Sheila Gail Bright, 56, departed this life Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. Born Aug. 1, 1957 in Evansville, she graduated from Northrop H.S. in 1976. Surviving are her son, Michael (Nicole) Bright of Fort Wayne; daughter, Unique Bright of Indianapolis; ten grandchildren; sisters, Deborah Taylor, and Della Logan; brothers, Kent Bright, and Jeffrey Bright; many nieces and nephews, and a host of other family and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, William Dulin and Johnella Bright; and sister, Denise Davis. Service was Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 at Greater Spirit of Love Church, 6116 S. Calhoun St.
Ernest Dowdell, known as (Boo Boo), was born to the union of Henry Dowdell Sr. and Sina (Ward) Dowdell, on April 7, 1944. He moved to Fort Wayne, April 17, 1944. He accepted Christ at an early age at Pilgrim Baptist Church, under the leadership of the Rev. John Dixie Sr. Ernest attended Central High School and later served in the United States Army.
He was united in marriage to his devoted wife Sarah Tolbert Dowdell for 45 years. Later in life he attended and joined Jerusalem Baptist Church, under the leadership of Pastor Samuel Walker. He was employed and retired from Tokheim Corporation. Ernest was a 32° Mason and member of the St. Mary’s Lodge #14 PHA, member of the VFW Post 8147 and past Commander of American Legion Post 148. Ernest enjoyed barbecuing, working in his yard, watching sports of any kind, listening to music, talking on every subject, fishing and he loved to debate. He loved being with his family at cookouts and reunions, laughing and just enjoying life. He also liked to travel to Alabama seeing family members. He was known to his nieces and nephews, as “Unc” and enjoyed spoiling his granddaughters, especially grand-daughter (Katie). Ernest departed this life and went to the other side, Monday Feb. 10, 2014. He leaves to cherish in his memory, a devoted and loving wife, Sarah, daughter Carolyn (Curlee) Black of Smith, Ala., son Ernest Lamar Dowdell Jr., of Fort Wayne, grandsons, Lamont Banks, Indianapolis, Tashon and Trinnel Dowdell, Texas, granddaughters, Nevaeh Hernandez, Kaitly Dowdell of Fort Wayne, brothers, Robert (Carrie) Dowdell, Eddie Dowdell, companion, LuAnn Ray, James Edward Dowdell, Sisters, Loucille Allen, Angeline (Jesse) Barron, Brenda (Rashad) Dowdell-Qadir, Brother-in-laws, Howard (Valeria), Leroy, Luddie Tolbert, of Fort Wayne, Don (Deborah) Tolbert, of Huntsville, Ala., David (Elua) Tolbert, of Columbus, SC., Derek (Mary) Tolbert of Savannah, Ga., Sister-in-law, Geraldine Dowdell, of Fort Wayne, Willie (Mac) Starks of Fort Wayne, Martha Smith, Roberta (Arthur) Lewis, of Uniontown, Ala., and a host of Nephews, Nieces, Family and Friends.
He was preceded in death by father, Henry Dowdell Sr., mother, Sina Dowdell, brothers, Thomas, Johnny George, Henry, Jr., and James D. Dowdell, sisters, Rosetta Stephens, and Julia B. Dowdell, and brother-in-law, Jessie Tolbert. Service was Monday, Feb. 17, 2014 at Jerusalem Baptist Church with interment in Covington Memorial Gardens. Arrangements were by Ellis Funeral Home.
Betty Jean Hayes, 83, passed away Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, at home, in the presence of her family. Born July 28, 1930, in Fort Wayne, she was the daughter of Bolden and Lizzie Baker. She leaves to cherish her memory her sons, Phillip Hayes, Brian (Darnell) Hayes, Herbert Hayes, and David Hayes all of Fort Wayne and Robert (Tina) Hayes of Virginia; siblings, Laline, Hattie and Cornelius Baker all of Fort Wayne and Melford Baker of Kentucky; a host of grandchildren; great-grandchildren; and other relatives and friends. Funeral service was Thursday, Feb. 20 at Turner Chapel AME Church with visitation one hour prior to service. Burial in Highland Park Cemetery. Arrangements were by Carmichael Funeral Service.
William C. Hopkins, 76, passed away Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 surrounded by family at Lutheran Hospital. A native of Greensboro, Ala., he retired from Lincoln Food Service after 26 years of service. Surviving are his son, Victor Hopkins; daughters, Deborah Hopkins and N. Thea Byrd; brothers, Charles, James and Clarence Hopkins; sister, Bertha Banks; grandchildren, Deondra Hopkins, Ashley Beal, Kendra Dedeaux, Kenneth and Jamarques Hopkins, Victoria Hopkins, and Ramona Goode; 13 great-grandchildren; and a host of other relatives, adopted family and friends. Service was. Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014 at St. John Missionary Baptist Church, 2421 S. Hanna St. with interment in Highland Park Cemetery. Arrangements were by Ellis Funeral Home.
Norma Jean King, 58, of Fort Wayne, departed this life Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014 at St. Joseph Hospital. She was born Oct. 9, 1955. She had worked at Fort Wayne State School and as a beautician. Norma was a 1974 graduate of Wayne High School. She leaves to cherish her precious memory, her sons, Justin Brown (Christina Ward) and Cedric Brown; father, Eugene L. King Sr.; eleven siblings, Eugene (Lenette) King Jr., Anita Winston, Darlene (Albert) King-Crutchfield, Carmen (Reginald) Moore, Keith King, Shelia Young, Jackie Wimbley, Roland King, Patrick King, Tracy (Melvin) Woodgett and Chad King; three grandchildren; and a host of other loving relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Jerrico Marie Brown; mother, Ella Mae King and sister, Maggie Wright. Service is noon Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 at Pilgrim Baptist Church, 1331 Gay St., with burial in Highland Park Cemetery. Arrangements were by Ellis Funeral Home.
Johnnie Mae Lockett Strack, 81, departed this life peacefully Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, surrounded by family. Born March 17, 1932, in Henderson, Tenn., she was the daughter of the late Reverend S.L. Rowsey and the late Estell Vasser-Rowsey. She leaves to cherish her memory eight daughters, Brenda Nelson, Eddie Fay Johnson, Ernestine Lockett, Kay Martin, Patricia (Terry) Rancher, Rebecca (Robert) Nellum and Diana Lockett all of Fort Wayne and Carolyn (Larry) Banks of Stroudsburg, Pa.; stepson, Ernest (Claudette) Lockett of Phoenix Ariz.; 24 grandchildren; 35 great-grandchildren; eight great-great grandchildren; and a host of other family and friends. Service was Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 at True Love Baptist Church with interment in Covington Memorial Gardens. Arrangements were by Ellis Funeral Home.