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JOAN MAXINE (SPENCER) RAGER, 84, of Van Wert, Ohio, passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, at her residence after an extended illness. Born Feb. 28, 1928, in Bryant, Ind., she was the daughter of the late Ernest G. and Lizzie L. (Spade) Spencer. On Dec. 27, 1949, she married Ralph E. Rager; he survives in Van Wert. She worked at Central Mutual Insurance Company before becoming a housewife and mother of three surviving children, Bruce R. Rager and Barbara J. (Ralph) Cox of Fort Wayne and John A. (Sherry) Rager of Van Wert. She grew up on the family farm in Jay County, Ind., and was a 1946 graduate of Hartford High School. She loved music, singing, playing the piano, and reading her Bible. She sang in the choir and attended the Liberty Baptist Church of Van Wert. Also surviving are one sister, Alice L. Smith of Macon, Ga.; one brother, Robert D. Spencer of Indianapolis; 11 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. She was also preceded in death by four sisters, Kathleen B. Reichard, Mary C. Pence, Rose Anna Buckloh and Nellie G. Cline. A private family graveside service will be held at Woodland Cemetery, Van Wert. Pastor Jim C. Burns officiating. Arrangements by Cowan & Son Funeral Home, Van Wert. In lieu of flowers, preferred memorials for Bibles placed by the Gideon's International. Expressions of sympathy may be forwarded online at
Published in Fort Wayne Newspapers on Dec. 20, 2012
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