We, the family of Dorothy Ann (Richter) Spanger, rejoice in knowing that an imperfect body can be fully healed after passing from this earth, and one can be reunited with loved ones who have gone before.
Dorothy passed away at 7:00 p.m. on March 3, 2020, at GentleCare, Vincennes, Indiana, in the presence of her family. She was born October 18, 1933, to Ed and Carrie (Sager) Richter, one of six children raised on a farm near Freelandville, Indiana. Dorothy had been baptized as an infant and then confirmed on March 30, 1947, at Bethel Evangelical and Reformed Church (now Bethel Church.) Her confirmation memory verse was from Psalms 143:10. She was proud to be a member of the Freelandville High School graduating class of 1951 and a member of the Freelandville Alumni, enjoying the class reunions. Dorothy also was a graduate of Lockyear Business College in Evansville. On March 15, 1953, she was married to Walter Carl Spanger of Edwardsport, Indiana, in a beautiful ceremony in her lifetime church home of Bethel. She was involved there as a member of the Christian Partners adult Sunday School class, the Church Council, the Women’s Guild, the Historical Committee, teaching children’s Sunday School classes, playing the piano, helping with programs, as well as having been active in numerous other ways. Dorothy and Walter raised three children – Brenda Jane, John Walter, and Debra Jean – on the family farm in rural Edwardsport in the house where Walter was born and where they lived until his passing on March 31, 2006. Her work outside the home, which was in addition to being an active and involved farm wife, included her first job as a secretary in Evansville, a majority of years being church secretary at Bethel, a secretary for Ridgeway and Associates, and PMR at the Freelandville Post Office. A year after the loss of her husband, Dorothy moved to an apartment in Freelandville until her health resulted in a move to Vincennes in the late summer of 2018.
Dorothy’s trademarks were her blue eyes and her warm smile. She loved being with people. She enjoyed a lifetime of memorable moments with family, friends, classmates, and neighbors. She had a special soft spot for babies and young children, and for animals, especially dogs. She greatly appreciated her faith. Dorothy was a member of the Immokalee Club, a women’s social club of over 60 years, and looked forward to its gatherings and lunches. Her nature was one of always wanting to be a helper, and she was highly organized with many skills. Maintaining active correspondence was very important to her during her life, whether through phone calls, or mailing cards, notes and letters. Receiving correspondence was also such a joy for her. She enjoyed reading not only books, magazines, and the newspaper, but she loved “the funnies”, as she called them. She was an excellent cook and baker, and her own love of “sweets” was widely known.
Survivors include her beloved sister, Juanita Nolting, of Kingston, New York, and her “sister-in-love”, Doris Richter of Edwardsport, her children: daughter, Brenda Roark, and husband, Dan, of Vincennes, her son, John Spanger, and wife, Jan, of Edwardsport, and daughter, Deb Spanger, of Mitchell, Indiana. Her five grandchildren and their spouses include Abby (Spanger) and Ryan Hartwick of Vincennes, Lori (Roark) and Chris Sanders of Vincennes, Brandon Spanger
and Holly of Edwardsport, Jonathan Fowler of Seoul, South Korea, and Ben Fowler and Leah of Mitchell. Dorothy also dearly loved her great-grandchildren: Joel, Evan, Carson, Lane, Conner, Heidi, Turner, Indigo, and Avery, and was excited at the news of another expected this summer. Dorothy valued her surviving sisters-in-laws, Gertrude Dayhuff of Crown Point, Edna Berry of Lyons, and Helen Lee of Lafayette, as well as her cousins. Her many nieces and nephews (including great-nieces and nephews) also served to make her proud and happy over the years.
Preceding Dorothy in death along with her husband, Walter, were her parents, her parents-in-law, her sister Luella Richter, and brothers Gerald, Walter, and Oscar Richter, among other treasured family members and friends.
The family will remain ever grateful for those professionals, agencies, and facilities who provided assistance and care for Dorothy Spanger. Most recently that included Good Samaritan Hospice, along with GentleCare of Vincennes, which she came to regard as another home and family.
Family and friends may attend a visitation at Bethel Church, 13673 E St. Rd. 58, Edwardsport, IN, from 12 noon – 3:00 p.m. Saturday March 7, 2020. The service will begin at 3:00, followed by burial in Bethel Church Cemetery.
Please consider that the family would be greatly honored with donations to one of the following, noting as in memory of Dorothy Spanger (in lieu of flowers or other remembrances):
American Stroke Association, 3816 Paysphere Circle, Chicago, IL 60674; Bethel Church; or GentleCare of Vincennes, 1202 S. 16th St., Vincennes.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at the funeral homes website www.fredrickandson.com.
Fredrick & Son McClure-Utt Funeral Homes Bicknell Chapel is entrusted with the arrangements.
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