Mary Cox Schreiber 90, 4-H sewing club founder, began church ‘Hanging of Greens’ tradition

By on March 5, 2014

Mary Cox Schreiber

Mary Cox Schreiber

Mary Cox Schreiber, 90, a Lancaster County native who devoted herself to family, friends and her church, entered into rest Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014, at La Vida Llena Retirement Community in her adopted home of Albuquerque, N.M.

Mrs. Schreiber, a lady with a lovely smile and gracious words for friends old and new, was a supportive and loving partner of V. Lester Schreiber, her husband of 46 years who died in 1991. She dedicated her life to raising her three daughters and guiding them in their evolving careers: Nan (Sharyn Anne) of San Antonio, Texas; Becky (Mary Beth) of Albuquerque, N.M. and Barb (Barbara Lynne) of Salem, Ore. All three daughters describe their mother as being their “best friend.”

Mrs. Schreiber founded the New Holland 4-H Sewing Club in the late 1950s, helped with her daughters’ Girl Scout troops, participated actively with Elizabethtown College Women’s Auxiliary, and played the organ and chaired many committees at Ephrata Church of the Brethren. In 1972, she instituted the annual Christmas celebration, “Hanging of the Greens,” at the church, a tradition that continues today.

Her many friends prized her letters which were always newsy, upbeat, and, she admitted, sometimes nearly “illegible.” Mrs. Schreiber always kept in touch with her “adopted” daughters, the exchange students who lived with her family during the 1960s. Naomi (Mimi) Kee from the Philippines and Madeleine (Marie) Toussaint from France stayed in touch with “mother” until the end of her life. Many of her daughters’ friends also looked up to Mary as a friend and mother figure.

Mrs. Schreiber, the only child of Clara and Kenton Cox, was raised in Lancaster. She graduated from Manheim Township High School and Elizabethtown College. While attending Camp Conewago at Elizabethtown, she met Lester Schreiber, who was one of the counselors. After several years of courtship, they married on June 23, 1945. They lived in Kirkwood for several years, where Lester taught, coached and served as principal of several Solanco area schools. In 1951, they moved to New Holland where he began a career with the New Holland Farm Machine Company.

She was caring and generous, always thinking of the needs of others. She filled the lives of family and friends with laughter and happiness, and they will cherish her in their hearts forever.

In addition to her daughters, Mary is survived by the son of Nan: David Huckabay, and his wife, JKaye, of Arlington, Texas; John Shannon, husband of Becky, their son Jack; Shannon, his wife Jennifer, and great-granddaughters: Elisabeth and Claire, all of Raleigh, N.C.; Dr. Michael Smolin, husband of Barbara, their daughter Ariella Smolin of St. Augustine, Fla.; brother-in-law: Russell Schreiber and wife Evelyn of Lititz; sisters-in-law: Beatrice, wife of the late Charles Schreiber Jr., and Arlene, wife of the late Wayne Schreiber, Lititz, and many nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends attended a memorial service Feb. 28 at St. Stephens UCC Church in New Holland with the Reverend Guy Wampler officiating. The interment took place at the church cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in memory of Mary C. Schreiber may be sent to any of the following: Schreiber Pediatric Rehabilitation Center, 625 Community Way, Lancaster, PA 17603; The Samaritan Center of Lancaster County, Inc., 1803 Oregon Pike, Lancaster, PA 17601; or Heifer International, 1 World Avenue, Little Rock, AR 72202.

Arrangements by Stradling Funeral Homes, Inc., Akron/Ephrata. Online condolences can be given at

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