Virginia Ruth Grabner, 94, of Columbia City, died at 7:40 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016 at her home surrounded by family.
She was born Dec. 29, 1921 in Smith Township, Whitley County a daughter of Esli and Helen A. (Egolf) Shively. Her formative years were spent in Smith Township. She graduated from Churubusco High School in 1939.
On Nov. 15, 1941 she was united in marriage to Harold W. Grabner. They made their first home in Columbia City, moving to Tri Lakes for 25 years, returning to Columbia City in Dec. 1988. Mr. Grabner died June 10, 1997.
She was employed at Blue Bell, Weatherhead for 20 years, retiring in December 1981. She enjoyed greeting WalMart shoppers from September 1997 until 2001.
Her memberships included Blue River Church of the Brethren, Thorncreek Home Extension Club and Local 1404 UAW Retirees.
Surviving relatives include five children, Gary D. (Sandra) Grabner of Huntertown, Susan K. (Don) Wilson, Deborah M. (Larry) Spurling, Milton L. (Marsha) Grabner and Gregory W. (Jody) Grabner, all of Columbia City; 11 grandchildren; 26 great grandchildren; a great great granddaughter; and a brother, James Joe Shively of Churubusco.
In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by a grandson, Dennis Spurling; twin great grandsons; three brothers, David Shively, John Shively and Charles Donald Shively; and a sister, Marilyn L. Wright.
The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Blue River Church of the Brethren, 3040 East 700 North, Columbia City with visitation from 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday at the church. The burial will be in Blue River Cemetery. Visitation will also be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City.
Preferred memorials are to Blue River Church of the Brethren Building Fund or Humane Society of Whitley County.