MONROE CITY, Mo. -- Ethel Pauline Spalding died peacefully in her sleep on Sunday (Dec. 30, 2012) at her home in the Salt River Community Care in Shelbina.
She was born Feb. 28, 1912, in Batchtown, Ill., to John Clarence and Anna Maria Sackman Delonay.
Ethel's parents moved during her lifetime, living in Clarksville and Louisiana, Mo., before moving to Monroe City so their children could receive a Catholic education.
J.C. and Anna owned and operated the Joy Theater in Monroe City and eventually purchased the New Janus Theater in Shelbina. Ethel frequently took the train from Monroe City to open the theater in Shelbina. She sold tickets, then closed up, taking the train back home and arriving at midnight with the receipts. Her father met her at the train station. Ethel was 14 years old.
In 1929, she graduated valedictorian of her class from Holy Rosary High School. She credits her education, working at the picture show where documentaries were the norm as well as strict guidance from the Dominican nuns at Holy Rosary School.
On Nov. 10, 1938, Ethel married David Alfred Spalding at Holy Rosary Catholic Church. They had nine children: Dolores Ann (Danny) Hill of Maryland Heights, Rosemary (Jim) Duesterhaus of Quincy, Ill., Elizabeth Jeanne Johnson of Monroe City, Michael (Sharon Lawrence) Spalding of O'Fallon, Richard Wayne Spalding (deceased July 27, 1952), Vincent (Karon Sellers) Spalding of St. Charles, James (Paula Harris) Spalding of St. Peters, Teresa (Vern) Reece of Stockton, and Nancy Spalding of St. Peters.
Ethel and Dave were the grandparents of JoAnne (Hill) Kearney and husband, John, of O'Fallon, Ronald Hill and wife, Debbie, of O'Fallon, Julie (Hill) Aydt and husband, Joseph, of Chesterfield, Ed Duesterhaus and wife, Terry, of Quincy, Susan Utters and husband, Vern, of Liberty, Ill., Aaron Eugene Spalding (deceased Jan. 18, 2005), Laura (Shore) Gramlich and husband, Jody, of Boonville, Sarah Spalding of St. Peters, Debbie (Spalding) Landis of Arnold, Dawn (Spalding) Gross and husband, Terry, of St. Charles, Heather (Spalding) Tulk and husband, Terry, of O'Fallon, Patrick Spalding and wife, Julie, of St. Charles, Brian Spalding and wife, Windy, of O'Fallon, David Spalding of St. Charles, Kelly (Spalding) Christen and husband, Shannon, of St. Peters, Robyn Spalding and fiancÃ©, Michael Pelz, of Chicago, and Lloyd D. Reece of St. Peters. Ethel is survived by 21 great-grandchildren; one nephew, Tom Miskell and wife, Regina, of Monroe City; and one niece, Susan Wachter and husband, John, of Lawrence, Kans. She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and cousins of Dave Spalding, many residing in the Monroe City area.
Ethel was preceded in death by her parents, J.C. and Anna Delonay; her husband, David, in 1995; her son, Richard Wayne; her son-in-law, James S. Johnson; her grandson, Aaron Eugene; one grandson-in-law, Randall Lee Ernst; her brother, John Albert Delonay; her sister and brother-in-law, Alice and Joseph Miskell of Monroe City; her sister and brother-in-law, Irma and Jasper W. Smith of Pittsburg, Kans., and her nephew John J. Miskell of Jersey City, N. J.
Ethel was a very gracious lady, loved by all her and Dave's family. She never sent a greeting card without a handwritten note inside. She enjoyed reading, working crossword puzzles, listening to the radio and watching television. She was notorious in St. Charles for making homemade soup, bread and pies for her elderly and not so elderly neighbors.
SERVICES: Noon Saturday Mass of Christian burial will be held in Holy Rosary Catholic Church with interment at Holy Rosary Cemetery in Monroe City.
VISITATION: Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until time of the Mass.
MEMORIALS: Holy Rosary School Building Fund, Monroe City Sheltered Workshop or Salt River Community Care Special Programs, Shelbina, Mo.
ARRANGEMENTS: Yager Kendrick Funeral Home, Monroe City.
Condolences may be expressed online at www.whig.com