Obituary of Hattie Helen Ellenbecker
Hattie Helen Ellenbecker passed peacefully into eternal life at home on January 16, 2022, at the age of 101. She was a caring wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great-grandmother, sister, and friend to all.
Hattie was born July 27, 1920, in Athens, to Warner and Mary (Klein) Rodman. She attended rural schools, finishing after completing the tenth grade. As a young girl, Hattie loved to play ball and it was fitting that she fell in love with Sylvester, the catcher for the Wuertzburg baseball team. Hattie knew she was going to marry him and proudly shared this with her many family members over the years. She married Sylvester T. (Fat) Ellenbecker on June 22, 1938, at St. John’s Catholic Church in Wuertzburg. He preceded her in death on November 16, 1989, after 51 years together.
Hattie and Sylvester farmed in the town of Johnson on Sylvester’s family farm where they raised their 16 children, nine sons and seven daughters. She was a wonderful homemaker, always having a large garden, canned vegetables and fruits and was an exceptional cook. Besides home cooked meals, she baked bread and buns weekly and made many desserts to feed her growing family.
Sewing, crocheting, and knitting were some of Hattie’s other talents as well as her musical side. Hattie could play piano, accordion, guitar, and harmonica, even though she couldn’t read music. She played her accordion at nursing homes, special gatherings, and of course, for her beloved family. In addition to being at stay-at-home mother and homemaker, Hattie worked on Friday nights at Burger’s Bar, helping with fish fries and Saturdays at Trianon Ballroom, where she worked in the kitchen for weddings held there.
Hattie and her family were lifelong members of St. John’s Catholic Church, Wuertzburg, until its closing in 2002. She then joined St. Thomas Catholic Church in Milan. She was a member of the PCCW at both churches. Hattie lived and practiced her faith to the fullest. Attending mass every Sunday and daily prayers with her family were very important. There was always a rosary near her, and she prayed it daily. Her wish for her children was to pray often, attend church regularly, always get along with each other and stay close, even after she’s gone.
Her family was always important to Hattie. She loved the many family gatherings at her home even after it turned into “standing room” only. Holidays, especially Christmas, there was always a large assortment of homemade cookies and candy to share with family and friends who stopped by. This tradition was carried down to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She loved welcoming each new grandchild and babysat for many of them through the years. In the late 1970’s, she started to make handmade Christmas ornaments for each grandchild. Every ornament had a handwritten tag with their name, the year and “love Gramma”. After a stroke in 2018, ornament making continued with the help of her daughters, making well over 200 ornaments that covered the tree.
Hattie is survived by 15 children: sons, Rodney (Eileen), Kenneth (Nancy), David, Thomas (Linda), William (Mary), Gerard (Marlene), Daniel (Julie), and Dean (Angie) and daughters, Mary Brown, Shirley (Ferdinand) Diethelm, Teresa (John) Heier, Susan Ellenbecker, Judy Drexler, Lori (Dale) Gajewski, Ann (Larry) Weigand and daughter-in-law, Theodora Ellenbecker-Kaiser. Hattie had 53 grandchildren, 108 great-grandchildren and 26 great-great-grandchildren.
Preceding her in death were her parents; her husband; her eldest son, Sylvester (Skip) Ellenbecker; sons-in-law, Carl Brown, Jerry Drexler and Randy Lewis; daughter-in-law, Judy Ellenbecker and great-grandsons, Tyler Brown and William Kolpack. She was also preceded by her siblings: Herbert (Mary) Rodman, Sr., Raymond (Ottilie) Rodman, Oscar (Helen) Rodman, Henry (Sally) Rodman, Marie (Ervin) Walters and Virginia (David) Hope.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 AM on Saturday, January 29, 2022 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Athens with Father Nelson Graham officiating. She will be laid to rest in St. John’s Catholic Cemetery in Wuertzburg by family at a later date. Family and friends are invited to gather at the church on Friday, January 28, 2022 from 4PM until 7PM and again on Saturday from 9AM until time of service. A rosary service will be held at 6:30PM on Friday.
Hattie will be deeply missed. She created the foundation of our family, grounding it in faith and supporting us all with her warm and loving arms. She was and will always be our heart and soul. We will continue to cherish and honor her.
Hattie’s arrangements are under the care of Life Tributes Funeral Home-Spencer. Please visit www.lifetributesfuneralhome.com to share thoughts and condolences.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Hattie Ellenbecker, please visit Tribute Store
Gathering of Family & Friends
Gathering of Family & Friends
Mass of Christian Burial
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