Hamburg area obituaries

Laura J. Wolfe
Laura J. Wolfe

Laura J. Wolfe

Laura J. (Shollenberger) Wolfe, 87, formerly of Strausstown died in the M. S. Hershey Medical Center on Aug. 6 in the presence of her loving family.

Her husband, John A. Wolfe, died April 22, 1983.

Laura was born in Hamburg and was the daughter of the late Claude and Verdie (Miller) Shollenberger.

She was a member of St. Michael’s Church, Tilden Township and a former member of the Senior Citizens of Shartlesville.


Laura is survived by her daughter, Linda J. Farling of Hummelstown.

Two sisters, Mayetta Graff and Anna Hill and two brothers, Lee and Roy Shollenberger, also survive her.

Two sisters, Mary Akers and Flora Bachman and one brother, Ralph Shollenberger, predeceased Laura.

Funeral services were held on Monday, Aug. 11 from St. Michael’s Church, 529 St. Michaels Road, Hamburg, PA 19526. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Michael’s Memorial Fund at the above address.

The Burkey & Driscoll Funeral Home, Inc. 40 S.4th, Hamburg is in charge of arrangements.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Avery Piersons

Avery Dewey “Pete” Piersons, age 93, of Venice, Florida and formerly of Hamburg, passed away on August 5, 2014.

He was born on August 24, 1920 in Jamestown, New York to Alton D. and Ruth (Holmes) Piersons.

He enlisted in the U.S. Navy before attending and graduating with an Associate’s Degree in Journalism from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He then married June E. Hill in 1943 and was married for 57 years before she died in 2000.

After graduation he worked at Harris Intertype for over 20 years and Compugraphic for over 10 years before he became the owner and publisher of the Hamburg Item. He retired in 1997 and became a permanent resident of Venice after visiting part time since 1977.

Avery was a member of Rotary International, Moose, American Legion, Shriners, Jesters and a 50 year Mason.

He is survived by his daughter, Susan L. (John William) Colunio of Venice; a son, Russell A. (Mary Pat) Piersons of Mashpee, MA; grandchildren, Kimberly Colunio (Matthew) Morrissey of Tampa, FL, Daniel S. (Elisabeth) Colunio of Medfield, MA, Timothy (Tara) Piersons of Pennington, New Jersey, Jeffery (Sarah) Piersons of Del Sur, California and Elizabeth (Steve) Buckley of Norwood, MA. He also leaves behind eight great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. Inurnment will be held In St. John’s Cemetery in Hamburg. Farley Funeral Home in Venice, Florida is handling the arrangements.

Paula L. Theres

Paula L. Theres, 44 of Breiningsville died August 8, 2014 in Topton. She was born in West Reading and was the daughter of the late James R. Boyer and Patricia Zintz-Bauman of Orefield.

She worked for in Fogelsville.

In addition to her mother she is survived by children Mathew companion of Katrina Boyer, Jami wife of Brian Hooper, and Zachary Lash, all of Fleetwood. Four grandchildren, two sisters, Roylyn Schlegel, Vancouver, Washington, Alyssa Bauman, Orefield and a brother, Jacob Bauman, Orefield, also survive her.

Services will be private and at the convenience of the family.

The Burkey & Driscoll Funeral Home, Inc. 40 S. 4th Street, Hamburg is in charge of arrangements.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Faye L. Bowers

Faye L. Bowers, 81 formerly of Hamburg died in Schuylkill Medical South, Pottsville on Aug. 6. She was the widow of Robert E. Bowers who died June 19, 1988.

Faye was born in Port Clinton and was the daughter of the late William G. and Helen M. (Budden) Balthaser. She worked for many years as a machine operator for the former Windsor Knitting Mill, retiring in 1980.

She was a member of the Hamburg Bible Church.

Her daughter, Denise L. wife of Barry Youse, New Ringgold, a son Robert E. Bowers, Jr. husband of Jane Bowers, Windsor Township, survives Faye.

Two sisters, Virginia Shollenberger, Windsor Township and Darlene Balthaser, Fleetwood and twelve grandchildren and several great- grand children also survive her. Two daughters, Ginger Trabosh, Jennifer Lusch and two sisters, Betty June Lesher and Marlene Arndt, predeceased her.

Funeral services were held on Tuesday, Aug. 12 at 11 a.m. from the Burkey & Driscoll Funeral Home, Inc., 40 S. 4th St. Hamburg. Burial followed in St. Johns Cemetery, Hamburg. A viewing was held Tuesday from 10 to 11 a.m. at the funeral home.

Online condolences may be extended at

Steven C. Leibensperger

Steven C. Leibensperger, 53, of Windsor Township, died unexpectedly on Monday, July 28, 2014 in Lehigh Valley Hospital, Salisbury Township.

He was the husband of Catherine H. (Winkler) Leibensperger. They were married August 27, 2011.

Born in Allentown, he was a son of the late Floyd R., Sr., and Arlene M. (Moyer) Leibensperger. He was employed as a fork lift operator by Cougle’s Recycling, Inc., Hamburg, for over five years. Prior to that, he was employed in the same capacity by Wissahickon Spring Water, Inc., Hamburg; and as a smelter operator by East Penn Manufacturing Company, Inc., Lyon Station, for over 25 years.

Survivors: Children, Joshua A., wife of Nichole A. (Perzel) Leibensperger, Mohrsville, and Amanda S. (Leibensperger), wife of Joshua A. Burns, Kutztown; adopted children, Michael D. Leibensperger, Kutztown, and Matthew J. Leibensperger, New Tripoli; step-children, Rachel C. Mackenzie, Whitehall, and Thomas J. Mackenzie, Allentown; sister, Susan A. (Leibensperger), wife of LeRoy Muth, Blandon; brothers, David B., husband of Betty (Schlenker) Leibensperger and Floyd R. Leibensperger, Jr., both of Kempton. He is also survived by seven grandchildren, Sofia I. Leibensperger, Aliyah S. Burns, Josiah A. Burns, Hailey F. Leibensperger, Breana T. Leibensperger, Kayla L. Leibensperger, and Lily M. Leibensperger. He was predeceased by an adopted son, Mark A. Leibensperger, and a brother, Dennis L. Leibensperger.

Memorial services were held Aug. 1 in Ludwick Funeral Homes, Inc., Kutztown, with Reverend Jane M. Kropa officiating. Inurnment followed in Frieden’s Church Cemetery, Lenhartsville.

The family requests contributions be made to Make-A-Wish Foundation, 4742 N. 24th Street, Suite 400, Phoenix, AZ 85016-4862, or online at

Ludwick Funeral Homes, Inc., Kutztown, is in charge of arrangements. On-line condolences may be recorded at

Brenden T. Forrest

Brenden T. Forrest, 21, of Windsor Twp., passed away on Thursday, July 31, 2014 as the result of a motor vehicle accident in Windsor Twp.

Born in Abington, he was the son of Keith and Michelle O. (Poindexter) Forrest, of Windsor Twp. Brenden worked as a truck driver for S & S Leasing, Hamburg.

He was a 2012 graduate of Hamburg Area High School where he was a stand-out athlete in football and basketball. Brenden received many honors during his athletic career. In 2010, he was named to the Western Lehigh Exchange Club all tournament team; named BCFCA Berks Football League Section 2 First Team Defensive Back and Wide Receiver (2011); named BCFCA Berks Football League Section 2 Receiver of the Year (2011); Offensive MVP for Hamburg Area Football First Team (2011); and 2nd place Football Combine Vertical Jump Competition (2010); among many other honors. While in high school, Brenden loved participating in track, basketball and football; but basketball was by far his favorite sport. He enjoyed coaching and helping younger athletes and was a role model and mentor to many. Brenden’s motto was “look good, feel good, play good.” He had a vibrant personality and was full of life.

He was an avid Philadelphia Eagles fan. Brenden was always very helpful and a “Mr. Fix-it”. If something was broken, he could fix it. Brenden attended The Bridge Church, Windsor Twp. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

In addition to his parents, Brenden is survived by one brother: Chris L. Poindexter; and one sister: Chelsea O. Forrest, both of Windsor Twp.; paternal grandparents: Charles Forrest and Shirley Forrest; and maternal step-grandmother: Marjorie Poindexter, all of Philadelphia; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

A Celebration of Life was held on Saturday, Aug. 9 from The Bridge Church, Hamburg. Burial followed in St. John’s Cemetery, Hamburg. Memorial contributions may be sent to the Brenden T. Forrest Memorial Fund, c/o Wells Fargo Bank, 26 S. 4th Street, Hamburg, PA 19526. Leibensperger Funeral Homes, Inc., Hamburg is in charge of arrangements. For online condolences, please visit,

Earnest C. Kohler

Earnest C. Kohler, 85, of Centerport, died Wednesday, July 30, 2014 in his residence. He was the husband of Beatrice G. (Christman) Kohler, died January 23, 2011.

Born in Maxatawny Twp., he was the son of the late Arthur P. and Agnes C. (Rothermel) Kohler. Earnest was a member of Salem (Belleman’s) Church and enjoyed attending the Centerport Union Sunday School. He served in the PA National Guard during the Korean War. He worked for Carpenter Technology as a crane operator for 32 and a half years until his retirement. Following his retirement, he was employed at The Reading Airport for 9 years taking care of the lawn, and later working on private airplanes. He then worked for Eckerton Hill Farms, Virginville. Earnest was a member of Central Berks Fire Co. & Beneficial Assoc.; Shoemakersville Fire Co.; Kutztown Fire Co.; Mt. Pleasant Fire Co.; Central Berks Lions Club; Upper Bern Veterans Assoc.; Walnuttown Fish & Game Assoc.; Kutztown Rod & Gun Club; Pike Twp. Sportsmen’s Assoc.; National Rifle Assoc.; Lenhartsville Fish & Game Assoc.; Strausstown Sportsman’s club; and Berks County Fire Police Assoc.

Earnest is survived by two sons: Gary L. husband of Debra (Dietrich) Kohler, Shoemakersville; Daryl E. husband of Nancy (Fenical) Kohler, Hamburg; three daughters: Patsy A. (Kohler) Catherman, Columbia, SC; Linda L. (Kohler) wife of Frank Bucher, Bernville; and Darlene M. (Kohler) wife of Homer Fisher, Bernville. Earnest is also survived by 12 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and 3 great-great-grandsons; a brother: Irwin Kohler, Fleetwood; and a sister: Eleanor (Kohler) Catherman, Mohrsville. He was predeceased by two daughters: Judy L. (Kohler) Heckman, died July 14, 2011; and Deborah K. (Kohler) Trabosh, died Sept. 14, 2010; three grandchildren; and one great-grandson.

Services were held Tuesday, Aug. 5 from Leibensperger Funeral Homes, Inc. 223 Peach Street, Leesport. Burial followed in Berks County Memorial Gardens, Maidencreek Twp. A viewing was held Monday and Tuesday from 10 to 11 a.m. in the funeral home. Memorial Contributions may be sent to American Cancer Society 498 Bellevue Ave. Reading, PA 19605; Central Berks Lions Club P.O. Box 302 Centerport, PA 19516; or Centerport Union Sunday School 319 Main Street, Centerport, PA 19516. For online condolences, please visit