Sunday, December 31, 2023
Community Became Part of Magner’s Journey
ABOVE: Facebook page JBobStrong provided a place for family to share photos of Jared Robert Magner, and for community members to organize support. Magner passed away this week from a brain tumor.
A group of Shelbyville residents gathered a week ago to offer Christmas cheer to Jared Robert “J-Bob” Magner, who was suffering from an inoperable brain tumor. They gathered again yesterday for his funeral, and this time it was the community needing comfort. A Christmas-themed arrangement next to the casket offered the inscription, “There are no words.”
Magner turned 21 on October 2. He was diagnosed on Nov. 30 and passed away less than a month later, Dec. 27.
“If you knew J-Bob, you knew he loved, and it was for everyone. He loved everyone,” officiant Jessie Hettwer said. “He had a very gentle spirit. He was drawn to people, and they were drawn to him, the elderly and young children, especially.”
David Tyra said his brother found joy in God’s smallest creations, such as bugs. “Everyone around him couldn’t help but laugh and smile in his presence, because he could do or say some of the goofiest things.” Tyra then read a litany of scriptures, “because my brother would have wanted me to.”
Two years ago, Magner’s aunt bought him a Bible, but his dog ate “all the way up to Ezekiel,” Hettwer said. Another Bible was purchased, and it became a constant companion.
“I think it’s worth noting that he passed with his Bible in his hands,” Hettwer said.
The same Bible was with Magner in the casket yesterday.
In the back of a journal, Magner had written and defined the terms truth, dignity, integrity, respect, compassion and tolerance. Above the list he first wrote “Core beliefs of a good man,” Hettwer said. “But he marked it out and wrote, ‘Values of a good man.’”
Vivionna Moore said Magner was “not just my brother, but also my best friend, the best one anyone could have.” Moore said she wished she would have told him how much she loved his random hugs before bed and how he played games with her and her dad. “There’s a lot I never really got to say…and I never really thought I would have to say goodbye,” she said.
Given the tears in the Freeman Family Funeral Home parlor yesterday, it’s clear his large extended family and friends struggled with the same sentiment.
“J-Bob recently learned he had an entire community backing him,” Hettwer said. “He just told Santa a few weeks ago how he always sort of felt alone, but now he knew better.”
The community can continue to support the family by helping cover funeral expenses.
The following building permit applications were submitted last month with the City of Shelbyville: new storage building at Indiana Precision Forge, 302 Northbrook Dr.; new home construction on Breckinridge Way and Black Oak Drive; remodel car repair shop for Meineke at 1303 S. Harrison St.; remodel City Electrical Supply store at 202 E. Broadway St.; remodel existing space for MHP sterile storage, 2451 Intelliplex Dr.; remodel 623 Elm St. and 32 Howard St.; and remodel existing gym for a lab/computer room at the Boys Club, 710 S. Miller St.
This Day in Shelby County History
2013: There were several New Year’s Eve parties on the docket. Indiana Grand Casino was offering a Caribbean-themed event. Raindrops n Roses supplied and set up the decor, and a 30-foot-tall LED “ball drop” was set up. The casino had ordered 10,000 beach hats and leis for guests. Over at the Moose Family Center on E. Jackson St., Band X played their final show.
2003: Frank Zerr served his final day as mayor, presumably the end of 24 years of public service. (Zerr later returned as clerk-treasurer.) Zerr was elected mayor in 1999 after serving as the city’s clerk-treasurer from 1988 to 1999 and putting in eight years as Shelby County treasurer, from 1979 to 1986. Prior to that, Zerr worked as a banker.
1993: Steel work was completed on the expansion at the Shelbyville-Shelby County Public Library.
Drunk driving arrests had been down in 1993, Shelby County Deputy Prosecutor James Landwerlen said. The 368 arrests were the lowest in six years. The highest had been in 1990, when 448 drivers were arrested for driving while intoxicated.
1983: Long-time Shelbyville Post Office clerk Jack Oldham retired after 34 years of civil service, including time in the military. He had started at the local post office in 1953. He told The Shelbyville News that one of his most humorous memories was when the paychecks for post office workers were lost in the mail. “Somehow, the checks got dumped into the junk mail, and there were several of us who signed off the clock and ran through the junk mail on our own time until we found them,” Oldham said.
Postmaster Robert Meltzer also retired. He was the last postmaster appointed under the old political patronage system. He had been appointed in 1962 just before John F. Kennedy was assassinated. President Lyndon Johnson finalized Meltzer’s appointment. “When I first took the job, there were four trains that came into town bringing the mail and two trains left with the mail each and every day,” Meltzer said. “Then that was cut in half and by early 1966, there was no train mail service at all. The trains were always late, anyway.” Meltzer said the issuance of zip codes had been “the best thing the office ever started.” Meltzer had served in the Pacific Theatre in World War II. He had also been the first four-year term Sheriff in Shelby County, elected in 1951. The term had been two years before.
1973: The Golden Bears defeated Greensburg in the consolation game of the Holiday Tourney at the Shelbyville High School Arena (later Garrett Gymnasium). The Bears’ Dave Hauk, Tim Simpson and Greg Babb scored three consecutive baskets giving them the lead. The win came despite what coach Tom Hewgley called “mental breakdowns” in defense.
1963: The Morristown Lions Club announced plans to sponsor an Explorer Post for high school boys ages 14 and over. Oliver Longwell would be Post Advisor and Harry Callahan, assistant advisor.
A group of Republicans planned to take over city elected offices. They were Ralph VanNatta, mayor; Frances Pruitt, clerk-treasurer; James Robison, city judge; and councilmen Harold Zeller, Raymond Perkins, Marion Anderson, Victor Muth, Sheldon Keith, William Arland and Kenneth Peck. They were sworn in by Judge Harold Barger.
1953: Many local pastors reported increases in church membership in 1953. Two long-time local pastors, Rev. Clement Zepf, St. Joseph Catholic Church pastor for 17 years, and Rev. Josephine Huffer, Trinity Methodist Church pastor for 30 years, had died in 1953. Major and Mrs. R.C. Ellis had retired from heading the local Salvation Army. One new church had been formed in 1953: the Assembly of God church on Montgomery St.
1943: Downtown merchants finalized plans and gifts for the annual “Baby Derby” awarding of merchandise to the first baby born in 1944.
1933: Most places of business would be closed on New Year’s Day, chamber of commerce officials announced. Grocery stores would remain open.
1923: Dr. Laura Carter, 14 West Franklin St., took her first vacation in 14 years. “Each time previously that she contemplated taking a vacation, someone was taken seriously ill, demanding her attention, or she unselfishly yielded to the pleas of, ‘Don’t go, please,’” The Republican said. The vacation, though, was forced since her office was being renovated. She planned to spend time in Indianapolis during her break.
Betty Jean (Ragan) Driesbach, age 76, of Greenfield, passed away Thursday, December 28, 2023 at her home. Born on December 17, 1947, in Portland, Tennessee, she was the daughter of George W. Ragan Jr. and Vernie Ruth (Jones) Ragan. Betty graduated from Greenfield High School with the class of 1966. She married Jerry Lee Driesbach on September 10, 1966.
For 27 years, she was the assistant to the clerk treasurer for the City of Greenfield. Betty recently retired from food services at Greenfield-Central Schools. She was a parishioner at St. Michael Catholic Church for many years. Betty was a 25-year member of the Indiana Extension Homemakers Association and was honored with the Award of Excellence in 2021. She frequently spent time making ricebags for the labor and delivery unit at Hancock Regional Hospital. In her free time, she enjoyed sewing, crafting and scrapbooking, as well as going on beach vacations. Betty cherished time spent with her family, especially her daughters and grandchildren. She lived to put others before herself.
Betty is survived by her loving daughters, Anne (Jerry) Tilley of Greenfield and Karen (Brad) Smith of Muncie; grandchildren, Dharma Tilley of Lafayette, Corbin Tilley of Greenfield and Tanner Smith of Muncie; and brothers, Billy W. Ragan of Thorntown and Charlie (Debbie) Ragan of Kentucky. She was preceded in death by her parents, George and Vernie; and her husband, Jerry.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, January 2, 2024, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Erlewein Mortuary & Crematory, 1484 W. US Hwy. 40, Greenfield, IN 46140. A Mass of Christian Burial service will be held on Wednesday, January 3, 2024 at 1:30 p.m. at St. Michael Catholic Church, 519 Jefferson Blvd. Greenfield, IN, 46140. Father Aaron Jenkins will be officiating. Burial will follow at Park Cemetery in Greenfield.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made by mail to Greenfield-Central Schools: ATTN Lunch Money Accounts for Students, 110 W. North Street, Greenfield, IN 46140. Envelopes will be available at the mortuary and church. Friends may share a memory or condolence at www.erleweinmortuary.com.