Rhoda Lucille (Simmons) Lehman Miller, age 96, of Dillsburg, died at Forest Park Nursing Home on Thursday, August 24, 2023. Rhoda was born on Thursday, March 24, 1927, in Mechanicsburg to the late Reverend Reuben Earl Simmons and Elcetta “Elsie” (Eshelman) Simmons. Rhoda was the widow of Reverend Earl Jacob Lehman, whom she married in 1945, and who died in 1988; and John Miller, whom she married in 1994, and who died in 1999. In addition to her parents and husbands, Rhoda is preceded in death by her son, Larry Lee Lehman; her grandson, Scott Lehman; her two brothers: Sam and Paul; and her five sisters: Ruth, Blance, Helen, Dessa, and Martha.
Rhoda’s survivors include her son, Dean Lehman and his wife, Sammi, of Dillsburg; her five grandchildren: Leron Lehman, Joy Crile, Shane Lehman, Samantha Sheppard, Seth Lehman; her ten great grandchildren: Brentley Crile, Clayton Crile, Derek Crile, Andrew Lehman, Austin Lehman, Becca Lehman, Ben Lehman, Carter Lehman, Drew Lehman, Evan Lehman, Nathaniel Lehman, Aubrey Sheppard, Emily Sheppard; and her sister, Mary Bundy Berkebile.
Rhoda Lehman Miller was born March 24, 1927; one of nine children and lived on a farm in Mechanicsburg. Her father was Reuben Simmons who was the Pastor at their church, Mechanicsburg BIC. Her mother was Elcetta (Eshelman) Simmons. Rhoda got married in 1945 to Earl Lehman and their first son Larry was born in 1947. Their second son, Dean, was born in 1952. Rhoda and Earl were farmers in Mechanicsburg until 1960. They then moved to Shermans Valley BIC Church in Bedford County and her husband Earl was the pastor there. During those years as a pastor’s wife, she hosted lots of family, friends and guests for meals. She was an incredible cook and hostess. Rhoda cooked at Roxbury Holiness Camp in PA and Camp Freedom in St. Petersburg, Florida. Also, she enjoyed fishing trips with her husband, Earl, and friends. She worked as a cook at Happy Hallow Restaurant in Bedford County. Her husband Earl died suddenly in 1988 while at a revival meeting in Perry County. Her son Larry was killed in a motor vehicle accident in 1990. Rhoda lived by herself for several years and one day visited a friend, John Miller. He had Parkinson’s disease and was a widower. John asked Rhoda to take care of him. She said she couldn’t live with him because they were not married. So, John said ‘let’s get married’, so they did in 1994. Rhoda took care of John until he passed away in 1999. After several years in Woodbury, PA, she moved near her son and daughter-in-law, Dean and Sammi Lehman in Dillsburg, PA in the early 2000’s. During her years in Dillsburg, she worked at Oak Grove Produce Farm and then worked at McDonald’s in 2012 at the age of 85. In January 2020, at the age of 92, she retired from McDonalds. She then developed worsening dementia and moved into Elmcroft Assisted Living Facility in August of 2021. Rhoda was transferred to the hospital in early 2023 and from there she went to live at Forrest Park Nursing Home in January 2023. She passed away on August 24th, 2023 at the age of 96. Rhoda had a very fulfilling and loving life. She loved to sing, especially old-fashioned hymns and alongside her husband and 2 sons, they sang at church many times. As a pastor’s wife for many years, people with any kind of issue or problem would come to their home (aka the parsonage) for help and advice. Rhoda loved fishing and playing table games with her family like Dutch Blitz and Pit. She was a prayer warrior and daily prayed for her family and others. Being a very organized woman, her home was always very clean and tidy. She loved to cook and bake. From her large vegetable garden, she did a lot of freezing and canning. Also a great baker and candy maker, her kitchen was always filled with yummy treats. Her family will never forget her famous and delicious sand tarts and green wreaths at Christmas. Rhoda always brought her special bowl of mixed fruit for every occasion in her bright yellow bowl. Rhoda had a supersized green thumb, loved growing African Violets and always had tons of flowers at every home she lived in. She loved to read and crochet but never liked watching TV. Rhoda loved coffee and drank it at every meal. It had to be black coffee, of course. She was the epitome of a strong willed, hardworking, loving, caring, and honest woman. Not afraid to speak her mind, she would often share her heart and thoughts with others. She lived her wonderful long life and was quite the example of how to live your life for Jesus every single day. This is something her family and friends will cherish for a lifetime and her legacy will live on for generations to come.
All are welcome to begin gathering at 11:00 a.m. to join Rhoda’s family for her service on Monday, August 28, 2023, at 11:15 a.m. at Buhrig Funeral Home & Crematory, 37 East Main Street, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055; with Pastor Ronald O’Neil and Pastor Shane Lehman officiating. Rhoda’s family invites everyone to join them for a time of food and fellowship at Buhrig’s Gathering Place (next to the funeral home) immediately following the service. Burial will follow the reception in Air Hill Cemetery in Chambersburg. Honored to be pallbearers are: Keith Crile, Drew Lehman, Leron Lehman, Seth Lehman, Shane Lehman, and Ben Sheppard.
Rhoda’s family has entrusted her care to Buhrig Funeral Home & Crematory in Mechanicsburg, (717) 766-3421. Read Rhoda’s full obituary, view her pictures, offer condolences and sympathy, share stories and memories, upload photographs and videos, light a candle and sign her official guest book by visiting Buhrig.com.