First Posted: 1/18/2005


WILBUR D. VANDEMARK, 86, died at 4 p.m. Jan. 16, 2005, at VanCrest Health Care Center, Delphos.

He was born April 14, 1918, in Putnam County to Raymond Clair and Elsie Holt Vandemark, who preceded him in death. On Feb. 22, 1941, he married Annabelle Ross, who survives in Elida.

Mr. Vandemark was a lifelong dairy farmer and had the highest producing herd in Ohio when he sold it. He had also worked in maintenance at Lima Memorial Health System. He was a member of Immanuel United Methodist Church, Elida. He was a member of the Allen County Dairy Board and the Sugar Creek Grange. He was an honorary American Farmer, received an honorary state Future Farmers of America degree and was an honorary chapter farmer of the Elida FFA. He served on the Allen County Soil Conservation Board. He was a 1937 graduate of Gomer High School, where he was an all-star basketball player for two years. He loved farming, milking the cows and deer hunting. He was proud of his children and grandchildren. He loved to reminisce about his dairy farm, farm life and his basketball days with anyone who would listen. He was proud of his heritage and his love of farming passed on to his family.

Survivors include two sons, Keaton Dean (Janie) Vandemark of Springhope, N.C., and Larry Keith (Sharon) Vandemark of Elida; two daughters, Debra Kaye (Craig) Salhoff of Indianapolis and Marsha Ann Vandemark of Williston; three sisters, Louise (Charles) Alstaetter of Cairo, Dorothy Larimore of Gomer and Jane (Tom) Miller of Elida; eight grandchildren, Beth (Rick) Hamman, Jill Salhoff, Trevor (Angie) Vandemark, Tyler (Boots) Vandemark, Dean Vandemark, Shawn (Wendy) Vandemark, Jared Vandemark and Jeffrey Vandemark; and three great-grandchildren, Lydia Vandemark, Colin Vandemark and Caleb Vandemark.

He was preceded in death by a brother Homer Keith Vandemark.

Services will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Immanuel United Methodist Church, Elida. The Rev. Gary Rode will officiate. Burial will be in Greenlawn Cemetery, Elida.

Friends may call from 2 to 8 p.m. today at Harter & Schier Funeral Home, Delphos, and one hour before the services Wednesday at the church.

Memorial contributions may be made to Lutheran Home of Mercy, Williston, where his daughter resides.

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