Delmar Wayne Gautsche, 88, of Batavia Township, Mich., passed away on Tuesday, July 18, 2017, at Thurston Woods Village in Sturgis, Mich.
A Celebration of Delmar’s life was held at 11 a.m., Saturday, July 22, 2017, at Locust Grove Mennonite Church, 29525 Findley Road in Burr Oak, Mich., with Pastor Bill Beck officiating. Interment followed at the Locust Grove Mennonite Cemetery.
The family was served by Lighthouse Funeral & Cremation in Union City, Mich.
Delmar was born on Nov. 3, 1928, in Archbold, to Oscar and Herma (Nofziger) Gautsche.
He graduated from Pettisville High School in 1946.
On Aug. 6, 1950, he married the former Donna Klopfenstein in Wauseon. Together they raised four children with strong family and faith values.
The family attended the Tedrow Mennonite Church until 1967, when they moved to Michigan. They later attended the former South Colon Mennonite Church, prior to joining Locust Grove Mennonite Church.
Mr. Gautsche was nearly a lifelong farmer, as he was still working well into his 80s. He raised tomatoes for over 40 years, in both Michigan and Ohio.
At one time, he had around 100 acres of tomatoes in a season. He was a fixture in the Batavia area farming community and will be missed by many who called him a friend and neighbor.
Storytelling is what Delmar was best known for. He would usually start out with, “Did I ever tell you?” and that was usually followed by his wife Donna saying “They’ve already heard that story before.”
Needless to say, he became very good at telling stories while his wife was tugging on his arm to get going.
During his short residency at Thurston Woods, he became quite popular with the staff and other residents because they loved to listen to his stories, which they had never had the pleasure of hearing before.
Through the years, Delmar gave of his time and talents in many different ways.
He always helped with the meat canning day in Goshen for the Mennonite Central Committee.
He was a faithful member of the Locust Grove Church, was a great supporter of the youth group auctions, and because he loved to mow grass, he would volunteer to keep the church grounds mowed and looking great.
He will be remembered as being a kind, sweet and generous man.
He was always quite patient and agreeable with the love of his life, Donna, whom he cherished and deeply missed since her recent passing.
Delmar is survived by his children, Gregory (Carolyn) Gautsche of Coldwater, Mich., Jeffrey (Denise) Gautsche of Bristol, Ind., and Melanie (David) Schwartz of Sturgis, Mich.; grandchildren Clint (Jennifer) Gautsche of Coldwater, Mich., Cody (Megan) Gautsche of Franklin, Tenn., Tangela Gautsche of Coldwater, Mich., Kelsey (Eric) Lunger of Sturgis, Mich., Ashley Gautsche and Tricia Gautsche of Palmetto, Fla., Devin (Samantha) Schwartz, Dustin (Atalie) Schwartz and Marissa (Chad) Abbs; 11 great-grandchildren; a brother, Dale Gautsche of Archbold; his sisters, Doris (Bob) Ebersole of Goshen, Ind., Mary Diller of Medway, Ohio, Glenda (Tony) Hurst of Goshen, Ind., and Alice Schmucker of Toledo; and a sister-in-law, Eunice Gautsche of Elkhart, Ind.
Delmar was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 66 years, Donna (June 2017); a daughter, Lisa Hayes (1991); and a brother, Richard Gautsche.
Memorial donations are suggested to the Mennonite Central Committee, 21 South 12th Street, P.O. Box 500, Akron, PA 17501.
Please visit www.lighthouse funeral.com to share memories, pictures and videos with the family.