Obituary for Jane Hershberger (Mearkle)
Jane M. Hershberger, 95, of Snake Spring Valley passed away peacefully in her home on April 9th, 2018. Jane departed in the same manner she lived; with grace and selflessness, surrounded by generations of loving family.
Jane was born on February 8th, 1923 to the late William Mearkle – owner of the Everett Milk and Ice Cream Company – and his devoted wife Mary (Holler) Mearkle, both of Everett, Pennsylvania. Jane attended Everett High School, where she graduated in 1940. She worked as a switchboard operator at the Everett Phone Company before marrying her classmate Bernard Hershberger.
Jane was blessed with a large and loving family. She married Bernard Hershberger on March 14th, 1946. The two made their lifelong home on Bernard’s family farm in Snake Spring Valley. She and Bernard raised their children, Rodney and Linda, with patience, love and humility. Jane and Bernard taught their children a deep respect for the land, always emphasizing the connection between farm and family.
Jane embraced her place at the center of the farm and thrived as a devoted mother, loyal wife and tireless homemaker. From her home and favorite porch, Jane enjoyed the view of the mountain, forest, fields, stream and barns. She was an animal lover at heart and cherished her farm animals, dogs, chickens, and the birds she fed outside her windows. Some of Linda’s favorite memories include joining her mother to collect chicken eggs or play with the family collie, Sandy.
Jane was also an avid gardener, tending a large plot next to her home. Her family will remember the many wonderful meals that began in Jane’s garden and ended at her kitchen table. At the end of a day at the farm, Jane was a welcomed and familiar sight at the farmhouse, waiting with a hot meal for Bernard and the family.
Jane will be remembered for her love of the seasons, people, and rhythms of the farm. Her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will remember her example of loyalty, devotion and dedication to family. Her legacy in Snake Spring Valley and connection to the land will continue; her son Rodney and grandson Brian represent the 7th and 8th generations of family to farm the land, respectively.
Jane is preceded in death by her loving husband of 62 years Bernard Hershberger as well as her brother William Mearkle, both of Everett, Pennsylvania. She is survived by her son Rodney Hershberger (wife Karen) and daughter Linda Gilbert (husband Glen).
She was blessed with grandchildren Beth Anderson, Lisa Blackburn (husband Justin), Jennie Miller (husband Lucas), Brian Hershberger (wife Ashley), Megan Rose (husband Josh), Sara Gilbert, Katie Woods (husband Jesse). They will remember her relentless desire to stay connected, whether in person at the farmhouse or through “Words with Friends” on her iPad, often from states or even oceans away.
Her great-grandchildren were an endless source of joy for Jane. Kaden Anderson, Nathaniel and Owen Blackburn, Carson, Brynn and Lily Miller, Hayley and Cooper Hershberger, Ellie and Ruby Rose, and Otto Woods will continue to hear stories about Jane for many years to come.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, April 12th, 2018 at 1:00 pm at the Snake Spring Valley Church of the Brethren with Pastor David officiating.
Friends may call at the church on Thursday from 11:00 am until the hour of service. Those with memories of Jane are encouraged to share them in person or online at www.dallavalle-everett.com. Burial will be held at the Everett Cemetery. As an expression of sympathy, in lieu of flowers, kindly send donations to the Snake Spring Valley Church of the Brethren, 1411 Lower Snake Spring Road, Everett, PA 15537.
Arrangements by Dalla Valle Funeral Service, Main Street, Everett.