Nancy Ruth Frey Longenecker, long-time resident of Mennonite Home Communities, Lancaster, Pa., went to her home in Heaven where she met her Lord and Savior on June 27, 2020. Nancy is the daughter of Fannie Shank Daveler Frey and Elias Trout Frey, born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, on October 25, 1930. She was the wife of Henry Z. Longenecker, married for 38 years.
Nancy’s family lived on a large farm near Elizabethtown, Pa., where everyone worked hard. Nancy is predeceased by her parents and siblings: Dorothy, Paul, Harold, Mary, Martin, Ralph, Elias Jr., Claude, Earl. She is survived by siblings: Erma Metzler Betz Schnabel, Wilbur Frey, and Lois Frey, and numerous nieces and nephews.
After graduating from Elizabethtown High School, Nancy worked at Aunt Sally’s Kitchen. She managed the dining service for Philhaven Hospital for a number of years, meeting the dietary needs of the patients. She also taught Bible School in Alabama, and Steelton Mission, Steelton, Pa. Her love of Jesus Christ took her into many places of service. She treasured God’s word and shared it with everyone she met.
On April 8, 1967, Nancy married Henry Z. Longenecker. Together they attended Steelton Mennonite Church, teaching Sunday school, relating to many in the community, and joyously serving the Lord together. Leading a Bible study at the Dauphin Manor Home every Tuesday afternoon was a particular ministry of blessing to the residents. She accompanied Henry on the piano while he led songs. During these years, Nancy also worked at the Spring Glen stand in the Kline Village Farmer’s Market. Nancy’s sewing expertise brought many persons to her for alterations of clothing and new creations. She made her own wedding dress and Gloria’s wedding dress in the same year. Later, she also made the wedding dresses of two granddaughters, Elaine and Tina.
Nancy was predeceased by her husband, Henry Longenecker, in January, 2005, and stepdaughter, Elaine M. Clymer in April, 2015. She is survived by stepdaughters: Marian (James, deceased) Burkholder, Carolyn (Lowell) Horst, Gloria (Galen) Lehman, and Nancy Pellegrini. Eleven grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren also survive.
Having lived formerly in Middletown, Nancy moved to Woodcrest Villas, Lancaster, in 2002, and enjoyed living in this community where she volunteered in many ways, and served on several committees, and led the prayer chain. She took in sewing and alterations for her neighbors in Woodcrest Villas; the quality of her work brought her numerous clients.
Nancy’s many friends in Woodcrest Villas meant so much to her, and gave her joy and support through the 19 years that she lived there.
The family expresses gratitude to the staff of Woodcrest Villas and Mennonite Home, particularly Reed Run, and to the nurses and aides of Hospice & Community Care of Lancaster for their continued concern for Nancy’s well being during the difficult months of her illness.
In accordance with Nancy’s request, her body is donated for scientific research. A memorial service of thanksgiving for Nancy’s life will be held at Mountville Mennonite Church, 205 Froelich Avenue, Mountville, PA 17554, led by Pastors Jim Laverty and Phil Shertzer, on Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 11 a.m.
Memorial contributions may be made in Nancy’s honor to: Mennonite Disaster Service, 583 Airport Road, Lititz, PA 17543 or The Mennonite Home Benevolent Care program, 2001 Harrisburg Pike, Lancaster, PA 17601.
Arrangements are being handled by DeBord-Snyder Funeral Home. See the obituary at www.DeBordSnyder.com