Ella's Story

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Ella Mae Bechtel, 89, Elkhart, died at home Tuesday, Sept. 19, surrounded by her loving family.
Ella was born Nov. 27, 1927, in Elkhart, to the late Walter E. and Gertrude E. (Lucke) Click. Also preceding her in death is a sister, Betty Ann Misener.
As Ella Mae Click, she married Ralph E. Bechtel Sr. Nov. 14, 1948, in Elkhart County. Ralph died April 5, 1992.
Surviving are her children, Loretta "Lori" (Eldon Jr.) Barrick, Elkhart; Douglas A. Bechtel, Elkhart, and Ralph E. Bechtel Jr., Goshen; four grandchildren; two stepgrandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and seven stepgreat-grandchildren.
A wonderful cook and baker, Ella spent most of her life in the restaurant business, having worked at the Carrol Drive Inn, Dunlap, Kresge's and Judd Drugs in Elkhart. She also worked for a time at Switch's in Goshen. Ella was a member of the Dunlap United Methodist Church and a charter member of the Concord Fire Department Auxiliary. She was also a member of the Elkhart Moose Lodge 599, Fairview Grange 2177 in Goshen, Starlight Chapter Order of the Eastern Star and the White Shrine Temple.
She loved camping with the County Campers and the Traveling Grangers. She enjoyed wintering at the Hidden Valley Ranch in Deming, New Mexico. She played bingo at the Salvation Army at the Fairview Grange every week. When Ella wasn't enjoying her favorite pastime, shopping, she could be found spending time with her family.
Visitation for Ella Mae will be Friday, Sept. 22, from 3 to 7 p.m. at Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home, Elkhart.
Funeral services will take place at the funeral home Saturday, Sept. 23, at 10 a.m. The Rev. Jerry Turner, pastor at Ella's church, will officiate.
Burial will be at South Union Cemetery in Nappanee.
Memorial contributions in memory of Ella may be made to the Concord Township Fire Dept., 23625 C.R. 18, Elkhart, IN 46516.
To leave the family an online condolence, visit www.hartzlergutermuthinman.com.
Published on September 20, 2017
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