Ardeth M. (Hulbert) Zehr, 72, of 23629 RTE 12, Watertown, passed away at Samaritan Medical Center following a brief illness on Tuesday, July 23, 2013.

Ardie was born October 18, 1940 in Lowville, NY, the daughter of the late Theodore and Bessie Joy Hulbert. She was a graduate of General Martin Central School in 1958.

Upon graduating, she worked at the Lowville Business Office of the General Telephone Co. of Upstate New York, Inc., before marrying Dr. Abram J. Zehr on December 30, 1961, at the Lowville First Methodist Church.

After their marriage, the couple resided in Mexico, New York and later Park Forest, Illinois, where Dr. Zehr was in the military, before settling in Watertown, New York. 

In Watertown, Ardie joined the Newcomers Club, where she became involved in the Welcome Wagon, using her natural warmth and cheerfulness to make “newcomers” to the area feel right at home.

After the births of her four children, Ardie returned to the workforce, where she found her niche in retail customer service and sales. She started at F.W. Woolworth Co. as a sales clerk, where she remained for many years, rising to the level of Personnel  Manager and Customer Service Desk Manager, a position she later held at both Fays and Eckerd Drugs, in Watertown.

After leaving Eckerd Drugs, she became a sales clerk at Noble Ace Hardware, State Street, Watertown, where she remained until November 2012.

Ardie was a member the Cardinal Sinners, a local chapter of the Red Hat Society. She was also a member of the Brownville United Methodist Church, where she was active with the United Methodist Women’s group.

Ardie enjoyed cooking and baking, and was well-known for sharing this passion with her family, friends, and colleagues. Her fellow employees and customers at Noble Ace Hardware particularly looked forward to Ardie’s homemade treats. She was also especially famous for her lasagna and cheesecake, which were always staples at family events.

Other activities Ardie enjoyed included playing cards, watching horse racing, and attending her grandchildren’s sporting events.

She was also an avid shopper and loved nothing better than a good bargain. Ardie used coupons long before couponing became fashionable and was known by her family as “Bargain Ardie.”

Perhaps Ardie’s greatest joy in life was her family, especially her grandchildren. She loved spending time with them and would do anything for any one of them.

Surviving are her three daughters, Marcia Kall and her husband, Brian, Sackets Harbor, Linda Matuszak and her husband, Craig, Gansevoort, and Janet Rice, Pittsfield, MA; a son, Mark Zehr and his wife, Tina, Dexter; seven grandchildren, Matthew and Sarah Kall, Michelle and Kristen Matuszak, Emily and Patrick Rice, and Lexi Zehr; two sisters, Betty Black and her husband, Russell, Turin, and Carol Hulbert, Lowville.

She is also survived by one nephew, Michael Black, and his wife Sally, and their children, Ted and Abby, Turin.

Besides her parents, she is predeceased by her husband of 49 years, Dr. Abram J. Zehr.

Friends may call from 2 to 4pm and 7 to 9pm on Thursday, July 25, at the Johnson Funeral Home, Dexter, New York. The funeral will be held at 11am on Friday, July 26, at Brownville United Methodist Church.

Donations may be made in her honor to the Brownville United Methodist Church, Brownville, New York.