Up Close and Personal - IV

Submitted by Evermore on Sat, 08/17/2019 - 9:29am

The following article was published in the Midweek Journal on December 21, 1987 by Lana Turner.

Mischief was gleaming in her eyes as her story unfolded.  She kept me on my toes with her witty remarks to my questions.  Born? “Yes,” she replied.  I was trying to find out where.  Lonita Sue Miller, is the grandniece of Mary Ann Miller (Al).  Her parents are Leon and Loretta Miller.  She was born March 19, 1962, in Marysville, Ohio.  Lonita grew up in the country and lived on a farm.  Her father was mostly a grain farmer, but on occasion they raised some heads of cattle and then butchered them.  She remembers discing, plowing, planting, and hoeing.  Lonita has one younger sister.  There were just the two girls on the farm and Lonita said she was her dad’s “boy.”  She remembers the two of them tearing apart an old Volkswagen and putting it back together in running condition.  It was Lonita’s car to bomb around in.  She remembers piles of friends getting in the car and going around the neighborhood TeePeeing.  The muffler went bad, and eventually the brakes gave out, so that was the end of that car.  In spite of all the clowning around and fun Lonita had, she was a great student at school.  She was quite active in all the clubs, on the National Honor Society, she was high school photographer, student director of their plays, and even a powder puff football team member, (a girl’s football team).  She was a lineman.  She said she only weighed 100 lbs. at the time, and sometimes she was against some big ladies, but her toughness made up for it.  Lonita went to Fairbanks High School and graduated in 1980. Lonita then received a scholarship for Ohio State University based on grades, etc.

Ohio State was quite a difference from the little rural farm and school she was brought up on.  Here high school graduating class had only 85 students, and the dorm she stayed in had a lot more than that.  Now she was in the big city.  Lonita loved it.  The campus was gorgeous and soon learned her way around.  Lonita started out in physical therapy, but became too emotionally involved.  It was depressing at times too, because you were helping people who were inevitably going to die.  After two terms of that, she went to her advisor and switched majors.  Lonita always found Math and Science very interesting and they came quite easy to her.  She went into mechanical engineering.  She worked her way through college, and put in many long study hours.  Most nights, she only got four hours of sleep.  She was up at 6:00 a.m. and would go to bed around 2:30 a.m.  Her last couple years of college she co-oped with Ranco Controls.  They designed parts fro all kinds of refrigeration.  Lonita graduated from college in 1985.  Immediately following college, she got a job with Loral Systems Group.  She designs wheels and brakes for airplanes, anything from Lear jets to Boeing 747’s.  She is also responsible for two projects right now, which she is not allowed to share.  She wears a suit to work every day and sits behind a desk, but also has a lot of running to do, so she wears tennis shoes.  She may have to run to the plant, to the material review board (inspection) or to the test lab.  There she gets dirty, she says.  The computer has helped a lot in drawing designs.  They can now draw the designs on the computers.  Lonita really enjoys her work.  Eventually, she would like to go back to school to possibly get her Master’s, or just to take classes.

Lonita has no boyfriends, but “Pam Blough is sure trying hard,” says Lonita.  She’s going to set her up with a blind date.  Her great-aunt Mary Ann also tries.  Lonita grew up in the Sharon Mennonite Church, and came to Hartville Mennonite because her great-aunt was here.  She didn’t know anyone else when she came, and Pam and Dwayne Blough and the children, have really made her feel at home.  She really appreciates their concern fro her.  Lonita is become a member of our church in January.

Lonita’s hobbies are collecting music boxes (she has most people trained to bring her a music box whenever they go away), she loves golf, and likes to play racquetball.  As a child, she always hated taking piano lessons.  Her mom would always say, “You’ll thank me someday.”  Sound familiar?  In the last couple of years, Lonita has taken a real interest in playing the piano.  She finally thanked her mom.  She also likes photography.  She says her mom and her sister are her best friends.  She has high telephone bills, and when she goes home, her mom and sister and she have these giggle fits and even roll on the floor sometimes because they laugh so hard.

Her favorite color is blue, and she is so glad she is born American because she loves all kinds of food.  She likes Italian, Chinese, Polynesian, French and even sushi (raw fish).  For a graduation present, she and her sister got a trip to Europe for two weeks.  Now a dream of hers is to go back.  She may be able to go to Sweden next year through her job.

We are very glad to have Lonita become a part of our Church body.  Now that I have introduced Lonita to you, you can make yourself know to her.

32 years later…. Lonita married Norm Mast in January of 1998.  They have two children Ethan (18) and Lillie (16).  Lonita quit work before Ethan was born and she has just returned back to work part-time for a company that she had previously worked for.  She has worked other part-time jobs in between and has volunteered many hours at the Thrift Shoppe and the church. Thanks for all you do for the church!