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Summary of Life -Juanita Georgia Mehlhorn Haller
Born January 23, 1912 - Died June 30, 2015
Juanita Georgia Mehlhorn Haller went Home to be with her dear Lord and a host of her family and friends on Tuesday June 30th. She passed peacefully just as she wanted: in her own home with family nearby.
Juanita was born on January 23, 1912 in Tulsa, Oklahoma to Mary Heidel and Henry Mehlhorn. She got her middle name, Georgia, from her uncle George who invited Mary and Henry from Wartburg, Tennessee to Tulsa in search of a better life. Juanita's brother Clarence was also born in Tulsa. The family soon returned to Wartburg in the foothills of the smoky mountains where Juanita's beloved sister Marie was born. Brothers Louis and Roscoe followed soon after. The whole family worked the farm raising livestock and dairy cattle, growing their own food and selling produce, eggs and butter for spending money. The oldest of five, Juanita learned strength and responsibility at an early age. She also learned the importance of family, a lesson she lived and taught her children throughout her life.
Juanita started school a year late because of the flu pandemic of 1918. She walked five miles to the one room school house where she got her education. After graduating from high school Juanita attended the University of Tennessee in the "big city" of Knoxville. She got her teaching certificate and taught at the Joyner elementary school. While living in Knoxville she met Irwin ("Irv") Haller, the love of her life. They were married in 1935 and had their first child, Norman, in 1938. They shared a house with Mrs. Whisman in Knoxville until Norm became a toddler. Soon after, they relocated to St Louis where they lived through WWII. In 1946, they moved to Columbus, Ohio just days before their second son, Richard, was born. Juanita and Irv built a little house at 357 North Cassingham Road in Bexley and watched as Maryland Avenue School and much of "North Bexley" was built. In 1954, Juanita had a daughter named for grandmothers, Mary and Agnes. Mary was always Juanita's "little girl."
A talented seamstress, Juanita raised and lowered thousands of hemlines for the women of Bexley. She always made vegetable and flower gardens, inheriting her mother's green thumb and was active in the Bexley Women's Club and the Ladies Guild of Zion Lutheran Church. Juanita taught Sunday School, managed the altar flowers and decorated the church every Easter with lilies and white satin fabric for the wooden cross. She loved to read recipe books and try new dishes as well as the old standbys. Her home cooked meals were famous, often featuring homemade bread, applesauce from the backyard tree, and vegetables from her garden.
Juanita had many friends and was a good and faithful friend in return. One of her favorite activities was Friday night card club with her Canasta buddies from Zion: Mary Buck, Elaine Dean, Verna Hauff, Doris and Phyllis Hottinger, Irene Phillipi, and Claudine Stolzenburg.
On a cold day in February 1971 Juanita lost Irv, her husband of 36 years, to a senseless crime. His loss haunted Juanita for many years, but the sting faded as family and friends stayed faithfully at her side.
Juanita continued to sew, garden, attend church, and spend time with friends and family. She became an excellent cake decorator, making beautiful cakes for family and friends. Her masterpiece was a train cake made for grandson Karl's 3rd birthday. She traveled to Egypt where she rode a camel, saw the pyramids, and took a boat ride down the Nile River. Later she travelled to Europe where she sought her German roots.
In 1979 Juanita surprised her family by moving to Holiday Florida where she lived a happy and active life for 20 years with her sister, Marie, many cousins and friends. But by 1999, Juanita had outlived her family and friends in Florida, and so her children helped her move back to Columbus to be closer to them. Fiercely independent, Juanita decided to move into Friendship Village of Columbus where she lived in her own apartment with only a few hours of home care until the age of 102. Mom was especially grateful to Leslie Radbill who nursed her back to health on numerous occasions and helped her to remain independent. Juanita lived in her own home the final year of her life because of the kind and devoted assistance of caregiver Cheri Rehm, Mt. Carmel Hospice, and children Dick and Mary who visited her every day.
Juanita lived a long, full and happy life, seeing and accepting remarkable changes in the world and its culture and values. She began life riding to church in a horse drawn wagon and years later traveled via commercial jet. Juanita was one of a kind - strong and determined- to her last breath. She surprised us all with her longevity and was told repeatedly, up until the day of her death, that she didn't look her age. Juanita will be missed by all who knew her, especially those of us who loved her.
Juanita is survived by her children Norman (Liz), Richard (Susie) and Mary (Susan) and their respective families numbering 6 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren and many Mehlhorn and Heidel nieces, nephews and cousins in Wartburg, Tennessee and nearby.
In lieu of flowers donations in Juanita's honor may be made to Zion Lutheran Church, Lutheran Social Services, especially the food pantry, or The Lutheran Hour Ministries. Visitation will be held on Thursday July 2nd from 6-8 pm at the Graumlich Funeral Home, 1351 S. High Street. The funeral service will be held at 10 am on Friday July 3rd at Zion Lutheran Church, 766 S. High Street (visitation with the family at 9 am) followed immediately by interment at Glen Rest Memorial Estate, 8029 E. Main Street, Reynoldsburg.
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