Nelda Langenderfer, 92, passed away peacefully on Monday, July 16, 2018, at the home of her daughters, Kay and Ann. She was born on February 27, 1926, to Joseph and Trecie (Cooper) Smith of Sylvania, Ohio. The only daughter, Nelda assumed the household responsibilities for her father and three younger brothers at the age of 12 having lost her mother when she was only five.
After graduation from Burnham High School, Nelda enrolled in nursing school at Mercy Hospital but left after the first year to marry the love of her life, Clifford Langenderfer. They were married for 67 years before Cliff’s passing on July 12, 2013. She would later share that she knew Clifford was the one for her the first time she saw him enter the room. Married on August 17, 1946 at St. Elizabeth’s Church, Richfield Center, Nelda spent her life living on farms. Both her father and her husband Clifford were farmers. Having lost her own mother at a young age, Nelda treasured her role as mother to Michael, Ann, Mark, Kay and Lance.
In the early seventies, Nelda went to work full-time for Drs. Applebaum and Cygnor. At 49 years old, inspired to return to nursing, she enrolled at the University of Toledo.She earned her associate degree in nursing from the University in 1978. Upon passing her state boards, she worked full-time as a registered nurse (RN) at Medical College of Ohio Hospital until her retirement in 1982.
In retirement, she surprised Clifford with a pick-up truck, and with the addition of a fifth wheel, they crisscrossed the United States, spending many winters with their daughter Ann in Key West, Florida and traveling through Europe. Nelda loved these years of travel with Cliff. Both especially loved Alaska and visited there on three different occasions. But their travels always brought them back to the farm in time to plant the garden and tend to the flowers in the yard. In addition to travelling, Nelda enjoyed swimming and walking with friends in the park. She was an avid reader. Always a talented seamstress, she enjoyed the solitude of quilting. Nelda also worked with stained glass and many have been gifted with one of her art work.
Nelda was at home in the kitchen and her kitchen was the center of farm and family life. She was a superb cook. Any night of the week, the family would be joined by relatives, neighbors, and friends who stopped by ‘Oh for Pete’s Sake, just in time to be invited to supper.’ All were welcome at her kitchen table. Over the years, her kitchen table remained the central gathering spot where great conversations, incredibly delicious food, and cold margaritas were always available to whoever stopped by.
Nelda loved her role as grandmother and great-grandmother. She cherished the time she spent with each of them and took great pride in all their accomplishments. Pictures of the grandchildren, Matt, Shelli, Mandy, Gabe, Tiffany and Kurt along with her great grandchildren, Anthony, Bryce, Braeden, Grant, Eden, and Crosby hung at her bedside as a source of comfort and joy.
Nelda was a lifelong member of St. Elizabeth Catholic Parish and Holy Trinity Parish, Assumption, Ohio. She was active volunteer with the St. Elizabeth’s Altar & Rosary Society. Nelda served as a 4-H Leader, sharing her love of sewing and cooking as an advisor to local 4-H groups and serving as a 4-H camp counselor. Along with her husband, she was also involved in the National Farmers Organization (NFO).
Nelda is survived in by her children; Michael (Cynthia) Langenderfer, Hudson, Michigan; Ann Chapp, Toledo, Ohio; Mark (Kate) Langenderfer, Grand Rapids, Ohio; Kay Langenderfer, Toledo, Ohio; and Lance Langenderfer, Tega Cay, SC; her grandchildren: Matt Langenderfer, Shelli McNett, and Mandi Langenderfer; Gabe (Beth)Langenderfer, Tiffany (James) Garcia, Kurt Langenderferand their mother Nancy Langenderfer; and her great grandchildren, Anthony, Bryce, Braeden, Grant, Eden, and Crosby. She is also survived by her in-laws, Jean Simon, Kitty & Bob Donahue, Ken & Sally Langenderfer, Elaine Langenderfer and Joan Langenderfer.
Nelda was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years,Clifford; her father, Joseph Smith; her brothers, Paul Smith, James Smith, Bruce Smith and Dwight Smith; her sisters-in-law, June King, Helen Smith, Teresa Smith and her brothers-in-law, Harold Langenderfer and Malcom Simon.
The family wishes to thank the Christian Home Care aides, especially Sarah and Debbie, and the nurses and aides from Hospice of Northwest Ohio for their dedicated and compassionate care.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be made to Holy Trinity Catholic Church for the care of Immaculate Conception Church, Richfield Volunteer Fire and Rescue, or the Toledo Humane Society.
Nelda was fun loving, witty and wise. “For Pete’s sake” we will all miss her. If you came to visit and it was cocktail hour she always had a Margarita ready for you. She would love it if at 4 p.m. you would have a Margarita in her memory.
Family and friends may visit Monday, July 23rd from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Weigel Funeral Home in Metamora (419.644.3601). A Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated Tuesday, July 24th at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Trinity (Immaculate Conception) Catholic Church at Marygrove, 1750 N. Raab Road, where visitation will be one hour prior. Monsignor Dennis Metzger will preside. Interment will follow at Marygrove Cemetery.