Gertrude (Seiler) Hitt, age 89, of Archbold, went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Thursday, February 2, 2017. She passed away at Defiance Area Inpatient Hospice. From a child, Gertrude loved Jesus and was baptized and attended Archbold Evangelical Church. She loved Church and school.
She was born on October 8, 1927 on the family farm west of Archbold, to Laura Rupp and Albert M. Seiler. She was one of 10 children and graduated from Archbold High School in 1945. On August 4, 1946, she married Otis “Bud” Hitt, and he survives. They were blessed with three daughters who survive. Dawn (Tom) Wyse of Stryker, Penny Hitt of Defiance, and Candy Hutchins of Pittsburg. She is also survived by six grandchildren, Kami (Rob) Bentley, Abe (Angela) Wyse, Daniel (Lindsey) Stuckey, Krista Brown, Tiffany (Ryan) Heller, and Brigitta (Sam) Blood; seven great-grandchildren, Baiylee Rueger, Bryer and Keiylee Bentley, Kyler and Aubrie Stuckey, Mila Rose Wyse and Silas James Wyse. Also surviving are two sisters-in-law, Sherry Seiler of Toledo, Diana (Joe) Miller of Archbold, nieces, nephews, and many friends.
Gertrude worked at LaChoy and later in the office at Stryker Wire Company. She loved to cook and in 1948 she and Bud bought and ran Gert & Bud’s Restaurant in Stryker. They moved to Archbold in 1950 where they built a drive-in restaurant, which later became Hit Archery and later Hit Archery and Trophy Co. Bud was a master craftsman of hand-crafted Archery bows, which became sought after collector bows. Gertrude ran the office and became 11 times the State of Ohio Archery Champion and won an International Championship.
In the early 1960’s she, Bud and their daughters started ministering in the migrant camps and rest homes. For 13 years they sang as the Gospel Hits, ministering in the 3-state area and made a couple of albums in Nashville. In 1975, Bud started in the jail and prison ministry, Gertrude joined him in 1976. They continued for 34 years until health problems interfered. They were the first to hold Sunday morning services at the CCNO jail, Gertrude volunteered in the Chaplain’s office, held Bible classes several times a week besides ministering with her husband on Sunday morning. They had been training a couple who took their place, later. Also in the 1960’s they built a country home at Gaslite Drive where she had a big yard with lots of flowers. She loved being a Mom and Grandma. The happiest days of her life was having family get togethers and singing with them as the Gospel Hits.
In 1993 they sold the trophy company to their oldest daughter, Dawn and her husband, Tom Wyse. On their retirement they took up golf and were members of Stryker Riverside Greens. They spent 15 winters in Florida at Christian Retreat where they taught in the school of ministry and did volunteer work. Close friends who lived at Sun City Hilton Head talked them into selling and wintering there, near them. They attended the local Baptist Church there, and Gertrude never missed the ladies Bible Study. She wanted to go to Bible School but got married instead. She studied the Bible all her life, took satellite classes and as busy as she was, received 21 Bible college credits.
In 2007 they moved to Fairlawn Village. After settling in, they held Wednesday night services at Fairlawn Haven. Gertrude would lead them in the old hymns, which they all loved. She visited the rest home residents and when her roses bloomed, she would surprise them with roses. She continued these visits as long as she could.
Gertrude loved people and had the gift of encouragement. She looked for the best in them. She will be missed. Gertrude and Bud wrote a book, “Power in Ordinary People” which are stories of their life and ministry together.
She was preceded in death by her parents, a grandson, Frankie J. Wyse, two stillborn great-grandchildren, four brothers, Glen Seiler, Lowell Seiler, David Seiler and Donald Seiler, five sisters, Ethel Francis, Helen Burkholder, Isabel Graber Gisel, Pauline Stannard, and Mildred Schnitkey, and son-in-law, Alan Hutchins.
Visitation for Gertrude will be held from 3:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. on Sunday, February 5, 2017 in the Fireside Room at Archbold Evangelical Church. A Celebration of Gertrude’s Life will be held at 11:00 A.M. Monday, also at the Archbold Evangelical Church, with Pastor Jesse Kahler, officiating. Interment will be in the Floral Grove Cemetery in West Unity.
The Hitts were Gideons and request that memorial contributions be given for Bibles or a charity of the donor’s choice. Online condolences may be offered to the family at www.grisierfh.com. Grisier Funeral Home in Archbold has been entrusted with arrangements.