OAKLETS (Schwab), Irma

A lifelong resident of Hamilton, passed away Monday, January 2, 2023, at the age of 101. Irma was extremely proud to be a Hamiltonian. Born in Hamilton and educated in Hamilton schools, she graduated from Hamilton High School in 1939. Irma married her high school sweetheart, Rudy Oaklets, in 1942. They lived briefly on the west coast during the war years, and Irma worked for the war effort both as a "Rosie the Riveter" and for civil service. After the war, the Oaklets returned to their beloved Hamilton, and together they designed the home they would build, themselves, and live in for their 59 years of marriage. When Rudy passed away in 2001, Irma remained in the home, loyal to her last breath to the love and memories the two had shared there together. The love of sports was a constant throughout Irma's life. In high school, Irma was most well known as a pitcher. In her last year of high school, a scout for a national girl's professional ball team saw her pitch a game at Ford's Field and tried to recruit her for "a league of 'her' own." Irma's father, however, would not give permission for her to be signed, so the opportunity was lost. School girls in the 1930's, even those who had more than enough "points," received no athlete's school letter. From 1936-1939, Irma had played on Hamilton High School's baseball, softball, volleyball, table tennis, archery, track and tumbling teams. It is no surprise, then, that one of Irma's most coveted awards is her athlete's school letter – the Big Blue "H" which was presented to her over 40 years after she graduated from Hamilton High School. As a young adult Irma also enjoyed skating, horseback riding, golf, and tennis; as an adult, she played softball and coached and managed teams. As an adult and senior, she was an avid and accomplished bowler. She remains an advocate for high school sports for female athletes. Irma's civil service career continued upon returning to Hamilton. She worked for the Social Security Administration and retired after 39 years of service. Significantly, she was the very first and chief teletype operator when the SSA adopted that "new" technology, and she traveled throughout southwest Ohio and acted as liaison for Hamilton's district to the Congressional Office of the SSA. Irma had many interests. Determined to help others with hearing loss, Irma was a co-founder of the Hamilton organization, Hear-Hear! – a non-profit designed to benefit the needs of hearing-impaired people in the greater Hamilton area. Irma loved and cherished her family, especially her mother. She loved to travel with her husband. Her hobbies included photography, fashion, entertaining, and gardening. And she loved dogs; her beloved Pepper, a miniature schnauzer, was her last very best friend. Irma was preceded in death by her husband, Rudy Oaklets, her mother (Caroline) and father (Phillip B. Schwab), her sisters, Alberta Schwab and Lily Braham, and brother, Philip Schwab, and many friends and relatives. She leaves behind her niece, Cathy Hochadel of Beavercreek, Ohio, who was Irma's care manager and companion when Irma could no longer manage everything on her own. She leaves behind Joe and Joey Hochadel (Cathy's husband and son) who were always there to help Cathy with whatever Aunt Irma needed, and Joey's wife, Joy Von Holle. Irma also leaves behind her niece, Lois Jacobs of Hamilton, Ohio and other members of Rudy's family; she leaves behind her niece, Carol (Wayne) Taylor of Lebanon, Ohio, a great niece, Carrie Tippins, and a great niece, Leslie Naeve. Finally, Irma leaves behind her wonderful cousins whose visits she always enjoyed, and lots of great friends who celebrated with her on her 100th birthday. A special and very important mention: Irma also leaves behind two extraordinary caregivers, Billie Lewis and Tracey Young, who made sure every single day of Irma's last year was filled with rewarding moments and exceptional care. Also, many thanks goes to Irma's newest caregiver, Hailey (and Kaitlyn), for the steadfast devotion extended to Irma in her final weeks. Family and friends are invited to honor the life of Irma Oaklets at Weigel Funeral Home, 980 N.W. Washington Blvd, Hamilton, Ohio, 45013. Visitation will be Monday, January 9, 2023, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Services will be held Tuesday, January 10, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at Weigel Funeral Home with Pastor Randy Stearns followed by interment at the Oaklets' mausoleum in Greenwood Cemetery. Family and friends are invited to gather afterwards to celebrate Irma's life at Colligan Lodge, New London Road, Hamilton. The Hochadels, on behalf of Irma, request memorials be sent to Ohio Valley Hospice (2601 Mission Point Blvd, Suite 310, Beavercreek, Ohio 45381), or the Hamilton High School Athletic Department (please specify for girls' sports and athletics), or to The Fenmont Center. Online condolences are available www.weigelfuneralhome.com.

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