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Irene Mae (Kraft) Barnhart

August 11, 1929 ~ June 16, 2019 (age 89)

Irene Mae (Kraft) Barnhart

Fiercely Loyal to Mechanicsburg -

Irene Mae (Kraft) Barnhart, age 89, of Mechanicsburg, passed away peacefully while surrounded by her loving family on Sunday, June 16, 2019.  Irene was born on Sunday, August 11, 1929 in Harrisburg to the late Ludwig Henry Kraft and Mary Catherine (Cramer) Kraft.  Irene was the widow of Ronald “Ron” Owen Barnhart, whom she married on May 14, 1983, and who died on April 20, 2003.  In addition to her parents and husband, Irene is preceded in death by her daughter, Karolynne Annette Alfera; her sister, Shirley Louise Baum; her first husband, John Marlin Neff; and her many beloved canine companions, including, most recently: Baby, Butch, Chloe, and Taffy.

Irene’s survivors include her three children: Michael “Mike” E. Neff of Shiremanstown, Jeffrey “Jeff” A. Neff and his wife, Michele, of Enola, Deborah “Deb” S. Hall and her husband, William Jr., of Wellsville; her nine grandchildren: Heather Barnhart, Dianne Elwell, Michael Alfera, Karin Hall, Tony Alfera, Jennifer Gutzweiler, Amy Gordon, Candice Hull, Onalee Showers; and her eight great-grandchildren: Ava, Colt, Dezmond, Kate, Keely, Max, Noah, Rylan.

Irene graduated from Mechanicsburg High School as part of the class of 1948.  She retired from Book of the Month Club in Mechanicsburg, after over 20 years of service.  Irene was a member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Mechanicsburg for many years.  She was a member and the 1959 Past President of the Marine Corps League Auxiliary Milano Detachment of Pennsylvania in New Cumberland as well as a former member of the American Legion Auxiliary.  Irene was fiercely loyal to the Borough of Mechanicsburg and Mechanicsburg overall.  She had a deep love for all dogs and provided a loving and caring home to many of them over the years.  Irene enjoyed knitting, cross-stitching, crocheting, flower gardening, and traveling.  She was blessed to travel quite a bit visiting Europe and Alaska, exploring the United States and cruising extensively.  Irene loved the family traditions that she observed her entire life and which included making chicken corn soup and fastnachts and the annual tradition of Jubilee Day.  She was an amazing woman who will be missed.

All are welcome to join Irene’s family at her viewing on Saturday, June 22, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. until time of service at 11:00 a.m. at Buhrig Funeral Home and Crematory, 37 East Main Street, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055; with Pastor Layne Lebo officiating.  Burial will follow in Mechanicsburg Cemetery.  Honored to be pallbearers are: Anthony Alfera, Michael Alfera, Rich Elwell, Jeffrey Neff, Michael Neff, and Corey Showers.

The family sends their most heartfelt thanks to Hospice for All Seasons and to her caregivers at Brookdale Grandon Farms, who so lovingly cared for Irene during her illness.  Contributions in celebration of Irene’s life can be made to Humane Society of the Harrisburg Area, 7790 Grayson Road, Harrisburg, PA 17111, or American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123,

Irene’s family has entrusted her care to Buhrig Funeral Home and Crematory in Mechanicsburg, (717) 766-3421.  Read Irene’s full obituary, view her memorial video and portrait, and sign her official guest book at

Donations may be made to:

Humane Society of the Harrisburg Area
7790 Grayson Road, Harrisburg PA 17111-5417

American Cancer Society
P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City OK 73123

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