Floral 15

Edna Louise (Schmidt) Sickbert

July 23, 1936 ~ January 2, 2024 (age 87) 87 Years Old

Edna Sickbert Obituary

Edna Louise Schmidt Sickbert, born July 23, 1936, of rural Mt. Carmel, in Wabash County, IL, age 87, passed from her earthly life on Tuesday, January 2, 2024, at Oakview Nursing and Rehab.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Clarence and Minnie (Juenger) Schmidt; former husbands: Luis Saniel-Banrey, Joseph Anderson, and Rev. Donald Sickbert; brother Norman Schmidt and stepson Ian Grant. Surviving are her sisters Valeta Doorneweerd, Hillsboro, OH, Dorothey Schmidt, Ft. Collins, CO, and sister-in-law Sue Schmidt. Children are John (Patrice) Saniel-Banrey, Ostrander, OH, Jose (Patti) Saniel-Banrey, Hilliard, OH, Daniel (Tanya) Anderson, Delaware, OH, and Amy Louise Anderson. Stepchildren are Joseph Jr. (Darlene), Calabaras, CA, Brenda Anderson, Columbus, OH, Rev. Bryan (Mary) Sickbert, Cleveland Heights, OH, Carla Mathison, San Diego, CA, and David (Tom) Sickbert, Louisville, KY. Grandchildren are Maxwell and Lilly Saniel-Banrey, Maria and Claire Saniel-Banrey, Jurnee Anderson, Arielle, and Aaron Anderson.

Edna is a current member of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She was a previous member of Friedens United Church of Christ where she was baptized as an infant and confirmed into her Christian faith in 1949. She was a faithful servant there and held leadership roles at Friedens as an adult Sunday School teacher, musician, choir member, church council secretary, and president of the congregation, church historian, and Women’s Guild. She was active in the Evansville-Tri-state UCC Association and retired pastors/widow’s fellowship. While living in Columbus, OH, Edna also shared in various leadership roles at Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church for over 20 years.

She received her formal education first at the age of five attending Bosecker School in 1941, a one room country school; then elementary schooling at Keensburg School; and graduating from Mt. Carmel, IL, High School in 1954. Edna graduated from Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, IL, in 1958 with a bachelor’s degree in Christian Education, Religion, and Sociology.

In 1960, she attended Union Theological Seminary in New York City and received her master’s degree in Christian Education from Oberlin Graduate School of Theology in 1962. She participated in field work experiences during her post high education at Kenwood-Ellis Community Center, in Chicago, IL. Edna attended a Released Religion class at Public School in New York City, and Christian Education work at Westside UCC in Cleveland, OH.

Edna’s work career began during her high school days as a clerk at the Woolworth Store in Mt. Carmel where she received her social security number working at sixty cents per hour! Her first full time vocation following college graduation began as a Director of Christian Education at St. John’s United Church of Christ, Kenton, OH. Following her marriage she secured employment in Columbus, OH, in the fields of pre-school special education; public school elementary teaching; Franklin County Welfare Department; Children’s Hospital medical social worker and outreach coordinator at the inner-city outpatient clinics, and Health Coordinator and Community Advocate of the Short North area.

Besides rearing her family, Edna reached out in volunteer service in the Columbus inner city issues of poverty. She served on the original Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity; low-income housing issues; local food pantries, racial and minority issues, developing an inner-city church playground and garden; refugee resettlement of Laotian, Cambodian, and Ethiopian families and Ohio Mental Health Board.

During her early adulthood, she participated in various summer service projects- Medical research at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD; Mennonite Church service project of building a church facility near Humacao, Puerto Rico, and UCC Church camp counselor.

Following her “career” change in 1988, after relocating back to the farm home of her birth in Wabash County, IL, she completely restored the family farmstead into historical “Living Legacy Farmstead.”

In 1990 she became proprietor of a bed and breakfast for 16 years. During that time, the farmhouse and the eight farm buildings built by her grandparents in the early 1900’s were totally restored. It then was designated as an Illinois Centennial Family Farm. As a not-for-profit entity, the Farmstead provided historic and educational experiences open to the public including tours, five-acre yearly mazes, Good Old Days events, outings, garden, and wildlife ventures. She was affectingly known as “Grandma Edna” to the many youths who participated in these events. She enjoyed pursuing Wabash County and Friedens Church history, family genealogy and documenting numerous photos and creating family records. Her love extended to music, books, gardening, nature, beauty, and care of the farmstead. In later years, she sold rare and vintage books internationally through the internet as “Attic Treasures Book Shop” from her home. Edna participated in supporting the Wabash County Museum and the now defunct Wabash Historical Society. Only health issues in later years prevented her from her passion for gardening and caring for the Farmstead.

A Celebration of Life will be held at First Christian Church Disciples of Christ, Mt. Carmel, IL, on Saturday, January 6, 2024, at 1:00 p.m. Burial will follow in Friedens UCC Cemetery. Visitation will be Saturday, January 6, 2024, from 11:00 a.m. until the time of service at 1:00 p.m. at the First Christian Church Disciples of Christ.

Edna’s life was full of new beginnings, she was a pacemaker willing to reach out into a broader world of different experiences. She leaves a living legacy of the past for the future of her family and friends.

Condolences may be sent to www.short-cunninghamfh.com

Short-Cunningham Funeral Home is honored to serve Edna’s family.

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January 6, 2024

11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
First Christian Church Disciples of Christ
8th and Market Streets
Mt. Carmel, IL 62863

Celebration of Life
January 6, 2024

1:00 PM
First Christian Church Disciples of Christ
8th and Market Streets
Mt. Carmel, IL 62863

January 6, 2024

Friedens Cemetery
R.R. #1
Browns, IL 62818


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