ORRVILLE — Betty Lou (Swartzwalder) Kohler, 86, died January 11, 2021, in the loving care of her family when her body gave up after a life well lived. She was born to Loyd and Grace (Barden) Swartzwalder on December 8, 1934, and grew up with her brother, Dale, on their family farm.
She graduated from Shreve High School in 1952 and attended Wooster Business School. She worked as a secretary at Farm Dairies in Wooster, and then the OARDC when it was known as the Experiment Station. Her career days ended when her children were born and she dedicated herself to her family and farm life.
She met her future husband, as many farm kids did, at Rural Youth. She married Roger J. Kohler on Easter Sunday in 1957. They raised five children together and celebrated sixty-three years of marriage.
Betty was an accomplished homemaker, gardener and seamstress. She taught her daughters to cook for a farm crew, keep a neat house, grow a garden, preserve the produce, and sew their own clothes. She shared those skills with other young women as an adviser for the Orrville Busy Beavers 4-H club. Her sewing skills were displayed when she made matching prairie dresses for herself and daughters for the 1964 Orrville Sesquicentennial celebration. Though it was nothing but work for her, the tailgate picnics toted to farm fields during planting and harvest seasons were high adventure for her children.
Faith was an important part of her life, and she also planted it in her children. She grew up attending Maple Grove Church, and then became an active member and raised her family in Christ United Church of Christ in Orrville. She sang in the choir, was involved in the women’s ministries, and served as a substitute secretary.
She and Roger enjoyed traveling together, riding horses, attending Dancer’s Club with their many friends, and spending time with their family. The Wayne County Fair was always a reunion with family and friends. Betty loved to read and spent time keeping up with her grandchildren and great grandchildren through a family Facebook page.
She is survived by her husband and children: Shirley (John) Weyrauch; Jenny (Rebecca Crowl) Kohler; Carrie (John) LeFever; Roger J. “Jake” (Jana Shonk) Kohler, II; and Paula Kohler. Fourteen grandchildren: Adam, Jeff, Jacob (Elise Bollinger) Weyrauch; Miranda (Peter) Crowl Gatsios, Ashley Kohler; Lester (Ashley King) LeFever, Amanda, Joshua (Serena de La Grange), Rachael and Rochelle LeFever; Heather (Danny Evans) Kohler, Matt (Anna Weikert) Kohler; Kelsey and Kehra Feltner. Nine great grandchildren: Henry, Jadon, Jackson, Jett, Abby, and Anderson Weyrauch, Cael and Sawyer LeFever, and Lukas Kohler. She dearly loved every addition to her family and doted on the babies.
Betty was preceded in death by her parents Loyd and Grace Swartzwalder, her brother Dale Swartzwalder, and one grandson, Mark Weyrauch.
Her family wishes to express their appreciation to Lifecare Hospice for the tender care they gave Betty and their encouragement and support of family members during the past several months.
Memorial contributions may be made to Christ United Church of Christ or Lifecare Hospice.
Private services officiated by Rev. Dr. Michael Bone will be held at the convenience of family due to coronavirus concerns.
Online registry and expressions of condolence may be made at www.aublefuneralhome.com.