For the love of community


Sonja, Hans Seiler bequeath scholarship fund to MT, WCH schools

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Both Washington Court House City Schools and Miami Trace Local Schools received a gift of $438,151.46 each in memory of Sonja and Hans Seiler. From left to right are: David Miller, Miami Trace Board of Education president; Kim Pittser, Miami Trace Superintendent; David Kiger, attorney; James Kiger, attorney; Sandy Ervin, estate executor; Becky Mullins, Washington Court House treasurer; and Dr. Tom Bailey, Washington Court House Superintendent.

Both Washington Court House City Schools and Miami Trace Local Schools received a gift of $438,151.46 each in memory of Sonja and Hans Seiler. From left to right are: David Miller, Miami Trace Board of Education president; Kim Pittser, Miami Trace Superintendent; David Kiger, attorney; James Kiger, attorney; Sandy Ervin, estate executor; Becky Mullins, Washington Court House treasurer; and Dr. Tom Bailey, Washington Court House Superintendent.


Courtesy photo

Sonja Seiler was sojourned in Washington Court House, Fayette County, Ohio.

Sonja Seiler was a beautiful true American citizen who came to Washington Court House, Ohio from Erlanger, Germany in 1959 with her husband Hans Seiler.

She was born July 1, 1931 in Germany. We do not know much about her childhood, but presumably as a child, she and Hans went through World War II either in Germany or some other western European country. She met and married Hans in Germany, who operated an international trading service. Upon arrival in America and moving to Fayette County, he and Sonja continued the business. Their specialty was to translate German and other foreign languages for American companies pertaining to international shipping of various products from western Europe to North America.

They located their business on North North Street in Washington Court House where Hans constructed a small, neat brick building which housed their operation for several years. Sonja worked side-by-side with Hans. They had no children, but both Sonja and Hans loved children. Hans, unfortunately, passed away in 2000, at which time his business was closed.

Thereafter for 10 years, Sonja worked at the First National Bank located on the corner of Main and Court as a teller, where she met and made many, many friends for herself and the bank. Having no children, people who knew her personally marveled at the generosity, which flowed from her as she was continually giving of herself and her assets to Fayette County, Ohio.

Sonja was a long-time member of the Good Shephard Lutheran Church. She was a charter member of the Altrusa Club of Washington Court House. She volunteered for over 25 years at the Fayette County Hospital as an auxiliary and could be seen regularly as a clerk in the gift shop at the hospital, and as a greeter and volunteer. It was estimated by hospital officials that she accumulated more than 6,000 hours of service to the hospital and the public.

The Carnegie Public Library was one of her favorites – to which she regularly made gifts. She silently and quietly donated hundreds of dollars for numerous children’s books. There is a “100 Real Children Books” collection named in her honor at the Carnegie Public Library.

She loved Fayette County and its people. And when she drew her will, which is on file forever in the records of our county, she continued her generosity by first remembering her friends with specific bequests. She often said that a close friend and the love and companionship that came with a friendship between people was a priceless item.

Sonja knew the value of an education and what the youth of our community sometimes endured to improve their learning situation and their journey from elementary to high school to college. And their endeavors to seek more training and higher studies. She wanted to and helped the youth of Fayette County by these bequests to the Miami Trace Board of Education and the Washington City School Board — of which she devised and granted to bulk of her estate, in equal shares, to provide perpetual scholarships to help assist the young people of Fayette County by using the income generated to furnish scholarships for additional higher training.

She had one simple request. And that was that she and Hans be remembered and honored and these scholarships be named in their memory. Both Washington Court House City Schools and Miami Trace Local Schools received a gift of $438,151.46 each in memory of Sonja and Hans.

By the creation of these grants, Sonja and Hans will never stop giving to our community, which they loved and which gave them a new home and in which they lived all of their lives. She and Hans loved the people of Fayette County, and she so amply demonstrated the same by her passing.

Both Washington Court House City Schools and Miami Trace Local Schools received a gift of $438,151.46 each in memory of Sonja and Hans Seiler. From left to right are: David Miller, Miami Trace Board of Education president; Kim Pittser, Miami Trace Superintendent; David Kiger, attorney; James Kiger, attorney; Sandy Ervin, estate executor; Becky Mullins, Washington Court House treasurer; and Dr. Tom Bailey, Washington Court House Superintendent.
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2022/11/web1_SeilerScholarshipFund.jpgBoth Washington Court House City Schools and Miami Trace Local Schools received a gift of $438,151.46 each in memory of Sonja and Hans Seiler. From left to right are: David Miller, Miami Trace Board of Education president; Kim Pittser, Miami Trace Superintendent; David Kiger, attorney; James Kiger, attorney; Sandy Ervin, estate executor; Becky Mullins, Washington Court House treasurer; and Dr. Tom Bailey, Washington Court House Superintendent. Courtesy photo
Sonja, Hans Seiler bequeath scholarship fund to MT, WCH schools

Submitted article