Obituaries week of 11-11-10


Betty Banta

Betty Jo (Cope) Banta, 80, of Vevay, passed away at 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010, at King’s Daughters’ Hospital in Madison.

She was born December 18th, 1929, in Dayton, Ohio, the daughter of Louis and Ida (Kathery) Cope, who both preceded her in death. She was raised in Madison where she attended school and she had resided in Vevay since 1965.

She was united in marriage on March 21st, 1953, in Greensburg, to Warren R. Banta. Unto this union two sons and four daughters arrived to bless their home.

She was activities assistant at Swiss Villa Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Vevay, retiring in 2006 after 22 years of service. She was a member of the old Vevay Independent Baptist Church. She will be remembered for her love of gardening, camping and crossword puzzles, but most of all, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Survivors include her sons, Steven Banta and wife Susan of Cross Plains and Rob Banta of Patriot; her daughters, Sondra Hutchison and husband Larry of Crawfordsville, Indiana, Janet Scudder and husband Charles Peters of Madison and Elaine Jester and husband Rick of Vevay; her son-in-law, Ervin Wilson of Madison; her grandchildren, Stephanie, Steven, Samantha, Brian, Shannon, Dustin, Adam, Santana, Sarah, Andrew, Eric, Brandon, Shawn, Chad, Ryan, Nicholas, Kristin, Rachel, Jason, Susan, Barry and Erin; her great-grandchildren, Kayla, Dorothy, Dakota, Kassandra, Barrett, Dalton, Lyndon, Dylan, Charlie, Alex, Braxton, Chloe, Aubree, Aidan, Delainey, Leigha, Hayden, Janelle, Amber, Heather, Kyle, Titan, Rosie, Winter and Caiden; her brothers, Dale Cope and wife Loretta of Madison, David Cope and wife Jane of Uniontown, Ohio, and Mike Cope and wife Helen of Madison; and several nieces and nephews.

She was also preceded in death by her husband, Warren R. Banta on September 10th, 1980; her daughter, Lynn Wilson; and her grandsons, Charles and Tanner Banta.

Funeral services were conducted Friday, November 5th, by Reverend Scott Elston at Haskell & Morrison Funeral Home in Vevay. Burial was in Vevay Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Swiss Villa Nursing & Rehabilitation Center Activities Fund. Online condolences may be sent to the family via the funeral home’s website at

Mike Ferguson

James Michael “Mike” Ferguson, 64, of Hanover, passed away at 12:02 a.m. Thursday, November 4th, 2010, at Kindred Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky.

He was born May 18th, 1946, in Madison, the son of Louis Franklin and Edith (Covington) Ferguson, who both preceded him in death. He was raised in Madison where he attended school.

He was united in marriage on December 31st, 1987, in Madison, to Pamela Sue Harmon, who survives.

He was a truck driver most of his life and worked at Interstate Block in Madison before he became disabled. He will be remembered for his love of gardening and sitting out on the porch drinking his coffee. He also enjoyed listening to country music, and playing with his grandchildren and his dog.

Other survivors include his daughters, Cindy Perry and husband Barney of Florence, Tammy Gaylord and husband Charles of Hanover, Karissa Kietzman of Hanover, Misty Kietzman of Madison, Crystal Crawford of Port Royal, Kentucky, and Theresa Cox and husband John of Carrollton, Kentucky; his son, James Michael Ferguson, Jr., and wife Lisa of Madison; 13 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Gayle and Ruth Harmon of Florence; his brothers, Allan Ferguson of Brooksburg and Donald Ferguson of Madison; his sisters, Ann Rector of Deputy and Becky Buchanan of Ohio; several aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was also preceded in death by his brothers, Louis Ferguson, Jr., and William Ferguson; and his nephew, Justin William Claypoole.

Funeral services were conducted Monday, November 8th, by Reverend Ronald Sandidge at Haskell & Morrison Funeral Home in Vevay. Burial was in Vevay Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the family. Online condolences may be sent to the family via the funeral home’s website at

Hazel Elston

 Hazel Irene Valentine Elston, 88, of Shelby, North Carolina, formerly of Switzerland County, passed away, Wednesday, November 3rd, at Hospice of Wendover Heights in Cleveland County.

She was born February 4th, 1922, near Bennington, the Daughter of Joe and Laura Gardner Valentine. She attended the county schools, graduating very high in the class of 1940.

On April 5th, 1942, she united in marriage with Raymond Elston. Unto this union one son was born to bless the home.

Early in life she gave herself to God at the Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church at Bennington. Being a friendly person she made many friends at different places she lived along life’s way in Indiana, Florida, and North Carolina. In North Carolina they found Hoyle Memorial United Methodist Church six years ago, finding many more friends there and at the Senior Center in Shelby.

Survivors are her husband of 68 years, Raymond Elston; her son and daughter-in-law, Veryl and Donna Elston of Shelby; six grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren, nephews, nieces, cousins and a host of Friends.

A memorial service was held at Hoyle Memorial United Methodist Church. Memorial donations may be given to: Hospice  Cleveland County,  951 Wendover Heights Dr., Shelby, N.C. 28150 or Hoyle Memorial United Methodist Church, 1741 Fallston Rd., Shelby, N.C. 28150.

Cecil M. Burton Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the family. Guest Registry is available at

Martha Fox

Martha Fox, 89, of Lawrenceburg, died Thursday, November 4th, 2010.

She was born Monday, July 18th, 1921, in Whitesburg, Kentucky, the daughter of the late John and Mattie (Blair) Adams. She was a founding member of the Ludlow Hill Baptist Church and was a Sunday School teacher; loved to garden, Ladies Missionary Society; and loved to read.

She is survived by her children, Sandra (husband Ray) Hogan, Pamela (husband Bob) Koch, Sheila Fox, Lundy (wife Sharon) Fox, John (wife Pat) Fox, Mark (wife Bambi) Fox, Greg (wife Mary) Fox, Sam (wife Marilyn) Fox, Tamyra Fulton, and, David (wife Amy) Fox; 28 grandchildren; 14 great grandchildren; her brothers, Arnold Adams, and Jake Adams; and her sister, Mary Agner.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Raymond W. Fox; and grandchild, Corey Cupps.

Funeral services were held at Fitch-Denney Funeral Home, Monday, November 8th, with Pastor Murray Douglas and Pastor Greg Matthews officiating. Interment followed in the Greendale Cemetery. Contributions may be made to the Greendale Rescue or Ludlow Hill Baptist Church.

John Ruble, Sr.

John Robert “Bob” Ruble, Sr., 80, passed away on November 7th, 2010, at the St. Elizabeth Healthcare in Edgewood, Kentucky.

He was born on January 26th, 1930, in New Point, the son of Joseph Lee and Stella Edith (Blair) Ruble. He was a U.S. Navy veteran. He was a member of the New Point Christian Church, the Eagles, and the American Legion. He worked over 30 years for Union Furniture before retiring and then he worked for Walmart of Greensburg.

Survivors include his children, John Ruble, Jr. of Greensburg, Marilyn (Everett) Barber of Vevay, Brenda (Fran Jr.) Riehle of Versailles, Lon (Andrea) Ruble of Arizona, Bobbie (Jeff) Purvis of Bear Branch, Terri (Rocky) McGrath of Andersonville, and Robert Ruble of Greensburg; his sister, Nelrose Cook of New Point; his brother, Archie (Wanda) Ruble of New Point; 24 grandchildren; 38 great-grandchildren; and six great-great-grandchildren. 

He was preceded in death by his parents,; his brothers, Joseph, Calvin, James, and Jerry Ruble; his sister, Vivian Folson; and his grandson, Arthur (Flys) Ruble.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. on Thursday, November 11th, at Gilliland-Howe Funeral Home. Reverend Danny Wolford will be officiating. Burial will follow at the Rossburg Cemetery. Memorial contributions can be made to the New Point Christian Church.  Online condolences can be made to the family at

Helen M. Bennett

Helen M. Bennett, 87, of Patriot, passed away Tuesday, November 9th, 2010, at The Waters of Rising Sun.

Surviving is one son, Robert Scudder of Patriot.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, November 13th, at Markland Funeral Home in Rising Sun. Friends may call at the funeral home from 5-8 p.m. Friday, November 12th. A full obituary will be printed in next week’s edition of this newspaper.

Cleveland Walton

Cleveland A. Walton, 86, of Rising Sun, passed away at 11:20 p.m. Monday, November 8th, 2010, at Dearborn County Hospital in Lawrenceburg.

He was born in Ohio County, on January 13th, 1924, the son of the late Bertha (Reamer) and Robert Walton. He was a graduate of Patriot High School, Class of 1942. He served his country in the U.S. Marine Corps and was wounded during World War II.

On December 5th, 1944, in Ohio County, he married Betty L. (Brown) Walton and they spent nearly 66 wonderful years together.

He worked as an electrician at Indiana Michigan Power Plant in Lawrenceburg. He was a member of Aberdeen United Methodist Church and was also a lay speaker. He was a very active member of Rising Sun Lions Club and was a former Ohio County school board member.

Survivors are his wife, Betty; his daughter, Sharon Ballou (Bob) of Rising Sun; his son, Gary Walton of Walton, Kentucky; his granddaughter, Darla Newlander (Jeff) of Crystal Lake, Illinois; his great-granddaughter, Rhianna Newlander; his sister, Edith Koons of Rising Sun; his brothers, Ervin Walton (Dorothy) of Rising Sun and Everett Walton (Janet) of Rising Sun.

He was also preceded in death by his two infant sisters.

Funeral services will be conducted by Pastor Roger Parrott at Aberdeen United Methodist Church Friday, November 12th, at 11 a.m.. Friends may call from 5-8 p.m. today (Thursday, November 11th) at Markland Funeral Home in Rising Sun. Burial will be in Rising Sun New Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to Aberdeen United Methodist Church.

Eleanor Knigga

Eleanor L. Smith Knigga, 94, of Bear Branch, passed away at The Waters of Dillsboro Saturday, November 6th, 2010.

She was born December 9th, 1915, the daughter of Pryor and Margaret (Pavy) Smith.

She was united in marriage to Lester Knigga and they lived on a farm working together to make a living. She loved her family and their well being was always a concern for her. She faithfully cared for Lester as he battled cancer for several years until his death on July 30th, 1985.

When a young child her mother married Edgar Lewis and that connected her to his four sons and three daughters and they had a daughter so Eleanor had a large family. She was a member of St. Peter Lutheran Church in Bear Branch since 1947, and worked faithfully helping with many projects.

On January 1 6th, 2007, she suffered a stroke which took away her good health she had enjoyed for 90 years. She w as a resident since that time at The Waters of Dillsboro where she received loving care.

Survivors include her daughter, Maxine Bushman and husband Henry of Bear Branch; her son, William Knigga and wife Dorothy of Canaan; her grandchildren, Debbie Todd (Art) of Muncie, Dena Steiner (Bill) of Lawrenceburg, Dianne Hoffman (Brian) of Bright, LuAnne Turner (Terry) of Rising Sun, LeeJaye Lohide (Mark) of East Enterprise; her granddaughter-in-law, Sharon Day; 17 great-grandchildren; 14 great-great-grandchildren; her stepsister, Gladys Gullion of Scottsburg; her sisters-in-law, Veatrice Lewis of Lebanon, Indiana and Faye Lewis of Vevay.

Preceding her in death were her parents; her stepfather; her grandson, Dennis Bushman on November 1 0th, 1977; her stepbrothers, Clyde, Pete, Jack and Harold Lewis; her stepsisters, Mary Lakeman and Olive Hayes; and her half sister, Rebecca Keith.

Funeral services were held Wednesday, November 10th, at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Bear Branch. Burial was in Althoff Cemetery in Bear Branch. Memorial donations may be made to Dillsboro Rescue Unit, The Waters of Dillsboro Activity Fund or St. Peter’s Lutheran Church. Markland Funeral Home of Rising Sun was in charge of arrangements.

Lawrence Ralston

Lawrence Ralston, 93, of Benham, passed away Friday, November 5th, 2010, at The Waters of Salem in Salem, Indiana.

He was born near Pleasant in Switzerland County on September 22nd, 1917, the son of Clarence and Jessie Carnine Ralston. He was a 1935 graduate of Vevay High School, a 1939 graduate of Purdue University, and received his Master’s Degree from the University of Michigan. He was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II, serving as a Captain in the 89th Division during the Invasion of France. He was an agriculture teacher in the Milroy, Milan and Cross Plains school systems, retiring in 1978. He served for five years as a director on the Indiana State Fair board, had served on the Milan Town Board, served several terms on the Ripley County Council, and the Ripley County Planning Commission. He was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Olean, was the oldest member of Versailles Masonic Lodge, Eastern Star, Salem Lions Club, and the Brown Township American Legion.

He was married to Mallie Lakeman on February 24th, 1940, and she preceded him in death on December 7th, 2003.

Survivors include his sons, Jim (Linda) Ralston of Salem and Doug (Lisa) Ralston of Evansville; his grandchildren, Ryan Ralston of Lexington, Molly (Jared) Hammack of Avon, and Jenna Ralston of Chicago; two great-grandchildren; his brothers, Dillman (Evelyn) Ralston of Clearwater, Florida and Earl (Shirley) Ralston of Tahola, Washington; his sisters, Ruth Stegemiller of Southport and Mary Geyman of Madison; his sisters-in-law, Patsy Ralston of Benham and Janice Furnish of East Enterprise.

He was also preceded in death by his parents; and his brother, Bruce Ralston.

Funeral services were held Wednesday, November 10th, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Olean with Pastor James Culver officiating. Burial was in the church cemetery with military graveside rites conducted by Brown Township American Legion. Versailles Masonic Lodge held services Tuesday evening a t the Stratton-Karsteter Funeral Home in Versailles. Memorials may be given to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church or Washington County Community Foundation in care of the funeral home.