Grayce Chatham


Grayce E. Chatham, of Defiance, was born in Defiance, Ohio, on June 17, 1919, to Chauncey and Eunice (Allison) Rittenhouse. She died March 3, 2014.

She graduated from Tiffin Township High School and then International Business College in Fort Wayne. She then took an accounting position in Washington, D.C., during World War II. She enjoyed her work a lot. On weekends she went sight-seeing with some of her many new friends.

She met and married her Army Sergeant Charlie C. Chatham on December 17, 1942. After his tour of duty in the Philippines, they came back to Defiance to start their family. She worked at Defiance Hospital as night office clerk. Later she did work at Dinner Bell Foods, retiring in 1976.

Grayce was devoted to her family, her farm life, her flowers and hummingbirds. She trusted her faith in God to help through glad times and sad times throughout her entire life of 94 years.

She was a member of Defiance Christian Church.

She is survived by two daughters, Juanita (James) Small of Coldwater, Ohio, and Judy (William) Abell of Milton, Florida; and son, Dwight (Connie) Chatham of Defiance.

Also surviving are her grandchildren, Tim (Jenni) Lang of Defiance, Sherry (Jay) Summers of Delaware, Ohio, Victoria and Lori Sanderson of the state of Florida, Michelle (Jeff) Curenton of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Mark (Chrissy) Chatham of Defiance, Dexter and Alex Chatham of Defiance; great-grandchildren, Kylie, Emma, Charles, Emily and Ian.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Charlie; son, Charles; and her four brothers, LeRoy, Emmett, Orrin and Howard Rittenhouse.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 6, 2014, at Schaffer Funeral Home, Defiance, with Pastor Jim Dotson officiating. Interment will follow at Evansport Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday prior to the service.

The family suggests memorials be given to CHP Defiance Area In-Patient Hospice Center's "Charlie's Pie" or Defiance Christian Church.

Online condolences can be given at

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