On July 25, 2022, a beautiful heart stopped beating and an Angel accompanied Vera May Fitzwater to her Heavenly Home.
It was difficult for her to leave her family behind, because she clung to this life so dearly.
Vera was the last surviving child of Charles and Grace Bateman. She was born on November 30, 1927, in Nelsonville, OH, just 20 minutes before her twin sister Verna. She loved to remind others that she was the oldest of the two.
Vera’s family moved to Apple Creek, OH, when she was in the 10th grade and she graduated from Apple Creek High School with the Class of 1945. She attended East Union Lutheran Church during that time.
She worked at the Cottage Creamery, Wilburt Co., and eventually the J.M. Smucker Co. While working at Smucker’s, Vera caught the eye of a gentleman who also worked on the jelly line and the two of them became sweet on each other. Vera married Elton Fitzwater on September 9, 1950. Together, they built a life that lasted 66 1/2 years. During this time, they raised eight children. When her last child flew the nest, Vera took up bowling and became quite good at it, winning lots of awards for her accomplishments. In fact, she got to celebrate her 80th birthday with a party held at the former Parkview Lanes, Orrville.
She was a member of Cornerstone Community Church, Dalton, where she loved packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child for several years. She was a kid magnet! She could spot a child from across the grocery store or restaurant and begin waving at them until she made the child (and parents) giggle.
Left to mourn her dearly are her children: Robert, Randy (Amy), and Craig (Deborah) Fitzwater, all of Dalton; Dennis (Marianne) Fitzwater and Judith Fitzwater of Orrville; Cheryl Wilds of Canton; Jeffery (Patricia) Fitzwater of Tabor City, NC; and Deborah Fitzwater, her caregiver of 13 years of Dalton. She also leaves behind 20 grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren; and four great-great- grandchildren; sister-in-law, Dovey Jo Bateman of Wooster, Donald (Peggy) Fitzwater of Lonoke, AR; Ida Faye (Versil) James of Shreve, many nieces and nephews who adored her; countless friends; and her faithful companions, Abigail and Kitty-Kitty, who were God-sent to comfort her during her struggle with Alzheimer’s.
Vera was preceded in death by her daughter-in-law Carolyn Fitzwater and infant grandson Cory Robert Fitzwater; brothers, Charles Glenn and Dale Bateman of Wooster; and Daniel (Cleo) Bateman of Marshallville; sisters, Fona (Stanley) Jarvis, Pauline (Dwain) Simpson, and Alice (Charles) Boggs all of Orrville; and twin Verna (Cecil) Stottsberry of Belle Valley.
Vera’s family would like to thank the staff of Ohio’s Hospice Lifecare for their compassionate care. A special thank you goes to her next door neighbors Leon and Barbara Wengerd who treated Vera like their own mother and were only a phone call away.
A service to celebrate Vera’s life will be held on Tuesday, August 16, 2022 at 7:00 pm at Cornerstone Community Church, 18600 Davis Road, Dalton with Rev. Gerald Marsden officiating. Family graveside services will be held in the West Lawn Cemetery in Mount Eaton. There will be no calling hours.. Spidell Funeral Home in Mount Eaton is handling the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare, 1900 Akron Rd., Wooster, OH, 44691 or Cornerstone Community Church, 18600 Davis Rd, Dalton, OH, 44618