Ina Sixt, 99, of Washington, Pa., formerly of Springville, completed her early journey to Heaven on October 31, 2017 at the Washington County Health Center.
Ina was born in Ashford on April 10, 1918 to the late Dora Fuller (Williams) Ikens and Clayton Fremont Williams. She was a lifelong resident of Springville until 2011 when she moved to Pennsylvania to be closer to family. She married her high school sweetheart John E. Sixt in September 1938.
During the Great Depression, Ina was one of the first Buffalo Courier Express paper delivery girls in the area, winning a trip the 1933-34 Chicago World’s Fair for selling the most paper subscriptions. Ina worked hard but knew there was more to life than just work. She loved music, singing and dancing and had many friends who played in local bands. She often spoke about going dancing at the Cascade Park Pavilion. She couldn’t leave for the dance with her friends because she had to finish delivering her daily newspaper routes, so she hopped the train from Springville to get there.
Ina was a Girl Scout, a kite flying champion, high school cheerleader and a graduate of Griffith Institute class of 1937.
She was the first female student in a pilot driver’s education class at G.I. She loved to drive and did so over the years traveling far and wide in the USA visiting family and friends. At one point she was well known as “foster mama” on the CB radio.
One thing Ina learned early in life was the importance of having and keeping friends, many whom she kept as close friends far into their golden years. She and her longtime friend, Virginia Winkey, owned and operated the Speedy Laundromat for a period of time. Along with Winkey, Ina would often invite other friends, including Lois Hoch, Betty Allgrim, Grace Cranston, Alice Roth and many others to accompany her on her many travel adventures.
Ina was an avid bingo player, garage sale expert (buying and selling), member of the Springville Volunteer Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary, local women’s bowling league, publicity committee for the Town of Concord Sesquicentennial, a Brownie and Girl Scout leader and volunteer at St. Aloysius Church dinners and local school functions. She loved to bake and was known as the “bread lady,” sharing her famous apple pies and banana and fruit breads with those she loved.
Ina loved people of all ages, but most of all she adored babies and children. Hence, the reason she and John became foster parents. Over a period of 16 years, approximately 40 children were blessed to be under their loving care.
Ina spent a lot of time as a loving caregiver to many aging family members – her mom Dora Ikens, her dad Clayton Williams, her husband’s grandmother Grace Sixt and his aunt Regina Morrison Ahles. As the years went by and she retired from being a foster mother, she had spent so much time as a caregiver that she became a nurse’s aide at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital and later became an in-home health care aid taking care of, as she put it, “her old people,” who were often much younger than her.
In addition to her parents and husband, Ina was preceded in death by her children Mary LuGarda Blasdell and John E.Sixt Jr., her siblings LeRay F. Williams, Elsie Mae Belz and Rheda Lois Miller and son-in-law Richard W. Schohn.
Ina is survived by her children Regina Schohn, Jonna (John) Murphy, both of Washington, Pa., Joseph Sixt of Statesville, N.C.; son-in-law Donald “Butch” Blasdell; 17 grandchildren ranging in age from 55 to 7; 11 great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; foster children and 13 God-children.
Ina donated her body to medical science through the Pennsylvania Humanity Gifts Registry. Musmanno Funeral Home provides an online obituary on behalf of the registry. There will be two Memorial Masses, one in Washington, Pa. on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. from Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal RC Church in Meadowlands, Pa. and another on Nov. 18 at 10 a.m. from St. Aloysius RC. Church in Springville. Celebration of Life luncheons will be held immediately following each Mass. The one in Springville will be at the Springville Moose Lodge 1249.
Expressions of sympathy may be made to either Hickory Lions Club, specifying funds for “Leader Dogs for the Blind,” care of Gary Farner, 114 Cherry Valley Road, McDonald, Pa. 15057 or to St. Aloysius Regional School, 186 Franklin St., Springville, N.Y. 14141-1112. Mark donation “In Memory of Ina Sixt.”