December 19, 2002
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Gerda Oldham
Gerda Wilk Oldham of Yellow Springs died on Friday, Dec. 13, at home. She was 90 years of age.
She was born on June 20, 1912, in Berlin, and emigrated with her family to the United States in 1927.
She liked to travel, visiting her children and grandchildren in England, France, Norway, Colombia and across the United States, from New Hampshire to Washington State. She enjoyed gardening and especially loved spending time at the seashore.
Reading was another one of her passions. She kept the library busy tracking down books that she saw reviewed in The New York Times. She shared her love of words with her family, and for years read with her neighbor Nolan Miller several times a week. She also taught several adults to read through the Greene County Laubach literacy program.
She was an accomplished pianist and organist, and up until her death enjoyed playing music written for eight hands at two pianos. She was a member of a piano trio that traveled every fall to Interlochen for a week at a music camp.
She and her husband, James Oldham, made Yellow Springs their home since 1957. Until her retirement she worked in the Antioch College president’s office as secretary to Morris Keeton, Sam Gould and other administrators. She served as office manager and occasional reviewer at the Antioch Review, and continued there as eagle-eyed proofreader until just a few years ago.
She is survived by James Oldham, her loving husband of 66 years; five children and their partners, Ned, who shares their home in Yellow Springs, Robert Oldham and Marcia Perkins of Richmond, Va., Kathy and Dan Beverly of Mishawaka, Ind., David and Barbara Duvall Oldham of Brooklyn and Susanne Oldham, who is serving in the Peace Corps in Lesotho, and her partner, John Semmlow of New Brunswick, N.J.; four grandchildren, Karen Klausen, Jody Lee, Andy Beverly and Carol Oldham; three great-grandchildren; a sister, Emily Adler of Atlanta; two nieces, two great-nephews and a great-niece and their children.
Her brother, Helmut Wilk, died in World War II.
Her remains have been donated to the Wright State Medical School. A tree will be planted in her memory next spring. Donations in her name to the Heifer Project (, one of her favorite charities, are welcome.

Charles R. Watts
Charles R. Watts of Springfield died Friday morning, Dec. 13, in his residence, after a brief illness. He was 90 years of age.
Born Oct. 7, 1912, in Lima, he was the son of Alexander H. and Esther (Brenaman) Watts.
He owned the Yellow Springs IGA for 35 years and was an avid bowler and loved to play golf. He always enjoyed being with his friends at the Union Club.
He was a member of the Union Club, Elks Lodge and Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 397.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Agnes M. Watts; brother, Robert B. Watts; half-sister, Doris L. Watts; stepsister, Margaret C. Gaver; and his parents.
He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Carolyn L. and Thomas W. Perkins of Springfield; grandson, Thomas W. Perkins Jr.; great-granddaughter, Victoria L. Perkins; and several nieces and nephews.
At Charles’s request, he was cremated. Memorial services were held Tuesday, Dec. 17, in Rosehill Chapel.

Memorial service for Dorothy Hilbert
A memorial service celebrating the life of Dorothy Hilbert will be held Monday, Dec. 30, 7 p.m., at the Unitarian Universalist meeting house in Goes.
Dorothy died unexpectedly on Oct. 18, at the age of 91.
The service will include musical offerings by family members and a time for memorial tributes. A reception will follow, hosted by the Unitarian women’s group.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions be made to the Unitarian Fellowship, Friends Care Community or Antioch College.

Memorial service for John McConville
A memorial service for John McConville will be held Saturday, Jan. 4, at 1 p.m., at the First Presbyterian Church, 314 Xenia Avenue.
McConville died on Monday, Nov. 25.