Mary Hoover, Ephrata librarian, rec director dies

By on April 4, 2012

Mary R. Hoover

Mary Rachel ("MR") Hoover, 87, of Strasburg, was transferred into eternal life Thursday, March 29, 2012 at the Mennonite Home.

Mary Rachel was born on Aug. 27, 1924 in Lancaster to the late Paul W. and Anita Stevens Hoover.

She was a 1946 graduate of Millersville State College with a degree in education/library science and a 1967 Penn State graduate obtaining her master of science degree in secondary education. She served the Ephrata School District 21 years as a high school librarian and then served in the same capacity at Lampeter-Strasburg School District for 15 years, from which she retired. Following her school employment, she enjoyed almost 20 years as a book consultant at Moyer’s Book Barn, Strasburg. During the first half of her working career, she continued to work at her father’s business, Paul W. Hoover’s Meats and Groceries. MR was active in church, civic and professional associations. She joined First Presbyterian Church of Strasburg at the age of 10 and was an active member for over 75 years. She was ordained an elder and sang in the church choir for over 40 years. She was an advisor on the book on Presbyterian Church History. She was a delegate to Chestnut Level Bible Conference (Donegal Presbytery), counselor and dean of women for the conference and was Presbytery Youth Advisor for Camp Michaux. She served as a mentor in the church and on her own to countless young people. She was strongly influenced by her own mentors, who included David Mendang, a friend from Cameroon; Father George Gardner, former priest head of Ephrata’s parochial primary schools; Dr. D. Luke Biemesderfer, former president of Millersville State College; and C. Daniel Biemesderfer, former principal at Ephrata High School.

With her education in library science, she served on committees of the Ephrata Public Library, the Strasburg-Heisler Library and Sunshine Corners. She was a member of the Cloister Book Club for 50 years and in more recent years participated in Life Style Writers where she wrote poetry and short stories. MR also served on the Ephrata Recreation Association Board of Directors for approximately 15 years, serving as secretary for many of those years. She was a member of Strasburg Borough Council for 12 years, of which she served as president for five. Her passions and hobbies included books, cats, friendships, gardening, service, family, gift giving, church, writing, baseball, knitting and making jams and jellies. Her legendary Christmas stocking knitting tradition began in 1953. She made hundreds of stockings for friends and family, sometimes having gifted three generations. Her family honored her by awarding a scholarship at Millersville University to a junior specializing in reading in the School of Education.

Mary Rachel is survived by her sisters: Elaine, wife of William Johnson, of Lancaster; and Louise Carson, of Troy, N.Y.; and also by her beloved nieces and nephews: Kathryn Carson Dorado, David L. Carson Jr., Eric Johnson, Carol Johnson Edwards and Daniel Carson.

A memorial service celebrating Mary Rachel’s life will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Strasburg, 101 South Decatur St., Strasburg, April 10 at 11 a.m. with her pastor, Robert K. Bronkema, officiating. Inurnment will be private in Strasburg Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Mary Rachel’s memory to the Memorial Fund of First Presbyterian Church of Strasburg, 101 S. Decatur St., Strasburg, or to the Strasburg-Heisler Library, 143 Precision Ave., Strasburg, PA 17579.

Reynolds Funeral & Cremation Services Inc., Quarryville, is in charge of services, with arrangements entrusted to Murray A. Miller. To send an online note of condolence, visit More HOOVER, page A6

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