Freda J. Lay, 91, of Celina, Ohio, died at 11:19 a.m. on Monday, April 3, 2017, at the Gardens in Celina, Ohio.  She was born in Denver, Colorado on September 9, 1925, to Eugene and Hilda (Bahl) Mathewson. 


She was a graduate of Dunkirk High School, Dunkirk, Ohio, and on February 21, 1946, she married Paul Eugene Lay, who preceded her in death on August 25, 1969.  Freda had lived here since 1967, coming from Mt. Blanchard, Ohio, and was a faithful member of St. Teresa Catholic Church in Rockford.  She retired from Shane Hill Nursing Home in Rockford after 22 years as their Dietary Manager.  Most of her life, she was a homemaker, raising her twelve children which were the love of  her life. 


Surviving are her twelve children:  seven daughters:  Peggy (Ralph) Bakle, South Bend, Indiana; Dianne (Dick) Holland, Fremont, Ohio; Patricia (Dave) Carteaux, New Haven, Indiana; Kristine (Keith) Kettering, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; Jan (Dan) Minnich, Willshire, Ohio; Laura (Ed) Snyder, Fort Recovery, Ohio; and Carol (Jerry) Byram, also of Fort Recovery; and five sons:  David Lay, Butler, Indiana; Jim (Kathy) Lay, Miamisburg, Ohio; John Lay, Dayton, Ohio; Dr. William (Amy) Lay, New Albany, Ohio; and Clinton (Jill) Lay, Garrett, Indiana.  Forty-four grandchildren, sixty-three great grandchildren, and five great-great grandchildren also survive.  Surviving also, are a sister, Mary (Jerry) Steiner, Marion, Ohio; a sister-in-law, Donna Hayes, Oxford, Alabama; and two brothers-in-law, Robert Miller, St. Henry, Ohio; and Mark Lay, Kenton, Ohio.  Deceased is an infant son, grandson Eric Byrum, two sisters: Josephine Miller and Elaine Weiss, and  two brothers:  Albert and Carl Mathewson. 


A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 6, 2017, at the  Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Celina, Ohio, with Father Kenneth Schnipke, C.PP.S. officiating. 

Burial will follow in Riverside Cemetery, Rockford, Ohio.  Friends may call at the Rockford Community Building on Wednesday from 2-8 p.m. A Prayer Service will be held at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday at the Community Building. 

Memorials may be directed to St. Teresa Catholic Church in Rockford. 

Condolences may be expressed at


Services are being handled by Ketcham-Ripley Funeral Home, Rockford, Ohio.



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