Erma Mae (Lantow) DeTray, age 95 of Defiance, passed away on Monday, May 4, 2020 at Hillside Country Living in Bryan, Ohio.
Today the most wonderful mother that had ever existed, as declared by her children, has passed from this life to the next. She taught her children strength, kindness, Christian morals, and love; she will be sorely missed.
Erma was born on May 30, 1924 to Charles and Martha (Bidlack) Lantow in Defiance, Ohio. She attended Defiance City Schools and volunteered to put her education on hold so her younger siblings could graduate from high school, and then she would return to school to finish for herself. However, she met her soon to be husband in 1942 and after their marriage she followed him to the Army base in Wisconsin. After returning to Defiance she worked at Compos on the south side of town for 16 years. After the loss of her husband, she and her older two children lived near Kingsbury Park. While working part-time at Duerk's Rootbeer Stand she met Harold DeTray and they were married in 1958. Harold and Erma had three more children and eventually bought a farm near Brunersburg when she became a superb homemaker for her husband and five children. In addition to working at Compos, Erma drove patients for Job and Family Services for a few years. She and Harold attended the First Church of Christ, which is now the Defiance Christian Church, where she was a Sunday School teacher of 4 and 5 year olds for many years. Erma was many things to many people but all of them attest to her remarkable character and her commitment to making people's lives better.
Erma is survived by four of her five children; Beverly (Henry) Will of Trevor, Wisconsin, Pam (Tim) Rupp of Bryan, Hal (Deb) DeTray of Defiance, and Lori (Don) Riffe of Harts, WV. Erma is also survived by 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, with two more on the way, and 2 great-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husbands, John Bartlett and Harold DeTray, one son, Charles Bartlett, a daughter-in-law, Mary Bartlett, and a son-in-law, Dave Poletta.
Visitation and a graveside service were held on Saturday, May 9, 2020 at Brunersburg Cemetery, with Pastor Mike Hasselbring officiating. Schaffer Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Defiance Christian Church. Online condolences can be given at www.Schafferfh.com.
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