The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Smith, Roger

Written by David Green.

Roger W. Smith, 70, of rural Fayette, Ohio, died Jan. 9, 2013, at the Fulton County Health Center in Wauseon, Ohio.

He was born Dec. 3, 1942, in Alvordton, Ohio, to the late Walter and Velma (Wheeler) Smith. He married Susan E. Richards on Jan. 12, 1978, and she survives.

Roger was a life-long Alvordton-Fayette area resident and served his country in the United States Army from 1967 to 1973 during the Vietnam War. He worked as a welder for Challenge-Cook in Bryan, Ohio, for more than 20 years until its closing, and he later retired from Bil-Jax in Archbold following 10 years of service.

Roger was a member of the West Unity American Legion, the Williams County Veterans Memorial, and the VFW. In his spare time, he enjoyed coon hunting, playing the banjo, and being with his grandchildren.

Roger is survived by his wife, Susan; three sons, Jerry (and Lori) Lewellen of Fayette, Jon (and Alisha) Schang of Hillsdale, Mich., and Charles (and Shannon) Ries of Montpelier, Ohio; a daughter, Maria (and Mark) Keegan of Edgerton, Ohio; two brothers, Arlan (and Sharon) Smith, and Bill (and Deb) Smith, both of West Unity; and two sisters, Donnie (and Leroy) Scherer, and Betty Nowak, both of West Unity; grandchildren Jordan Lewellen, Ashley Lewellen, Tyler Lewellen, Jacy Lewellen, Jeriann Lewellen, Amber Hughes, Cole Ries, Joshua Lewellen, Seth Ries, Bethany Hughes, Jesse Lewellen, Katlynn Ries, Lane Ries, Logan Ries, Anthony Ries, Travis Lewellen, Sara Lewellen, Abbygayle Ries and Jonie Schang; and six great-grandchildren, James, Lisa, Ty, Jamison, Ellie and Linus.

In addition to his parents, Roger was preceded in death by three brothers, Ralph, Floyd and Charles.

Visitation is scheduled from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13, at Eagle Funeral Home-Barrett Chapel in Fayette. Private military interment will take place in the Waldron Cemetery.

Memorial donations are suggested to the Williams County Veterans Memorial.

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