Deaths of Local Interest – Dec. 14, 2017

By on December 13, 2017

Evelyn May Gerstlauer, 95, of Brethren Village, entered into rest Dec. 5 at Lancaster General Hospital. As a committed Christian woman, Evelyn was a member of Akron Mennonite Church. She had worked in retail at the former Doneckers Clothing Store in Ephrata. Evelyn loved cats and investing in the lives of her extended family. She was a long-time caregiver to her good friend, Betty Hunsberger.

David S. Herr, 87, formerly of Strasburg, died Dec. 7 at Landis Home, where he resided for the past six years. He and his wife, June Y. Cramer, Herr recently celebrated 64 years of marriage. Dave retired from Galen S. Spickler, Inc. in Elizabethtown as a truck driver, hauling both live poultry and drinking water. His CB handle was Stargazer. He was a collector of sleds, toy tractors, and antiques.

Margaret Ewing Lafferty, 98, a resident of Brethren Village, passed away Dec. 3. She was a fourth grade teacher in the Lampeter-Strasburg School District. Margaret was an avid bridge player and enjoyed playing well into her nineties. She loved cheering on the Philadelphia Phillies, and was an excellent cook and baker. She and her husband were active members of Grandview Heights United Methodist Church. Margaret’s favorite times were spent in her hometown of Rehoboth, Del.

Cristino Negron, 82, of Stevens, formerly of New Holland, died Dec. 11 at WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital. Cristino worked in the shipping department at CNH in New Holland for several years. He was a Phillies fan, enjoyed bowling in his younger years, and enjoyed cooking native Puerto Rican foods. A daughter, Linda Gonzalez, lives in Lititz.

F. JoAnn Raber, 87, of Lancaster, passed away Nov. 30 at Luther Acres Manor in Lititz. JoAnn was a graduate of Hershey High School. She was employed by WGAL, Lancaster for 41 years. She also enjoyed cooking.

James O. Sheetz, 73, of Quarryville, passed away at his home on Dec. 6. Jim served his country in the Army National Guard, 28th Infantry Division -103rd Medical Battalion, Motor Pool from 1966 to 1972. Jim was a folk artist, creating and designing the wooden action toys he exhibited at Heart of Lancaster County, Lititz in the Park, and area craft shows annually for 17 years. He adopted two Chinese Geese from a neighboring pond, lovingly caring for them until their death. He retired from Chester Water Authority Octoraro Treatment Plant.

Jeanne M. Hinrichsen Nehren Sweater, 85 of Lancaster, entered the heavenly gates peacefully, under Hospice care on Dec. 5. She was employed in the 60s by Ma-Bell Telephone Company in Lancaster and retired from Lancaster Avionics. She enjoyed time with her loved ones, neighbors, and Bible study group. She reached out to help others, and always greeted each day with a positive approach. A son, Richard K. Sweater, lives in Lititz.

Dolores A. Thomas, 76, formerly of Pennsylvania, passed away Dec. 9 at Ascension St. Clare’s Hospital in Weston. She worked at KD Tool in Lancaster, and for the Bowling Congress in Milwaukee. A member of the Red Hat Society, she was very artistic and won several awards at the Wisconsin State Fair in Norwegian Rosemaling. Dolores was a Master Gardener and also helped raise money making daffodil pins for cancer research. She especially enjoyed cooking and baking for her family especially for the holidays. A

Miriam E. Umble, 91, formerly of Parkesburg, died Dec. 9 at Landis Homes. Miriam was a member of Forest Hills Mennonite Church in Leola. Her kind and gentle spirit was evident to everyone who knew her. She was a gifted and prolific artist who enjoyed oil painting, pottery, quilting, and crocheting. Throughout her married life, she served as bookkeeper/accountant in her husband’s electrical contracting business. During her retirement Miriam owned and operated Pinecraft Pottery, an artist’s consignment shop, where she displayed and sold her artistic creations.

Michael L. Valldes, 84, of Lancaster, PA, passed away peacefully at Landis Homes on Dec. 10. Mike served honorably in the U.S. Air Force as an Airman First Class during the Korean War. He taught at Smoketown Elementary, Conestoga Valley School District, for the majority of his career. The fact that Mike continued to be contacted by students for many years after his retirement is a testament to the positive impact he had on his students’ lives. He was a very talented artist who enjoyed oil painting and jewelry making and was known for his hand sculpted Santas and Byzantine gold crosses.

Raymond H. Weaver, 94, of Lincoln Christian Home, Ephrata, died Dec. 9 of natural causes. He was a retired dairy farmer and a member of South Hinkletown Mennonite Church, Weaverland Conference. He was married to Ada Rutt Weaver for 61 years until her death in 2005 and they had lived in Lebanon County for many years. A daughter, Marlene R., wife of Carl Z. Weaver, lives in Lititz.

Elizabeth “Lisa” Zoll, 63, of Ephrata, passed away Dec. 10 at home. Lisa was an administrative assistant for CNH New Holland for the past 40 years. She enjoyed cross-stitching, traveling, and shopping with her sisters. She also like to play games on her Kindle. Her son, Jason L., husband of Amanda (Kowalski) Zoll, lives in Lititz.

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