Bluffton, Indiana, was nicknamed “The Parlor City” over a century ago because its paved streets (a new phenomenon at the time) made the city “as clean as your parlor."
Thelma Gratz, 92, of Bluffton died at 10:05 p.m. Jan. 12, 2012, at the Mennonite Memorial Home, Bluffton. She was born May 1, 1919, in Warren, Ohio, to Laura Jane Medley Dailey and John Smith Dailey. On Sept. 5, 1943 she married Delbert Gratz and he preceded her in death on Aug. 24, 2000.
Mrs. Gratz graduated from Bluffton College where she majored in religion. She later earned a master's degree in education from Bowling Green State University.
Following WWII Thelma and Delbert served as relief workers in Germany with Mennonite Central Committee, where they set up a program to feed children. Her work then turned to raising her family until she began teaching Weekday Christian Education, then second grade, at the Bluffton Schools for 20 years. She was a member of First Mennonite Church.
Mrs. Gratz had been active in a young mothers' club, called Gab, where she established lifelong friendships. She will be remembered as an outstanding cook and flower-arranger.
Survivors include four children, Del (Susan) Gratz, of Bluffton, Donna (Norm) Gratz Huff of Mississauga, Ont., Conrad (Rachel) Gratz of Columbus, Carolyn Gratz of Bluffton and five grandchildren, Philip, Rebecca, Ashley, Alee and Daniel.
She was preceded in death by an infant daughter and two brothers, John and Robert Dailey.
Funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. Monday at First Mennonite Church, Bluffton. Revs. Steven J. Yoder and Louise Wideman will officiate.
Burial will be prior to the service in Ebenezer Mennonite Cemetery, Bluffton. Visitation will be from 2-5 p.m. Sunday at Chiles-Laman Funeral and Cremation Services, Bluffton.
Memorial contributions may be made to First Mennonite Church or Bluffton University. Online condolences may be expressed at www.chiles-lamanfh.com.