Mildred J. Bachelder

July 08, 1930 ‒ August 06, 2002

Mt. Gilead, Ohio

Mildred J. Bachelder, 72, of Co. Rd. 23, Cardington, Ohio died Tuesday, August 06, 2002 in Riverside Methodist Hospital.

She was a member of the Harmony Chapel United Methodist Church where she had served as the church organist since 1957. A lifelong Morrow County resident, where she was born in Franklin Twp. on July 8, 1930, the daughter of the late Reed and Vena McDonald Bishop. She graduated from Chesterville High School in 1947. Mildred helped operate a family farm in addition to working for H.P.M. Corporation, to serving as administrative assistant at the Marion Telephone Company, to being a bus driver for 12 years for Highland Schools, and to delivering mail as a Cardington rural mail route carrier from 1974-79.

She was a 51-year member of the Evelyn Chapter #146 of the Order of the Eastern Star where she held many offices, including Worthy Matron in 1961& 63 and was named Grand Aid to the Worthy Grand Matron for the State of Ohio in 1993.

She is survived by her husband Eston, whom she married Apr. 3, 1949; two sons Dr. Brian (Debra Fink) Bachelder of Mt. Gilead, OH, and Roger (fiancé Licia Taylor) Bachelder of Chesterville, OH; a daughter Deborah A. (Dr. Richard) Lahiere of Powell, OH; a foster son Jack (Jane) Edgell of Cardington, OH; five grandchildren Jennifer, Nicholas, Megan, Teri and Christopher; and a brother Marvin R. Bishop of Claridon, OH.

In addition to her parents, two sisters Helen Pinyerd and Ruth Bishop preceded her in death.

Friends may call at the Craven Funeral Home, 67 N. Main, Mt. Gilead on Thursday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. with Eastern Star services at 8 p.m. Rev. Mark Bodeker & Rev. Jan Yandell will conduct funeral services there Friday at 1:30 p.m. Burial will be in Maple Grove Cemetery in Chesterville. Memorial contributions can be made to the Harmony Chapel United Methodist Church. Condolences may be expressed to the family at

Eulogy for Mildred Bachelder August 9, 2002

There is a hymn in the United Methodist Hymnal that is entitled “When in Our Music God is Glorified.” Mildred Bachelder’s life was woven with music. Each day was a new song, each moment a hymn of praise. Thus, I have tried to weave her life story together throught the music she most dearly loved, the old hymns. Truly god was glorified by Mildred each time she sat at the organ or piano, each time she hummed a tune in the car or sang a lullaby to her children.

“Sing them over again to me, wopnderful words of life, let me more of their beauty see, wonderful words of life.” Mildred’s life began right here in Morrow County, Franklin Township to be exact. She was born into the family of Reed and Vera McDonald Bishop and there she lived with her one brother, marvin, and her two sisters, Helen and Ruth. Her early life was filled already with music, she started playing the piano when she was four and took two years of lessons and then let nature take its course. She had an ear for music and love the hymns of the church and the duets she and Marvin would play together.

Mildred played the saxophone in the Chesterville High School band and worked it out so that she could be the first chair saxophone player and a certain young man could be second chair. That certain young man was Eston Bachelder. “Oh Love That Will Not Let Me Go” – God’s love was seen in the nusical romance over three years of high school courting. At ages 18 and 19 Mildred and Eston were married on April 3, 1949. “O Precious Love”, that was the love they shared for fifty-three years being married to their best friend.

From this love came three children. Brian, Deborah, and Roger. I think it was in raising children, as it is for many of us, that Mildred’s faith matured. Don’t get me wrong, Mildred loved her children more than life itself and she would do anthing for them – anything. But children can go from “There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit in this Place” to “I Need Thee Every Hour, Most Gracious Lord” in the beating of a heart and Mildred and Eston together worked to celebrate the good times and endure the not so good. Mildred loved to tell about her children and their accomplishments, but was also known to have said that she understood why some creatures eat their young. That was one thing about Mildred that was for certain, you never had to wonder very long about what she was thinking.

“How Great Thou Art” must have been the song she was singing each time her grandchildren would come to visit. The awesome wonder she held for the Lord could be seen in the faces of each child. She adored her grandchildren as they did her. Jennifer, Nicholas, Megan, Teri and Chrsitopher were the apples of her eye. She loved to ahve them at the house or go and visit at theirs, she played with them, read to them, sang with them and held them close in times of sadness. No one comforts a child quite like a grandmother, and Mildred was a wonderful grandmother.

Mildred worked for a while at HPM and at the phone company, but her favorite job was working on the farm with Eston. She was the best of all farmer’s wives. She could plow, plant, and drive the baling wagon. She milked cows and fed pigs. Wherever Eston was, Mildred was. Whatever Eston was doing, Mildred was right there to help. They had a wonderful partnership as they came “Bring in the Sheaves.”

The other job Midred dearly loved was driving the school bus. “Morning has Broken” and Mildred is out on the route, she knew every curve and pot-hole in Morrow County. She knew every mailbox and most importantly she knew every child. “All things bright and beautiful, all creature great and small, All things wise and wonderful the Lord God made them all.” That’s how Mildred felt about the children. She watched an entire generation of children go from kindergarten to commencement, each year they would get a little bigger and a little braver, but Mildred ruled the bus. She could gently embarrass the older kids into behaving and loveingly scare the little ones into being good. And the children felt about Mildred the same way that Mildred felt about God, it is most important to “Trust and Obey!”

“Joyful, joyful we adore thee, God of Glory, Lord of Love. Hearts unfold like flowers before thee opening to the sun above.” Mildred enjoyed raising flowers; her yard was always graced with the first blossoms of spring and the last foliage of the fall. She was always amazed at the beauty of God’s handiwork.

Her other hobbies included baking pies and many of us have reaped the benefits of that endeavor. Berry pies, cream pies, all kinds came out of her kitchen, my favorite was her pecan pie. mmmm. “Be Still My Soul!” The pie was as welcome to the visitor as the visitor was welcome in the Bachelder’s home.

Mildred used to sew her own clothes, she was quite handy with a needle, she learned the art as a young girl. But then she discovered that it was much more fun to go shopping with Mary Lou for clothes and the so the art of sewing was left for special occasions and patching.

She liked to go out to dinner too. And Eston and she would be seen at the Red Lobster or Logan’s Steakhouse or other eating establishments three or four times a week. Somehow she ate better when she at out. And she needed that nourishment. Just recently she acquired a taste for Lobster and ordered one on almost each outing. You see she already had a piece of heaven figured out. Mildred tasted her first lobster on one of the many cruises, Eston and she took together. You see, fourteen years ago, the doctors told Mildred that she had only eighteen months to live. Mildred took the news fearfully, then passionately, then powerfully. She believed what she played when the hymn said, “Because he lives, I can face tomorrow. Because he lives, all fear is gone. Because I know who hold the futuire and life is worth the living just because he lives.” Mildred told the doctors she would not die until she had ! seen the world. And the doctors didn’t realize how serious she was and that it would take a long time to see everything. “This is My Father’s World” and no one was going to keep Mildred from enjoying each place on it. Eston and Mildred traveled to London and France, they cruised the carribean and the inner passage of Alaska. she toured much of the eastern United States and just this past summer sailed on the Amazon River. Wow, how many of us will ever be able to say they have done all that. Each place was more remarkable than the last. “Now thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices, who wondrous things have done, in whom this world rejoices.”

She like to read too, and most recently was reading a series of books pertaining to life in a small community as seen throught the eyes of the local church pastor. Maybe she liked that because she had to put up with so many of us. Mildred kept us pastors in line. I’ll never forget the day I left for Berea and she admitted she had not wanted a woman pastor at all, but after our four years together it was alright. She used to say when I wore my white robe; I looked just like an angel up there. I look forward to having that conversation with her again. For I know we will meet again as we “Gather at the River.”

“Silent night, Holy night” Mildred loved Christmas. She would cherish the peace of the cold winer night; she would listen for the “cattle lowing”, the “angels singing” and the “shepherds praising.” But “Love Came Down At Christmas” when she gave gifts to others representing the greatest gift that God gave to us in his son. Mildred loved to buy gifts and watch the faces of those who opened them. Instead of the usual free-for-all pandimonium of many households, Mildred made each person person open one present at a time so all could enjoy the reaction and the gift. Mildred believed in doing things early, how special this next Chistmas will be when the children and grandchildren realize that Mildred’s shopping was already complete and there will be a present from Grandma under neath the tree. “Joy to the World, the Lord is come.”

The music of Christmas was special, but Mildred made everyday special with her music. “Here I Am, Lord” she would say as she shared her gift from God with others. She played for her beloved Eastern Star meetings, she played for weddings and funerals, she played at home and at the homes of friends. And every Sunday, she played where I knew her best, sitting at the organ at Harmony Chapel United Methodist Church. She played “For All the Saints” and for us sinners too. I remember listening to Mildred at the organ and Mike on the piano and watching the subtle glances they would give each other just before they would vamp or change the speed or the key or even sometimes the entire hymn. From “There’s Victory in Jesus” to “Blessed Assurance”, all were played with feeling and heart. For forty-seven years she paleyed the Harmony Chapel organ and you could be sure that “There was always in her heart a melody!”

Mildred’s faith was obvious. She suffered much physically and “Nobody Knew The Trouble she’s Seen” She faced each day with much courage and was constantly “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” “What a Friend she Had in Jesus.” It was that relationship and hers with Eston that saw her through. She kept coming back when doctors would give her little hope, she was a fighter and loved life to its fullest. Her mantra became, “I’ll triumph still, if thou abide with me.” And abide Jesus did, even through these last days. Oh how we will miss her here, she touched an awful lot of people in an awful lot of places. But I am unapologetically Christian and I believ that we will see her again for “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder, She’ll Be There!” Amen.