People of Allen County, Indiana

R Surnames

See separate Chief Richardville page.

Randall, Franklin P.

Franklin P. Randall (1812-1892) was an attorney, state legislator, and Fort Wayne's "Civil War mayor." His wife was Mary Jane Reed (1829-1912). They were the parents of seven children. Prominent in Fort Wayne society. One daughter, Mrs. Caroline Fairbank, was a leader in the local Women's Suffrage movement. A son, Alfred "Larry" Randall, opened the city's first automobile dealership. This text and photo were copied from the Franklin P. Randall photograph collection in the Allen County Public Library Digital Collections at the Allen County Public Librarywhich contains family images from the 1850s to the 1920s, including pictures of the Randall home at the corner of Lafayette and Berry streets. See the Randall Hotel and read more about the Randall family on The Randall Circle website or 58 page pdf book with a collection of assorted photos, newspaper articles and memories from various family members.

A March 1, 2022 post by The History Center on Facebook stated:

In 1840, Franklin P. Randall was tasked with drafting a charter for the incorporation of the City of Fort Wayne. This document provided for the election of mayor and a board of six aldermen (city council) who in turn would select minor city officials. The charter was approved by the state legislature on February 22, 1840 and placed before the citizens of Fort Wayne one week later. In a vote of 116 to 53, exactly 182 years ago today, on March 1, 1840, Fort Wayne was incorporated as a city. The people of Fort Wayne elected George W. Wood as their first mayor and Thomas Hamilton, William Rockhill, William S. Edsall, William L. Moon, Samuel Edsall and Madison Sweetser as their first aldermen. In their first council meeting, the aldermen choose the city clerk, treasurer, marshal, tax collector, lumber measurer, attorney, assessor and street commissioner. Franklin P. Randall, George F. Wright, Samuel S. Morss, Joseph Berkey, John B. Cocanour, Lucien P. Ferry, Robert E. Fleming and Joseph H. McMaken, respectively, were the first to fill these positions. #sociallyhistory

Randall, Perry

November 18, 2022 post byHistoric 07 District - Fort Wayne on Facebook:

In the 1880s and today, Maple Avenue had the most beautiful homes. Right off Broadway, the home of Julia and Perry Randall was built. Julia and Perry married in 1876. Over the years, they had three children: a son, Fay, and two daughters, Louise and Anna. The couple purchased a building downtown and renamed it the Randall Hotel. The hotel opened in the early 1890s and was a staple of Fort Wayne for decades.

Unfortunately, in 1896, Julia and Perry divorced due to incompatibility of temper. Julia, a well-connected woman of her time who came from a prominent family in New York, continued to be visible socially in Fort Wayne. She appeared to have some ownership or financial interest in the hotel through 1900 but also actively supported fundraising for Hope Hospital (eventually becoming Parkview Health). She was even personal friends with Madam Cappiani. Cappiani, known as Luisa Cappiani, was an Austrian dramatic operatic soprano who toured internationally and worked as a famous musical educator.

Perry remarried an equally impressive woman named Winifred Johnston. Perhaps to the dismay of Julia, this occurred within a year or so of her divorce from Perry. The two made their home at the Randall Hotel because Julia kept the house on Maple Avenue. Winifred became the first woman in the United States to run a lumber mill, a project she picked up rather than attending art school.

The lumber mill was going bankrupt, and Winifred decided to help it succeed. She successfully ran the business, winning the bid for the white oak used by Teddy Roosevelt’s Panama Canal. She received notes from him from time to time thanking her for her work. In 1916, though, her husband, Perry, passed away. With multiple businesses, Winifred decided to continue the work.

Over the next forty years, she continued to own and run the Randall Hotel. In addition to that, she operated lumber mills and various farms. In the community, she assisted the Swinney family in donating the land for Swinney Park, helped found the Fort Wayne Art School and Museum, and much more. Winifred passed in 1963 and Julia in 1944, leaving legacies to be remembered.

Rankin, Rev. Alexander Taylor

Born December 4, 1803 in Dandridge, Tennessee, to Richard and Jane Steele Rankin in Tennesse. He was a minister at the Fort Wayne Presbyterian Church and established an underground railroad site at his home now known as the Randall T. Rankin House at 818 Lafayette from 1841-1844 before moving on to western New York. See his history starting on Section 8 page 7 on his house 30-page registration certification October 26, 2004 when it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Rathert, Charles Augustus

Born on November 28, 1885, Rathert grew up in Adams Township, Allen County, Indiana. He was a vaudevillian trapeze artist. He began his performing career in 1914 with his wife Edna and they were known first as “Rozella & Earl,” eventually settling on “The La Croix.” After 1926, Charles performed alone under several aliases, including: La Croix, Charles Augustus, Charles Richards, Charles La Croix, Carl Landair, Vinton Corwin and Victor C. Carlin. Rathert continued promoting his trapeze act though the 1950s on Broadway and in Hollywood. One of our lesser known entertainers was vaudevillian trapeze artist, He died on April 18, 1963 at the Irene Bryon Hospital from pulmonary tuberculosis and was buried at Prairie Grove Cemetery. Copied August 30, 2018 post with photos from The History Centeron Facebook.

Rea, Samuel

Age 92, passed away Friday October 22, 2010. Remembered in an October 26, 2010 The Journal Gazette newspaper article. Rea graduated from South Side High School in 1936, attended college and served a stint in the Navy. In 1949, he returned to Fort Wayne to work at his father’s company, Rea Magnet Wire Co. He was that company’s president from 1954 to 1960, when it was sold to Alcoa. He founded the Fort Wayne Fine Arts Foundation (now Arts United) in 1955 and was its first president. He was then in the Indiana House from 1963 to 1972. See his January 1, 2012 Fort Wayne Newspapers obituary. See Rea Magnet Wire Co. Inc. by Erin N. Riley published June 8, 2009 on Fun City Finder Indianapolis, Indiana. See Rea Magnet Wire on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

Rea, Victor F.

Born May 24, 1889, died Aug. 21, 1954. A pominent Fort Wayne, Indiana industrialist and civic leader. He was president of Rea Magnet Wire Company, which he founded in 1933. He came here in 1910 to become general manager of the old Dudlo Company, which merged with General Cable Company in 1927. See son Samuel above for links to Rea Magnet Wire information.

Reagan, President Ronald

Elex Club Scrapbook, 1954-1955 (#2) from The Genealogy Center » Free Databases » Fort Wayne & Allen County, Indiana Resources » General Electric Collection » Elex Club Scrapbooks » Elex Club Scrapbook, 1954-1955 (#2). See video Story of When Ronald Reagan visited GE in the Electric Works section.

Elex Club Scrapbook, 1954-1955 (#2)

Ronald Reagan at Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

President Reagan during a Visit to the Fort Wayne, Indiana Flood Victims on March 16, 1982 by the Reagan Library published on April 19, 2017

See March 16, 1982 Timeline and Flood information on our Rivers page.

The photo of President Ronald Reagan helping sandbag the St. Mary's River in Fort Wayne was posted on President's Day. A February 18, 2019 by the Indiana Archives and Records Administration on Facebook and Twitter, stated:

Happy President's Day!

We have a variety of presidential materials out at the Archives, including photographs. One such photograph is President Ronald Reagan helping sandbag the St. Mary's River in Fort Wayne, which had been devastated by flooding in 1982.

They included a link to the newspaper article Reagan Joins in Passing Out Sandbags In Surprise Visit to Flooded Ind. City by Herbert H. Denton published March 17, 1982 in the Washington Post. 

There were other photos when he met with volunteer sandbaggers at Herman and Sherman Blvd during the March 16, 1982 flood broadcast nationwide.


Kevin Leininger of the The News-Sentinel newspaper discusses in the video how he was in the right place and right time to get the story of the "photo-op" at the 4:55 minute mark of the Patty's Page - Interview with Kevin Leininger, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel by abitibibob March 4, 2012 on YouTube.
Patty Hunter, along with co-host Terry Doran, interview Fort Wayne News-Sentinel reporter Kevin Leininger about his career and news stories he has covered, including a memorable encounter with President Ronald Reagan and a staged photo-op by the President during the "Great Flood of 1982." Taped February 6, 2012 for Access Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Redd, Charles B.

82 died January 26, 2013, recipient of the mayor’s first “Key to the Fort” award, First ‘Key to the Fort' Former councilman receives honor for advocacy by Benjamin Lanka September 27, 2008 of The Journal Gazette. Local civic leader, instrumental in desegregating Fort Wayne schools in the late 1960s, founder and president of the Voter Information Center, chairman of the Indiana Democratic African-American Caucus, board member for Anthony Wayne Services, the Headwaters Park Alliance and the Fort Wayne Housing Authority, helped create Headwaters Park, director of the Fort Wayne Urban League from 1968 to 1974, advocate for the city’s African-American community, former General Telephone Co. employee, Democratic City Council member from 1983 to 1991, representing the 1st District during exodus of International Harvester and the east-end industries, 1997 and 1998 interim director of the Metropolitan Human Relations Commission. An Indiana House Resolution passed in 2001 said he had “spent his entire life in service to mankind.” from Fort Wayne ‘prime mover’ Charles Redd dies Dan Stockman January 28, 2013 of The Journal Gazette. See also Redd worthy of ‘key' September 30, 2008. See his January 30, 2013 Fort Wayne Newspapers obituary. Civil Rights Pioneer, 'Lion,' Charles Redd Crosses Over at 82 published February 6, 2013 on Frost Illustrated now on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

Reed, Lynn Rowe

Has written, illustrated and published 17 children's books since 1990.

Reighter, Ralph

F51 crash Korea by Kr8er published Dec 19, 2016 YouTube

Survived his crash-landing an RF-51 Mustang fighter jet after taking fire during a low-level reconnaissance mission just a couple of miles inside South Korea in 1952. He was one of the first pilots stationed at Fort Wayne's Baer Field when it was activated. Official copies of his father's military records were lost in a government building fire in 1973 St. Louis, Missouri. Among attendees at his April 2018 celebration were his son, Ken Reighter, sisters, Ruth Reighter, 87, and Nancy Yoder, 79, both of Fort Wayne, and his brother, Robert Reighter, 91, of Fort Wayne, also a World War II veteran. They celebrated his upcoming 100th birthday in June 2018. Copied from Fighter pilot's big moments Surprise 100th includes footage of Korean War crash landing by Rosa Salter Rodriquez published April 21, 2018 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.

Reitz, Caroll

She and her husband Bill started Reitz Stores grocery in 1967 before merging with Don Scott’s grocery chain to form Scott’s Food Stores. She remained on the Scott’s board for 20 years. She died at 76. obituary or D.O. McComb and Sons Funeral Home obituary.

Repka, Lionel

Komets hockey player, born February 7, 1935 in Vilma, Alberta to Jack and Emily Repka, died April 27, 2015. Married Helen Bolte May 18, 1957 in Edmonton, Canada. Nicknamed “Choo Choo”, he played 11 seasons with the Komets 1958-59 through 1968-69. Two-time IHL Turner Cup Champion with Fort Wayne. See two videos on Komets Legend Lionel Repka Passes Away by Chuck Bailey - Komets Media Relations published April 28, 2015 on CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15. The loss of 'Choo Choo' Legendary Komets defenseman dies by Justin A. Cohn published April 28, 2015 in The Journal Gazette newspaper. Komets great Lionel Repka passes away after cancer battle by Blake Sebring published April 28, 2015 in The News-Sentinel newspaper. See his D.O. McComb and Sons obituary.

Replogle, Andy

Snider High School baseball pitcher, set career pitching records at Kansas State for 25 wins 1973-1975, played with Milwaukee Brewers 1978-1979 had a Topps baseball card

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Reynolds, Fred J.

January 5, 2013 post by the Genealogy Center on Facebook.

Why such a fabulous genealogy collection in Fort Wayne, Indiana? Fred J. Reynolds, former "head librarian" (library director) at ACPL was instrumental in establishing and beginning to build the genealogy collection. He was a non-genealogist who respected the study of genealogy and he implemented numerous innovative methods of helping the collection grow. It is now named for him.

Rhoads, B. Eric

1973 Homestead High School graduate, painter and entrepreneur, lives in Austin, Texas from Doing what he loves has brought Fort Wayne native B. Eric Rhoads success in life and business by Kevin Kilbane published September 12, 2014 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.

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Richards, Karen

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb awarded long-time Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards a Sagamore of the Wabash. The award is an honor bestowed by the governor’s office recognizing leadership and service. Richard’s Chief Deputy Prosecutor and Prosecutor-elect Michael McAlexander presented her with the award Monday evening.

Richards was the first woman to serve as a deputy prosecutor in the criminal division of the Allen County Prosecutor’s office when she was first hired in 1981. She was also the first woman elected to the office when she won the race for the seat in 2003. Under her leadership, the prosecutors office formed a sex crimes unit. She was also instrumental in forming the Child Mortality Review Team and the Dr. Bill Lewis Center for Children, a place for forensic interviews of children who may be experiencing abuse. Richards retiired at the end of 2022. Copied from Long-time Allen County Prosecutor recognized by state with Sagamore award 89.1 WBOI | By Rebecca Green posted December 22, 2022 on 89.1 WBOI Northeast Indiana Public Radio.

The award is the highest honor an Indiana governor can bestow and is usually given to those who have “rendered a distinguished service to the state or to the governor.” Copied from a December 21, 2022 post on Facebook. Former Indiana Gov. Ralph Gates created the Sagamore of the Wabash in the 1940s, and every governor since Gates has utilized the award in their own ways. There are no official records to determine how many people have been awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash, and each governor reserves the right to personally select the recipients. Copied from Allen County prosecutor receives Sagamore of the Wabash award by Clayton McMahan, posted: Dec 20, 2022 at CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15.

Richeson, William E.

March 1, 1927 - February 17, 2015, He worked for the Magnavox Company where he received several patents. One was for the Facsimile System with Selective Contrast Control, United States Patent 3622698, the first facsimile image transmitted over public telephone lines, better known as a fax machine. The March 3, 1969 application number 04/803612 was filed with co-inventor Robert H. Dreisbach approved and published November 23, 1971. See Freepatentsonline3622698, Google US3622698, Vehicle management computer US 5284116 A, he patented many other devices found in these Google Search Results. Wikipedia history of the fax details the first fax patent back to Scottish inventor Alexander Bain in 1846. Read his February 19, 2015 or Hockemeyer Miller Funeral Home obituary.

Ridley, Richard Jerome, Jr.

First black firefighter in the 1960s, badge number 210, honored February 25, 2015. He retired in 1985 as a district chief. His brother, two sons and three nephews all joined the department.

October 22, 2023 post by the Fort Wayne Fire Department on Facebook:

The City of Fort Wayne and the Fort Wayne Fire Department are mourning the passing of the first Black firefighter hired in Fort Wayne.

Richard Ridley, Jr., served the FWFD from 1961-1985. Mr. Ridley also had a brother, son, and nephew serve with the FWFD. Two additional nephews continue to serve with the FWFD.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ridley family and our FWFD family.

You can learn more about his journey in this WANE-TV story from 2015.

Badge 210: An American history story with video by Alyssa Ivanson, February 25, 2015, CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15.

  1. Richard Jerome Ridley Jr. in the Fire Fighter Photographs FORT WAYNE FIREFIGHTER: Richard Jerome Ridley Jr. BADGE #: 210 HIRED: 10/2/1961 RETIRED: 2/11/1985 with photo at Allen County Public Library Digital Collections at the Allen County Public Library.
  2. Richard Ridley, Jr.: Fort Wayne's First African-American Firefighter in the Marsha Smiley Collection: Crossing Opportunity's Threshold at the The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  3. Concordia welcomes back its first African American graduates at Concordia Lutheran High School.
  4. City of Fort Wayne mourns loss of first Black firefighter, Jada Jones, Oct 21, 2023 on The Journal Gazette newspaper.


October 21, 2023 - The City of Fort Wayne and the Fort Wayne Fire Department today are mourning the passing of the first Black firefighter hired in Fort Wayne.

Richard Ridley, Jr., served the FWFD from 1961-1985. Mr. Ridley also had a brother, son, and nephew serve with the FWFD. Two additional nephews continue to serve with the FWFD. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ridley family and our FWFD family.

Ridley, Serlena

Born in 1850, died in 1918. Born a slave, she received a Freedman Bureau education and iniiated Fisk Camp Schools for African-Americans in Nashville. She taught school through the Methodist Church when most African-Americans were not allowed to teach in many public schools. She arrived in Fort Wayne about 1881. With husband, Daniel, served as deaconess and trustee of Turner Chapel A.M.E. Church. 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.

Ringenberg, Margaret Ray

87, died in July 2008 while attending an air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. A resident of Leo-Cedarville, just a month before she flew more than 2,000 miles from Bozeman, Montana, to Mansfield, Massachusetts, in the women-only Air Race Classic. Born on a farm she was a World War II aviation pioneer. She trained as a WASP pilot in 1943. Tom Brokaw wrote a chapter about her in his book The Greatest Generation and in a telephone interview said Margaret was one of my favorites. She wrote a book Girls Can’t Be Pilots: an aerobiography in 1998 with Jane L. Roth. In 1999 she received the NAA Elder Statesman in Aviation Award in a presentation ceremony in Washington, DC. Margaret married banker Morris Ringenberg in 1946. He preceded her in death in 2003. They had two children and five grandchildren. Her story is told in the 2007 book Maggie Ray : World War II Air Force pilot by Marsha J. Wright. Photo and discussion March 30, 2017 on Indiana Commission for Women on Facebook. Documentary Wings for Maggie Ray March 5, 2013 Honoring a pioneer Early woman pilot, area native profiled in documentary by Keiara Carr of The Journal Gazette newspaper. The documentary video was available from PBS39 WFWA Fort Wayne. See Find A Grave page. Margaret Ringenberg, WW2 aviator, 87 by Rebecca S. Green and Dean Musser of The Journal Gazette newspaper on Google obituaries.

When Margaret Ray Ringenberg completed her first solo flight in 1941 at the age of 19, some people said women didn’t belong in the cockpit. But the Hoosier pilot proved them wrong, launching a long career in aviation that included service in World War II, a stint in airplane racing and shuttling Indiana senators to Washington. “Margaret wasn’t one of those people who set out to be a revolutionary,” filmmaker Philip Paluso said. “She just wanted to do what she wanted to do, and her actions spoke for her.” And now Paluso has created a documentary about the pioneering aviator’s life. “Wings for Maggie Ray”

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Ripley, Paul E.

He died February 18, 2019, age 95. He was married for 71 years to Valeria Inez Adair who died October 15, 2018. Their children were Karen Ripley Stein, Cazenovia, New York; Janet Caron, Charlotte, North Carolina; Jeanne Emilian, Fort Wayne; and Roger Ripley, Fort Wayne, along with 13 grandchildren, and 34 great-grandchildren.. He was awarded the French Legion of Honor, France's highest distinction for military and civilian service, in a ceremony February 8 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception for his service in World War II. Ripley served in the 9th Army during the Brest campaign, a battle that freed a portion of northwest France that included vital port cities, including Brest. Copied from Local resident gets Legion of Honor France to WWII vet: 'Merci' by Rosa Salter Rodriquez published February 9, 2019 and Local vet honored by France dies by Matthew Leblanc published February 20, 2019 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.

Roberts, Bessie Keeran

Born in 1886, died in 1964. Wrote Fort Wayne's Album, The Glorious Gate1934 on History Center Digital Collection on the mDON mastodon Digital Object Network, A Wayne Scrapbook, The Frontier Line an unpublished Abraham Lincoln history. A society editor and wife of Frank Roberts a former editor of the The Journal Gazette newspaper. Read more in In Celebration of Women's History Month: Fort Wayne Women remembered at Lindenwood Cemetery published March 12, 2014 and The Glorious Gate published August 1, 2014 both by Nancy McCammon-Hansen in History Center Notes & Queries blog. See her book list on

Roberts, Ollie

Born 1906 in a small mining community of Garrett, Kentucky, with no electricity or a telephone. Only supercentenarian in Indiana and one of 52 in the world. Fort Wayne resident Ollie Roberts will turn 110 on Sunday by Kayla Crandall published January 14, 2016 on Marking 110th birthday Local woman gives credit to hard work, faith for her joining club of 52 in world ... by James Duffy published January 18, 2016 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.

Robertson, Colonel Robert S.

Colonel Robert S. Robertson, 1839-1906 : soldier, public officer, historian, social arbiter by Public Library of Fort Wayne and Allen County, 1958, on

Descended from Scotch ancestors, settled in Fort Wayne after the Civil War, during which he had won the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service, nearly dying from wounds suffered in May 1864 at the Battle of Spotsylvania. Active in civic affairs, became lieutenant governor, and later, Fort Wayne's city attorney and state senator. He wrote a history of Fort Wayne and Antiquities of the area. See Colonel Robertson Civil War Diary on 200 @ 200 2016 Bicentennial items at The History Centerand the ebook posted above: Colonel Robert S. Robertson, 1839-1906 : soldier, public officer, historian, social arbiter by Public Library of Fort Wayne and Allen County published 1958 on Internet Archive. See also THIS DAY IN INDIANA HISTORY: THE “BLACK DAY” OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY by Justin Clark published February, 2017 Tweet February 24, 2017 on Hoosier State Chronicles Indiana's Digital Historic Newspaper Programon Twitter. He has several publications online at Internet Archive. See 24 works in 51 publications on WorldCat.

Robinson, Jackie

Baseball player, Fort Wayne’s Jackie Robinson Connection on TinCaps Holding Down the Fort MLB blog.

Robinson, Wendy

The Power of Partnership: Dr. Wendy Robinson by Discovery Education August 10, 2018 on YouTube
Superintendent, Fort Wayne Community Schools, IN

  1. Fort Wayne Community Schools Superintendent one of two 2014 The Journal Gazette Citizens of the Year published December 28, 2014 in The Journal Gazette newspaper now on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. See previous Citizens of the Year.
  2. Fort Wayne, Ind., Superintendent Is Forceful Advocate for Urban Schools by Denisa R. Superville published February 24, 2016 on Education Week Leaders to Learn from.
  3. FWCS Superintendent Wendy Robinson named Indiana public schools superintendent of the year She will now be the state's nominee for National Superintendent of the Year. Published September 28, 2017 in The News-Sentinel newspaper now on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
  4. She was the first woman, the first Black person and the first FWCS graduate to lead the district, which has served students for more than 150 years. “Her selection broke through several glass ceilings,” longtime school board member Steve Corona said. “I think it represented an important step forward.” Robinson, 69, retires June 30, ending a 47-year education career she began as an elementary school teacher. All those years were spent at FWCS despite job opportunities elsewhere, including those that offered higher salaries, she said. Copied from FWCS leader concluding career of 1sts Robinson exiting after 47-year career by Ashley Sloboda published June 21, 2020 in The Journal Gazette newspaper with photos now on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. The following list provided by FWCS to the article includes some of the honors Robinson has received during her 17 years as superintendent:
    • 2018 – Indiana Superintendent of the Year, Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents
    • 2017 – Partner in Purpose, Great Progressive Baptist Church
    • 2016 – Leaders to Learn From, Education Week
    • 2015 – Outstanding PTA Partner, Indiana PTA
    • 2014 – Co-Citizen of the Year with Mark GiaQuinta, The Journal Gazette
    • 2013 – Chairman's Award, Indiana Civil Rights Commission/ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Indiana Holiday Commission
    • 2012 – Mike Kneale Educational Excellence in Leadership Award, Education Research & Development Institute
    • 2010 – Communities for a Lifetime Award of Excellence, Aging & In-Home Services of Northeast Indiana Inc.
    • 2009 – Joseph E. Hill Superintendent of the Year, National Alliance of Black School Educators
    • 2008 – District II Superintendent of the Year, Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents
    • 2005 – Athena Award
    • 2004 – Elizabeth Dobynes Award, Fort Wayne NAACP
    • 2004 – Helene R. Foellinger Achievement Award, YWCA
  5. August 18, 2023 post by Mayor Tom Henry on Facebook:

    I’m saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Dr. Wendy Robinson.

    Wendy and I were friends. I valued, appreciated, and respected her commitment to children and education through her leadership as an educator and superintendent with Fort Wayne Community Schools. Wendy was a caring person and always wanted what was best for students and teachers. Wendy touched a lot of lives in a positive way and she will be missed.

    Cindy and I send our heartfelt condolences to the Robinson family and the entire FWCS community.

  6. Former, longtime FWCS superintendent Wendy Robinson dies Lisa Green and Maya Wilkins August 18, 2023 The Journal Gazette newspaper.
  7. Former FWCS superintendent Wendy Robinson passes away Lydia Reuille August 18, 2023 CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15.
  8. August 18, 2023 post by 21Alive on Facebook:

    Dr. Wendy Robinson, who served as FWCS' superintendent for 17 years, has sadly passed away, school leaders say.

    "Dr. Robinson was a lifelong advocate for children, and supporting public education was her passion.'


  9. August 23, 2023 post by WANE 15 on Facebook:

    A newly-released documentary on Dr. Wendy Robinson depicts the former FWCS superintendent as a superhero, showcasing her “super ability” to relate to those she encountered both in and out of the classroom.

    ‘Wonder Wendy’: Documentary on late FWCS superintendent highlights her impact in and out of the classroom

  10. August 26, 2023 post by the Fort Wayne Community Schools on Facebook:

    Celebration of Life for Dr. Wendy Y. Robinson

    Official FWCS Livestream for the Celebration of Life Service for former FWCS Superintendent Dr. Wendy Y. Robinson.

Mary Rockhill Tyler

Photo with caption: The Mary Rockhill Tyler home on Van Buren Street was restored for use as a museum. But it may become a rental property instead. ... The home, built around 1840, is owned by ARCH, Fort Wayne's nonprofit historic architecture preservation group. Beginning in 2007, ARCH gained control of the house, used as a garage for many years, and restored the two-story 1,007-square-foot building. ... Believed to be one of the oldest surviving residences in the city, the house is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a local historic district. The home was built by city pioneer William Rockhill for his daughter and her husband. Rockhill was an original Allen County commissioner and involved in constructing the first stretch of the Wabash and Erie Canal from Fort Wayne to Huntington. Copied from ARCH looks to convert historic home to rental by Rosa Salter Rodriquez published February 6, 2020 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.

Rockwell, Horace

Was the first known itinerant artist to visit and make a living in Fort Wayne. Horace painted the Samuel Hanna Family 1843 portrait in the Fort Wayne Museum of Art’s collection.  Horace Rockwell: Artist by Tom Castaldi published April 24, 2014 on the History Center Notes & Queries blog.

Roese, Mildred Korte

Born in 1940, died November 27, 2013, with her father Fred Korte co-founded Korte Paper which closed in 2007. Korte Paper sold various items like grocery bags to local supermarkets like Maloley's and Rogers, hand towels and toiletries, among other items, was one of the first businesses to embrace the concept of "cash and carry," which meant that customers could come in and buy items in quantities they needed, instead of being limited to buying in bulk. ... She is survived by Gloria, stepdaughter Janice Ramsey and stepson Michael Roese, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Copied from Mildred Roese, co-founder of Korte Paper, passes away by Elbert Starks III published December 3, 2013 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.

Roets, Bob

January 2, 2024 post by 89.1 WBOI on Facebook:

As the final days of 2023 turned into a new year, Bob Roets, founder of Fort Wayne’s iconic Wooden Nickel Records, announced his retirement.

For a look back at the local record store scene and Bob's commitment to the community, here’s a conversation from the archives!

Listen to Julia Meek's interview with Bob from 2022, as they discuss the store's 40th anniversary.

Rogers, Robert

Lost his first family, wife Melissa and four children, in a tragic flood August 30, 2003 near Emporia, Kansas. Children were Mekenah, Nicholas, 3; special-needs son Zachary, 7 with Down syndrome and autism; and special-needs daughter Alenah, 21 months, and adopted eight months earlier from China. Rogers moved to Fort Wayne where he married his second wife, Inga in 2006 and have four children Eziekiel, 6, Estellah, 4, Leo, 3, and Lola, 1. Read their story Local father gives thanks for kids after death of first family by Rosa Salter Rodriguez published November 28, 2013 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.

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Rolf, Herman

"was born in 1880 and spent his early years on a farm in Dearborn County, Indiana. He later moved to Ft. Wayne, Indiana, where he joined his brother in the plumbing business. Mr. Rolf distinguished himself as inventor of a hot water heater that sold successfully both locally and abroad. Who's Who page 19 October 1918 Norwester photo and description. His business continues as Rolf Griffin Heating & Air Conditioning and a 5th generation relative Randy Rolf Heating & Cooling.

Rolland, Ian MacKenzie

Community leader was born June 3, 1933 in Fort Wayne, Indiana and died July 1, 2017. Ian was the son of the late David and Florence Rolland. He graduated from North Side High School in 1951. His wife of 61 years was Miriam "Mimi" Rolland of Fort Wayne; children, Cheri Stone of Columbus, Larry (Irene) Rolland of Kokomo, Bob (Beth) Rolland of Columbus, OH, Carol Rolland of Fort Wayne, Sara Moore of Fishers. From his Ian MacKenzie Rolland July 1, 2017 July 3, 2017 Fort Wayne Newspapers obituary. "a Fort Wayne native, began his career at Lincoln National Life in 1956; rose to president and a director of Lincoln National Corp. in 1975 and was named CEO two years later. In 1992, he was named chairman and CEO, retiring in 1998. He has stayed active in the community, sitting on the boards of more than a dozen non-profits and charities including the Indiana Historical Society, Arts United, Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana, the Indiana chapter of the Nature Conservancy, Indiana Natural Resources Foundation, Courthouse Preservation Trust and the Indiana Heritage Trust...Gov. Mitch Daniels will honor Fort Wayne civic leader and longtime businessman Ian Rolland (April 25) with the 2012 Sachem Award, the state’s highest honor." From Rolland tapped for Sachem Award Ex-Lincoln CEO, civic activist due state’s top honor by Niki Kelly published April 18, 2012 in The Journal Gazette newspaper now on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

  1. Rollands' support invaluable to development of arts center by Cindy Larson published October 1, 2015 in The News-Sentinel newspaper now on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
  2. Ian Rolland, former Lincoln CEO and civic leader, dies at 84 published July 1, 2017 on The News-Sentinel newspaper now on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
  3. Rolland leaves legacy of service editorial July 3, 2017 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.
  4. State Remembers 'Champion' Rolland by Andy Ober published July 3, 2017 on Inside Indiana Business.
  5. EDITORIAL: Ian Rolland, community leader published July 6, 2017 on The News-Sentinel newspaper now on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
  6. Many companies remembered his contributions to their group Friday July 7, 2017 on Facebook including:
    1. July 7, 2017 by Artlink on Facebook:

      Artlink would like to give recognition to Fort Wayne community leader, Ian Rolland who passed last Saturday. Mr. Rolland has left a profound impact on this community and the arts in particular. Artlink has him to thank for so much. We are proud to have met him and will forever be humbled at his belief in all of us who call this region home. May you live on in the stories and lives of those you made better.

      Photography by Bonnie Tobey Manning — with Bonnie Tobey Manning.

    2. July 7, 2017 by the Lincoln Collection on Facebook:

      IAN MacKENZIE ROLLAND (1933-2017)

      Our 16th president’s words of December 1, 1862, clearly apply to Ian Rolland: “Honorable alike in what we give and in what we preserve.” The long-time Fort Wayne business leader and philanthropist had a long-standing respect for Abraham Lincoln, and he spent a lifetime preserving Lincoln’s legacy. Thanks to Ian’s leadership and fundraising efforts, Lincoln National’s $20 million collection of Lincoln artifacts remains in Indiana as the Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection, jointly curated by the Allen County Public Library and the Indiana State Museum. We are grateful for the leadership that Ian Rolland exhibited throughout his lifetime, and our thoughts are with his family.

    3. July 7, 2017 by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership on Facebook:

      Today we honor Ian Rolland, a great leader and a visionary in our community. His legacy will be celebrated and his impact felt for generations to come. John Sampson, CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, shares these words, “Ian always saw the potential in our development as a region. He was with us from the very beginning of Vision 2020, and he never hesitated or questioned what we could do together.” We are thankful for Ian Rolland’s progressive leadership and service to our community.

      Photo courtesy of the News-Sentinel

  7. To us he was a pillar of the community, to five others Ian Rolland was dad with video by Kelly Roberts published July 7, 2017 on CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15.
  8. Tributes to Ian Rolland by Sara Gabbard, Executive Director of the Friends of the Lincoln Collection and Harold Holzer, Jonathan F. Fanton Director of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College.
  9. August 21, 2023 post by The Journal Gazette on Facebook:

    Mimi Rolland, a longtime community philanthropist and the wife of former Lincoln National Corp. chairman and CEO Ian Rolland, has died at age 90.


    Graham Richard, former mayor of Fort Wayne, commented on her work when he was interviewed after Ian Rolland’s death. Ian Rolland died in 2017 at age 84 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

    “(Mimi) was very engaged in the community and the church. She saw people in Fort Wayne who were invisible to many, who were suffering, and (she) challenged that this was not right and it needed to be addressed,” Richards told The Journal Gazette in 2017.

    The Rollands joined the effort to desegregate Fort Wayne public schools after being exposed to conditions in what they described as “the inner city.”

    The couple’s charitable donations are reflected in the Mimi and Ian Rolland Art and Visual Communication Center, at the University of Saint Francis; the Ian and Mimi Rolland Discovery Center, headquarters of Junior Achievement of Northeast Indiana; and the Rolland Center for Lincoln Research, at the downtown Allen County Public Library.

    The couple were also honored for their support of United Way of Allen County, among numerous other organizations.

    Events supported by the Ian & Mimi Rolland Foundation included a local commemoration in 2015 of the 50th anniversary of the civil rights march in Selma, Alabama.Mimi Rolland, community activist, dies at 90

Rondot, Alfred B.

The Alfred B. Rondot Collection and at The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana has 78 volumes of handwritten information including obituaries copied from local newspapers published in 1977 of French and Swiss family information for Allen County residents digitized as the Alfred B. Rondot collectionon the Internet Archive. Four volumes, 30, 31, 35, 36, labeled obituaries are on our Obituaries page.

Rongos, George

October 16, 2023 post by WANE 15  on Facebook:

When 18-year-old George Rongos arrived in Fort Wayne from a small village in Greece in 1954, perhaps only he knew that one day his influence would be imprinted all over town.

Many photos in Founder of George’s International Market leaves lasting legacy

George and Eleni have five children: Judy, Mike, Jimmy, Chris and Jerry. Those families grew to give them 12 grandchildren and 3 great-grandkids. George’s footprint in Fort Wayne reaches beyond the grocery store through his children’s businesses. 

Salsa Grille, fast casual Mexican food, opened 11 years ago and will expand to Auburn, opening its fifth location, in a few weeks. All of Salsa Grille’s ingredients are sourced through George’s International Market, and the grocery store also sells Salsa Grille’s salsas.

Zing, a  new fast casual Asian fusion restaurant, just opened a few months ago in southwest Fort Wayne adjacent to the Salsa Grille at Coventry. Mike also works with his brothers in the family businesses.

Jimmy owns Zianos Italian Eatery and Judy and her husband own Global Medical Industries.

See George's International Market.


Both Theodore and FDR gave speeches in Fort Wayne. See Teddy Roosevelt was a rock star, and his tour came through here by Kerry Hubartt published September 20, 2014 in The News-Sentinel newspaper and Indiana intersections with national history posted by Nancy McCammon-Hansen December 26, 2013 in History Center Notes & Queries blog. Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States gave a campaign re-election speech in Fort Wayne. See Remarks at Fort Wayne, Indiana on The American Presidency Project. See photo Fdr At Soldier's Field & Ft Wayne Nov 1944 with WOWO radio microphone visible by George Skadding in the Life Photo Collection on Google. A similar photo taken by Louis J. Culp of the public relations department at International Harvester shows FDR speaking, with Governor Henry Schricker and Senator Sam Jackson on the Allen County Public Library Digital Collections at the Allen County Public Library.

Ropa, Captain William

An ex-canal boat captain laid to rest in Concordia Cemetery after residing in Fort Wayne for over 60 years from May 6, 1918 Fort Wayne The News-Sentinel newspaper posted May 6, 2017 on the original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook.

Rothgeb, Wayne P.

1920-1993, well known farm broadcaster for WKJG radio, was accepted as an aviation cadet for the Army Air Corps in 1941. Received the Air Medal with Four Clusters and a Unit Citation. Assistant County Agricultural Agent for Jay County 1948-1950. Farm Director for WKJG-TV Ft. Wayne 1951 - 1985. Named National Farm Broadcaster of the Year in 1984. From Milan Township, Allen County, Indiana on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. He wrote a book about his adventures, New Guinea skies : a fighter pilot's view of World War IIavailable at the Allen County Public Library. Reviewed by Publishers Weekly, Mondo's Info and Purdue University Libraries. His tombstone in Gar Creek Cemetery shows he was a Captain in World War II. September 25, 2012 on the original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook.

Rothchild, Dr. Charles

Dr. Charles Rothchild running for Coroner life story in January 30, 1916 Fort Wayne Weekly Sentinel newspaper was posted on the original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook.

Rousseau, Edwin Ed

1933-2009 - Businessman and civic leader, city and county politician for over 40 years, original manager of Glenbrook Square, local realtor and appraiser. Legendary Locals of Fort Wayne, by Randolph L. Harter, Craig S. Leonard .

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Roy, Francis Xavier

1881–1971 semi pro boxer, photo posted May 21, 2016 on the original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook.

Roy, Patricia

1956 Harlan High School graduate served on the IHSAA executive staff for 27 years before she retired in 1999. At age 15, Roy played 14 games for the Fort Wayne Daisies of the All-American Professional Baseball League, but was released because insurance rules at the time prohibited players under age 16. Copied from Allen County-native and girls sports pioneer Patricia Roy has died No one worked longer for IHSAA or did more for girls sports by Blake Sebring published May 24, 2017 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.

Rudisill, Henry Wolff


Page 293 shows a letter when Henry Rudisill came to Fort Wayne, page 299 discusses The Rudisill Mill 1830-1910, just two of 51 hits for Rudisill in The pictorial history of Fort Wayne, Indiana : a review of two centuries of occupation of the region about the head of the Maumee River by Griswold, B. J. (Bert Joseph), 1873-1927; Taylor, Samuel R., Mrs, Publication date 1917 on The 1830 letter is in Folder 3 in the Allen County S1645, B66 1783-1882 collection at the Manuscripts & Rare Books Division Indiana State Library. An easy to read image Letter of Henry Rudisill to John T. Barr, 2 January 1830, Fort Wayne, IN. is in the Bert J. Griswold Collection of Fort Wayne History at Allen County Public Library Digital Collections at the Allen County Public Library.

Henry Rudisill on page 16 of History of Fort Wayne, from the earliest known accounts of this point, to the present period. Embracing an extended view of the aboriginal tribes of the Northwest, including, more especially, the Miamies ... with a sketch of the life of General Anthony Wyane; including also a lengthy biography of ... pioneer settlers of Fort Wayne. Also an account of the manufacturing, mercantile, and railroad interests of Fort Wayne and vicinity by Brice, Wallace A, Publication date 1868 on

More than Legs and Lederhosen by Carmen Doyle posted June 18, 2014 on History Center Notes & Queries blog .

Henry Rudisill was discussed October 12, 2022 on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook. In honor of German-American Heritage Month: "For years Henry Rudisill was the only [Fort Wayne] resident of German descent. To him, more than any other person, is due the German character of the community, for repeatedly he urged his friend, the Immigration Director at Baltimore, to send as many German immigrants as possible to Fort Wayne." - Frank Bohn, Nov. 1941 Quest Club Paper, via ACPL Digital Collection. In the History of Fort Wayne (1868, D.W. Jones & Son, printers), Rudisill is remembered for "winning the regard and esteem of every one with whom he came in contact... (The Rudisill memorial is located in Lindenwood Cemetery). The three page document I HENRY RUDISILL - FOUNDER OF FORT WAYNE LUTHERANISM by Cameron A. MacKenzie at the Concordia Theological Seminary Fort Wayne was shared in the comments of the post.

See Rudisill Grist Mill.

Henry J. Rudisill's vineyard by Public Library of Fort Wayne and Allen County, 1953, on

Rudisill & Foster Pioneer Builders monument at Rudisill Boulevard and Indiana Avenue on Google map photo from Street View. Closeup photo posted October 12, 2022 on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook.

Check this out on your next walk.

Posted by Neighborhoods of the 07 on Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 post by Neighborhoods of the 07 on Facebook:

Check this out on your next walk.

[ Rudisill & Foster Pioneers & Builders Fort Wayne, Indiana monument ]

Superintendent Berchtold and wife Mary Ruf

Superintendent Berthold and wife Mary Ruf

From a May 21, 2009 email.

"Although I have no relation from Allen County, I ran across a photo card the other day in my ancestors (HAMILTON) belongings.  The couple in the photo were the Superintendent and Matron of an Orphans Home in Fort Wayne; however, the census for years 1900-1910 show this Orphans Home in St. Joseph, Allen, IN.  At the top of the 1900 census it says "Orphans Home of the Reformed C______ (Church?).  I'm thinking my HAMILTON family evidently knew this couple being Superintendent and Matron of a Home in Wisconsin somehow because I do not recognize the name RUF.

In the 1900 census it shows Berchtold age 43, and Mary A. Ruf age 49.  His occupation is shown as Superintendent.  Both emigrated from Switzerland in 1882.  Berchtold was b. May 1857; Mary was b. 1850, married for 20 years, reside in St. Joseph, Allen, IN.  Children:  Martha M. dau 18, Frank B. Son 16, Clara V. dau 13, Dora M. dau 9, Ermin P. son 7.

In the 1910 census it shows the Ft. Wayne Orphans Home at the top of the page, Berchthold Ruf age 52, Superintendent, and Maria Ruf age 59, Matron, living in St. Joseph, Allen, IN.  Children:  Dora dau 20, Ferdinand nephew 22.

In the 1920 census it shows Reverend B. Ruf age 62, and Mary Ann Ruf age 69 living in Toledo Ward 7, Lucas, OH.  No children at home.  B. Ruf was a Superintendent, Home for Aged.

In the 1930 census it shows Buchthold Ruf age 72 and Marianna A. Ruf age 79, living in Berne, Adams, IN.  Evidently retired, no occupation.

Just thought you might like to add this to your website where appropriate....please see attached photo card.

Judy (Dankert) Bos-Parsons [ 2009 email ] in Colorado"

Ruffolo, Joseph

1941-December 27, 2011, "held various management positions at Reynolds Metals and at the Squibb Corporation prior to coming to Fort Wayne in 1974 to accept a senior management position at NorthAmerican, Inc., then owned by PepsiCo, Inc. and later by Norfolk Southern Corporation. In 1987, he became NorthAmerican's Chief Executive Officer and served as CEO until his retirement in 1993." co-founder of RuffoloBenson, and helped create Bowmar, other companies listed in his lengthy obituary.

Ruffolo, Linda

73, died March 10, 2015, born in Chicago Heights, Illinois, wife of Joseph Ruffolo, director of development at IPFW for nearly 20 years and a tireless volunteer in Fort Wayne for four decades. Read Linda Ruffolo dies; icon of city, IPFW by Frank Gray published March 10, 2015 in The Journal Gazette newspaper and March 11, 2015 obituaryand D.O. McComb and Sons obituary. See also Tapestry to honor 2 for dedication Stith founded museum; Ruffolo on many boards by Rosa Salter Rodriguez published February 26, 2016 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.

Russell, Jean

A Haverhill Elementary School teacher was named the 2016 Indiana Teacher of the Year and received the Sagamore of the Wabash. See Haverhill teacher receives Sagamore of the Wabash Award by Ellie Bogue published October 29, 2015 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.

Russo, Josephine

Born May 15th, 1913. She doesn't wear glasses or hearing aids, pushes herself in her chair and proudly has her own teeth. She moved to Fort Wayne with her husband from Rhode Island. Local woman celebrates 105th birthday video by Sara Schaefer published May 15, 2018 on CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15.

Ruth, George Herman Babe

Was in Fort Wayne on October 26, 1926 and May 6, 1927 at League Park. From Babe Ruth: A Big Hit in Fort Wayne by Tom Castaldi, local historianpublished August 24, 2016 in Indiana Historical Bureau blog.

August 3, 2023 post by Granite Ridge Builders on Facebook:

Did you know Babe Ruth played right here in Fort Wayne? The BTS crew talks all things baseball while hanging out at Parkview Field. It's the stuff of legend, though some of the details are a little supsect – a 300 mile home run?!

For more Between the Studs content, follow the link!

  1. November 2, 2016 post by Fort Wayne TinCaps  on Facebook.

    Did Babe Ruth hit the longest home run of his career HERE in Fort Wayne?!

    Where was Babe Ruth’s longest home run? A six-city mystery by Tim Hagerty published October 31, 2016 on

  2. City native's triple play put decade on sports map by Blake Sebring in the 1920-1929: THE ROARING 20s history on 1000 to 1900 in Fort Wayne History Stories About Time Periods in I Remember History online tour of Summit City history from the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.
  3. May 6, 2023 post by Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook:

    #OTD in 1927, baseball legend Babe Ruth and his New York Yankees played an exhibition game in Fort Wayne against the city's Lifers at League Park (now Headwaters Park). The teams played the regulation nine innings. The Lifers held the Yankees to a 3–3 tie in the 10th, with two outs and a runner on first when “The Sultan of Swat" came to the plate. He took two strikes and then in classic style belted the next pitch over the center field wall, landing on the roof of one of the city utility barns across Clinton Street. The hit enabled the Yankees to defeat the Lifers 5-3. Learn more at:

    The image below is courtesy of Wikipedia.

    Similar posts May 6, 2018, May 6, 2020, May 6, 2021, and May 6, 2022 with different photos.

Ryan, Ed

In 1865 the Indiana State Fair was held in Fort Wayne. After the Civil War ended in 1865 into the 1870's Fort Wayne was home to sixty saloons which thought to be the root of the growth of a criminal underworld in the city. One big player in that criminal underworld was Ed Ryan. Ryan and his gang set up shop at a saloon situated on Railroad Street. From this saloon, the gang members would prey upon the unsuspecting travelers who were new to the city. Read the rest of the story copied from an April 25, 2017 post by Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook. Read more in Crime and Crinoline by Bessie K. Roberts published in Volume 41, Issue 4, December 1945 Indiana Magazine of History published online by the Indiana University Department of History.

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