SALEM, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Elizabeth Klar (Gibbs) Thatcher, 93, died peacefully on Saturday, November 6, 2021, at Aultman Hospital in Canton, Ohio.

She was born on December 13, 1927, in Salem and was the daughter of Russell C. Gibbs and Sara Ellen (Pearce) Gibbs.

Elizabeth was married to Russell R. Thatcher on April 12, 1958.

She is survived by her sister-in-law, Margaret Gibbs, of Salem, Ohio; her son, Schuyler Schuff (Kathy); granddaughter, Francine Schuff and great-granddaughter, Harley Schuff, all of Phoenix, Arizona; her stepgrandson, Russell Franco (Becky), of Port Orchard, Washington; their three sons and two grandsons, many nieces and nephews and their children and grandchildren.

Elizabeth was preceded in death by her husband, Russell R. Thatcher; her twin brother, James “Jimmy” W. Gibbs; her brother, Charles Gibbs; her sister, Nanee Gibbs Bennett; her stepdaughter, Maribeth Franco Thatcher and her special friend, Patricia Kalbfell.

Elizabeth graduated from Salem High School in 1945 and from Lake Erie College with a Liberal Arts Degree in 1949 and from the University of Akron with a Master’s Degree in Education.

Elizabeth’s love of education was evident in her teaching career that spanned 38 years in the Salem School System. Her professional life included instruction of French and Title 1 reading and her post-retirement volunteer life was also spent in the reading instruction of Salem children in elementary classrooms and in assisting in the achievement of literacy goals for non-English speaking children.

Elizabeth loved her community and served on the Salem City School Board, as well as being a Salem City Council Member for three terms. She was the Founder and President of the Salem Storybook Museum, a founding member of the Salem Preservation Society, Charter Member of Salem Renaissance, Inc. and portrayed Mary Todd Lincoln in the Salem “First Ladies” group of historic reenactors. She was also very active in the Salem Area Humane Society for many years.

During her leisure time, after caring for her friends and family, Elizabeth loved walking her beloved dogs and reading mystery stories. She enjoyed her travels to Europe and to historic Williamsburg with her widowed father and in later years, with family members and friends. She loved her family and cherished their traditional holiday celebrations, to which she contributed generously. She was blessed with her kind and loving friends, David and Arlene Schwartz, Kathryn Moore, Robert Viencek and James and Marlene Lang, as well as many others over the years.

Elizabeth’s funeral service will be held at The First Presbyterian Church of Salem on Tuesday, November 16, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. with The Reverend Ross B. Jackson officiating. There will be no calling hours but family members will greet friends in the Sanctuary from 10:15 a.m. until the service begins.

Interment will be held at Grandview Cemetery following the service.

In lieu of flowers, Memorial contributions may be sent to the Children’s Department of the Salem Public Library, 821 East State Street, Salem, OH 44460, or to the Scholarship Fund of the Salem High School Alumni Association, 330 East State Street, Salem, OH 44460.

Arrangements are being handled by Stark Memorial Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Salem.

The service will be live streamed on Facebook at

If unable to attend, you may show your support by joining our complimentary “Hugs from Home” program where your message will be attached to a balloon in the chapel to remind the family of your love and support at

To send condolences or flowers, visit

A television tribute will air Wednesday, November 10, at the following approximate times: 6:43 a.m. on WYTV, 9:32 a.m. on WKBN, 10:58 a.m. on FOX and 8:12 p.m. on MyYTV..