Sharon Binkley most definitely fit the definition of an Ada Treasure. However, with her unexpected and sudden passing earlier this month she was not able to be interviewed directly.You may not have known her name or have had the opportunity to join in conversation with her, but if you have been in Ada for any length of time you will have at least seen Ada's "Holy Roller"! Although Sharon (Gudakunst) Binkley was born and raised in Lima, she and her husband, Raymond, have made Ada their home for over 40 years.
Described by friends, Binkley had a "zest for life". Born with Cerebral Palsey, enduring countless surgeries and extensive injuries from a house fire as a young child, Binkley never lost her joy of living. After the birth of her daughters, Binkley started utilizing a scooter. Although her body may have been limited, her spirit certainly could not be contained.
Binkley was most recognized zooming down Ada sidewalks on her scooter with baskets overflowing, grocery bags adorning the handles and grandkids hanging on. Always done up with make-up and hair just right, nails painted and rings on each finger, she greeted everyone with a warm smile and arms opened wide for a hug.
Binkley was extremely gifted in art. After graduating from Lima Senior High in 1965, she went to art school for two years. Portraits of people and flowers were two of her favorite subjects to paint. Many of her portraits have won ribbons at the Hardin County Fair. Binkley was also not confined to canvas. Her artwork has rejuvenated old purses, jackets, shirts and skirts in amazing ways. She even decorated her personal white mini-bus with a painted garden and included the inscription "Holy Roller".
Binkley was a member of the County Line Church of the Brethren, located northwest of Ada, and lived her faith out loud! One easily could tell after being in her presence just a few short minutes that she had a contagious laughter and peace only God could give. And ornery? You bet!
Binkley was a volunteer and vital part of the ReStore Community Center. The ladies that congregate daily up at ReStore, often referred to as the "City Council", recall many humorous encounters. When talking of Binkley, 2 things came up numerous times. Binkley was a bit dangerous with her scooter and she loved to go fast!
Due to swelling, Binkley was not able to wear shoes. So she, along with the "City Council", decided to learn to knit at ReStore. What started out as a desire for knitted slippers, soon became a ministry of knitted hats, scarves and headbands with all proceeds returning back to ReStore Community Center. These knitted items and more are still available at ReStore.
Binkley's daugthers are both graduates of Ada. Between them, Amy (Rob) Cordrick and Brandy (Bill) England have given the Binkleys eight grandchildren, all current Ada students. Binkley loved to paint, but as mentioned at her memorial service, she painted more than pictures, she "painted on our lives." Binkley left this earth to dance in Heaven on Nov. 1, 2012, but the treasure of her memory will remain.