SIDNEY — Angela Raterman, a resident of Ohio Living Dorothy Love, will celebrate her 100th birthday, Sept. 17.
The party, an open house, will be at Dorothy Love in the Amos Center from 2 to 4 p.m.
Raterman was born Sept. 19, 1917.
She grew up along Fort Loramie-Swanders road east of Fort Loramie. Her parents, Henry and Louise Varno, were farmers. Raterman was the oldest of 10 children, six boys and four girls. Five died in infancy. Raterman, as all children of farmers did, began to help on the farm as soon as she was able.
“I had to do things as soon as I was big enough,” said Raterman. “I was kept out of school to cut corn.”
The neighbors would enlist her help with thrashing and butchering and caring for the older children when they had babies.
Raterman attended Fort Loramie High School, but around her sophomore year in high school, Raterman left school to seek employment and help her family. She was first employed by Stolle Machinery.
“I did different things there. I worked there for quite a long time,” said Raterman.
By the age of 29, she was getting married to the boy next door, Vincent Raterman.
“He lived next door, but he went to one school, and I went to another. In those days not everybody had a car, you know. He was talking to my dad at the fence one day, then he started coming up to the house. I don’t know how many years that went on,” said Raterman.
By the age of 30, Raterman had begun her family. She gave birth to five children, four boys and one girl. She enjoys her children, who come to visit her often.
“I think I did all right as a mother. I tried, but I don’t know if I did all right. They all say I did, anyway.” Raterman said.
Raterman’s husband owned a bar on the square called Rocky’s, worked in a factory and farmed over the years. She and her husband owned a motorcycle, which they both rode.
Raterman enjoyed going to dances and singing in the church choir.
Raterman left Stolle and began working at G. C. Murphy’s on the Sidney square.
“I took care of the clothing department. Shortly after I went there, a lady quit, and I got her counter. I liked working at Murphy’s,” said Raterman.
Raterman retired from Murphy’s at the age of 65. She wasn’t too excited to retire, though.
“I didn’t want to retire. My boss kept asking, ‘Angie, have you made up your mind to retire?’ I’d keep on working. A couple weeks later he’d ask the same thing. ‘No,’ (I’d answer). Finally, I said, ‘Yes,’” said Raterman.
After retirement, she volunteered at FISH for moer than 10 years.
Raterman remembers many things that have changed over the years. She was a teenager when very few people had cars and lives at a time when most people do. She was born at a time when television didn’t exist and lives when many people have multiple televisions.
“I’ve been from a horse and buggy to an airplane,” said Raterman. “Farming is a lot different. Not many know how that was done anymore. We did it by hand and with horses.”
She even remembers not having electricity.
After her husband’s passing in 1985, Raterman enjoyed traveling. She went to Hawaii, on cruises, to San Francisco, to Michigan with family and took several other trips.
Raterman lived at home with her oldest son until she was 98, far beyond what many can claim. She had pneumonia three times and developed blood clots on her lungs. That’s when the doctor said it was time for her to go to Dorothy Love.
“I didn’t want to leave home. I love my home, but I guess I had to go,” said Raterman.
Although she misses her home, she finds enjoyment at Dorothy Love. She has friends there, and family members take her on outings.
“I play bingo. Once in a while, I win. The other day I won twice, but it’s been a long time since I did that. I get a card and take it down to the shop and get something with it,” said Raterman.
Still able to transfer from her recliner to a wheelchair, she doesn’t let much stop her. She has been told she can be a little stubborn, but she does continue to volunteer for her church, Immaculate Conception in Botkins, by being part of the prayer line. She also attends prayer services and Mass at Dorothy Love.
Always an avid churchgoer, Raterman gave much of her time to volunteering for the church.
Raterman has six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
“I had a pretty good life. It wasn’t just a real pleasant one, but when you think back over it, there are a lot worse than that. There are a lot here that don’t get visitors. I think that’s terrible,” said Raterman.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.
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