Ephrata mourns loss of Highland teacher

By on July 11, 2012

By: MICHELLE REIFF Review Staff mreiff.eph@lnpnews.com, Staff Writer

Julia A. Crowther

As Ephrata Area School District nears the halfway mark of summer break, the faculty, staff and students are saddened by the passing of one of their longtime teachers.

At 51, Julia Crowther, a Highland Elementary School teacher, midget football cheerleading coach, wife, mother and grandmother, passed away suddenly last Saturday.

"Her coworkers lost a good friend," said Kevin Deemer, Highland principal. "Students who had her recently … many people who are now adults … really there are thousands of people who are going to be affected."

Deemer described Crowther as a leader within the building and the district who will be missed by many, not only in the school system but in the community, where she was very involved.

"For me she was a model teacher," he said. "I loved visiting her room and seeing what she did with the kids."

Deemer said the district is planning to offer counseling for staff members, most likely Monday of next week.

Once school is back in session this fall, Deemer plans to spearhead the creation of a memory book to give to the family. He will announce details in The Ephrata Review so that the community can participate as well.

Services for Crowther will be held on Friday. Her obituary follows:

Julia Ann Crowther, 51, of Ephrata, passed away suddenly Saturday, July 7, 2012 at her home.

She was born in Williamsport to Mary Ann (Moore) Wrench, of Jersey Shore, and the late William T. Wrench. She was the wife of Tim Crowther, with whom she shared 29 years of marriage this past Oct. 16.

Julia was a member of Our Mother of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, Ephrata, where she previously served as a religious education teacher (CCD). She enjoyed exercising, reading, scrapbooking and was currently a midget football cheerleading coach. Julia served on numerous athletic booster clubs and the post prom committee. She was very active in the D.J.D. Fight On Foundation for several years. Julia especially enjoyed being Nana to her grandchildren. She worked as a second grade teacher at Highland Elementary School for 25 years in the Ephrata Area School District. She was a graduate of Jersey Shore High School class of 1978, a 1982 graduate of Lock Haven University with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and received her master’s of education from Millersville University in 1997 as well as her reading specialist certification.

Along with her husband and mother she is survived by three sons: Nicholas (Nick), husband of Sarah (Coiner) Crowther, of Denver; and Ryan S. and Blake K. Crowther, both at home; two grandchildren: Lydia and Phinehas (Phinn) Crowther; three brothers: Mike, husband of Jean (Bennett) Wrench, Bernard, husband of Joy (Smithgall) Wrench, and Tom, husband of Jan (Wykoff) Wrench, all of Jersey Shore; and a sister: Charlene, husband of Phillip Harbach, of Jersey Shore.

A mass of Christian burial will be held on July 13 at 1 p.m. at Our Mother of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, 320 Church Ave., Ephrata, with Father John McLoughlin C.SS.R. as celebrant. Final commendation and farewell will be held in the Middle Creek Brethren Cemetery, Ephrata Township.

Donations will be accepted to promote education in the Ephrata area in Julia’s memory. Contributions may be made to the Ephrata Public Library, 550 S. Reading Road, Ephrata, PA 17522.

Arrangements are being made by Stradling Funeral Homes Inc., Akron/Ephrata. Online condolences can be given at stradlingfuneralhome.com. More CROWTHER, page A6

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