The story of three Lititz queens
“Our mother having won the May Queen pageant in Schuykill Haven did make winning the Queen of Candles crown more special,” Linnea Minnich, now Lynn Hershey, said about her feelings at having won the pageant in 1964.
Her sister, Sue Weaver, who was crowned as Queen one year before her sister, agreed.
“There were a lot of people living in Lititz at that time that knew that mother had been a May Queen,” Sue added, “and you would always hear comments drawing comparisons between us and her, as far as our pageant wins were concerned.”
Pageants, specifically the Queen of Candles, run in the family.
“My daughter was in the court,” Sue said proudly. “It seems like it has become a tradition it our family.”
While the Lititz pageant has become a tradition for them, neither of the Minnich sisters pursued the pageant circuit much farther.
“I was in the Miss Lancaster County Pageant later in the same year, but that was it,” Sue said. “It was a great experience, but not necessarily something I wanted to pursue.”
“None of us have pursued the queen thing after that,” Lynn said. “No more pageants, wands, or crowns.”
Lynn and Sue agreed that being crowned as the Queen of Candles was a great honor and they both thank their respective classmates for that gift.
“I was crowned Queen of Candles in 1963, which was unbelievable, thanks to my classmates. I never expected it. We had, and continue to have, a great class,” Sue said. “We still meet for lunch once a month. I appreciate having been a member of a graduating class that was so close to one another.”
“It was a very humbling experience for me,” said Lynn. “When they announce you as the winner, you think ‘Oh my god, really? Me?’ You just get sort of numb.”
At that, Sue chimed in saying, “You feel total disbelief. You can’t believe that your classmates pulled together and voted you as Queen of Candles. It gave me an appreciation for my classmates &tstr; a closeness that we had developed over the years.”
The sister Queens &tstr; a small town, pageant version of England’s Tudor Queens, Elizabeth and Mary &tstr; consider Sue’s crowning of Lynn their fondest memory of the pageant.
“It was quite an honor to place that crown on her head,” Sue said.
Lynn agreed, saying, “That was unique. It was a really sweet moment &tstr; a great moment.”
Sue followed up, commenting, “From what I’ve read, that has never happened before or since, so, yes, that was really the crowning moment.”
Laughing, Lynn added, “No pun intended.”
As for where they are now, both Sue and Lynn have had success in their career choices. Lynn has been in the real estate business for more than 30 years, and has owned her own business, A’ La Carte Real Estate Services, since 2001. Sue worked in the Lancaster Court House in the court administration office for 25 years before retiring. Both of the former Queens of the Candles also spent time taking care of their families.
“Now I put the emphasis on my children and grandchildren,” Sue said. “I have eight grandchildren.”
“I babysat my grandkids, too,” Lynn added. “Most of them are in college now, though.”
“The Queen of Candles pageant really is a Lititz thing,” Lynn pointed out. “It is more meaningful to the locals. It means a lot to the families who live there and to the girls who attend Warwick High School. I think it is a great tradition and it will only grow and get better. I think it is a wonderful community effort.”
“The Lititz community did an excellent job keeping up with the tradition as well as making changes along the way, as needed,” Sue agreed. “The 4th of July celebration is appreciated by so many in the community. There are a lot of people who put in so much time and dedication to everything that takes place over the 4th of July.”
“It is a great tradition,” said Lynn, “that gives off such a good, small town feeling.”
Merriell Moyer is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.