Chesterton Tribune

Sharon Vawter dies at 81

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Sharon Vawter, 81, of Porter, passed away Saturday, June 20, 2009 in Chesterton.

She was born on September 14, 1927 at Mercy Hospital in Gary, the daughter of A. Myron and Margaret F. Harris, both of whom preceded her in death.

Sharon was also preceded in death by aunt, Naomi Phillips, who was in real estate in Chesterton for many years. Naomi raised Sharon from the time she was eleven, when her mother died, until she was 18 years old.

She was preceded by her husband, William O. Williams; and husband, Albert “Jay” Vawter, who passed away in 1990.

Sharon is survived by her children, Jon (Vickie) Williams of Chesterton, William “Bill” (Janet) Williams of Valparaiso, Terry Williams, and Stephane (Larry) Tonello of Wis.; grandchildren, Terry (Meg) Crain, Becky (Larry) Hughes and Cristi Williams; great grandchildren, Sebastian and Aiden Hughes and Elsie Crain; several close cousins, including Elizabeth Phillips Redar of Hobart and several in Sullivan, Ind.

Sharon was also preceded in death by brother, A. Myron Harris Jr., who drowned at two years old in 1936 at the Gary Country Club;

During World War II, when she was 17, Sharon worked at Wilbar Plant in Chesterton, working on machinery that put out casings for shells and oval parts for aerial cameras. On VJ Day, everybody took off work and rode around Chesterton celebrating the end of the war. She also worked at old Morgan’s Hardware and State Park Drug Store.

When living with her aunt, they lived in two unique homes locally; Bailly Homestead from 1938-1940 and the Gustafson Home, which is now the Westchester Twp. Museum. She attended Chesterton Grade School in 7th and 8th grade, finished school in Florida, and came back to the Chesterton area in 1943. She belonged to the Chesterton Jr. Women’s Club, was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary for 45 years, and was a member of the Women of the Moose Lodge for 20 years.

Cremation will be performed at Heritage Crematory, Portage, with interment of ashes at Chesterton Cemetery and a memorial service held at a later date.

The family requests memorials be made to the First Christian Church, 1110 W. Porter Ave., Chesterton.

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Posted 6/23/2009