The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

February 10, 2013

Leona L.E. (Sholter) Wirt, 101, Lewisburg

The Daily Item

— LEWISBURG — Leona Lillian Elizabeth (Sholter) Wirt, 101, of Lewisburg, formerly of South Fourth Street, Sunbury, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, at Evangelical Community Hospital, Lewisburg. She had been a resident of RiverView Manor, Lewisburg since June of 2007.

She was born Dec. 12, 1911, in Weikert, a daughter of the late Asa Roland and Verna Theora (Erdley) Sholter.  Her father operated the Weikert Store and Post Office and served as Post Master.  

She graduated from Hartley Township High School in 1929 and briefly attended nursing school at Methodist Hospital in Philadelphia.

Leona returned home to marry Benjamin Heddens Wirt, a public school teacher. They were married on Dec. 30, 1931 in Frederick Md., and lived in Herndon and Kulpmont prior to living in Sunbury where her husband taught school for 32 years. Her husband preceded her in death on Dec. 31, 1986 after 55 years of marriage.

Her first love was family, church, and her cottage in Weikert, where she spent many of her summers. Leona was actively involved in church and community affairs. She had voted in every election for 77 years including 2012.  

Leona was a lifelong member of Hironimus Union Church, Weikert. During her adult years, she was also an associate member of First Reformed Church United Church of Christ in Sunbury where she was a member of the Sara Yarnell Bible class. Leona taught Sunday school, worked with the Girl Scouts, served as president of Church Women United (Sunbury), and served as a screener of girls for Job Corps. She had a Job Corps graduate living in her home for several years. Leona organized bus trips to the New Windsor Service Center. Through Bucknell University’s orientation program for foreign students, Leona and her husband entertained students for many years from Africa, the Middle East and Asia at their cottage.

Leona enjoyed traveling to Canada on vacation with her family. Her last trip to Canada took place when she was in her mid 90s. Up to her death, she was still talking about wanting another vacation in Canada.

Leona was a prolific letter writer. She loved sending and receiving letters from people throughout the world. During World War II and the Korean War she corresponded with servicemen.

News was her world even when legally blind for many years. The newspaper was faithfully read to her by daughter, Connie after she could no longer see to read. Leona kept up with her sports teams, the Phillies and the Nittany Lions.  

She is survived by two daughters and one son-in-law, Constance Elizabeth and William Bastian, of Weikert and Leona Frances Fisher, of Gwynedd Valley; four grandchildren and their spouses, Jeffrey and Vicki Bastian, Ann and Marlin Lepley, Timothy and Shannon Bastian, and Susan and James Yaroch II; eight great-grandchildren, Amy Beth Bastian, Heather Yaroch, James Yaroch III, Emily Lepley, Jonathan Bastian, Brandon Lepley, Ryan Bastian, and Kelly Bastian.  

Leona was preceded in death by two brothers, George Jerome Sholter and Joseph Roland Sholter; and one son-in-law, Daniel Fisher.

Family and friends are welcome from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Hironimus Union Church, Weikert, where the funeral will be conducted at noon, with the Rev. Jonathan Albright and Pastor Ralph Unroe, officiating.  

Burial will follow in the Hironimus Union Cemetery.

Memorial gifts may be made to Hironimus Union Church, P.O. Box, Weikert PA 17885, or the First Reformed Church United Church of Christ, 160 Chestnut St., Sunbury, PA 17801.

Funeral arrangements are by Roupp Funeral Home, Inc., 8594 Old Turnpike Road, Mifflinburg.