The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 2, 2013

Mary D. Colver, 96, Lewisburg

The Daily Item

— LEWISBURG — Mary D. Colver, the “First Lady of First Church”, 96, passed away on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, after a brief illness.

She was born Sept. 29, 1917, in Stroudsburg, the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick and Florence Dreher. Mrs. Colver and her husband of 69 years, the Rev. Harry J. Colver, were married on Oct. 28, 1939.

She attended Stroudsburg High School and Bucknell University, from where she graduated with a degree in music and psychology.

For nearly 35 years, Mrs. Colver served the community of Bethlehem as the “First Lady” of First Evangelical and Reformed Church, where she and the Rev. Colver led a congregation of nearly 700 members. During those years, she was a member of the leadership committee of the United Church Women of Bethlehem, the Bethlehem Women’s League, a volunteer at Phoebe Home for the Elderly and was active in all church events and committees. She and her husband moved to Lewisburg after his “retirement,” and they went on to perform interim service at churches in Pillow, Herndon, Rebuck, Spring Mills, Shamokin, Sunbury, Mifflinburg and Milton. At the time of her death, she was a member of First Presbyterian Church, Lewisburg.

Mrs. Colver is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Mary Lou and Thomas Rich, of Lewisburg; her granddaughter and grandson-in-law, Wendy and Peter Stetson, of New York, N.Y.; her grandson and granddaughter-in-law, T. Wesley and Jocelyn Hochman Rich, of Bel Air, Md.; and three great-grandchildren, Catherine Stetson, Isaac Rich and Naomi Rich.

She was preceded in death by her husband, the Rev. Harry J. Colver, in 2009.

Friends will be received from noon to 1 Saturday at the Cronrath-Grenoble Funeral Home, South Second and St. Louis streets, Lewisburg where the funeral will be held at 1 with the Rev. James King and Robert Kribbs, of First Presbyterian Church, Lewisburg, officiating.

Burial will be in Himmel’s Cemetery, Rebuck.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Heifer Project International, 1 World Ave., Little Rock, AR 72202 (

Expressions of sympathy may be shared at