Mildred Shaffer, 92 passed away on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at Fairlawn Haven Nursing Home, Archbold, Ohio. Mildred was born on August 30, 1920 on the family farm outside Avilla, Indiana to Lawrence and Mabel (Bixler) Rawles. Mildred graduated from Rome City (Indiana) High School in 1938 and attended college for 2 years. Following graduation Mildred held several jobs, but when there were no prospective jobs where her family lived she moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana to find work. During the years she resided in Fort Wayne she worked in a variety of restaurants and retail stores, finally being hired at Sears Roebuck where she met her husband George. They had been married 62 years until he preceded her in death in 2008.
During Mildred’s lifetime she “wore many hats”. She spent fifteen years as a Girl Scout Leader, twelve years active in the Fulton County Migrant Association, she was employed at the Wauseon Library, spent many years as a Sunday School teacher, she sold Lincoln Library, she was a member of the Pioneer Ministerial Association, very involved in the Pioneer Lions Club, where she and George were the top salesmen for the annual Ducky Race fund raiser for several years. She was a member of the Rosary Altar Society, served as a Eucharist Minister for 17 years in the Catholic Church, sang in the choir of whatever church she attended throughout her life; she was a member of the Archbold Business and Professional Women, past President of the Archbold Retail Merchants, past President of the Pioneer Chamber of Commerce, Fulton County Democratic Women, Williams County Democratic Central Committee, Bryan Women of the Moose and the Friends of Evergreen where she helped to create a non-profit organization and solicited funds for a custom built kitchen for the residents to use.
Mildred was the first woman in the State of Ohio to open a Montgomery Ward Catalog Agency. She opened the store in Archbold, Ohio in 1965, which she operated for the next fourteen years. Mildred had the first retail outlet for Sauder Furniture in the upstairs of her building. Mildred worked for the State of Ohio in the Department of Liquor Control as an auditor/enforcement agent.
Throughout Mildred’s life she was very active in her community and politics; was never at a loss for words and always had a story to tell. Her hobbies included gardening, crocheting, fishing, bird watching, painting bird houses (that George built) and reading.
Mildred is survived by five children, Francis (Rose) Shaffer (Adrian, Michigan), Elizabeth (Thomas) Belenchia (Spartanburg, South Carolina), Mary (Al) Compton (Owosso, Michigan), Jeri (Charlie) Brown (Fort Wayne, Indiana) and Susan (Bob) Gilbert (Delta, Ohio); 15 grandchildren, 7 step-grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren, one brother Lewis (Virginia) Rawles, 4 nephews and 1 niece.
Mildred was preceded in death by her husband George, her parents and her brother Harold Rawles.
Visitation will be at Fairlawn Haven Chapel, Lutz Road, Archbold, Ohio on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 from 3-7 pm, with a funeral service at 7 p.m. Private family graveside services will be conducted at Floral Grove Cemetery, Pioneer, Ohio on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 .
The family requests no flowers. Those wishing to give memorials are asked to consider Fulton County Habitat for Humanity or the Archbold Community Library. The Thompson Funeral Home in Pioneer is in charge of the local arrangements. Condolences may be sent online to thethompsonfuneralhome.com
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