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Published: Thursday, 10/11/2001

Former educator oversaw farmstead

VANLUE, Ohio - Chloe Fruth, a former schoolteacher and principal who continued to mow her lawn, drive, and care for her farmstead until the mid-1990s, died Tuesday in Wyandot County Nursing Home, Upper Sandusky, from complications of a stroke suffered Sunday. She was 100.

Until the stroke, she was able to dress herself, and she made her rounds in the dining room, walking about a quarter-mile daily, her daughter-in-law, Paula Fruth, said.

Family members threw a 100th birthday party in May, attended by 350 friends and acquaintances she'd earned during a century of life and work in Hancock, Seneca, and Wyandot counties.

“She was alert and oriented and doing terrific,” her daughter-in-law said.

Mrs. Fruth continued to care for her home in Hancock County's Biglick Township until entering the nursing home about six years ago.

Family members arranged for home nursing care. But “she said, `I think I'm ready to be taken care of all the time,'” her daughter-in-law recalled.

Mrs. Fruth retired in 1971 from teaching in the Vanlue Local Schools. She spent the last decades of her education career as a substitute there and in the Bettsville and Carey schools, her daughter-in-law said.

She was principal of Old Fort School from 1926 to 1940.

“She loved children, and she always said she never had any discipline problems,” her daughter-in-law said. “I think that's how she got to be principal. She said, `I just took a firm hold and talked to them. They knew I meant business.'”

Mrs. Fruth and her husband, Carl, married June 1, 1940, and she left her job as principal to bring up a family.

She grew up on a farm in Biglick Township, and she was a graduate of Vanlue School. She attended what is now Bowling Green State University and Manchester College, North Manchester, Ind.

She was a member of West Independence United Methodist Church and of the national, state, and county retired teachers associations.

Though dedicated to helping on the farm - she often could be seen on a tractor - she traveled the nation, from Hawaii and Alaska to the New York 1964 World's Fair.

Mrs. Fruth's husband died in 1974.

Surviving are her son, Carlton; daughters, Evelyn Thompson and Carol Gainsley; nine grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren.

The body will be in the Kirkpatrick-Behnke Mortuary, Findlay, after 3 p.m. tomorrow and after 1 p.m. Saturday in West Independence United Methodist Church, on U.S. 224 near Fostoria, where funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The family requests tributes to the church.

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