baptist Church. She was a noted artist and enjoyed oil painting. She was an accomplished organist, loved gardening and was an accomplished marksman.
Survivors include her daughters, Patricia D. Miller of Vevay and Phyllis JoJuana “Jo” Kolbiaz of St. Petersburg; her grandchildren, Kristine Parker, Kary Kolbiaz, Mike Martin, William Carr and Frank Miller; 13 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; her niece, whom she was close to, Annette Powell; her dearest friends, Mary Harmeling of Cincinnati and Wilma turner of Vevay; and other relatives.
She was also preceded in death by her parents; her great-grandson, Ausburn Gibson, Jr., on February 14th, 2005; her sisters, Merle Taylor on July 24th, 1982 and Frances Graham on November 28th, 1991; and her brother, Henry Lee Deegins on June 10th, 1929.
Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, February 19th, by Pastor C. Martin Justice at Haskell and Morrison Funeral Home in Vevay. Burial will be in Vevay Cemetery. Friends may call from 5-8 p.m. Friday, February 18th, at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Gideons International Memorial Bible Plan. Online condolences may be sent to the family via the funeral home’s website guest book at

James Britton, Jr.

James Hubert Britton, Jr., 88, of Lawrenceburg, passed away Saturday, February 12th, at Dearborn County Hospital in Lawrenceburg.
He was born Thursday, February 8th, 1917, in Dearborn County, the son of the late James Britton and the late Bertha Calvert Britton. He was a professional magician, 32nd Degree Mason and Shriner. He worked as a grocery store owner and operator for Britton’s Grocery.
Survivors include his wife, Roberta Britton; his sons, John Britton of New York City, New York, and Bob Britton of Greendale, formerly of Vevay; his daughters, Jeanne LeClerc of Lawrenceburg and Jackie Bagwell of Augusta, Georgia; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by Jean Louise McCullough Britton.
Funeral services were conducted Wednesday, February 16th, by Mark Tanner and Kevin Milburn at Fitch-Denney Funeral Home, Inc., in Lawrenceburg. Interment was in Greendale Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Dearborn County Historical Society or Greendale Rescue Unit.

B.J. Gibson, Jr.

Ausburn William Ben “B.J.” Gibson, Jr., 21, of Moores Hill, formerly of Switzerland County, passed away Monday, February 14th, at University of Cincinnati Hospital in Cincinnati.
He was born October 3rd, 1983, in Madison, the son of Ausburn William Ben and Donna Sue (Romans) Miller Gibson, Sr. He was raised in Switzerland and Ohio counties. He attended South Dearborn High School in Aurora. He was employed at Specialty Adhesive Film Company in Aurora for the past six months as a machine operator. He was formerly employed with his father at K & K Mini Mart in Lawrenceburg for several years. He resided in Moores Hill the past eight years. In his spare time he enjoyed video games, racing, working on his car and playing with his daughter.
He was united in marriage to Margie Michelle Zervos on November 16th, 2001, in Versailles. Unto this union one daughter arrived to bless their home.
Survivors include his wife, Michelle Zervos Gibson of Moores Hill; his daughter, Haily Calista Rose Gibson at home; his mother and stepfather, Donna Romans Miller and Frank Miller of Milton, Kentucky; his father and stepmother, Billy and Patricia Gibson of Milan; his sisters, Lena Gibson of Lamb, Jennifer Gibson of Milan, and Kristie Gibson of Milton; his grandparents, Helen M. Gibson of Florence and Wilma and Harold Romans of Brooksburg; his step-grandmother, Patricia D. Miller of Vevay; his step-grandfather, Frank Miller, Sr., of Shelbyville, Kentucky; his step-grandparents, Dallas and Lorena Gibbs of Aurora; his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Margie and Jim Zervos of Moores Hill; his brother-in-law, Jimmy Zervos of Lamb; many aunts, uncles, cousins and other relatives.
He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Herschel “Bob” Gibson on April 5th, 1998; his great-grandparents, Howard Romans and Cathryn Monroe; his step-great-grandmother, Erma Gant turner on February 12th, 2005; his uncle, Jerry Glen Gibson; his cousin, Robert Hayes “Bobby” Gibson, Jr., on August 30th, 2003.
Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Friday, February 18th, by Brother Doug Norman at Haskell and Morrison Funeral Home in Vevay. Burial will be in Vevay Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home from 5-8 p.m. today (Thursday). Memorial contributions may be made to the family. Online condolences may be sent to the family via the funeral home’s website guest book at

Helen L. Harms

Helen L. Harms, 68, of Virginia, passed away Sunday, February 13th, at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth, surrounded by all of her children.
She was born July 10th, 1936, in Rochester, Minnesota, the daughter of Matthew and Barbara (Winkles) Fritsch. She graduated from Lourdes High School and in June of 1955, married Ralph Harms at St. Francis Church in Rochester. She worked for St. Louis County for almost 30 years. She was a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Virginia. Over the years, she taught CCD, was a Girl and Boy Scout leader and sold Avon.
She loved reading, cooking, fishing, music, and board games. She enjoyed watching football and was a die-hard Vikings fan. She had an extremely beautiful garden, to which she dedicated many hours. She also liked to play cards and poker and watch humming birds and people. She always enjoyed attending Polka Masses. But most of all, her special love was being with her family and grandchildren.
She is survived by her children, Barbara (Steven) Klang of Baker, Montana, Steven (Denise) Harms of Colden, New York, Daniel (Kristi) Harms of Madison, formerly of Vevay, and Lora Wyrick of Gilbert, and Timothy (Kris) Harms of Cloquet; her grandchildren, Heidi, Heather, Matthew and Michael Klang, Hope (Shane) Headlee, Sarah Harms, Zach and Cody Harms, Josh, Jacob, Jeremy and Johannah Wyrick, and Jessica and Nickolas Harms; her great-grandchildren, Tyler Harms and Trestyn Headlee; her sister, Darlene (George) Holmes; her brother, Dave (Mavis) Fritsch and Mark Fritsch; her special friend, Richard Erickson; and a host of friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her special friend, Lennie Scudder; and her former husband, Ralph Harms.
Mass of Christian Burial was held at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Virginia Wednesday, February 16th. Reverend Father John Doyle celebrated the Mass. A spring inurnment will take place in Calvary Cemetery in Rochester, Minnesota. Memorials are preferred. Bauman-Cron, A Bauman Family Funeral Home in Virginia, was in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family at

Richard Meyers

Richard “RC” Meyers, 54, of Cincinnati, passed away Thursday, February 10th.
Survivors include his children, Nick, a 2003 graduate of Switzerland County High School, Mitch, a senior at SCHS, and Carol, a junior at SCHS; his stepchildren, Aaron, Eric and Carie; and his mother, Mary Meyers Widdis.
Funeral services were held Monday, February 14th, at Meyer and Geiser Funeral Home in Cincinnati. Memorial contributions may be made to the Richard Meyers Children’s Fund, c/o Delhi Provident Bank, Attention: Donna, 5203 Delhi Road, Cincinnati, OH 45238.