People of Allen County, Indiana

A Surnames

Adams, Marcia

Cookbook Author and Television Host. Died February 6, 2011 remembered in this Journal Gazette newspaper article Local author of cookbooks Adams dies, and February 7, 2011 News-Sentinel Food icon Marcia Adams dies at 75 She hosted cooking shows on PBS, based on her five cookbooks. See her Sheets and Childs obituary and Fort Wayne Observed blog comments. She had a blog and PBS television show on WBGU Marcia Adams' Kitchen. May 23, 2009 News-Sentinel newspaper article Marcia Adams spreads heart disease awareness Eight years after heart transplant, celebrity cookbook author has passion for educating women.

Adams, Rev. Dr. Clyde

102, born January 1, 1915 in Cherry Valley, Arkansas, died February 21, 2017, pastor emeritus of Union Baptist Church, 2200 Smith St., where Adams served as pastor for nearly 50 years. He married Cordia Mae Jones in Ohio, they had four children: sons Joseph and John and daughters Gloria Jean Adams-Smith and Karen Adams. In 1950, Adams came to Fort Wayne to serve the people of Union Baptist Church, then located at 421 Breckenridge St. He brought the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to speak in Fort Wayne in June 1963. He led Fort Wayne’s NAACP chapter. Arrangements were by Carmichael Funeral Home. Copied from Clergy, Civil Rights legend the Rev. Dr. Clyde Adams crosses over at 102 by Frost editor published February 27, 2017 on Frost Illustrated.com. Posed and discussed February 27, 2017 on Frost Illustrated Facebook page. City civil rights legend Adams dies at age 102 by Rosa Salter Rodriquez published February 27, 2017 in The Journal Gazette newspaperand was in Longtime Fort Wayne pastor and civil rights leader the Rev. Clyde Adams has died by Kevin Kilbane published February 27, 2017 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.

Aden, John

Director of the African-African American Museum 436 E. Douglas Avenue and on Facebook. See Fort Wayne's African/African-American Museum moving forward by Kayleen Reusser published July 31, 2014 in The News-Sentinel newspaper. No longer online Black history museum director planning digital expansion by Vivian Sade was published September 1, 2013 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.

African-Americans

See our African-American page.

Agen, Addison

Born March 31, 2001 in Fort Wayne, the 16-year-old Concordia High School student was runner-up in national The Voice 13 television show. Addison had never been on a plane before flying out to audition for The Voice. Raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Addison started singing when she was only four years old. When she was nine, her father bought a record store that gave Addison the opportunity to explore many different genres and musical influences. She began songwriting when she was 11, and recently, her father built a stage inside the shop so she could perform. Copied from Addisen Agen Team Adam bio from The Voice at NBC.com.

  1. See Addison Agen Twitter, Facebookand Addison Agen The Voice YouTube.
  2. VIDEO and PHOTO GALLERY: Fort Wayne’s Addison Agen finishes runner-up on ‘The Voice’, includes links to many other stories, by Kevin Kilbane published December 19, 2017 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.
  3. Her first local concert, January 21, 2018, sells out 2,500 seats at the Embassy Theatre in 2.5 hours. From ‘The Voice’s’ Addison Agen’s Fort Wayne Embassy Theatre concert sold out by Lisa Esquivel Long published December 28, 2017 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.
  4. Fort Wayne City mayor Tom Henry proclaimed January 17, 2018 as Addison Agen Day see his January 17, 2017 Facebook post.

Allen, Colonel John

Born in Rockbridge County, Virginia, on December 30, 1772, his father James Allen immigrated to Kentucky with his family in 1780, eventually settling near Bardstown near Louisville. Allen is the Allen County, Indiana namesake created on April 1, 1824, by an act of the Indiana General Assembly, which had passed the enabling act on December 17, 1823. During the War of 1812 his regiment came from Kentucky to the defense of Fort Wayne at the urging of William Henry Harrison. Allen went from Fort Wayne to River Raisin, Michigan, where he was killed. See his Find A Grave page. Read the rest in Colonel John Allen by Carmen Doyle published September 16, 2014 and Colonel John Allen by Tom Castaldi published April 5, 2016 in the History Center Notes & Queries blog.

Ali, Mohammad

On February 8, 2003, The Champ, The Greatest of All Time boxer Mohammad Ali appeared at a Komets hockey game at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum where he helped raise over $15,000 for two local children's charities fighting life-threatening diseases through The Three Rivers Literacy Alliance and Camp Watcha-Wanna-Do of Northern Indiana. A Komets and UHL record crowd of 10,503 roared as the former Heavyweight Boxing Champion and most recognizable person in the world was in their house. See Komets remember Muhammad Ali News Release published June 6, 2016 after Muhammad Ali passed away at 12:10am ET Saturday, June 4, at the age of 74 on Komets.com and Remembering Ali's night with Komets by Justin A. Cohen published June 6, 2016 in The Journal Gazette newspaper. See short video Muhammad Ali's night with Komets left lasting impression by Glenn Marini published June 7, 2016 on WANE-TV NewsChannel 15.

Alsup, Elma E.

Born in 1897 in Humbolt, TN, died in 1985. Lived most of life in Fort Wayne, social worker, worked at Wheatly Center (now the Urban League), organizer of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, the Elma E. Alsup Club, the Lillian Jones Brown Club and the Girls Reserves. She was also an officer in the Indiana Association of Negro Musicians. Read more in In Celebration of Women's History Month: Fort Wayne Women remembered at Lindenwood Cemetery by Nancy McCammon-Hansen published March 12, 2014 in History Center Notes & Queries blog.

Álvarez, Isabel

Latin Nights: The Baseball Journey of Isabel Alvarez by Terry Doran video on the Internet Archive.

Born October 31, 1933 in Havana, Cuba. At just 15-years-old, Álvarez moved from Cuba to the land of opportunity. In 1949, the youngest player to come from Cuba joined the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) playing out a five-year career, which finished with the Fort Wayne Daisies. Her knickname was Lefty. Since her final game in a Daisies uniform, Álvarez has remained in the Fort where she worked at GE and retired in 1999 after 37 years of service. Copied from Delivering Daisy: The Story of Isabel Álvarez  by WKJG Fort Wayne's NBC TV station. ISABEL “LEFTY” ALVAREZ by The Waynedale News Staff published October 27, 2004 in The Waynedale News.com. Cuban pitcher found home as Daisy When women's league ended, 'Lefty' Alvarez, 84, never left the city by Dylan Sinn published May 30, 2018 in The Journal Gazette newspaper. Isabel Alvarez profile at AAGPBL. Baseball changed forever the life of local woman by Amanda Junk published July 23, 2008 in The News-Sentinel newspaper. Isabel Álvarez on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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Amish

In 2012, Allen County had nearly 3,500 Amish adherents. According to the latest U.S. Religious Census, approximately 241,000 Amish adherents were spread across 28 states in 2010. Ohio had the highest number of Amish (59,103), followed by Pennsylvania (58,009) and Indiana (45,144). Copied from Indiana's Amish Population by Molly Manns published in November-December 2012 INcontext. About 19% of the Amish in America live in Indiana – more than 45,000 residents – according to the Indiana Business Research Center. LaGrange and Adams are the second and third largest counties, respectively, in terms of Amish population in the United States. Copied from 1 Amish death in LaGrange; education efforts in motion by Niki Kelly published April 12, 2020 in The Journal Gazette newspaper. There are several Amish communities in northeast Allen County with 5 know cemeteries. A couple new cemeteries started in late 20th century. The population has doubled in some Indiana communites according to Indiana at 200 (60): Amish Thriving in Northern Indiana by Andrea Neal published September 21, 2015 on Review by Indiana Policy.org. Indiana Amish on Amish America also has information.

Angell, Mrs. Catherine

See May 27, 1896 obituary for Catherine Angell one of the oldest resident from the Fort Wayne Weekly Sentinel newspaper.

Anderson, Jim

Director of the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo for 26 years of his 44 years employment with the zoo. Zoo's keeper As Anderson starts final season, his legacy is already evident by Sherry Skufca published March 8, 2020 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.

Anderson, Murland E.

In 1955 had an underground bomb shelter installed in his front yard in response to an article in Life magazine about the fear of nuclear attack. Descibed in Family Fallout Shelter with an interior photo in the The National Museum of American History blog. Radio personality Jack Hammer talked with me about what his experience was like broadcasting live from that bomb shelter in Fort Wayne back in 1992. That bomb shelter is now in the Smithsonian video and print story Fort Wayne bomb shelter that landed in the Smithsonian remembered both articles by Vince Lovergine posted March 4, 2022 on Facebook and ABC WPTA21.com TV stationwebsite.

Andrew, Joe

1978 graduate Wayne High School, campaign worker for U.S. Rep. Ed Roush and Win Moses, governor Evan Bayh selected Andrew, 34, as chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party in 1995, President Bill Clinton chose Andrew to head the national party in 1999. Wife Anne Slaughter Andrew was ambassador to Costa Rica during Barack Obama’s first term as president. Two children: daughter Meredith, 20 and son Will, parents Sylvia and Jerald, a Fort Wayne physician who helped start the city’s EMS service who died in 2009. His parents divorced in the early 1970s, and he lived on a Poe farm with his mother and siblings. From A world of influence Andrew continues to leave mark on national, international events by Brian Francisco Washington editor published July 6, 2014 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.

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Ankenbruck, John Victor

Born Oct. 10, 1925, in Fort Wayne to Helen Margaret Nussbaum and Oscar Ankenbruck, died August 21, 2017 in South Haven, Michigan. He was the last surviving of their six children. John is survived by five daughters,  Lisa Ankenbruck, of Palisades Park, MI;  Judy Ankenbruck, Ft. Wayne, IN; Anna Ankenbruck, South Haven, MI;  Eve (John) Finnessy, Granger, IN; and Carrie (Jim) Dohnal, Roselle, IL;  six grandchildren – Maya Ankenbruck, Austin, Maggie, and Elissa Finnessy, and Joshua and Rachel Dohnal, and one great grandchild - Conner, as well as a special niece – Carol Meaney-Halperin of South Bend, Indiana, and many nieces and nephews.  His wife, LaVerne (Alfoldy) Ankenbruck; son, Phillip John, and grandson, Aaron Jerome Greengard preceded him in death. John graduated from Central Catholic High School, Ft. Wayne, in 1944. He entered the US Navy Air Corps during World War II. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1949. He married his wife, LaVerne, in 1956 and they and their family lived most of their lives in Fort Wayne. Ankenbruck was a writer and columnist for The News-Sentinel, eventually becoming the editorial page editor. He was a founding editor of Today's Catholic, the Fort Wayne-South Bend Catholic Diocese's newspaper, in 1985. He was also a historian and the author of several Fort Wayne area history books including 1972's Five Forts, 1974's The Voice of the Turtle, and 1975's Twentieth Century History of Fort Wayne. Copied from John Ankenbruck, historian, former N-S editorial and Today's Catholic editor, dies by Lisa Esquivel Long published August 23, 2017 in The News-Sentinel newspaperand his Filbrandt Family Funeral Home obituary. See list of his books on Amazon.com. He was discussed August 23, 2017 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Private group on Facebook. John Ankenbruck: Catholic gentleman, Fort Wayne legend published August 25, 2017on Today's Catholic.

Appleseed, Johnny - aka John Chapman

Early Pioneer and colorful character of the Indiana frontier in the early 1800's has his own Johnny Appleseed page.

Armstrong, Paul "Curly"

Born November 1, 1918, he was a 5'11" star guard/forward at Central High School where he reached two state championship games in 1936 and 1937 while leading his team to a 50-6 record. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, Armstrong was leading scorer for Indiana University's first national championship in 1939-40 averaging 8.9 points a game, scoring 10 points in the championship against Kansas 60-42, earning All-Big Ten Conference honors during his junior year. He played, and briefly coached, for the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons professional basketball team when they won a world championship (today's Detroit Pistons). He was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980. Copied from Wikipedia. He also helped the Pistons fastpitch softball team win three world championships according to Fort Wayne's All-Time Greatest Series: Paul “Curly” Armstrong, G/F and A knee injury eventually led to Armstrong's retirement in 1951. In 1969, he bought the Curly Armstrong Village Inn on Bluffton Road and he died June 6, 1983, at age 64. copied from Curly's company Paul "Curly" Armstrong helped lead Central High School, Indiana University and the Zollner Pistons to championships as No. 20 in the Top 50 in The News-Sentinel newspaper. See CURLY’S UNVEILS DECK by Cindy Cornwell published April 9, 2010 in the Waynedale News newspaper. See also A Little Bit About Us at www.curlysvillageinn.com. See his college stats at College Hoopedia and NBA stats at RealGM and Pro Basketball Encyclopedia.

Armstrong, Robert E.

September 24, 1925 – August 21, 2008 was a former mayor, 1976-1980, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, former councilman of Allen County, Indiana and former athletic director of Snider High School. A graduate of Fort Wayne's Central High School (closed 1971) where he played on the State Championship Basketball Team in 1943.[2][3] He attended Indiana University where he received a B.S. in Education and Health, Physical Education and Recreation in 1949 and a M.S. in Administration in 1954. From 1944-1945, Armstrong served in the United States Army Air Forces. He was training as a pilot to fight in World War II when the war ended, cutting his military service short. Bob Armstrong was married to wife, Nila on September 9, 1948. Nila was a kindergarten teacher in the Fort Wayne Community Schools and was actively involved in Bob's political endeavors. Nila Armstrong died June 29, 2012 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The couple had three sons, Daniel, Douglas, and David, five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Mayor Armstrong defeated Democratic incumbent Mayor Ivan Lebamoff in 1975 in a tight 27,145 to 26,761 victory. See more on Robert E. Armstrong on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Arnold, Robert

See photo of Robert Arnold, 22, holds a spider monkey May 24, 1957. Arnold has just been appointed to head Franke Park, including the zoo, the News-Sentinel Outdoor Theater, Shoaff Lake and other park facilities. Posted in THIS DAY IN HISTORY: May 24 in photos published May 24, 2018 by The News-Sentinel newspaper.

Atz, Norman

90, died February 28, 2016 in Fort Wayne, survived by his wife of 67 years, Rose Marie Atz of Fort Wayne; sons, Jeffrey (Laurie) Atz of Fort Wayne and Terry (Linda) Atz of Kendallville, Ind.; nine grandchildren, Jonathan, Krista, Angel, Timothy, Christopher, Mark, Jennifer, Hope, and Elizabeth; and 19 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son, Brian Atz; parents, Ralph and Elsie Atz; and brother, Lauren Atz. Owned and operated Puritan Ice Cream in Kendallville and Atz’s ice cream shops in Fort Wayne for 70 years that closed in September 2014. For more see his March 1, 2016 Fort Wayne Newspapers obituary and at D.O. McComb and Sons obituary.

Avery, Jane

Died July 17, 2015. Survived by her husband, Bill Hoover, and her daughters Elizabeth Mannir, Mo Jeffrey and Allison Avery. She was executive director of Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana, since 1996, received a Sagamore of the Wabash award from Gov. Mike Pence from Community Harvest leader presented Sagamore of Wabash award by staff published March 10, 2015 on The News-Sentinel newspaper. Community Harvest leader, Jane Avery, has died by staff reports published July 17, 2015 in The News-Sentinel newspaper. Community Harvest Food Bank - Fort Wayne statement July 17, 2015 on Facebook. STATEMENT FROM MAYOR TOM HENRY ON THE PASSING OF JANE AVERY. Community Harvest's Jane Avery passed away Friday after battle with cancer with video by Kayla Crandall published July 17, 2015 on ABC WPTA21.com TV station. Longtime food bank leader Jane Avery dies by WANE Staff Reports published July 17, 2015 on WANE-TV NewsChannel 15. Honoring the Life of Jane Avery published July 20, 2015 on Feeding America.org. Jane Avery's family shares their memories of the late Community Harvest leader with video by Melissa Long published July 23, 2015 on ABC WPTA21.com TV station. See her obituary at Klaehn, Fahl, Melton Funeral Home.

Ayres, Don

Born April 1, 1943 in Fort Wayne, to Paul and Ada (Welker) Ayres, died July 6, 2019, the car lover got the opportunity to start his own dealership in 1970 at age 27 as the youngest General Motors dealer in the country when he founded his dealership, Don Ayres Pontiac. He was awarded the Honda franchise three years later. Copied from Car dealer Don Ayres dies by Ashley Sloboda published July 8, 2019 in The Journal Gazette newspaper. He was survived by his wife of 39 years, Sandy Ayres; daughters Sara (Mike) Ayres Craig and Alison (Mark) Ayres Birkmeier both of Fort Wayne; stepsons Mark (Loree) Johnston of Waterloo and Jeff Johnston (Marie Bradbury) of Gahanna, OH; brother Paul Ayres of Monclova, OH; brother-in-law John Grodrian of Fort Wayne; ex-wife Kathleen (Johnson) Ayres of Fort Wayne; grandchildren Kristina and Christian Urberg and John and Paul Birkmeier, all of Fort Wayne; and step grandchildren Lindsay Johnston (Tom Tondiglia) of Cuyahoga Falls, OH, Hannahlee Johnston of Pittsburgh, PA and Elizabeth and Alana Craig, both of Fort Wayne copied from his Beams Funeral Home obituary.

Azar, Alexander "Alex" Abraham

Alex Azar from The Journal Gazette on Vimeo.

Alexander "Alex" Abraham Azar February 16, 1923 – December 17, 2020 Klaehn, Fahl & Melton Funeral Home obituary has a lot of family and business information. His father Abraham Azar arrived at Ellis Island in 1899 at age 20, from a small town in Damascus, Syria. A cousin told Alex he could get him a job in Bryan, Ohio. Later, with his brother David, he opened a grocery store on Calhoun Street in Fort Wayne. By late 1980s the business had grown to be worth more than $40 million with 50 restaurants in Indiana and Ohio, including Big Boy franchises and Marriott hotels. Son George bought the family business in the early 1990s. David died in 2006. Among various real estate holdings, Azar Inc. still encompasses a Big Boy restaurant in Waynedale, the Back 40 Junction restaurant in Decatur and a 300-room Marriott in Huntsville, Ala. Copied from Azars shifting family business from food to property by Paul Wyche published December 1, 2013 in The Journal Gazette newspaper. See Alex Azar 3 minute video at Manny's Place on Calhoun Street for coffee and to chew the fat with friends by Chad Ryan posted October 19, 2013 by The Journal Gazette newspaper. A May 6, 2016 discussion is on this video by You know you've lived in Fort Wayne too long when... Private Facebook group. Read July 16, 2015 history by Randy Harter, Fort Wayne historian and author, on You know you've lived in Fort Wayne too long when... Private Facebook groupabout Alexander Azar in his forthcoming book, “Legendary Locals of Fort Wayne”. Rahim Pirani posted photos and letters stating Azar's owned Charky's, Big Boy, Frisch's, Roy Rogers, Giuseppe O-Reilly's, Indiana Grill, Taco Cabana, Moonraker, Wharf, Back 40, Peaches, Davy's Locker, Rum Runners, Delta House, Red River BBQ, Marriot hotel. At one time Azar's had about 40 properties in Fort Wayne, South Bend, Indianapolis, Auburn, Angola, Decatur, Alabama and Colorado. Posted March 4, 2019generating over 100 comments, September 24, 2017 a granddaughter started a discussion and December 31, 2018 a discussion about an interview when searching for a photo of his Captain Alexanders Moonraker restaurant, and general Search on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Private group on Facebook. Local restaurateur Alex Azar, 97, dies Owned Big Boys, eatery that began Roy Rogers chain by Sherry Slatter published December 24, 2020 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.

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