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W. Dale Sturtz

W. Dale Sturtz, 77, Howe, died Friday, July 24, 2015 at Miller’s Merry Manor of LaGrange.

    He was born July 22, 1938, in Cumberland, Md., to William and Ruth (Gilmore) Sturtz.

    He served as sheriff of LaGrange County from 1980-1990. During that time, he graduated from the Indiana Sheriff’s Institute at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virg., and served on the Indiana Law Enforcement Training Board, appointed by Governor Robert Orr. He was Indiana State Representative of LaGrange and Noble counties (District 52) from 1992-2002. While a representative, he served as chairman of the Environmental Committee from 1996-2000 and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee from 2000-2002.  He also authored the No-Call Bill and the 500 Cops on the Streets Bill. He was also a LaGrange County Councilman  from 1990-1992, Ft. Wayne District Director of the Indiana Department of Transportation  from 2003-2004, a commissioner of the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission from 2004-2013, and served for many years on the LaGrange County Merit Board. His public service awards include the Sagamore of the Wabash, J. Edward Roush Award, and Outstanding Legislator Award from the Indiana Judges Association. He attended Woodruff Grove United Methodist Church in rural Wolcottville, was a member of Meridian Sun Lodge #76 F. and A.M. for 50 years, Scottish Rite Valley of Ft. Wayne, Mizpah Shrine, and LaGrange County Shrine Club.

    He was married March 8, 1958, in Angola, Ind., to Janis F. Thomas. She survives.

    Also surviving are three daughters and sons-in-law, Debra and Chuck Troyer, Rutherfordton, N.C., Karen and Jim Milliman, Sturgis, Mich., and Sandra and Brad Ringler, Wolcottville; one son and daughter-in-law, Robert and Kristi Sturtz, Churubusco, Ind.; six grandchildren, Ryan Troyer, Jenna Leffew, Lucas Sturtz, Tyler Milliman, Parker Sturtz, and Adam Ringler; two sisters and brothers-in-law, Helen and Don Fioravanti, Columbia, Ohio, and Mary and Dudley Stratford, New Zealand; and four brothers and three sisters-in-law, Robert and Pat Sturtz, Summerfield, Fla., William and Jean Sturtz, Liverpool, Ohio, Richard and Carol Sturtz, Angola, Ind., and Raymond Sturtz, Coldwater, Mich.

    He was preceded in death by his parents and seven siblings.

    Visitation is 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, July 28, at Frurip-May Funeral Home in LaGrange. Masonic service by Meridian Sun Lodge will be 8 p.m.

    Memorial service will be 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 29, at Woodruff Grove United Methodist Church in Wolcottville with Reverend David Mathews officiating.

    Private burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery, LaGrange.

    Memorials may be directed to the Dale Sturtz Memorial Fund c/o the LaGrange County Community Foundation.

    Online condolences may be sent at

    Frurip-May Funeral Home in LaGrange is in charge of arrangements.