Phyllis (Krouch) Hershey
Phyllis Hershey was born a coal miner’s daughter in Mount Caramel, Pennsylvania in 1925, lived a beautiful and full life, and passed away on May 26, 2020 at the Sarah A. Todd Memorial Home in Carlisle, PA. Her parents were Joe and Alma (Rupp) Krouch. A devoted daughter, loving mother, sister, grandmother, great-grandmother and dear friend to many, Phyllis is survived by her son Craig Hershey of Marysville, Pennsylvania; her daughter Gail McMahon and husband Tim of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania; her granddaughter Jessica Holmgren and husband William, and great-grandchildren: Gavin, Ty, Anna, Luke and Marisa of Longwood, Florida; her granddaughter Rebecca Frey and husband Jon, and great-grandchildren: Jay and Mackenzie of Ashland, Oregon; her brother and sister-in-law, Ray and Theresa Krouch, of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania; and many nieces and nephews whom Phyllis loved having over every Christmas for ice cream and pretzels.
Phyllis met the love of her life, Harry, while working as a teletype operator in Middletown during WWII. It was also then that she found her second love, coffee, which she learned to drink while working swing shifts. In 1946 she married Harry R. Hershey (deceased 1982), despite his bearing no relationship to the chocolate bar of the same name. Together, Harry and Phyl built their house in 1948 when 4826 East Trindle Road, Mechanicsburg, was still R.D. 2 - a rural address. Their only furniture was one crib, for their first born to be, wooden crates, and a card table. Phyllis spent the rest of her life making it a warm and loving home. She took pride in her good taste and successfully decorated with colors such as mustard yellow and avocado green long before (and after) they were in style. She strongly believed that the color green goes with anything and felt it could be proved by looking in a garden.
During their happy marriage, Phyllis and Harry lovingly raised their two children and entertained their many friends and family on their big side porch, and at the old cottage in the mountains (outhouse and all). Almost every weekend they would pack up their kids, the grandparents, and a dog and head to that cottage. During the week, it was often picnic dinners and canoeing at Pinchot.
Gardening and the arts gave Phyllis much joy during her life. She was an active member of the Penn-Cumberland Gardening Club and of the Dried Flower Pressers. Her orange poppies were a wonder to behold and her garden was beautiful and evolving. Along with sister-in-law, Terry, she took up oil painting. With her other sister-in-law, Jean, Phyllis traveled to England, and was enchanted by the fields of sheep there which, after returning home, led to her recounting her fascination and then receiving many sheep-themed gifts. She would jokingly lament that she should have collected diamonds instead. Phyllis’ last trip was a glorious cruise to Alaska with her cousin May.
Phyllis was an active member of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Mechanicsburg, for almost 70 years, making her one of their oldest members. She was involved in many activities there including the food pantry, Sunday School, fellowship groups, Pollyanna, and cooking “chicken potpie” each year for their fundraiser. Phyl was also an avid reader and loved playing cards with her family and many friends. Special in her heart was a group of fun women of diverse ages that tagged themselves “the nuns”, and most particularly her best friend Marian. Phyllis felt fortunate to have her family close following the death of her husband. She loved her visits from her son, Craig, and relied on him to change light bulbs, unscrew jars, reach things high up on the shelf, and so much more. She instilled a love of gardening in her daughter, Gail, and was pleased that Gail ended up living so close to her in her later years and was able to help care for her, making holiday-themed wreaths for her door long after Phyllis could no longer see them. The times her granddaughters visited on holidays, a special week during summer and often much more frequently, were cherished moments and helped shape their lives.
Standing only 4’6” tall, most people could fit in Phyllis’s shoes by the age of 10 but few would ever be able to fill them. She will be missed.
Phyllis’ immediate services and interment in Rolling Green Cemetery will be private while family and friends are encouraged to remain safely at home. Services with public gathering will be announced once scheduled. Cremation was private.
The family sends their heartfelt thanks to all those at Sarah Todd who so lovingly cared for Phyllis “a bushel and a peck” in these past few years.
While Phyllis’ family will not be accepting flowers, they invite those wishing to celebrate Phyllis’ life with a memorial contribution to make them to St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, 626 Williams Grove Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055, www.SaintPaulsUCC-Mech.org; or to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, 3908 Corey Road, Harrisburg, PA 17109, www.CentralPAFoodBank.org.
Phyllis’s family has entrusted her care to Buhrig Funeral Home & Crematory in Mechanicsburg, (717) 766-3421. Read Phyllis’s full obituary, view her photograph, offer condolences and sympathy, share stories and memories, upload photographs and videos, and sign her official guest book by visiting Buhrig.com.