Joseph M. Wolter, 47, former English teacher at Homestead High School, died unexpectedly of natural causes at his home in Jefferson Township, Whitley County, at 10:54 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21.
He was born Feb. 27, 1969 in Syracuse, N.Y., a son of Joseph A. and Christine (Nykamp) Wolter. He started his elementary education in Syracuse and then the family moved to South Bend. He graduated in 1987 from John Adams High School in South Bend. He went on to attain his bachelors in English from Marquette University. He obtained his teaching license in 1999. He started work for his Master’s Degree in Communication at IPFW in 2014.
On September 7, 1996 he was united in marriage to Kelly J. Leas. They made their home in Fort Wayne. The couple then moved to Stable Acres, Columbia City and in 2008 to Donatello’s Village, Whitley County.
As a career long teacher, he began teaching English at Bishop Dwenger, Fort Wayne, then Columbia City High School, and for the past 13 years, Homestead High School, Fort Wayne where he taught english, speech and debate, and dual-credit classes for IPFW and Ivy Tech. He was a coach for Homestead’s Speech and Debate club since 2005.
He enjoyed hunting and fishing and cooking his catch. In the summer, he would tend to his vegetable garden. Intrigued with ghosts, he studied and researched the paranormal and often told ghost stories to his family, friends and students.
He was a member of the St. Paul of the Cross Catholic Church and National Speech and Debate Association.
He is survived by his wife, Kelly; two daughters, Katherine “Katie” and Margaret “Maggie” Wolter; his parents, Joseph and Christine Wolter, South Bend and two brothers, Thomas (Jackie) Wolter, Lake Zurich, IL and William (Yvette) Wolter, Granger.
The funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. Paul of the Cross Catholic Church, 315 S Line St, Columbia City. The visitation will be from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Monday at Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City and on hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in the St. Paul of the Cross Catholic Cemetery.