A few hours after Antoinette "Nettie" Schlater, 91, died peacefully in her sleep on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013, a grandchild wrote about her, "Quite simply one of the best humans I have ever known. She lived with integrity, incredible abundant faith and unconditional love."
Her six children, six in-laws, 23 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren would agree with this assessment of her life. What makes one woman so loved by so many?
Nettie's character began to develop when as a child she cheerfully worked long hours on the family farm she loved in Maria Stein. She was especially close to her father, Henry Streacker, as she worked side by side with him on the farm. She once recalled that when she worked especially hard doing her chores, her father would reward her by taking her to the store for an ice cream cone. Her mother was Agnes Fullenkamp Streacker.
After she married Herbert Schlater on June 6, 1945, she took on challenging new roles that further developed her character. She became the supportive mother of six vibrant children and the helpmate in working behind the scenes after Sidney Electric Co. was started in 1953. Today, Sidney Electric is one of Sidney's longest-running and most successful businesses.
In later years Nettie's character matured as she became the loving matriarch of a family that included 84 people. In many different ways she reached out to every person in her family with her ever-present smile and an encouraging word. She attended many of her grandchildren's school activities and was proud of her record of attending every high school and college graduation ceremony of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Perhaps, another grandchild summed up Nettie's life the best when she wrote after her death: "Show up for people. Work hard. Laugh a lot. Hold lots of babies. Say I love you. Feed people. Visit the sick. Just a few of the things I learned from my Grandma Schlater."
Nettie's family is very grateful to the staff at Dorothy Love for all of the loving care she received.
Nettie was preceded in death by her husband, Herbert, along with her sisters Bernadette Keller, Johanna Marbaugh and Rose Seitz, and her brother Leo Streacker.
She is survived by her sister Mary Phlipot. Other survivors include her children and in-laws, Nicholas and Janice Sharkey, Kenneth and Brenda Schlater, William and Elizabeth Schlater, John and Debra Schlater, John and Sharon Rittenhouse, and James and Karen Schlater.
Nettie was a member of the Newman Club, Altar Rosary Society and Wilson Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. She also was a Eucharistic Minister at Wilson Memorial Hospital.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Angels Catholic Church with the Rev. Daniel Schmitmeyer officiating. Burial will follow at Graceland Cemetery in Sidney.
The family will receive friends on Thursday from 2 to 8 p.m. and on Friday from 9 a.m. until the hour of service at Cromes Funeral Home, 302 S. Main Ave, Sidney.
Memorials may be made to the Lehman High School Tuition Assistance Fund, 2400 St. Marys Ave., Sidney, the Holy Angels School Tuition Fund, and Wilson Memorial Hospital Foundation, 915 Michigan St., Sidney.
Guestbook condolences and expressions of sympathy may be made to the Schlater family at the funeral home's website, www.cromesfh.com