Deaths of Local Interest – June 16, 2016

By on June 15, 2016

Eileen Burkey, of Denver, passed away at her residence on June 6. She had worked for 30 years at Charles Laundry until her retirement in 2010. She had also cleaned at many nursing home facilities earlier in years past. She loved going to yard sales, going out to eat, word search puzzles, watching movies, reading her paper daily, and going to Green Dragon and Central Market. Her sister, Ruth Grant, lives in Lititz.

Rev. Adam B. Esbenshade, 95, went home to be with Jesus on June 6, at Fairmount Retirement Homes, Ephrata. Before going into full-time ministry Adam was a dairy farmer at New Holland. His ministerial experiences included missions in Belize and serving as pastor at New Life Fellowship, Ephrata. His greatest enjoyment was spending time with his family. His grandson, Rodney Martin, spouse of Angie, lives in Lititz.

Claressia Grace Gebhard, 79, of Lancaster, passed away peacefully June 7 at Lancaster General Hospital. She was also a homemaker who enjoyed doing ceramics, loved cooking, playing bingo, camping in the mountains, and going to the beach with her family. She always managed to put others before her own self. In her 79 years, she created a lifetime of love and happiness that radiated her family. A sister, Blanche, wife of Ellis Kauffman, resides in Lititz.

Charles D. Gormley Jr., 96, of Boynton Beach, Fla., began his heavenly journey June 5. Charles entered the U.S. Army during World War II and achieved the rank of Master Sergeant. He was a distributor for Vitaminerals, Inc.; was co-owner of the Record Mart in Coral Gables, Fla.; and assistant project director for business for the Dade County War on Poverty. His nephew, James C., husband of Jennifer Martin, lives in Lititz.

Marjorie Louise Kauffman, 94, of Brethren Village, passed away June 7. She was the director of the YWCA nursery school in Elgin, Ill., and attended Lancaster Church of the Brethren. Her memberships include Juniata College Alumni Assoc., and the Fellowship of Reconciliation, an international peace organization.

Irvin L. Martin, 92, passed away June 7 at Luther Acres Manor, Lititz. Irvin proudly served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He worked as a truck driver and was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church. He was the loving husband of Mary E. (Haas) Martin, with whom he shared over 67 years of marriage.

Myrtle E. Ressler, 102, of Mennonite Home and formerly Quarryville, entered into rest June 1. Myrtle was a lifetime member of the New Providence Mennonite Church. She served as head of the Cradle Roll department for 48 years and was very active in the sewing circle at one time. her sister, Mary Fahnestock, resides in Lititz.

John D. Sangrey, 70, of Washington Boro, entered into rest unexpectedly on June 7. John was a truck driver for Rohrer’s Quarry, Inc., Lititz, until his retirement last March. He enjoyed riding motorcycle, hunting and spending time with his family at the cabin in Perry County. To submit an on-line condolence, visit

Sara E. Smoker, 94, formerly of Gordonville, passed away at Garden Spot Village of New Holland, on June 8. Along with her husband, they were founding members of Sandy Hill Mennonite Church. She and her husband owned and operated Smoker’s Grocery Store of Spring Garden, for 33 years retiring in 1987. Her sister, Barbara Mast, lives in Lititz.

Jennie M. Wolpert, 91, of Lancaster, passed away June, 9 at Lancashire Hall. Jennie was a longtime member of Long Memorial United Methodist Church in Neffsville. She retired from J.C. Penney Restaurant, Park City store, then went back to work as a cook at Brethren Village. her children, Larry F., husband of Frances M. Wolpert; Linda M., wife of James M. Bachman; and Suzanne E. Shertzer, all reside in Lititz.

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