Deaths of Local Interest – Oct. 26, 2017

By on October 25, 2017

Betty Jane Breneman Brubaker, 90, of Lancaster, passed away Oct. 19 at Landis Homes. After graduating high school, her first job was “downstairs girl” for the Woolworth family in Lancaster. She worked several years doing bookkeeping and accounting. When her children came, she became a homemaker. In her later years, she loved to travel throughout the U.S. with her husband visiting her far-flung kids and grandkids. Her faith was abiding, incredibly important to her. Her husband, Albert P. Brubaker, resides at Landis Homes.

Lois Susan Graybill Dagen, 94, died Oct. 16 at her residence in Landis Homes, Lititz. She was a member of New Providence Mennonite Church. Lois actively assisted her late husband with church planting and the development of voluntary service units in the Alabama and northwest Florida district of the Lancaster Conference of the Mennonite Church as part of the home mission efforts of Eastern Mennonite Board of Missions. She enjoyed her life as a homemaker and being the mother of her five children.

Jeanne Carol Freed passed away Oct. 21. She was always brave and such a trooper through all her medical troubles. Jeanne was a graduate of Donegal High School, class of 1977, and later Penn State University. Jeanne was an avid reader, huge fan of Dr. Who, Star Trek, and Tigger. She was a devoted daughter, sister, and aunt. A sister, Jenny M. Root (John), resides in Manheim;

Kelly L. King, 54, of Astoria, N.Y., and formerly of Lancaster, passed away Oct. 11 as a result of injuries suffered in a bicycling accident in New York City. He worked most recently as an executive assistant at the New York City law office of Gibson Dunn Law Associates. His true passion in life was the theater and the performing arts, with the stage being a place he truly loved to be. He performed all across the United States in theater and musicals for decades, performing locally in productions at EPAC, the Fulton, and the Dutch Apple. He especially loved Shakespearean theater and was recently making plans for establishing a local theater company in Lititz. A brother, Mitchell King, resides in Lititz.

Susie “Sue” E. (Trout) Newswanger, 90, formerly of Lancaster and Bareville died Oct. 21 at Landis Homes, Lititz. She was a graduate of Emil’s Hairdressing Academy and was a licensed beautician for 50 years in Bareville, owning her own salon. She also worked for RCA before she became a beautician, and was a gray lady volunteer for the former Osteopathic Hospital in Lancaster for 31 years. Her daughter, Sandy, wife of Ralph Ed Hull Jr., resides in Lititz.

Ana E. Stanke, 31, of Ephrata, passed away Oct. 16 after courageously battling injuries sustained in a Sept. 7 car accident. Ana worked for McDonald’s in Lancaster and Lebanon counties. She was a loving mother who enjoyed spending quality time with her two children; playing with her dog; working in the yard; camping; watching movies; and going to the beach. She also loved horseback riding, and had a strong passion to help neglected animals. Her father, Joseph G. Stanke III, husband of Bonnie (Houtz) Stanke, lives in Brickerville; two grandmothers: Stella J. Houtz and Shirley A. Spleen, live in Lititz.

Eileen Hess Thomas, 92, of Lancaster, formerly of Millersville, passed away on Oct. 16. Eileen loved her family and was a kind-hearted person who could pivot quickly from spunky wit to imparting wisdom. Through childhood and years of marriage spent on a dairy farm, she developed a lifelong affection for Holstein cows that was evidenced in her aprons, her kitchen timer, and lawn ornaments. Eileen was involved in her community as a 4-H Club leader, a member and officer of Farm Women #23, president of the Lancaster County Farm Women, and 27-year volunteer at the Columbia Re-Uzit Shop. A son, Donald E. Thomas (Cheryl), lives in Lititz.

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