Alice Marie (Gautsche) Schmucker died on Friday, June 28, 2019, at Ohio Living Swan Creek in Toledo. Well into her 88th year, she was surrounded by her children and some grandchildren who sent her across the river into the arms of God with songs and stories, tears and laughter.
Alice was the wife of Allen Schmucker (d. 2000).
She was the mother of Timothy and his wife Jacqueline Barreto (Toronto Ontario), of Douglas and his wife Patricia Yoder (Toledo), of Paul (d. 1974), and of Judith Schmucker (Toledo).She was Grandma to Erin, Rachel, David, Derek, Christopher, Jason, Natalie, LaVon, Anshea, and Chordel, and six great-grandchildren.She was sister of Doris Ebersole (d. 2018), Mary Diller, Dale, Delmar (d. 2017), Richard (d. 2009), Glenda Hurst, and their spouses. She was also a sister to Elaine Schmucker Cressman (sister of husband Allen) and to Pat Hammer, and their spouses.
Alice was an expert in three things: 1) unconditional love that was expressed in welcome and hospitality, 2) exuberant living, and 3) infectious joy. She knew deeply, from her head and heart down to the soles of her feet, that she was God's beloved child and a cherished sister of Jesus Christ. Her profound faith permeated her being; she shared unconditional love with every family member, friend and stranger. She was exceedingly quick to embrace and had zero capacity for criticism. She never met a hill that she could resist rolling down and she taught her grandchildren the excitement of sliding down stairs on an air mattress. A perennial instigator of snowball "fights," she employed marshmallows in the summer with similar effect. A trickster, she would giggle with adolescent excitement when offering "dirt pudding" as dessert to unsuspecting dinner guests. Her joy-filled squeals were legendary: hugging loved ones, seeing hummingbirds outside her window, hearing the loon's wilderness call, and watching the sunset from a canoe, a mountain lookout or a beach. Between the ages of 75 and 83, she went sky-diving, motorcycle-riding, and zip-lining.
Born October 1, 1931 on her Amish-Mennonite family's farm north of Archbold Ohio, the fourth of Oscar and Herma (Nofziger) Gautsche's seven children, Alice graduated from Pettisville High School, and then after serving in Mennonite Voluntary Service, married Allen Schmucker of Toledo in 1952. On their honeymoon, she hiked up to the pinnacle of Chimney Tops in the Smoky Mountains in bare feet, beginning a life-long love affair with nature, especially water, trees, and mountains. Her first love however was Allen, and their solid marriage and faith enabled Alice to bear the loss of their third-born son at the age of 12. She was also a life-long partner at Schmucker's Restaurant, the family business, assisting Allen and then Doug and Patty in many aspects from waitressing to pie baking. In retirement, known to staff as "Miss Alice" she took them weekly treats.
She embodied traditional Amish-Mennonite humility and thus was attention-adverse. Indeed, she would have squirmed awkwardly with this tribute. In retirement, her days were filled with serving others: teaching Sunday School, serving snacks to children in her congregation's tutoring program, preparing meals for family gatherings, taking food to those in need, and visiting the sick. As she began to slow down the last decade, she continued exercising by walking and swimming (always with a life vest as she didn't know how to swim). She read daily, preferring Amish adventure novels. She also took up brain exercises; word finders and sudoku were her favorites.
Alice's family is deeply grateful to the staff at Ohio Living Swan Creek, at Hospice, and at Genesis Village who cared for Alice with warmth and sensitivity during her rapid decline from independent living into full-time care.
Visitation will be on Friday, July 5, from 3:00 – 8:00 pm and Saturday, July 6 from 10:00 – 11:00 am at Toledo Mennonite Church, 5501 Nebraska Ave., Toledo. A memorial service will be on Saturday, July 6 at 11:00 am, followed by lunch, both at Toledo Mennonite Church. Burial will take place at Ottawa Hills Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes memorial donations to Mennonite Central Committee or Sunshine Children's Home.
Sunshine Childrens Home
7223 Maumee Western Rd., Maumee OH 43557