The passing of a wonderful lady, Ada Uptegraph, has saddened all of us in the South Bend Township community who knew her, but we are all enriched by having known her as a friend.
Each of us has special memories of Ada. My most vivid memory is her love of children. I can still picture her at the store each morning greeting by name all the kids waiting for the bus. She was like a grandmother, a mother-hen to all of them, fussing over them, consoling and encouraging them according to their needs.
If one of the 30-or-so kids who rode the bus each morning was missing, Ada would know it and ask about that youngster. I'm sure all of them stilI have many fond memories of her.
Marguerite remembers that she was so proud of her son, Jim, and her daughter-in-law, Pat. And how excited and happy she was when she first became a grandma when Susan was born. Marguerite also remembers all her volunteer work at the Helping Hand Center in Rural Valley, and how she and Vida Yount always took time to look at all the pretty blouses.
From her "command post" at the store, she knew more than anyone about the happenings in the community - who was away, who was visiting, who made the honor role, who was sick, who just moved in or out of the neighborhood. For many years she shared items about the doings of people in South Bend through her occasional news of South Bend column in the Apollo paper.
I've always thought she could have had a career as another Ann Landers because she understood human nature so well. She was out-going, a friend to all, and always saw the best in everyone.
A faithful member of St. Jacobís UCC throughout her life, she had a strong faith in God. Ada was the treasurer of Women's Fellowship for years, and a long-time member of the Adult Sunday School Class. She had so much fun as a Sunday School teacher when she taught the Nursery Class.
For years, Ada was In charge of the community flower fund, keeping a container in the store for donations for flowers when a local person passed away.
She always loved music, both singing and playing the piano and her small organ at home, and she was especially fond of all the old hymns.
Itís hard to picture Ada without her husband Harold, whether in the store, travelling to town together, just visiting, or at the Adult Sunday School Class and worship service at the church. They truly had a great relationship. They loved their faithful house dog, Peppy, spoiled him, and took him everywhere with them.
Although each of us is strengthened by the certainty that she is now at peace with the Lord, we will all miss her very much.