Lives Remembered 2015

In memory of those who passed away in 2015, reflect on the lives of eight late Southside residents

Compiled by Mario Morone and Nicole Davis

In memory of everyone who passed away this year, Southside community members who are gone, but not forgotten.

Here, The Southside Times reflects back on the lives of a handful of Southside residents who had an impact in their community – from a life taken too soon to leaders who paved the way to a better community for everyone else.

Jill, Branson and Aidan Buck

Buck family - photo courtesy of gofundme.com.
Buck family – photo courtesy of gofundme.com.

Jill Elaine Buck, Branson Philip Buck, and Aidan James Buck, all of Greenwood, died on July 24. They are survived by Jill’s husband and Branson and Aidan’s father, Paul Buck; children and siblings Grace, Olivia and P.J. Buck; and Jill’s parents, Les and Alice (Espich) Pollert. Jill, 47, married Paul Buck on June 3, 1994 in Indianapolis. She was an optometrist, having been employed by HealthNet, Center Grove Eye Care, and Greenwood Family Eye Care. She also had previously taught kindergarten at Twin Lakes Elementary School in Monticello. She was a 1986 graduate of Mooresville High School, and later attended University of Indianapolis and Indiana University School of Optometry. Jill was a member of the Community Church of Greenwood. She enjoyed being outdoors and active, and being with and taking care of her family. Branson, 10, was a fourth grade student at Maple Grove Elementary School. He enjoyed hip hop dancing, singing to Radio Disney, his iPad, playing soccer, and going out to eat with his family. Aidan, 8, was a third grade student at Center Grove Elementary School. He enjoyed being outdoors, playing sports, especially soccer and basketball, and playing FIFA on the PS3 with his brothers. Aidan loved to sing loudly in the car and making people laugh.

 

Harold Day

Harold Day and his grandson, Kevin Jr., looking at Dale Earnhardt's NASCAR.
Harold Day and his grandson, Kevin Jr., looking at Dale Earnhardt’s NASCAR.

Harold Day served his city and family as a lifelong south side resident of Indianapolis.

Harold started working full time for the State of Indiana during his senior year at Southport High School. After five years with the State, he left to pursue a career in the public sector. In 1996, Harold was hired as the Quartermaster for the Perry Township Fire Department and later was appointed Chief Deputy Trustee. He served the community in this capacity for 10 years. In 2007, Harold returned to work for the State of Indiana as the Budget Analyst for the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, through that avenue he was promoted to the position of Chief Financial Officer.

Over a span of 24 years, Harold worked with the Perry Township Republican Organization. He served as a Precinct Committeeman, Delegate to State Conventions, and Ward Chairman. Harold also served seven years as Mayor Greg Ballard’s appointment to the Beech Grove Library Board.

Harold’s personal interests were many; his Harley motorcycle, the three Corvettes he owned, working in the yard, traveling, and attending the Brickyard and Indy 500 with his son Kevin each year. He had a great passion for the NASA Space program. His collection of space memorabilia dates back to the early 1960s and includes; magazines, books, videos, patches and much more. In 1997, he was able to attend the launching of the Columbia Space Shuttle.

Harold was always eager to lend a hand to family and friends. He could fix, remodel, or rebuild just about anything and was always willing to help anyone who needed help with a project.

Harold’s passed away on Nov. 7 after a six month battle with cancer. He left behind his wife of 23 years, Susie Day, his children Kevin, Kimberly, Casey and his “pride and joys” grandchildren, Molly, Brody, and Kevin Jr. Harold also left behind many relatives, friends and co-workers who will always remember him.

 

Anndrea Hatcher

Anndrea Hatcher
Anndrea Hatcher

Anndrea E. Hatcher passed away on Dec. 11, 2015. Owner of Olive Branch Parke Veterinary Clinic in Greenwood, Anndrea was active in her Southside community.

Memorial contributions suggested to the Kapke Children College Fund, http://e.gofund.me/heevfkht, or the Anndrea Hatcher Memorial Fund, John Deere Credit Union, 6400 NW 86th Street, Johnston, IA 50131.

Anndrea wrote a monthly column in The Southside Times until 2013, educating readers on different breeds of animals and telling stories of things that happened in the clinic. In recognition of Anndrea’s life, here is one of those columns, originally published Nov. 15, 2012:

Prostate exam in the parking lot

Yellow is a huge, elderly Labrador. He was lying on the sidewalk in front of the clinic door. No amount of cajoling, pushing, pulling or bribing with treats would convince Yellow to set one paw inside the clinic and he was too big to carry.

His owner was getting a little frazzled, so I said, “Don’t even worry about it. I can do everything I need to out here, except get his weight. We’ll tell people we are having a sidewalk sale.”

So I brought out my otoscope, ophthalmoscopes, stethoscope and thermometer and sat down on the sidewalk with Yellow and did a physical exam. My vet assistant, Jamie, and I experimented with new Yoga positions, figuring out how to draw blood for Yellow’s heartworm test.

Yellow’s owner was concerned that Yellow was taking longer to urinate than he should. Since Yellow is an old, un-neutered male dog, just like old, un-neutered male humans, sometimes trouble urinating can be a symptom of prostate disease.

By this point, Yellow had had enough of the veterinary exam and vaccinations and wandered into the parking lot. Now whenever a vet approaches a dog’s hind end, the dog does the sensible thing and sits down. Well, I was dressed for a business meeting I had attended earlier that day and was feeling pretty spiffy in my knee high boots, calf length skirt and pretty purple shirt. When I approached Yellow, I put my knee under his belly to keep him from sitting down. My skirt got caught up and pushed up my thigh revealing a runner in my hose I wasn’t aware I had. I had one hand restraining Yellow and the other gloved hand with a finger three joints in is derriere exploring for his prostate when I had several instantaneous thoughts.

“What on earth do the other people in the parking lot thing I am doing to this dog?”

“Is that a breeze I feel in my nether regions?”

“What a strange job I have.”

“It has started to rain…”

“Good! His prostate feels normal.”

 

Dotti Peek

Dotti Peek
Dotti Peek

Known for her volunteer work with Buck Creek Players, Dorothy “Dotti” Peek played a part in many community organizations in Franklin Township.

Retired optometrist and outgoing Franklin Township Chamber President Randy Faunce recently shared his thoughts on Dorothy “Dotti” Peek.

“I knew her through the Franklin Township Chamber of Commerce for years when she was a newsletter editor for the Franklin Township Informer,” he said. “She did the layout work, printed it, proofed it, corrected it, folded it and addressed it before the advent of computers. She and her husband, Jack, were also involved in Mended Hearts (a national and community-based non-profit organization supporting and helping heart disease patients, their families and caregivers) in the 1970s when the Franklin Township Civic League was forming and becoming active. She was one of the editors of the newspaper published by the civic league when there were 2,000 households in the area. Dotti could always be counted on to locate a volunteer. She volunteered at the Teacher Bunny House hosted at the Franklin Township branch of the Indianapolis Public Library. She was active in the Franklin Township Democratic Club where she worked as a chamber booth volunteer at their street fair for many years.”

She was also a member of the Epilogue Players, Indiana Community Theatre League and American Association of Community Theatres.

He added, “What she is really known for in the township, central Indiana and across the country was her volunteer work for the Buck Creek Players, which is an all community volunteer theater where she was a founding member. She acted on stage, did stage building, painted sets and directed with her husband. They were the heart and soul of that theater for over two decades. She was also on the Board of Directors and was Treasurer at times for them. When she passed away this past spring, people from national organizations of community theaters shared their memories about her. She loved theater was also active in the downtown footlight theater and the Indianapolis Repertory Theater. She was Franklin Township’s favorite aunt.”

 

COL. Gerald L. Sargent

Jerry Sargent
Jerry Sargent

Gerald Lee (Jerry) Sargent was a man of many talents – from being a publisher for the Perry Township Weekly, now The Southside Times, to an advertising representative, a columnist, a congressional representative, a military officer, and hosting a radio show through the University of Indianapolis.

Jerry passed away at age 89 in January at Franklin United Methodist Community where he resided since 1998. He was a former resident of Greenwood. He graduated from Bloomington High School in 1943 and Indiana University School of Journalism in 1949. He was a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School, Fort Benning, Ga.; and the U.S. Army Industrial War College, Washington, D.C.

His career included WTTV (Channel 4) from “sign-on” in 1949 through 1958. Next he was employed at the Paul Lennon Ad Agency in 1958-60. In 1960, he became a Partner in Bishop, Miller, Sargent Ad Agency, Indianapolis. 1960-74 Congressional Aid for Indiana District 7 Representative William G. Bray of Martinsville, in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 1966, he purchased the Perry Township Weekly, in Beech Grove, from long-time Publisher Louis Lukenbill. The paper’s motto at the time was “We Cover the Southside Like the Sunrise,” something he took seriously, he said in a Southside Times article in May, 2014. He said people did and still do love their community papers for putting out news that larger companies wouldn’t – their child’s picture in the paper, when the next potluck will be.

Jerry sold the Perry Township Weekly to the Martinsville/Mooresville Times in 1980. From 1980 through 2000 he led Perry Publications with ADPAK Advertising Agency, Beech Grove.

Jerry was involved in many civic organizations, including the Perry Township – Southport Historical Society, Indiana Historical Society, Johnson County Community Foundation, Beech Grove Historical Society, Greenwood Rotary Club, Military Order of World Wars, Greenwood Economic Development Commission; Indiana Young Republicans (President, 1970), board of directors for the Baxter YMCA and much more.

Survivors include two sons, Dr. Thomas Sargent, and Jeffrey Sargent; daughter, Claudia Lingeman; stepchildren, Ruth Notter and Loretta Carlton; and brother, Fred Sargent.

 

Ken Wheeler

Ken Wheeler
Ken Wheeler

Ken Wheeler was not only a Southside business leader, but a strong community supporter as well. Ken founded Cardinal Insurance Agency, was a charter member of Perry Township Kiwanis and member of many other local organizations including Prospect Masonic Lodge #714, Scottish Rite, N.M.J. and Murat Temple. He passed away on Dec. 10.

Kevin Wheeler recently reflected on his father Kenneth’s life.

“When my dad got out of the Army, he went to Ball State University for two years and Indiana Central University for a year. He started working with his cousin, Max Askin, who was a State Farm agent in Southport. That was in 1955 and shortly thereafter, two years later, he realized that he wanted to be his own boss and started his own independent agency, which was Cardinal Insurance, at our kitchen table when I was growing up. He eventually moved to an office at Epler and Madison Avenue before its current location (at 6825 Madison Avenue),” he mentioned.

“Dad’s philosophy was more about being involved in the community and giving back. He was a member of the Southport Jaycees where he was a founding member. He was also involved in the Roberts Park UMC, Shriners and Prospect Masonic Lodge #714. His most recent activities were with the Kiwanis Club in Perry Township where he was a charter member. He was one of the cornerstones for their annual fish fry. He also raised funds to start an American Legion baseball team that was runner up in the State Tournament in the late 1960s,” Kevin said.

“He believed more in getting involved in the community than in doing advertising. He was on the Perry Township School Board for eight years where he served as President. During this time they helped get the football stadium built. He also helped at Midwest Food Bank and did mission work in the Upper Sand Mountain, Alabama area building homes for a period of time. If anybody ever asked for a volunteer, he always rolled up his sleeves. He was pretty passionate about the Southport community,” he added.

Kevin explained how he eventually followed his father’s footsteps into the insurance industry. “When I got out of college, I went to work for Farm Progress Publications for about four years. During this time I served as Assistant Manager and eventually the Manager for their annual Farm Progress Show. In the early 1980s, my dad received a computer from one of our insurance companies. I helped him get up to speed on the technology. I started to realize the insurance business had been a good career for my dad where he set his own hours, provided food on the table and raised a family. I eventually bought the agency from him. It has been a very good business. The last four to five years, he lived at the Masonic Home in Franklin.”