Leona M. Smeltz, 97, passed away at Brethren Village on Thursday, April 1, 2021, and is now reunited with her husband, Samuel J. Smeltz.
Leona was a tireless and selfless volunteer, a person of faith and she lived her life serving. She proudly displayed her St. Michael's Evangelical Lutheran Church 2000 St. Michael Archangel Award for exemplary Christian Service. Volunteer work included church dinners, Bible school, choir, and sewing hundreds of quilts sent overseas.
She received the Queen of Quilts Award for her awesome achievement in doing God's work. The Lutheran World Relief was grateful for her time and dedication in supporting LWR Quilt and Kit Ministry. The quilts sent overseas reflected Christ's love and comfort in the heart and bodies of people in need around the world.
Leona's passion was sitting at the sewing machine for hours. If a piece of clothing needed repaired, the relatives and neighbors knew where to take it. One of her retirement jobs was the seamstress for Temple Dry Cleaning.
Leona would admit that she did not enjoy the acre garden that kept her busy every summer. She did enjoy canning and freezing for the family who appreciated the food all winter long.
Leona enjoyed keeping history alive as indicated in her Paradise High School reunions, attending until she couldn't go any longer. The crowd was becoming sparce to say the least.
She also would gather with the Armstrong World Industries girls who she worked with during WWII. The girls can be envisioned in their 1940's fashion when they met once a month for lunch for the past 45 years. During those lunches they felt years disappear and were young WWII female workers once again.
Some of the happiest days were spent with her entire family at her sister's farm in McKean County. She had fun baking and cooking huge meals of steamed corn made in the fire pit, apple and elderberry pies made from the fruit grown at the farm. Day trips were looked forward to visiting the cheese plant in Cuba, Niagara Falls, and Kinzua Lake for a day in the sun and picnics.
Leona was born the oldest of 6 children. Parents Park and Marian (Brown) Mowrer hosted Sunday afternoon events year-round.
Surviving are two children, Lynn M. wife of Robert C. Kreider, and Gerald E. Smeltz; grandchildren: Hugh Kreider, husband of Jamie, Evelyn, wife of W. Eric Pontz, Jennifer, wife of Craig Weaver, and Jacob Smeltz, husband of Jennifer; great-grandchildren: Kelsey, wife of Matthew Mallace, Rebecca Pontz, Maggie Pontz, Aislinn Dean, Brenna Dean, Noah Smeltz and Ryan Smeltz; great-great-grandchildren: Giavonna Mallace and Domenic Mallace; and her sisters: Esther Hicks, Evelyn Book and Jane Hostetter. Leona was preceded in death by her brother Eugene Mowrer and sister Pauline Wimer.
Two weeks before she passed Leona said, "I must take care of myself because I will be 98 years in a few months." Leona always looked forward to the future and loved her birthday parties with the family.
A private graveside service will take place at Georgetown United Methodist Cemetery, Bart, PA, with The Rev. Robert R. Wegehoft officiating.
Contributions may be given in her memory to St. Michael's Lutheran Church, 40 E. Main St., Strasburg, PA 17579.
P.S. She loved the golden boys more than they will ever know.
To send online condolences, please visit BachmanSnyder.com717-687-7644
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