Exploring Almost Forgotten Gravesites in the Great State of Ohio

Dedicated to cemetery preservation in the great state of Ohio

"A cemetery may be considered as abandoned when all or practically all of the bodies have been Removed therefrom and no bodies have been buried therein for a great many years, and the cemetery has been so long neglected as entirely to lose its identity as such, and is no longer known, recognized and respected by the public as a cemetery. 1953 OAG 2978."

Thursday, November 29, 2012

"She Lived In Three Centuries" -- Spotlighting Alma F. (nee Wasnich) Shambarger buried at Floral Grove Cemetery in West Unity, Williams County, Ohio

Sandi Litzenberg 'introduced' me to a person she learned about named Alma Shambarger and told me "she lived in 3 centuries."  I didn't want to believe it at first until Sandi sent photographs of the Shambarger monument.

Sandi wrote:  

"I also have a photo of a headstone of a woman who lived in 3 different centuries.. the 19th, 20th & 21st centuries.. I believe she lived to be 104??.". 

"her stone was already pre-dated, probably when her husband died, with the death date of 19-- and they had to inscribe next to that the 2002.. it caught my eye so I took a few pictures.."

Two views of the gray granite monument erected for Alma F. (Wasnich) Shambarger and her husband, Galen W. Shambarger, buried at Floral Grove Cemetery, West Unity, Williams County, Ohio.  

Photograph courtesy of Sandi Litzenberg. 


Below is an obituary for Alma F. Shambarger as it appeared in "The Toledo Blade" on Saturday, December 14, 2002.  This obituary is taken from the website of "infonewsbank.com" from a search via the Cleveland Public Library website's premium resources section:


Blade, The (Toledo, OH) - Saturday, December 14, 2002
Author: Blade

Alma Faye Shambarger [1899-2002], who was known for making apple dolls and speaking at area churches and schools, died Wednesday of complications from bronchitis at Harborside Healthcare in Bryan. She was 103.
Mrs. Shambarger graduated from West Unity High School in 1916 and married Galen Shambarger a year later. He died in 1971. 

The couple lived in Detroit for five years, then moved to Chicago. They lived there until 1963, when Mr. Shambarger retired and they returned to West Unity.

Mrs. Shambarger worked part time for 26 years as a beauty counselor for Vanda Cosmetics in Chicago. She visited people's homes to give makeovers and teach women about skin care. "She was kind of ahead of her time with the skin care," said her grandson, Russell Pritchett.

While living in Chicago, she was a member and secretary of the Federated Woman's Club from 1927 to 1942. After returning to West Unity, she spoke at churches and clubs about her experiences in Chicago.

She also gave talks on the history of her ancestors settling in the West Unity area. Her great-grandfather, a preacher, rode on horseback around the settlements in the region.

Mrs. Shambarger was featured in a local newspaper in the 1970s for her expertise making apple dolls. The dolls had padded bodies and carved dried apples for heads.

"She made the clothes for these dolls out of her parents' and grandparents' clothes," her grandson said. "They looked pretty authentic."

Mrs. Shambarger enjoyed taking train trips to Colorado and the West Coast. Her husband was a railroad detective, so she had access to discount train passes.

She belonged to West Unity United Methodist Church and the Jefferson Township Garden Club. Mrs. Shambarger was a staunch Democrat who was vocal about her political views, her grandson said.

Surviving are two grandsons, a great-granddaughter, and two great-great-grandsons. A son, Russell, died in 1970.

Services will be at 10 a.m. today in the Hollingshead Beck Funeral Home in West Unity. The family requests tributes to Harborside Healthcare in Bryan.
Page: B7
Index Terms: OBITUARY
Record Number: 0212140117
Copyright, 2002, The Blade