Lillian Esther Riegsecker Slabach, 96, passed away on May 25, 2021, in the home of her daughter, with her family by her side. Lillian was born on September 16, 1924, to John and Neomah (Miller) Riegsecker. She grew up as a middle child with 3 sisters and 4 brothers, spending her early years in Millersburg, IN where she met Fred after being introduced by a cousin. They later married on April 21, 1946 and within a few years they purchased a farm north of Middlebury where they lived for 70 years. It was there they raised 6 children, 3 girls and 3 boys. She was an active member of Clinton Frame Mennonite Church for most of her life. Lillian was a dedicated and tireless homemaker, pouring love into everything she did. She had a kind and generous heart, always putting others first, never wanting anything for herself. Because her family was so important to her, she took numerous photos and videos, as well as keeping detailed records of her life through diaries, newspaper clippings of special occasions, and food preservation. Some of the ways she showed her love was by entertaining family and friends, and by cooking meals using much of the produce straight from the garden she tirelessly cared for. She always had frozen fruit, jams, jelly, applesauce, canned beans, peas, fruit, and so much more. She enjoyed traveling with her husband and visited nearly every state. She was an accomplished seamstress, sewing clothes for herself and her children, in addition to teaching her daughters how to sew. She could be found doing any number of things such as reading a book from her large collection, sewing doll clothes, quilting, crocheting blankets, going through her stamp, coin, and plate collections, feeding the wild birds and identifying what types came to the feeders. She was an avid fan of the Chicago Cubs, Jeopardy, Price is Right, Wheel of Fortune and playing board games with her family. Survivors include her husband Fred of 75 years; 2 brothers, Duane Riegsecker and Richard Riegsecker, and a sister Doris Riegsecker Keim (Roy); 5 children, Sharon Bender (Keith), Robert Slabach, Ruth Slabach, David Slabach (Ginger), Carol Thomas (Eldon); 9 grandchildren, Angela Bender Linzey (Jeremy), Karla Bender, Lynn Bender Jones (Scott), Sarah Slabach Webb (Nathan), Esther Slabach, Rachel Slabach Sanderson (Rich), Aaron Slabach, Lily Thomas, Seth Thomas; and 23 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, 2 sisters Mary Riegsecker Rice, Louise Riegsecker Hoogenboom, 2 brothers, Jesse Riegsecker and Robert Riegsecker, and a son Daniel (Danny) Slabach. Visitation will be from 4:00 -8:00 pm on Wednesday, June 2 at Miller-Stewart Funeral Home, 1003 South Main Street, Middlebury. There will also be one hour of visitation prior to the 11:00 am funeral service on Thursday, June 3 at Clinton Frame Church, 63846 County Road 35, Goshen. Burial will be in Clinton Union Cemetery, Goshen. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Hillsdale College https://www.hillsdale.edu/ or Heartland Baptist Bible College https://heartlandbaptist.edu/ or a charity of your choice.
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