Ina M. (Church) Elliot, 91, of Brethren Village, Lancaster, PA passed away on August 9, 2015 at Heart of Lancaster Regional Medical Center after suffering a stroke a week earlier. Born on March 14, 1924 in McMechen, WV, she was the daughter of the late William French Church and Ethel Leota (Prettyman) Church. Her beloved husband of 68 years, William “Bill” D. Elliot, died on May 15, 2015.
Ina grew up in West Virginia and western Pennsylvania. She and Bill met while he was stationed in Pennsylvania before being shipped to Germany during World War II. They were married in New York City in December, 1946. They lived on Long Island, New York until moving to Lancaster in 1987. In 1998, she and Bill moved to Brethren Village where they enjoyed many activities. Ina facilitated the Brethren Village Life Story Writing Group for many years up until her death. She passionately recruited new group members and encouraged others to write their life stories as a gift and legacy for their children and future generations.
Ina was a member of First United Methodist Church and was involved in the Stephen Ministry program for a number of years. She was on the local advisory board for the Lancaster County Drug and Alcohol Committee and active in local Twelve-step Programs.
A lover of the outdoors and nature, Ina actively supported environmental awareness at Brethren Village. She supported the use of native plantings and was instrumental in the development of two innovative pollinator meadows at Brethren Village, which have been enjoyed by many. In earlier years, Ina maintained a large vegetable garden and loved to grow flowers.
Despite her 91 years, she was active and living independently. An avid reader, Ina never tired of learning new things. A healthful lifestyle, including good nutrition and healthy eating were very important to her. She loved to walk and exercise. She attended the Qi Gong group at Brethren Village and included Qi Gong as a regular part of her exercise regimen. Highly intelligent, her mind was crystal clear until suffering the stroke. Ina was a very strong person, persevering and bouncing back through many trials, including having diphtheria as a child, losing her own mother when Ina was just 9 years old, having double knee replacement surgery at age 84, and a hip fracture and replacement in December of last year.
Ina and Bill were wonderful dancers throughout their life together and did everything from the jitterbug to square dancing. They took part in a square dancing group and enjoyed golfing, bowling, playing pool, and boating together for many years. An accomplished seamstress, Ina sewed for her entire adult life, including making her daughters’ clothing when they were young. Ina enjoyed oil painting for several years after moving to Lancaster and produced a number of pieces cherished by her family.
Ina was a very caring person, a loyal and loving friend to many. She laughed a lot, and was known for her hugs. Ina was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother for whom there was no greater joy than time spent with her family. Surviving are two daughters: Barbara A. Elliot, Ph.D. of Wayne, PA and Elaine (Scott) Post of Trinity, FL; and three grandchildren: Rebecca, Adam (Nicole) and Jennifer (David). She was predeceased by her brother, William R. Church and her sister, Edith L. Fennick.Relatives and friends are invited to attend a memorial service in the Chapel of Brethren Village, 3001 Lititz Pike, Lancaster, PA on Saturday, October 3 at 2 pm with Rev. Kerry Leeper officiating. The family will greet relatives and friends at a reception following the memorial service. Private interment will take place at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Ina’s memory may be sent to the Brethren Village Benevolent Fund, 3001 Lititz Pike, Lancaster, PA 17606