Loretta Jane Lehman Stoltzfus, age 94, of Parkesburg, PA, was taken up by angels to join her Lord on May 5, 2019. Jane was married to Raymond King Stoltzfus, with whom she shared 64 years of marriage until his death on March 23, 2013. Jane was born on January 13, 1925 along the Harrisburg Pike in Lancaster, youngest daughter of the late George Ernst and Leah Weaver Martin Lehman. She was a loving daughter and faithful helper to her parents on their farm and at Lancaster Central Market. Jane loved school and studying, and despite heavy demands on her of farmwork, she graduated first in her class from Manheim Township High School in 1943 with a certificate for perfect attendance for twelve years. Jane played first-chair violin in her high school orchestra and sang in the choir. She continued her love of violin playing throughout her life, including playing four years in the orchestra that accompanied the musicals at Octorara High School. Jane attended college at Eastern Mennonite College for one year, and then made the sorrowful decision to leave college and come home to help her parents after her younger brother died at the age of 18. Jane went on to teach school in a one-room schoolhouse before she married in 1948.
Jane was a champion speller, and won many spelling bees during her life, including taking first place in the adult spelling bee at Intercourse Heritage Days in 2012, at the age of 87. Jane wrote poems throughout her life, often celebrating someone's birthday or other occasion with a special poem. She wrote and published a book that described her childhood years on the farm along the Harrisburg Pike, entitled First Farm on the Right. In addition, Jane took up oil painting at age 65 after she and Raymond retired from 40 years of dairy farming. Jane enjoyed 20 years of painting classes with her teacher, John Esworthy, and produced excellent paintings under his tutelage. Jane was a great cook, and prepared and served meals with love and an eye for presentation as well as taste. She enjoyed flower arranging, and created artfully-arranged centerpieces for holiday and company meals. She was a loving mother who cared deeply for the welfare of her ten children.
Jane had a strong faith in God her whole life, and loved to study the Bible and sing hymns. She taught women's Sunday School at Millwood Mennonite Church for many years. She was spiritually wise, and inspired her relatives, friends, and caregivers with her faith. Jane had a bright smile and a bright spirit. In her last several years, even after she was unable to do many things in life, Jane would still sometimes sing hymns, recite poems and Bible verses, and spell difficult words!
In addition to her husband Raymond, Loretta Jane was preceded in death by a daughter Julia Mumma, son Ernest Stoltzfus, sisters Edna Sensenig, Ruth Leatherman Sensenig, and Gladys Kennel, and brothers Roy, Lester, Paul, G. Irvin, Maurice, Clair, Earl, and Kenneth Lehman. She is survived by daughters Nancy and Lorraine, sons Mark, Willard, Nelson, Nolan, Raymond, and Kenneth, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, relatives, friends, and caregivers Tracy, Margie, Sheary, and Edie, who will all miss her loving spirit.
Funeral service will take place from Millwood Mennonite Church, 441 Amish Road, Gap, PA on Thursday, May 9 at 11 a.m. with Pastor Keith Beiler officiating. Visitation will take place in the lower level of the church from 10 a.m. until time of service. Interment will be in the adjoining church cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Mennonite Central Committee, PO Box 500, Akron, PA 17501 in honor of Jane's commitment to showing God's love to the world.