Juanita Marie Flater was born on Good Friday, April 15, 1949, to Alvin and Leila (Badertscher) Schwartzlow in Monroe, WI, seven years after her sister Patricia. The only other time her birthday was on Good Friday was when she was 11 years old. Juanita went to be with her Precious Heavenly Father Saturday, February 22, 2020, after a courageous 11 year battle with cancer. Patricia and her husband Jim Cramblet's life ended tragically in 1964 eight months after their marriage, when their car was buried in a snowstorm on Hwy. 11 out of Janesville, WI.
In her childhood, she lived on various farms in Monroe and Juda. She graduated from Brodhead High School in 1967. She completed two semesters of accounting at Madison Business College and then worked full time for Ties Motors, then Walters Motors, Ayres Chevy & Pontiac, The Independent-Register, H&R Block, the Register Print Center, Swiss Colony (seasonal), as well as a City of Brodhead municipal election judge.
Her 'Double Trouble' double cousin, Sue and Vince Visger, were instrumental in helping her find faith in Jesus and accept His salvation, forgiveness of sin and the strongholds in her life. Jesus is her 'Precious Father'. While attending Footville Church of Christ she met Paul Flater and they were married by David Kinnick on June 24, 1977. They were able to build a home in Brodhead where she could take care of his needs as a quadriplegic for 32 years. She assisted her husband Paul while he was Brodhead alderman for 12 years and while serving on various church committees. For 11 years they were very active in the missions outreach team at Monona Oaks Community Church and organized the JESUS Boxes sent to college students away from home and then expanded to military servicemen and others. Their travels included an airplane ride to Orlando, FL to visit brother-in-law Fred and family and take in Disney World and other attractions. Together they attended many family reunions on both sides. Their last flying venture was a scenic ride over Whitewater in an open-cockpit by-plane offered to the handicapped and their caregivers.
Juanita has had a love for kittens since she was a small child. When Mom could not find her she would just look for the kittens on the farm. It took 13 years to get Paul convinced to accepting Dusty and later Roman as house cats. Only days after she had to put Roman down after 13 years, Gabriella came into her life, fulfilling her lifetime wish for a tabby.
After Paul's passing in 2009, she got involved in prison ministries, after Pastor Bartz suggested people write letters to prisoners to encourage them in their faith. Juanita was invited to be a visitor at Oak Hill Correctional Institution, Oregon, WI, because of her faithful letter writing. June 23, 2010, just one day before she would have celebrated her and Paul's 32nd anniversary, she entered the doors of a prison for the first time and there met Michael, a fine Christian man who made poor choices in his youth and was ineligible for early release, since he was sentence under the 'Old Law'. She encouraged him with his schooling in pastoral ministry and she worked for prison reform with the WISDOM/MOSES Organization.
Her sister's funeral made her think about death and life. Her niece, Mary Franklin, funeral was the first Christian funeral service after becoming a believer. The prison and nursing home ministries and the JESUS boxes have brought her great joy and the opportunity to show mercy.
She is survived by her significant love, Michael; Sister-in-law Sharon (George) Franklin (Evansville, WI); Brother-in-law Fred (Becky) Flater (Piedmont, SC); and many nieces and nephews. She is also survived by a special long time dear friend Peggy Ann Poss, and Aunt Alice (Allard) Badertscher and Albert Jr (Janice) Badertscher.
She is preceded in death by her sister Patricia and brother-in-law James Cramblet, grandparents Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Schwartzlow, parents Alvin and Leila Schwartzlow, niece Mary Franklin, father-in-law Marvin and mother-in-law Myrtle Flater, husband Paul Flater, sister-in-law Loretta and brother-in-law Keith Johnson, and second cousin Kristy Maresch, and special aunts & uncles.
Services will be held at the Living Word Church, Brodhead Saturday, February 29, 2020, at 11 a.m. Visitation from 10:00 a.m. until time of service. Burial in Greenwood Cemetery, Brodhead.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Living Word Church for distribution to her favorite ministries: Michael (prison ministries), Igor and Vita (missions) and Agrace Hospice Care.
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