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Obituary for Sharon Marie Hill-Stickle

Mother of Jack W. Stickle, II and Kate B. Maher, Funeral Directors at Henderson-Van Atta Stickle Funeral & Cremation Service

Sharon Marie Hill-Stickle

“My soul magnifies the Lord and . . . my spirit rejoices in God my savior…”

Sharon Marie Hill was born in Newark, Ohio on Tuesday, May 17, 1955, to Donald Dean and Rosemary (Franks) Hill. She was the first of seven children. Don and Rosemary knew they were truly blessed with the birth of their first baby girl.

On the day of her birth, The Newark Advocate reported the day was fair, with a chance of overnight frost. Newark’s City Council was reported to be wrestling with challenges associated with the city’s burgeoning population growth. The newspaper’s front page also carried a story which would have a very important impact on Sharon’s own life. The paper reported on meetings at St. Francis de Sales and Blessed Sacrament Churches about plans for a new $400,000 Catholic high school which would serve the needs of the area’s growing Catholic population that would be built on a 21-acre site on West Church Street. In the changing world of the 1950’s, Don and Rosemary were beginning their journey together in a small town they loved in a time of hope with their newest addition, Sharon.

Although their backgrounds were quite different, Don and Rosemary both came from families with firm Christian foundations. Don was from Granville and was raised in a Methodist family. Rosemary was born and raised in Newark in a Catholic family. The couple had met at the popular Crystal Ball Room at Buckeye Lake and their relationship quickly began to blossom. During the 1950’s interfaith marriages were not nearly so widely accepted as they later came to be, so when the relationship became serious a few eyebrows were raised. On his own initiative, Don began instructions and converted to the Catholic Faith. Don and Rosemary spent the next 64 years together, providing an example of faith and commitment to family, friends and community that Sharon would carry throughout her life.

Sharon grew up in a home where her parents made sure the values of faith, family, and service to others were woven into the fabric of life and routine. From her mother, Rosemary and Frances her grandmother, Sharon developed the strong devotion to the Blessed Mother that was to remain an integral part of her life in times of both happiness and sorrow.

During Sharon’s early teenage years, the family moved to the farm on Marion Road that would be home to their extended family and friends for the next half century. Sharon quickly developed a love for farm life that she would keep with her and pass on to the next generation when she established a family of her own.

Shortly before her graduation from Newark Catholic High School in 1973, Sharon began dating Mike Stickle. Mike was the second son of Jack and Naomi Stickle. Mike’s mom and Sharon’s mother had been close friends since their school days together at St. Francis de Sales High School. Mike’s dad had been a Marine Corps buddy of Sharon’s Uncle, Charlie Franks. While their friends and peers enjoyed more traditional teenage pursuits, Mike and Sharon’s dating life revolved around family events, snowplowing, volunteering and maintaining Forest Hills Water & Sewer Utilities, and community events such as the Hartford Fair and local Church festivals. At the time Mike was working at BF Goodrich with Sharon’s dad and her uncle while learning about Sharon’s interests. He supported Sharon’s participation in the 4-H Band in which she played the clarinet. Sharon also used her time in 4-H to develop long-lasting friendships and develop skills such as sewing and cooking that served her well throughout her life.

Sharon always enjoyed giving back to others, she was a candy striper at Licking Memorial Hospital and soon after her high school graduation she began employment with the hospital. Although Sharon and Mike dated for what seemed like an eternity to eager friends and relatives, an official engagement announcement was slow in coming. During the mid-1970s the dating (and waiting) continued while Sharon was employed as a technician in the pharmacy department at Licking Memorial Hospital and was later employed at the Wehrle Center. Mike became a permanent fixture at the Hill Farm on Marion Road and Sharon was eagerly and effortlessly welcomed into the large Stickle Family. Finally, an announcement was made and a date set. On October 25, 1980 Sharon and Mike were married at St. Francis de Sales in Newark. Sharon wore the same wedding gown her mother had worn twenty-six years earlier.

Mike and Sharon began their married life at 127 Swainford Drive in Heath in the residence that was previously the home to Sharon’s beloved grandparents, Raymond and Frances Franks. In the Spring of 1981, Mike and Sharon purchased the property to fulfill their dream of owning a farm. The birth of Jack Wesley Stickle II in March of 1982 marked the beginning of a new generation, with Sarah Rose following in April of 1983 and Kate Beatrice in September of 1986. By the late 1980’s the Swainford Drive residence was almost bursting at the seams so Mike and Sharon began to plan their dream home in the country. Together they designed a house that would not only accommodate the family they had already started but would also meet the family’s needs in the future when grandchildren began to arrive. Groundbreaking for their new home began on “8/8/88”. In 1989, the family moved to the farm on Butler Road just east of Newark that would be home for family and friend gatherings and celebrations for decades to come.

As parents, Sharon and Mike taught primarily by the example they showed of faith, family, and service; these were more than ideas -- they were calls to action. They raised their children to be unique and independent-minded individuals and instilled in them the importance of the teachings of their Catholic faith and when these teachings are adhered to in life, life then has meaning and purpose. Mike and Sharon also demonstrated to their children their responsibility for passing on this faith to their children. This deep appreciation of Christ’s love fostered the bonds that weave strong families together across generations.

Crowded with farm chores, 4-H & FFA projects, school athletic events, scouting activities, children’s college preparations and Church events, the years passed quickly. The Butler Road home continued to be the meeting place for a wide circle of family and friends. Sharon always displayed an outpouring of hospitality and welcome at her home, especially during swimming pool parties and dinner gatherings. More recently, she enjoyed planning family reunions with her aunts. She was her children’s guidance and inspiration fostering their love for life and service to others. Sharon loved her children with a deep sense of duty and devout prayer.

Jack, her first child, not only graduated from The Ohio State University but went on to pursue his goal of becoming a fully licensed funeral director, eventually purchasing a funeral home of his own in 2008. Sarah Rose and Kate completed their college educations and embarked on careers of their own. Sarah Rose, a graduate of Muskingum College and an intervention specialist teacher, married Brian Palmer of Dresden in 2010 and began her life as a wife and mother of three sons. Ellis Wayne, age 8, Owen Michael, age 6, and Isaac Dean, age 4. Sarah Rose’s faith-life, motherhood and dedication to her work reflects the love and values that Sharon modeled to her as her mother. Kate, a graduate of The Ohio State University (and more recently a licensed funeral director), married Michael Maher of Newark, in 2013, building her family, Thompson Xavier, age 5, Lucy Marie, age 3, and Rosemary Elizabeth, age 1, in the same city of Heath, where Sharon and Mike began their life together. Kate’s devotion to family and faith were also inspired by her mother, Sharon.

Through it all, Sharon offered the carefully balanced combination of support, wisdom, encouragement and occasional admonishment that only a mother can provide.

In their early years of marriage, Sharon and Mike were active parishioners at St. Leonard’s Catholic Church in Heath; and after moving to the farm they became part of the parish family at The Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Newark Ohio. Sharon continued to maintain an active circle of friends and was involved in service groups such as the Granville Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Madison Grange #1981. But it was through the gift of motherhood that she most fully radiated the Divine Love that was such an integral part of who she was. It was through her life of living the Catholic faith to the best of her ability that Sharon brought to life the words of the Blessed Mother’s hymn of praise passed on to us in the Gospel of Luke: My soul magnifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my savior.

Sharon Marie Hill-Stickle, age 65, of Newark died on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at The Ohio State University Hospital in Columbus. Sharon was baptized on May 29, 1955 at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church. She attended St. Francis de Sales Elementary and was a graduate of Newark Catholic High School with the Class of 1973. She married Michael A. Stickle on October 25, 1980 and the couple celebrated 40 years together this past year.

She is survived by her husband, Michael Anthony Stickle; her father, Donald D. Hill of Newark; three children, Jack W. Stickle II of Newark, Sarah Rose and son-in-law, Brian Palmer of Dresden, Kate and son-in-law, Michael Maher of Heath; six grandchildren, Ellis Wayne, Owen Michael and Isaac Dean Palmer; Thompson Xavier, Lucy Marie and Rosemary Elizabeth Maher; two sisters, Cindy and brother-in-law, Monte Londot of Utica and Mary Elizabeth Hill of Newark; three brothers, Rick and sister-in-law, Melinda Hill of Wooster, Howard and sister-in-law, Julie Hill and Charles and sister-in-law, Kellie Hill, both of Newark; Mike’s four brothers and five sisters and their families; several aunts and uncles, many nieces and nephews, cousins and friends.

She was preceded in death by her beloved mother, Rosemary Hill; and infant sister, Dawn Marie Hill.

Calling hours will be observed from 3-6:30 p.m. on Friday, January 1, at The Newark Chapel of Henderson-Van Atta-Stickle Funeral Service, 59 North Fifth Street, Newark. A Vigil Service will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Friday at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, 58 Granville Street, Newark.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 2, at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, 58 Granville Street, Newark. See below for the links to the live stream of the Vigil Service and the Funeral Mass.

Sharon will be laid to rest at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in a committal service immediately following the Mass.

Memorial contributions may be made in Sharon’s name to The Michael & Sharon Stickle Catechesis Instruction Fund at The Catholic Foundation, 257 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215 or to St. Vincent Haven, 115 Wilson Street, Newark, Ohio 43055.

Fatima prayer: My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love you! I ask pardon of you for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love you.

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