Roberta ‘Bobbie’ Stahlnecker, 89, portrait colorist during WWII, gifted seamstress, collected pitchers

By on November 12, 2014

Roberta “Bobbie” (Thompson) Stahlnecker, 89, died peacefully Nov. 6, 2014 at Pleasant View Retirement Community, Manheim.

Roberta was born in Ridley Park on June 6, 1925, the middle child of Robert Graham Thompson and Helen M. (Woznicki) Thompson. She was preceded in death by her devoted husband of 65 years, James Franklin Stahlnecker Jr. on April 8, 2012. The Stahlneckers lived in Vera Cruz, Emmaus and Pottstown, and more recently in Belgrade Lakes and Gardiner, Maine before Bobbie’s 2012 move to Pleasant View Retirement Community.

Bobbie grew up in the Philadelphia and Allentown areas, graduated from South Whitehall H.S., Allentown and worked at Hess Brother’s Photo Studio as a portrait colorist during Jim’s WWII stateside military service in the US Navy. Bobbie was a lifelong avid reader, gardener, cross-stitcher, quilter, seamstress and knitter, sewing many of her own and her daughters’ clothes, knitting scores of sweaters, afghans and mittens for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She made mittens for charities in Maine and for the Pleasant View craft bazaar. Bobbie served her community as a crossing guard and scout leader in Emmaus and was active in the Grange in Rome, Maine.

She shared her gifts by teaching her daughters to sew and helped many friends with crochet and craft projects. Bobbie and family enjoyed camping vacations across the US. She and Jim traveled internationally during the 1970s and 1980s. Bobbie acquired many antiques and collected pitchers of every size and shape as mementoes of their travels.LR20141113_CobiStahlneckerRoberta2

Roberta was the beloved mother of three daughters and a son: Margaret, wife of Dr. James Mason, Bechtelsville; Beverly, wife of Bruce Van Ness, Saratoga Springs N.Y.; Karen S. Williams, Lititz; and James F. Stahlnecker III, husband of Linda (Benner), Farmingdale, Maine. She was very proud of her 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. She is also survived by an elder sister: Joyce (Thompson) Coe of Cherry Hill, N.J.

She was preceded in death by a younger brother: William Thompson.

Private interment will be at Grandview Cemetery, Allentown. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Pleasant View Retirement Community Endowment Fund 544 N. Penryn Road, Manheim, PA 17545.

Arrangements are under the care of William Spence Funeral Services, Manheim. Online condolences may be given at

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