Ruth Elvira Wilson Bittle, departed this life on Thursday, May 23, 2013 (her 89th Birthday) at St. Joseph Hospital. She was born on May 23, 1924, in Youngstown, Ohio. In 1942, she graduated of South High School in Youngstown and remained a member of Third Baptist Church. She attended Youngstown State University where she majored in psychology and art and became a notable milliner, designing beautifully custom made hats and other accessories. In 2005, she relocated to Fort Wayne with her family. She is survived by her two sons, Robert K. Bittle and Clifton E. Bittle, both of Fort Wayne who cared for her and with whom she made her home; two daughters, Rea A. (Eddy) Matchette and Rae A. Bittle, both of Houston, Texas; four sisters, Lucille Wilson, Josephine Wilson, Jeanette Donaldson, and Constance Wilson; five grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Robert L. Bittle; parents, John K. and Jerrine [Price] Wilson; three brothers, John, Paul and Roland: and her oldest sister and best friend, Dorothy A. Washington. Services were Friday, May 31, 2013, at Ellis Funeral Home, 1021 E. Lewis St., with interment in Greenlawn Memorial Park. Arrangements were by Ellis Funeral Home.
Marie (Bell) Bridges, 93, passed away on Sunday, May 26, 2013, at New Haven Care Center. Born Oct. 3, 1919, in Clanton Ala., she retired from Kingsford Packing Co. after many years of service. Surviving are her son, John H. (Margarette) Davis; 13 grandchildren; and a host of great -grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Eligah Bridges; and a son, James H. Davis. Services were Saturday, June 1, 2013, at Pilgrim Baptist Church, 1331 Gay St., with entombment in Covington Memorial Gardens. Arrangements were by Ellis Funeral Home.
Lovie M. Carlisle, 59, passed away Thursday, May 30, 2013 at home. Born in Marion, Ala., she was a member of Pilgrim Baptist Church. For years she was employed by CANI and Fort Wayne Parks Department. Surviving are her nephew and nieces, Timothy Sneed, Nikkia Church (Jose) Tirado, and Twilah Thomas; sister-in-law, Linda Thomas-Carlisle; aunts, Jannie (James) Sanders, Gennie Lue Moore and Mildred King; special friend, James Sullivan; along with a host of loving cousins and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Aserine and Charles J. Carlisle Sr.; and brother, Charles J. Carlisle Jr. Services were Saturday, June 8, 2013 at Pilgrim Baptist Church with interment in Greenlawn Memorial Park. Arrangements were by Ellis Funeral Home, 1021 E. Lewis St.
Florine Eley, 100, passed away Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at Lutheran Life Villages. She was born on April 25, 1913 in Madden, Miss. Surviving are her son, Ezekal (Carol) Eley; daughters -in-law, Maggie Eley and Demetria “Lynn” Eley; 40 grandchildren; and a host of great and great-great-grandchildren; other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Edmond; daughter, Geraldine; sons, Mac Arthur, John and Charles L. Eley; and daughter-in-law, Grace Eley. Services were Friday, June 7, 2013 at Come As You Are Community Church, 7910 S. Anthony, with interment in Covington Memorial Gardens. Arrangements were by Ellis Funeral Home.
Sarah L. Kelsaw-Hawkins, passed away on Thursday, May 30, 2013, at Parkview Reginal Medical Center. She was born on July 24, 1922, in Millers Ferry, Ala. She leaves to cherish her memory brother, Fred Kelsaw Jr. of Fort Wayne; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, and friends. Funeral services were June 7 at Pilgrim Baptist Church, with burial in Lindenwood Cemetery. Arrangements were by Carmichael Funeral Service.
This article originally appeared in the June 12, 2013 print edition.