Deceased Folks of Note
I cannot say, and I will not say
That he is dead. He is just away.
With a cheery smile, and a wave of the hand,
He has wandered into an unknown land
And left us dreaming how very fair
It needs must be, since he lingers there.
- James Whitcomb Riley, Hoosier poet,
“He Is Not Dead”
The three following necrological lists are provided in order to simply acknowledge some of the local folks who have passed on – either due to health-related causes, murder, or natural disaster. Although this listing is intended more for the record, it should also help determined Quilters Club fans in keeping track of various characters mentioned in the book series. Otherwise, skip to another Page in this online tour of Caruthers Corners and its people.
• Mycroft Madison – Beau’s older brother. Called “Mikey.” A gay theatrical director. Murdered on a visit to his home town.
• Sam Buttersworth – A member of the Straw Hatters. “Run down by a reindeer,” a murder.
• Martin Lorenzo Griffith–Caruthers High Film Appreciation teacher, director of Three Weddings and a Funeral. (See Filmmakers.) Shot in his classroom.
• Bartholomew Dingley, Esq. – A partner of Dingley & Bratts PC. A smoker, died of pulmonary complications at 92.
• Joe Johansson – Caruthers Corners Town Planner. Stuck his finger in the light socket while changing a bulb.
• Charlotte Beasley – Old Sam’s great-granddaughter. Left Beasley Mansion to the town in her will. “Died of natural causes,” it said in her obit.
• Natalie Zonker – Lead singer in the choir at First Presbyterian. Died of breast cancer.
• Daniel Elisha Sokolowski – Known as “Dan” to his friends. Proprietor of Dan’s Den of Antiquity. Died in his sleep.
• Eric Sokolowski – Son of Dan Sokolowski. Hit by bus.
• Jakub Szymon Żuraw – Dan Sokolowski’s heir, a distant cousin. Died of old age.
• Marlene Jurgens – Suzy Aitkens’s mother. Heart attack.
• Dr. Elmer Kardashian – A vascular neurologist at Burpyville Memorial. Known as “Dr. K.” Murdered by radioactive poisoning.
• Henry Charles Warton – “Hank” to his friends. Founder of the Sons of Anthony Wayne. After retiring, he dropped dead from a heart attack while mowing his lawn.
• Johnny Bristol – A juvie car thief. Son of a local judge. Blown up by a car bomb.
• Maxine “Maxie” Käser – Max Käser’s mom. Involuntary euthanasia.
• Robert Carl Daniels – Known to everyone as “Skookie.” The local high school principal. Said to have been frightened to death by a ghost.
• Edward Benjamin Williams – Known as “Slick Eddy.” A bagman for the Mob. Dropped from an airplane.
• Harry “Hopalong Cassidy” Casals – A plumber and pipefitter. A pawn of Russian agents. Murdered by radioactive poisoning.
• Willard G. Manchester – An orderly at Burpyville Memorial. Connected to Viktor Ivanovich Medvedev, a Russian spy. Shot in the head.
• “Happy” Howard Crackleton – Granny’s late husband. Drowned while digging a well.
• Fred Grottman – Husband of Emma Grottman. Fred invented the “Reverse Slinky,” a spring that climbs up steps, but it never caught on. Committed suicide.
• Arthur Teague – Deputy Harry Teague’s dad. A first-generation Irishman. Fell out of the barn loft and broke his neck at age 88.
• Rev. David Arthur Dimpledorf (1928-2016) – Disgraced televangelist. Known as “Rev. Dimple.” Founder of the Forever Family Foundation. Shot by an irate parishioner.
• Nguyễn Quang Dũng – N’yen’s biological father. A baker. Killed in head-on car crash.
• Trần Thị Khiêm – N’yen’s biological mother. Killed in head-on car crash.
• Evers Gochnauer – The late police chief. A one-time deputy. Strangled at Injun Woods.
People Long-Deceased (over 15 years)
An assortment of people from previous generations, many little more than footnotes of history. This list is presented in a desire to be thorough in documenting the history of Caruthers Corners, Indiana. Casual readers may feel free to ignore it.
• Rev. Brice Durrenberger – Former minister of First Mennonite Church. Rev. Benjamin Durrenberger’s father. Heart failure.
• Beatrice Purdue – Police Chief Jim Purdue’s sainted mother. Suffered a stroke, “Didn’t know what hit her.”
• “Two Fisted” Hugo Purdue – Jim Purdue’s father, a farmer known for his belligerent temper and tendency toward fisticuffs. Fatally stabbed in a barfight when Jim was still a boy.
• Molly Regina Soltairé – One-time Hoople Family maid. Barnabas’s mother. A stroke.
• Elmer Jackson Wayne – Former owner of Injun Woods. Died from an allergic reaction to a bee sting. A distant relation of Mad Anthony Wayne.
• Rev. Billingsley Royce – Leader of Church of Avenging Angels. Snake handlers and witch hunters. “An evil, avaricious man.” Disappeared, presumed dead.
• “Mad” Matilda Elizabeth Wilkins (née Süderdithmarschen) – A professed witch. Drowned in a well by Rev. Billingsley Royce and his religious zealots. Mad Matilda created the so-called Wilkins Witch Quilt.
• Benjamin Wilkins – Mad Matilda’s husband. Kicked in the head by a mule.
• Griselda Wilkins – Daughter of Mad Matilda and Benjamin Wilkins. Raised Reginald Wentworth Evers. Cause of death unknown.
• Elmira Süderdithmarschen – Mad Matilda’s mother. A witch, too. Died in the Great Tornado of 1889.
• Hager Süderdithmarschen – Mad Matilda’s father. A blacksmith. Died in the Great Tornado of 1889.
• Reginald Wentworth Evers – A Master Warlock. Raised Mad Matilda’s daughter. Died of spontaneous combustion, it’s said.
• Annabell Yoder Stoltzfus – A murdered Amish woman. First wife of Amos Stoltzfus.
• Mary Wagler – Amos Stoltzfus’s second wife. Abram’s great aunt. Died under suspicious circumstance.
• Amos Stoltzfus – An Amish man who murdered his wife(s). Died of old age. Even his deacon said, “The good die young, but the wicked seem to rewarded with a long life!”
• Major Samuel Elmsford Beasley – Known as “Old Sam.” One of the Town Founders. A bizarre death, impaled by a falling chandelier in Beasley Manson. (See Town Founders.)
• Samuel Beasley Jr. – Son of Old Sam. Starved to death while trapped in a basement.
• John Beasley – Sam Jr.’s son, Old Sam’s grandson. Died in his sleep.
• Jeremiah Jinks – Nephew of Town Founder. A prominent banker at the turn of the century. Jumped off the tallest building in Indianapolis (at the time 13-story 30 South Meridian) when the stock market crashed on October 24, 1929.
• Abner Purdue – Started up the EZ Seat Chair Factory in 1899. Came into money from an unknown source that same year. A bank robbery? Died of old age.
• Amandine Gersbach Purdue – Wife of the founder of E Z Seat. Jim Purdue’s great grandmother. Made a red-orange-and-yellow patchwork quilt in 1899 that was passed down through the family. Suffered a stroke late in life.
• Abe Purdue – Son of Abner and Amandine Purdue. Inherited EZ Seat. An alcoholic who made his own bathtub hooch. Died of liver failure.
• Amos Purdue – Son of Abe Purdue. Tree fell on him. Left EZ Seat to his two sons, N.L. and Bobby Ray.
• Maud Purdue – Wife of Amos Purdue. Mother of N.L. and Bobby Ray.
• Mary Louise Madison – Beau’s grandmother. A farmer’s wife who created the “Shooting Star Quilt, 1898.” Bit by a rabid dog.
• Minerva Madison – Beau’s great-grandmother. She bought the “Uncle Sam” Santa Quilt from Sarah Soldemier in 1852. Choked on a wad of chewing tobacco.
• Jonathan Bradfield Taylor – Maddy’s adoptive father. Died in his sleep from unknown causes.
• Katherine Taylor – Maddy’s adoptive mother. Heart failure.
• Nathanial Taylor – Maddy’s adoptive grandfather. A wealthy real estate speculator. Son of Simon Taylor. Heart attack.
• Simon Taylor – Maddy’s adoptive great-grandfather. Son of Rev. Thaddeus Barrington Taylor. Fell off a cliff at Gruesome Gorge.
• Ferdinand Jinks, Jr. – Known as “Junior.” Son of the Town Founder. Said to be a rapscallion who associated with bandits and bank robbers. Shot by persons unknown.
• Aloysius Cromwell Edward Jinks – Known as “Ace” based on his initials. Ferdinand Jinks’s youngest son. Killed by a meteorite.
• Thomas “Tick Tock” Dockery –Booker of appearances for Hoople Quadruplets. Rita Rutaberger’s father. Heart attack brought on by stress.
• June Aitkens – Boyd Aitkens’s wife.
• Arlene Alice Aitkens – Boyd Aitkens’s mother. A stroke.
• Willard Periwinkle – Harry Perriwinkle’s father. Died by a snake bite.
• Edwin Baumgartner – A local farmer. Poisoned by insecticides he used on his crops. Left the farm to his grandson.
• Alma Kraft Hankins – Floyd Hankins’ mother. Cancer.
• Barbara Ann König– George König’s mother. Cancer.
• George König – Betty Lou’s husband, father of Louise and Thelma. Type 1 diabetes.
• Emmett Bradshaw – Gloria Bradshaw’s brother. Hit by lightning while crossing the Town Square.
• Carrie Bradshaw – Emmett Bradshaw’s wife. Hit by lightning while crossing the Town Square with her husband.
• Joseph S. Daniels – Skookie’s father. Heart attack.
• Alma Kraft Hankins – Sammy’s aunt, Floyd’s mother. Her last words were “I see a ghost.”
• Eugene Gluck – Louise’s husband. Stepped into quicksand while searching for his lost dog, ol’ Bowwow.
• Henry Hoople – Henrietta’s husband. Father of Hoople Quadruplets. Died of a stroke.
• Henrietta Hoople – Henry’s wife. An art collector. Mother of the Hoople Quadruplets. Fell down steps in the Hoople Mansion.
• Hawthorne “Hatchet-Man” Hoople – A patriarch of the Hoople family. Killed by a bear.
The Tornado Victims
Although not prone to tornadoes, the small Indiana town of Caruthers Corners was hit by an EF3 with wind speeds up to 150 MPH, in September 2018. This extreme weather event has been designated as the 2018 Northeastern Indiana Tornado. A number of local citizens died during this natural disaster. Some of these victims have appeared in earlier Quilter Club stories and are documented here for completeness.
• Cromwell Thaddeus “Fatty” Johnson – A local handyman. Played Santa Claus in Christmas Parade. Clovis Johnson’s older brother. A descendent of a Town Founder, he started The Ferdinand Aloysius Jinks Heritage Society as a means of honoring his ancestor.
• Oliver Micherson – Known as “Ollie.” Co-owner of Personally Yours flower shop.
• Jeff Brown – Oliver’s life partner. Co-owner of Personally Yours flower shop. Bob Brown’s brother.
• Bob Norris Evans – Known as “Big Nose,” thanks to a prodigious proboscis. A local farmer and member of Town Council.
• Elsie Warton – Widow of the founder of Sons of Anthony Wayne. Owner of Alexander the Great (a tomcat).
• Maisie Daniels – Mother of a former high school principal. She hired a psychic to find the ghost who scared her son to death.
• Seth Wagler – One of the sons of Abram Wagler, a respected Amish leader.
• Timmy Wertzel – Son of local mechanic Lionel Wertzel.
• Ivor Yokovich – An Azerbaijanian immigrant. Had ties with Russian spies.
• Carlton Thomas – Metea Davis’s across-the-hall neighbor at Melon Fields Apartments on 4th Street. A Bible salesman. Body never found.
• Principal Fred Zwicky – A former Caruthers High School principal. Was walking his dog; the pet survived.
• Rev. Benjamin Durrenberger – Pastor of the First Mennonite Church. Crushed in the stone rubble of the church.
• Rebecca Durrenberger – Wife of Rev. Benjamin Durrenberger. Died next to her husband.
• Tom Accola – A shoe salesman at Pic A Pair.
• Samuel “Sam” Klondyke – Manager at ZapData.
• Samantha “Sammy” Klondyke– Sam Klondyke’s wife.
• Stewart “Stewie” Klondyke – Sam and Samantha’s son. Member of Badger Patrol.
• Martha Eldridge – An analyst at ZapData.
• Floyd Hankins – A water diviner. Sad Sammy’s cousin. Helga Hoople’s one-time boyfriend.
• Among others – in all 37 people died in the 2018 Northeastern Indiana Tornado.