Ada A. Eyler, age 94, died on November 20, 2019, at the Northfield Hospital Long Term Care Center in Northfield, Minnesota. Ada will be remembered as a woman of faith, a leader in United Methodist Women’s groups in northwestern Ohio, a highly-regarded long-time secretary at Shawnee Senior High School, dedicated wife of Elvin (45 years), mother of Carol and Jeanne, and grandmother to Katie and Stephen.
Ada Burtchin was born at home near Lima, OH, on August 15, 1925, the youngest of four children, to Nora (Evers) Burtchin and Andrew John Burtchin. Soon after, the family moved to the Burtchin farm on the corner of Fort Amanda Road and SR 501, where Ada grew up and later lived many years of her life. She attended Shawnee School and graduated in 1943 as salutatorian.
She attended Miami University of Ohio in 1943, with the intention of becoming a librarian. A highlight of her time of her time there was seeing Robert Frost speak and read his poetry. When the money she had saved for college ran out, she returned home to work at the Lima Tank Depot until the war ended and her fiancé returned from the European Theater, where he had served as an airplane mechanic in the U.S. Army Air Force from 1942-45.
On June 30, 1946, she married Elvin Howard Eyler, Jr., at Trinity United Methodist Church in Lima. They built a house of 12 acres that Ada had purchased from her father, just a quarter mile west of the Burtchin farm. A few years later, Carol was born (1951), followed by Jeanne (1955).
Later in 1946. Ada and Elvin joined Grace United Methodist Church, where they both became very active, assisting with young groups, teaching Sunday school, holding offices (too many to name), and singing in the choir. One of her Stewardship committee colleagues remarked that Ada was the E.F. Hutton of stewardship: “When Ada talked, people listened.” Ada continued to be active throughout Grace’s merger with Trinity in 2008 and after.
Ada worked for most of her life, taking off just 14 years to stay home with Carol and Jeanne. Besides her continuous work with the Methodist church, most of her work years were with Shawnee Senior High School, where she worked as a secretary in a variety of offices, most notably the Guidance office and the Principal’s office, where one of her responsibilities was taking calls from parents explaining why their child couldn’t come to school that day. Apparently, some of those young parents dreaded having to call “Mrs. Eyler” for that purpose, due to her stern, no-nonsense demeanor.
In 2015, soon after her 90th birthday, Ada moved from the Burtchin farm to the Otterbein Retirement Community in nearby Cridersville, OH, where she lived independently until April of 2018. When she needed more assistance, she made the decision to move to Northfield, MN, to be closer to her daughter Carol. She lived at the Northfield Retirement Community from April, 2018, until August, 2019. Her final move was to the Northfield Hospital Long Term Care Center, where she died peacefully, with the very best care, surrounded by love.
Ada was preceded in death by her parents, Andrew and Nora; her husband, Elvin; three siblings, Edna Burtchin Lynch, Charles Burtchin, and Ruth Burtchin Bruschaber; one nephew, Gregg Bruschaber; and many close friends.
Survivors include daughters Carol Eyler (Jane Stedman) and Jeanne Borden (Michael), two grandchildren, Katie Borden and Stephen Borden (Haley Phillippi), and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Ada loved to travel. Highlights included a family trip to California in 1963 (with Ada driving and pulling a travel trailer from Ohio to CA with her daughters, then 12 and 8), Australia/New Zealand in the early 1980’s, a “red road” trip with Elvin through western US in 1990, a tour of western Europe in 1995, winter months spent in California with her two sisters, and many trips from 2000 through 2013 with her daughters, including trips to Glacier National Park & Banff Provincial Park, Nova Scotia/Prince Edward Island, Maine and Ireland. As late as 2012, she would drive solo from Ohio to Northfield, MN, to spend time with her daughter, Carol, staying overnight in a hotel midway.
Music was a life-long passion of Ada. She played piano and flute in school, sang in school groups, church choirs, and the Ohio (State Fair) Senior Chorus for a week each summer for many years in the late 1990s.
A breast cancer survivor since 1992, she volunteered for the St. Rita’s Hospital cancer resource center, providing support to other women facing cancer. She was also a hospice volunteer.
Ada had a full and meaningful life. She loved her family, her work and colleagues at the school, and her extended church family, that included her closest friends. She met challenges with a strength born of faith. One of her friends still carries a card that Ada gave her, the text of which is “Help me to remember Lord that nothing’s going to happen today that you and I can’t handle together.” Ada’s faith, determination, independence and common- sense grounded her and enabled her to accomplish a lifetime of good works.
Arrangements for a memorial service at Trinity United Methodist Church, Lima, OH, and burial of ashes at Shawnee Cemetery are pending with Bayliff & Son Funeral Home, Cridersville, OH.
Memorials to Trinity United Methodist Church, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, or Mercy Health (formerly St. Rita’s) Hospice.
Condolences may be shared at www.bayliffandson.com
For Release to: The Lima News (PICTURE)