Former newspaper owner's wife dies

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Age-yellowed clippings from the Southeast Missourian paint a clear picture of Grada "Babe" Naeter's love of nature.

In one clip, she attends a landscape design class in St. Louis. In another clip, she discusses the importance of conserving nature with a local women's club.

Her passion for the outdoors, coupled with her love of traveling, are among the things family and friends remember most about Naeter, who died Tuesday at the age of 87.

"She had a 'let it all grow where it grows' philosophy," said her son, George Naeter, one of three children who survive her.

Naeter was the wife of former Southeast Missourian owner and publisher Harry Naeter Jr., who preceded her in death in 1994.

"Dad didn't go anywhere that she didn't go with him," George Naeter said. "She was always with him."

As a young child, George Naeter once stole a small toy from a store while on a trip with his parents. His mother discovered the theft 60 miles down the road but turned the car around and made him return the toy to the store owner with an apology.

By the same token, George Naeter said, she also turned the car around and drove 50 miles back to a gas station where his sister had left her imaginary friend.

"As a mother, she was fair but she knew how to discipline," he said. "She was always a lady."

Harry and Babe Naeter both enjoyed travel, often in the company of family friends Lehman and Dolores Finch.

"She was a good person and a lot of fun," said Dolores Finch, who lives in Cape Girardeau. "She was up for anything."

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. today at Ford and Sons Mount Auburn Funeral Home. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home with burial in Cape County Memorial Park.

335-6611, ext. 128

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