Russell Ralph Welty entered the presence of his Lord on July 2, 2011 after a valiant battle with cancer, at home in McDonough, Georgia. He was born to Elam and Blanche Welty on February 6, 1924 at Bluffton, Ohio. He was married to Ellen Louise Wagner on July 31, 1943 and they were married for almost 67 years until her death on July 4, 2010. Russell was a businessman in Pandora, Ohio until he went into the ministry as a Mennonite pastor. He served churches in Fortuna, MO; Comins, MI; Durham, NC and was director of Camp Friedenswald in Cassapolis, MI for two years. He and Ellen served as foster parents during their pastorate in Michigan. An active retiree, Russell was the chaplain at Westbury Nursing Home and Rehabilitation in McDonough, GA for 16 years.
Diana G. Dillman, 64, of Bluffton, died at 6:00 PM June 28, 2011 at St. Rita’s Medical Center, Lima. She was born March 20, 1947 in Sharpsburg, Kentucky to Cecil “Pete” Walters and Elizabeth Robinson Cole. On September 3, 1965 she married James Dillman who survives. Diana was previously co-owner at the Village Cut n Curl, Bluffton. She had also been a dental assistant at Dr. Huss’s office, Bluffton and worked in customer service at Sam’s Club, Lima. She was a member of the First Mennonite Church, Bluffton. She was a 1966 graduate of Bluffton High School and Findlay Cosmetology School.
L. Eugene Basinger, 92, of Bluffton died 8:35 am July 1, 2011 at Mennonite Memorial Home, Bluffton. He was born on his family farm south of the Ebenezer Mennonite Church on Phillips Road in Bluffton on 14 February 1919. He was the sixth of seven living children of Daniel J. and Elizabeth Bixel Basinger.
Gene attended the one-room Bucher School across from the Ebenezer Mennonite Church, where he was taught by an older sister and also learned English. He graduated from Bluffton High School, Bluffton College (BA), and University of Cincinnati (MA). He taught high school for over 35 years in Latty, Cridersville, Columbus Grove and Lima (Bath), Ohio.