Animals Pets 03

Wendy Sue (Lautanen) Gruskiewicz

May 1, 1956 ~ September 22, 2020 (age 64)


Wendy (Lautanen) Gruskiewicz passed from this world on Sept 22 at home on her family farm in New Lyme.   Wendy’s legacy is framed by her love of family, 4H, and horses.   Wendy operated Mithra Training Stable on the family farm first purchased in 1917 by her Finnish grandparents, Oscar and Maria Lautanen.

She was born May 1, 1956 in Ashtabula and has been an area resident all of her life.  Wendy was a 1974 graduate of Pymatuning Valley High School.

Wendy was active in 4H as child, and later as an advisor and mentor to many students, and managed the Jr Fair Market Animal Sale for several years.   Her farm interests included active participation in the Farm Bureau.   Her video showcase of horse breeding activities was a hit at the 2008 “Best of County” recognition of Mithra Stable.

Wendy made incredible connections with her Arabian horses.   She trained and showed them to Regional and National Championships in many disciplines, including Halter, English and Western Pleasure, Dressage.  She most recently enjoyed the sport of Carriage driving in the showring and in marathon competitions. 

Wendy leveraged her experience on the equine judging team at the Ohio State Ag Technical Institute to achieve extensive qualifications as a judge for 4H, Arabians, Miniature horses, and Friesians.  Her judging activities included multiple National Championship events, and her travels took her across America, and to Africa and Europe. 

She is once again in the embrace of her beloved horses, notably Riften, Eddie, Gwalzzat and Sebaca.

Survivors include her husband, Mike, whom she married on September 17, 1977 in Jefferson; a son, Evan M. Gruskiewicz of Chico, CA; a brother, Kenneth H. Lautanen of Palm Harbor, FL and two sisters, Lee Venable of Ocala, FL & Kathryn (Kent) Yeager of Parma Hts. and a multitude of nieces and nephews and their offspring in the spirit of …once there were two Lautanens…”

She was preceded in death by her parents, Lauri & Dorothy (Howard) Lautanen and brothers, Don & Tom Lautanen.

In lieu of flowers, Wendy requests that donations be made to the “Lautanen Family Scholarship Fund” which is administered with the assistance of the Ashtabula County Ag Extension Office.   Checks can be mailed to 4045 Russel Rd, Dorset OH 44032, or to Wendy’s home. 

Graveside services will be Saturday at 11:00AM at Brownville Cemetery, New Lyme Twp.  Calling hours will be held Friday from 4-6PM at the Jefferson Home of Fleming & Billman Funeral Directors and Crematory, 49 W. Jefferson St., Jefferson.  Masks are required and social distancing will be observed.

Memorial contributions are requested to the Lautanen Family 4-H Scholarship, c/o Ashtabula Co. Scholarship Fund, c/o Rita Woodard, 4045 Russell Rd., Dorset, OH  44032.  The Fleming & Billman Funeral Homes and staff are honored to serve the Wendy Gruskiewicz family.  View obituary, express condolences or light a candle at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Wendy Sue (Lautanen) Gruskiewicz, please visit our floral store.


September 25, 2020

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Jefferson Funeral Home
49 W. Jefferson St.
Jefferson, OH 44047

Graveside Service
September 26, 2020

11:00 AM
Brownville Cemetery


Lautanen Family 4-H Scholarship, c/o Ash. Co. Scholarship Fund, c/o Rita Woodard
4045 Russell Rd., Dorset OH 44032

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