Ara Jane Witsberger

October 14, 1932 - January 10, 2018

10/14/1932 - 01/10/2018

Past Services

Friday January 12, 2018
4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Altmeyer Funeral Home - Elm Grove Chapel
154 Kruger Street
Wheeling, WV 26003
304-242-0330 | Directions
Saturday January 13, 2018
10:00 am
St. Vincent dePaul Church
2244 Marshall Ave.
Wheeling, WV 26003

WITSBERGER, Ara Jane “Mickey”, 85, of Wheeling, WV, passed away on January 10, 2018 in Wheeling, WV
Mickey was born October 14, 1932, in Wheeling, a daughter of the late William Orento (Rennie) and Mary Jane Ullom. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Melvin Luther (“Hambone”) Witsberger; a son, Michael Lloyd Witsberger; and brother, Robert Orento Ullom.
She is survived by six children, Mary Gail Moore (Jim) of Bellaire, OH, Therese Anne Edge (Jim) of Wheeling, Elizabeth Ann “Babs” McCauley (Paul) of Pasadena, MD, Rose Marie “Posie” Witsberger of Wheeling, Todd Andrew Witsberger, MD (Kathleen Bors, MD) of Charleston, WV, Melvin Lawrence “Larry” Witsberger (Kathy) of Pittsburgh, PA; a sister, Jule Ann Wong of Phoenix, AZ; and a daughter-in-law, Sue Hardman.
“Gramma Mickey” is also survived by fourteen (14) grandchildren, Jim, Chris and Elizabeth Moore; Kerrie, Jamie and Dan Edge, Ben Witsberger, Tim and Mandy Braden; Sarah, Emily and Paul Witsberger; and Adam and Samantha Witsberger; and nineteen great-grandchildren, Brooke, Clay, Dylan, Faith, Calvin, Roman, Ara Jane, Jordan, Justin, Jessica, Taylor, Carter, Elliott, Everett, Evie, Ellis, Luke, Olivia and Haley; as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Mickey has proudly accepted her new role as a Guardian Angel to watch over her family and friends. She was devoted to helping people with her countless acts of kindness and caring for her mother, husband and children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The matriarch of the Witsberger family and role model to us all. She was an extraordinary woman full of love, strength, intelligence, kindness, creativity and beauty both inside and out.
She was a fantastic home maker, raising seven children on limited funds providing everything a family could need and many items her kids wanted. Mickey took great pride in her family as she created a beautiful home for them in Springdale (Elm Grove). She was creative with her sketches, ceramics, house projects (from painting to draperies), gardening and landscaping. She was quick to add anyone in need to her prayer list (i.e. shrine) and saved the souls of her children countless times.
Mickey was an excellent cook and baker, who put food on the kitchen table for nine people, seven days a week, 365 days a year. “Gramma Mickey” made the best seven layer cookies, rice crispy treats and goodies for the family and especially giving these to her grandchildren. We are thankful she passed on her love and creativity for cooking to her family.
Mickey attended St. Vincent de Paul and Saint Joseph Academy and worked at Isaly’s in Elm Grove as a teenager. Mickey was a devoted member of St. Vincent de Paul Parish and raised her children with strong Christian values. In addition to raising a family, she worked part-time at L.S. Goods, Elby’s, Figaretti’s Stone and Thomas, among other jobs to help support her family. She was a volunteer at Wheeling Hospital, Meals of Wheels, St. Vincent de Paul Church (Fish Fries, Eucharistic Minister, Visiting Shut ins, etc.). She enjoyed traveling throughout many US states and China, Mexico, Canada, Belgium, and her best trips were always with her sister Jule.
Mickey passed on her legacy to her family for many years to come. The legacy includes great mothers, fathers and spouses, independent business owners, business men and women, coaches, craftsmen, engineers, flight attendant, great home-makers, nurse, podiatrist, self-starters, surgeon, teacher and a veterinarian, just to name a few. This would not have been possible if not for the nurturing love of Mickey.
Mickey remained happy, easy going and pleasant throughout her life and especially during her battle with Alzheimer’s disease. It was a joy to be in the presence of Mickey. (The family thanks the nurses, aides and staff of Welty Home and Home of the Good Shepherd for the excellent treatment and their friendship.)
Ara Jane (Mickey) Witsberger will be sadly missed and will never be forgotten.
Friends will be received from 4-8 pm, Friday, January 12, 2018, at the Altmeyer Funeral Home, Elm Grove Chapel, 154 Kruger Street, Wheeling. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 am, Saturday, January 13, 2018, at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, with the Rev. Gary Naegele as celebrant. Private interment will be in Mount View Cemetery, Dallas, W.Va.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to a charity of your choice and/or perform and act of kindness with thoughts of Mickey.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at

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corrine schreyer
5 years ago

Dear Terry, Jim and children, just learned today of your mother’s passing…what a beautiful tribute to her. I remember meeting her a long time ago, beautiful woman…full of grace and beauty inside and out…her wonderful spirit of living life and showing others how to do the same….these are the memories that will sustain you…our prayers are with you..Corrine & Bill and children

Kathy lester
5 years ago

Prayers of comfort for all.

5 years ago

Prayers for the family and friends.

5 years ago

Prayers for the family and friends ..

5 years ago

Prayers for the family and friends .. She will definitely be missed by many !

Donna Divita
5 years ago

I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my prayers.

Jim McDermott
5 years ago

Todd and Kathleen, and Witsberger family: Sending you all my sincere condolences at this time of loss for your family. I had the good fortune of working with Mickey (and your brother Larry) for about 4 years at Stone and Thomas department store in Elm Terrace while I was attending Wheeling College. She was such a kind and wonderful person, with a great sense of humor, and enormous pride in her children. I hadn’t realized how large her extended family had become, but what a legacy of love she leaves the world with all of those grandchildren and great grandchildren. I trust the love and esteem that so many of us felt for your mother will sustain you all during this time of grieving.

Mary J Schubert
5 years ago

I am so sorry to hear about your Mom. She will always be in your hearts and watching over you

Mary J Schubert
5 years ago

I am so sorry to hear about your Mom. She will always be in your hearts and will be watching over all of you . My prayers are with you.

Lois Galbraith
5 years ago

I am sorry to hear about your Mom. You are all in my prayers