Juanita Gardis Foltz 1948
Posted Dec 10, 2021
Juanita “Nita” Gardis Foltz ’48 died Oct. 29, 2021. Born to Margaret and Louis Gardis in Akron, OH, on July 9, 1926 she lived the majority of her life in Westerville, OH. Juanita was an alumnus of Otterbein College where she majored in Music Education, was homecoming queen, Drum Majorette and a member of the Talisman (TEM) Sorority. She met her husband Kenneth ’48 when he sat down across from her at a bridge table one night at Otterbein, forming a partnership which lead to 61 years of marriage.
Nita was a homemaker with a love of music. She was a founding member of the singing group “Song Spinners”, sang with “Vaudevillities” and performed with various choirs throughout her life. Her love of the arts included the theater, sewing (costumes and tailoring) and baking.
Her friends remember her positive attitude and her willingness to help out with their sewing problems or baking them exotic new dishes and desserts to bring to bridge club and parties. She loved to swim, walked in Ohio’s various woods, bowled, enjoyed dogs (especially dachshunds), practiced yoga where she could be found standing on her head when she was younger. Her life and home were a stage and she was the co-star to her husband’s artistic practices, whereby she provided him the opportunity to create sculptures, stained-glass windows, furniture and love songs that he wrote for her.
Nita was fun-loving and was renowned for giving lively parties, including her annual Christmas Caroling Party—where singing and ruckus laughter were heard late into the night. With family, she loved to play games and would often play late into the night fueled by laughter and scotch. Nita had a ‘more the merrier’ attitude, as her children brought home friends or Otterbein students for dinner, including some who stayed for months.
If you ever met her, you would notice that she was a clothes horse and would dress in her fabulous creations, taking great pride in her appearance until her final days.
Juanita gave life a good run, even though her warrantee ran out….she asked if you’d please raise a glass, eat a piece of cheesecake and share a story about her that will make you laugh.
Nita was predeceased by her husband, Kenneth Staub Foltz ’48, sister Naomi Jean Sapp and brother George Gardis, Sr.
Nita leaves behind her five children and their spouses; Brian Foltz,(Joanna Wilt); Michelle Foltz, (Orty Borquin); Leslie Wilsong (Dan Begin); Amy Foltz; and Chriztine Foltz (Tom Alonzo); and grandson John Will Hoover.