Odell G. Disher, 96, whose handmade evergreen wreaths were prized by customers at her family's Christmas tree farm for more than 40 years, died Tuesday in Heartland of Waterville, where she lived about 15 months.
The cause of death was not known. She had several health problems in recent years, her son Ron said.
Mrs. Disher, formerly of Lucas County's Providence Township, lived at the Elizabeth Scott Community about eight years before that.
Her husband, T. Victor Disher, and sons Ron and Larry began Disher Christmas Tree Farm at the north edge of Whitehouse in 1951. About five years later, the first trees were ready for harvest.
During Christmas tree season, until about 2000, she was at the tree farm daily. She made meals for the farm's dozen or more workers.
"She would go out and sell the trees and talk to the people," son Ron said. "They would all know her. It started out as a family operation and always [had] been."
Granddaughter Rhonda Wise said: "She just thrived on the people who came and the joy of the season, the whole meaning of it - she and my grandfather did - and they loved the joy of little kids' eyes when they came to pick out the trees."
Mrs. Disher showed an artist's flair years earlier working on projects for the Anthony Wayne Band Mothers Club, which she helped start. At the tree farm, creating wreaths became her artistic outlet.
"She made such wonderful wreaths. People clamored for her wreaths," son Ron said.
Her granddaughter added: "They were made with a lot of love and care."
The family last sold Christmas trees in the 2004 season.
Mrs. Disher was born in Perrysburg and attended the former Whitehouse High School.
From the late 1930s until the mid-1940s, she helped with her husband's business, Disher Electric Store, often working 12 hours a day, six days a week.
She issued driver's licenses as a deputy registrar. She was a store clerk. She kept the books.
From a room at the back of the store, she prepared two meals a day for her family and store workers. "The whole family worked together," son Ron said. "Everything was a group effort. We vacationed together. We ate our meals together."
She and her husband married in October, 1932. He died Jan. 11, 1975.
Surviving are her sons, Larry and Ron; six grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Peinert Funeral Home, Whitehouse, where the body will be after 2 p.m. tomorrow.
The family suggests tributes to the Pythian Sisters Lodge of Whitehouse.