Obituary of Joan L. Gingrich
Joan L. Gingrich, 89, of Lititz, PA, formerly of Landisville, PA passed away peacefully in the early hours of May 9, 2023, surrounded by the love of her family and friends. Born in Penn Twp., Lancaster Co., PA, she was the daughter of the late Clarence R. and Martha Longenecker Nissley. She was the beloved wife of James M. Gingrich.
In addition to her husband, Joan is survived by four daughters; Trula Gingrich of Lititz, Twila Gingrich of Lititz, Jonelle Shenk (Elvin) of Lancaster, and Alicia Gingrich (Kirsten Peachey) of Oak Park, IL; a grandson, Liam Peachey of Oak Park, IL; and three siblings, John Nissley (Faith, deceased) of Lititz, Reba (Mervin Hess) of Lititz, and Nancy (Paul Hess) of Willow Street.
Joan attended a one-room school within walking distance of her family’s farm near Manheim for her first eight years of education. She graduated from Eastern Mennonite High School, Harrisonburg, VA in 1951 and later attended Eastern Mennonite College, Harrisonburg, VA. She married Jim in July, 1955 and two years later they and their 9-week old twin daughters began a four year term of service with Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) in Honduras. Upon return to the States, Jim and Joan settled in Landisville where Joan devoted her time and energy to raising her growing family and volunteering with local church organizations. In later years, Joan was employed by EMM as a receptionist where she enjoyed meeting new people every day. An active member of Landisville Mennonite Church, Joan was a Sunday school teacher, a leader of the women's sewing circle and served in outreach to young families. In retirement Joan and Jim spent quite a few winters in Phoenix, AZ volunteering with local service organizations.
Throughout her life Joan lived and shared her core values - compassion, generosity and service - with her family and all that knew her. She was caring, patient and had a beautiful, genuine smile for all. Her hands were rarely still. She delighted in hosting guests in her home and was a superb cook and baker. Her potato buns are legendary. She was an excellent seamstress and early on outfitted her four young daughters; later she used her skills to create beautifully knitted shawls and quilts. She had a fun-loving and adventurous outlook and was always curious and interested in the people and places she went. Classical and acapella music touched her soul and in recent years became a vehicle of expression when spoken language was no longer possible. Throughout her long journey with Alzheimer’s Joan maintained a gentle and loving spirit.
The family is grateful to the dedicated staff at Landis Homes who provided Joan with consistent and loving care through the course of her illness.
A service of remembrance will be held on Sunday, May 28, 2023, at 4:00 PM at Landisville Mennonite Church, 3320 Bowman Rd, Landisville, PA 17538. The family will receive guests beginning at 2:30 PM until the time of the service. If desired, contributions may be made in Joan’s memory to Mennonite Central Committee, 21 South 12th St, PO Box 500, Akron, PA 17501 [online at mcc.org/donate] or to Mennonite Disaster Service, 583 Airport Road, Lititz, PA 17543 [online at mds.org/donate]. To express a condolence with the family or for additional information, visit www.spencefuneralservices.com.