MAY 2019 “SENIOR” SPOTLIGHT: Carrie Meyerhoffer
Carrie was Ono United Methodist Church’s oldest member!
Around 1730 Carrie’s ancestors arrived in the United States. Carrie was born in the house that sits next to Memorial Lake (the barn sat where the lake currently is). Her parents were John and Ida Shuey and there were 6 children in the family: Stanley, Anna, Carrie, Paul, Herman and Tom. Her father was a farmer and her mother a homemaker. They always lived on a farm but never owned their own, the last one being where Tom and Lucille Shuey lived. They had a big garden where they grew corn, pickles, peas and green beans. They did lots of canning, butchered beef and pigs and made canned sausage.
Carrie joined her brothers doing the field work. Her cousin worked on the farm and decided if she was going to help them, she needed a boy’s name and so he nicknamed her, Joe. Everyone thought her name was Carrie Jo but it is Carrie Mae. Family members still call her Josie. She also helped to milk the cows and did farm chores before school. She was quite mischievous and would take eggs to use in her mud pies. She was told not to “steal” eggs and she found herself in trouble one day when they got smashed in her apron pockets. She tried to wash them out at the spring but that didn’t work too well. One time she was running while pushing a wheel barrel, tripped and fell, and knocked her front teeth out. She went without those teeth until she married at age 20 and her husband bought her new teeth. (What a guy!) Prior to getting her new front teeth, she rarely smiled.
Her favorite meal is roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy. She said, “I baked 2 chocolate cakes (without the icing) for every meal and the boys ate them. I got so tired of making cakes.” She shared a bedroom and bed with her sister, Anna. Of course, they all used the outhouse. They did the laundry and hung it outside on the wash lines. They did house cleaning and took the rugs outside and beat them with a rug beater to get the dirt out. They used a broom to sweep and then mopped the oilcloth floors. She said the girls always wore dresses and she learned to sew and quilt. But on Ascension Day, you were not allowed to sew!
She walked to Lincoln School, a one room school, where her favorite subject was math. At recess they jumped rope and played “tag”. She attended through the 8th grade. For fun, they went ice skating and sledding.
They attended Walmer’s Church and she remembered Miles and Arlene Walmer (Dennis Walmer’s parents) who also attended there. Her sister, Anna taught Carrie’s Sunday School class. Carrie played the accordion and always loved music and singing. When I visited her, she knew all the words and sang right along to the hymns: Amazing Grace, Blest Be the Tie That Binds, Sweet By and By, I’ll Fly Away and When the Roll is Called Up Yonder. In later years Jeanne Hauck and Carrie enjoyed many concert events at Coleman’s Park for their “Music in the Park” series. She also likes bluegrass and country music. She couldn’t remember when she gave her heart to Jesus, she just knows that she did!
She married Earl Troutman and lived in the spring house of her parent’s farmhouse in Ono. They had a daughter, Earlene Ruhl, named after her father. (Their daughter passed away in March of 1999.) They moved to the house in front of the Lutheran Church in Bellegrove. In fact, they were caretakers there. Earl took care of the outside chores of mowing, trimming around the tombstones, etc. and
Carrie cleaned the inside of the church. Their daughter, Earlene and her children helped with these caretaking chores in later years. Her grandchildren read the tombstones as they trimmed. They eventually moved across Route 934 to the small, 2-story white house in Bellegrove where she lived for 50 years. They had a Chevy car that Carrie learned to drive.
Carrie and her siblings were very close growing up and lived not far from each other even after marriage and having children. So, throughout their lives they all continued to gather regularly for picnics, road trips, reunions and visits to the Shuey family cabin, Triangle Camp in Clinton County. In later years, Carrie and her sister Anna enjoyed visiting the upstate Pennsylvania cabins of nieces, Darlene and Shirley.
Carrie has 5 grandchildren: John Jr., Sherryl, Crystal, Carol and Keldon. Nine great-grandchildren, Shaun, Geoff, Dakota, Hannah, Julian, Isabel, Dylan, Katie, and Olivia and 1 great-great grandchild, Morgan completes her family.
She and her husband help start the Bellegrove Fire Company and the fundraising carnivals to support the needs of the all-volunteer fire company. She was Treasurer many years, belonged to the Women’s Auxiliary group, baked many pies that she donated to the carnivals, helped make the carnival meal soups and such with the other Auxiliary ladies, and always bought the candy and staffed the candy stand at the carnivals into her 80’s –known as the “Candy Lady” by all the children of Bellegrove.
She attended the church in Bellegrove before coming to Ono. While attending Ono church, she taught Sunday School for many years and for about 14 years was a “Grandma” helper in the Preschool. Her advice to children is to be “good boys and girls”. For many years, she and her sister, Anna were involved in the Quilting Circle at Ono Church and enjoyed when Pastor Dan stopped over to chat and have refreshments with the ladies. They also contributed many items to the United Methodist Women In-Gathering.
She was a Farm Woman Group member for many years in the Bellegrove area.
Carrie worked first at the Hershey Factory on the cocoa line and then for many years at H.B. Reese Candy Company until she retired in 1982. Carrie was always very social and attended Senior Citizens and met with Hershey Retirees at the Farmer’s Wife. She’s traveled to FL, Niagara Falls and took many bus trips. She was unable to go on one of the bus trips that she had pre-paid, so her granddaughters, Sherryl, 25 and Carol, 20 went in her place and had a grand time with Carrie’s senior citizen’s pals.
Carrie’s favorite flower is roses and she likes the color red. She enjoyed being physically, mentally and socially active. She said her birthday is “May 26”. When I was told she would be 100, she said “That’s pretty old!”
Thank you, Carrie, for sharing your life story with us and HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY from all your family and friends!
Our sister, Carrie, left us to be with the Lord on April 24th, 2019. We’re so thankful to have had this special moment with her.