Etta Mae Salisbury, 94, of St. Marys, Ohio, passed away Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, at The Acres, Wapakoneta, Ohio. She was born July 29, 1925, in Dunbarry, Ky., Letcher County, the daughter of John Nitchie and Mattie (Wright) Nitchie, who preceded her in death.
On January 12, 1942, she married Blaine Salisbury who served in WWII January 1941 – Oct. 1945. They lived in Hunter, Ky., Floyd County, until they moved to Ohio. Blaine died tragically in a car accident in 1957 two years after moving their family to St. Marys, and six months after purchasing their St. Marys home.
Children include: Two sons, Kenneth Dale (Nancy) Salisbury, St. Mary; Danny Gary (Valerie) Salisbury of St. Marys; and a daughter, Frances L. (Lee) Pyles of Belle Center; one son and his wife predeceased her, Anthony (Darlene) Salisbury.
Surviving siblings include: Charles (Phyllis) Nitchie of Pikeville, KY; Earnest Samuel (Marilyn) Nitchie of Ada, and Minnie Nitchie of St. Marys.
She was predeceased by one sister and brother-in law, Clara and Virgil Cross.
Others predeceasing her were three siblings who died in childhood,
Marie, George, and JL (John Lewis); her grandparents George and Sarah
Etta (Rose) Wright and one grandchild Amanda Salisbury.
Family members of Blaine’s family predeceasing her were: his parents
Link and May Salisbury, Hunter, Floyd Co., Ky; Wayne (Charlotte) Salisbury, Jay (Geneva) Salisbury, Dessie (Hiawatha) Rowe, Bert Salisbury, Gertrude (Paul) Boggs, and Cassie (Earl) Hall.
She is survived by grandchildren: Anthony’s children, Lester (Brenda) Salisbury and Dawn (Fred) Roof of Celina;
Dale’s children Angie Scott, Kendra (Keith) Lininger of St. Marys, and Brian Salisbury of Minster;
Danny’s children, Danny (Tia) Salisbury and Gary Salisbury of St. Marys; Frances’ children and stepchildren, Mike (Katie) Wehnes of St. Marys, Chris (Mark) Miley of Aurora, Robin (Alice) Pyles of Cridersville, Chris (Brenda) Pyles of St. Marys, and Greg (Jessie) Pyles of Zanesfield.
She is survived by numerous great and great-great grandchildren as well as numerous nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, and great great nieces and nephews.
Mae was the daughter of a coal miner and their family traveled to various coal
camp areas during her childhood. She talked of living and going to school in
Pennsylvania as a young girl, but most of her childhood was in Kentucky. She
often spoke of her father who would take people into their home, even
strangers, who needed help, as times were hard then.
Mae and Blaine ran a general store at their old home place in Hunter, Ky., and Blaine drove a coal truck after the war. As most families in those days, they had a small farm to grow crops and raise chickens, pigs, and cows to help care for their family. Blaine attended school to become an electrician and then ventured north seeking the opportunity to provide a better life for his family.
Blaine was hired by Goodyear and the family moved to Ohio. After living in a one bedroom apartment with 4 kids for awhile, they bought their home in St. Marys. That same year Blaine died instantly in a car crash on 66A the Saturday after Thanksgiving on their way home from Christmas shopping. Mae was also injured in the car crash and was in the hospital from Nov. to March. Her mother was also injured in the crash and was hospitalized a month. Mae became a widow at age 32 with 4 children to raise, the oldest being 11. Family moved in to help with the children, and Mae, being the strong-willed woman that she was, remained in St. Marys to raise her family as she and Blaine had planned. She always said, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
She served the people of St. Marys for many years as a volunteer at the hospital gift shop, as a blood mobile worker, as a member of the American Legion Auxiliary where she cooked many dinners for weddings and other special events taking place at the Legion, and helped at many other community events. She was honored as “Woman of the Year in 2008” by the St. Marys Community League of Women.
Up until she could no longer drive, she would always show up on the exact date of her kids and grandkids birthdates with their favorite cake that she made just for them and a card with $10. Everyone always enjoyed her banana pudding, home made chocolate pies, her special way of preparing noodles, and her way of making the best beef sandwiches.
Five generations have been blessed because of you, Mae. Your children, grandchildren, and all the family will greatly miss you.
The family would like to thank the staff and daily caretakers at Auglaize Acres for their loving care to Mae and all the residents at their facility.
Visitation will be 5:00 to 7:00 PM, Wednesday, Nov. 6, at Miller Funeral Home, 1605 Celina Road, followed by a celebration of her life by friends and family at 7PM; followed by a church service by members of Garden of Love Old Regular Baptist church at 8PM. Burial will be at the family cemetery in Hunter, KY., Friday, Nov. 8, at 3:00 PM with her brother Charles Nitchie and members of the Old Elkhorn Regular Baptist Church officiating.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Garden of Love Old Regular Baptist Church, Glynwood New Knoxville Road, PO Box 234, St. Marys, 45885; or the Old Elkhorn Regular Baptist Church, 413 Three Mile Road, Jenkins, KY 41537.
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