Norma J. Baer-Gammel
January 29, 1924 – January 4, 2019
Our mother, Norma Jayne Stitz, was born to Mr. Homer A. & Mrs. Lillian Stitz of Benton County on January 29, 1924, as they lived and farmed near Fowler, Indiana. She died on this date, January 4, 2019 at Dayton, Ohio Hospice in nearby Kettering. Norma was 94 years old, anticipating her 95th birthday this month.
During her life time she grew up on the farm and attended Wadena Public School, a typical country school of the era, a few miles from the farm. She enjoyed school, especially typing class, remarking to us that we should learn to type early before going into high-school age. After graduating from Wadena H.S. she married Rudolph S. Baer of Remington, Indiana. Since this was during war-time and Rudy was in the United States Navy, as a carpenter’s mate and welder, they located in Newport, Rhode Island, where Rudy was assigned to build and repair ships of the US Navy. After the war, the moved back to Remington, Indiana and began raising a family. Mom and Dad built our house in Remington in 1946. In 1949-51 dad took our family on trips to California, Arizona, and Texas. In 1951, after our western trips, Mom had the idea to have a cowboy and cowgirl birthday party for me at our house; she organized and got help from the other mothers and everyone liked it. Everyone wore western cloths and hats, with western party favors and cap guns. This was unforgettable for Ken; at age six was the eldest.
Mom is survived by her children Ken Baer, born in 1945, now lives with his wife Debra in Aiken, South Carolina, Lynn Stout, born in 1947, and lives in Beavercreek, Ohio, Greg Baer, born in 1948, and spouse Sindhu of Pine Mountain Club, California, and Mark Baer, born in 1963, and his spouse Karin, who reside in Fresno, California. Mom was blessed with ten grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Mom enjoyed raising her children and especially their ongoing activities. She was a cub-scout den mother, attending our meeting with other scout dens in and around Remington. She especially enjoyed our performances in elementary and high-school band. Mom generally let us have the freedom to play as we wished, within reason, with friends and exploring down at Carpenter’s Creek, a favorite. It was a different time. She took us to visit our relatives and on an untold number of drives through the countryside to see new people and places, or just to enjoy nature. We loaded our fishing tackle and boxes in the station, and we were all off to fish at a gravel pit, and picnic. Mom enjoyed the outdoors with us. She allowed Ken to drive (short expeditions in the country) as soon as he could reach the floor pedals and see over the dash board at the same time. This is how Ken learned to drive. She would often get a baby-sitter for us children when she and dad had weekly bowling teams meets and competitions. The post-war years were fun; mom and dad liked socializing with other families. We would take short holiday trips together, and there were the annual patriotic events for veterans – these were picnics and visits to our friends. Mom enjoyed planting and raising a garden. Dad usually got a local person to turn-over the soil to make it ready to plant. She enjoyed our regular Thanksgiving and Christmas reunions with Baer and Stitz Family members. She also enjoyed many cultural events and reading. Mom enjoyed the semi-professional and amateur performances each year at the Chautauqua in Remington, held the first two week in August. Mom helped us prepare for the children’s parade day at Chautauqua.
Mom attend Ivy Tech Nursing School in Lafayette and became an Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN). After our dad died in 1973, Mom and Mark (still in grade school) moved to Fresno, working as an LVN, and lived there while Mark graduated H.S. Mom met Lloyd Gammel, a resident of Fresno and they were happily married living in Fresno until Lloyd’s death. Mom and Lloyd visited Ken’s family in Aiken at Christmas. After Mark and Karin were married and Lloyd died, Mom and Lynn moved to Dayton, Ohio to be close to Lynn and her granddaughters Joy, and her family, and Noel. Mom enjoyed the move, being closer to Lynn and her grandchildren. Periodically, after moving to Dayton, mom would make trips to see Mark and Karin. And, when Greg and Sindhu were living and working overseas from 1990 to 2017, mom traveled to the see them in Cambodia, Dubai, and Kathmandu, Nepal.
Thanks, Mom. We can never forget the days we had with our forever loving and always forgiving Mom, all of our raising and learning. They were the best, the most authentic, and long lasting from beginning to end.
A celebration of life for Norma J. Baer-Gammel will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, 9 January, at the Aley United Methodist Church, 4143 Kemp Rd., Beavercreek, OH.
God Bless You Mom.
- Hospice of Dayton
- Memorial Service Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Norma J. Baer-Gammel
January 8, 2019
I have many, many fond memories of Grandma visiting us while we were growing up in different states. Grandma was always there smiling and encouraging. I don't think she ever missed a graduation or a birthday, and with seven grandchildren under one roof there was always one or the other happening! She and Aunt Lynn visited with Haley and I in Aiken shortly after Haley's transplant surgery, and Haley enjoyed talking with Grandma on the phone. Very similar spirits! During the past few years we would have telephone conversations and meet at gatherings in Ohio, and she would always tell me how proud she was of all of us and how much she loved us. I am very grateful we were able to talk briefly a couple of weeks ago on Christmas. Tired as she was, she still made time for a short conversation. A remarkable lady in more ways than undoubtedly I am aware. It is a great comfort to me knowing she is with God.
January 8, 2019
I first met Grandma Baer on the occasion of her 92nd birthday which we drove up to Dayton to celebrate. From the very first time I met her after we talked and got to know each other she told me that she loved me, and I could tell that she meant it. She was just that special of a lady, so kind, caring and sincere. She loved her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren all dearly and was very interested in their lives and so proud of their accomplishments. I am so happy to have known Grandma Baer, even for such a short time and will always remember her for the inspiring role model that she was to me and to others.
January 7, 2019
Aunt Norma treated me with love. I still hear her giggling in the kitchen while prepping food for all us kids. She was one of the best!
Denise and Marc Hall
January 6, 2019
Norma was my aunt. Rudy and my father Oscar were close brothers. The best memories come from anticipation of almost every weekend growing up having fun with cousins, who were and remain as close as siblings.
At Norma and Rudy’s home in Remington, we played freely and enjoyed Norma’s cooking. When with my folks we ranged the farm or went boating and swimming on Lake Shafer. Food was picnic style.
I have wonderful memories of Norma and my mother Hattie as close friends. They enjoyed watching all family activities; especially Lynn and I sock hopping in the living room. They were real ladies but had fun too.
To my cousins at this time of Norma’s passing, my heart cries with yours. Most sincere condolences from myself and husband Marc. We love you all.
FROM THE FAMILY
IN THE CARE OF