July 1997

Willard and Addie Gaeddert

by Joseph RADDER

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For Willard and Addie Gaeddert, hope and love do spring eternal.

The Gaeddert’s, who both lost their first spouses, found a special love with each other and have celebrated 10 years of marriage. The love of family and friends has been evident in both their lives.

Addie and her first husband raised five foster children who, to this day, remain   very close. Willard has three surviving children and plays a special role with his grandchildren.

Dr. Willard Gaeddert is a 30-year (and founding) member of the Chautauqua County Rural Ministry, an organization committed to improving the lives of minorities and low income citizens in the community. He is a 23-year member of the Fredonia Kiwanis Club and Chairman of Chautauqua County’s Planning Board.

A devoted Quaker and member of the county’s Center for Peace and Justice, Willard is totally committed to his work as a member of the Holocaust Remembrance Committee. At 80-years-young he lives his life for peace.

For well over a decade Addie Marsh Gaeddert has been a member of the League of Women Voters and coordinator of its Meet the Candidate Programs. She also is a member of the Chautauqua County Home Auxiliary and past Chairperson of its annual Strawberry Festival fund-raiser.

As a member of the SUNY Fredonia College Foundation Board for over 10 years, Addie serves as Special Events Chairperson and is a member of the Fredonia 1891 Opera House Personnel Committee.

Only 74, Addie is very active in her church and its choir. She established a fund in memory of her first husband to support annual recitals for Fredonia State College music students, in an effort to promote their talents.

She and Willard are frequent theater goers and attend performances throughout Western New York.

Many throughout Chautauqua County have experienced the love and caring nature of Willard and Addie. But perhaps none is as important to them as their relationship with Kelly, a precocious 11-year-old who lives next door. From the time this young girl was four Willard and Addie have enriched her life, becoming her “adoptive” grandparents.

They have planted the seed of appreciation for life (and its aging process) with this little girl that will grow with her — just as their contributions will remain and be remembered.

Joseph Radder is a freelance writer.


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