Karen Armstrong: Scholar, Academic, Teacher, Traveler

Karen Armstrong, a long-time resident of Helsinki, Finland, where she held the position of Professor of Social Anthropology at Helsinki University, died on 29 May. The cause of death was complications following surgery for a cerebral meningioma. She was 67.


Armstrong’s career in anthropology spanned more than four decades. Her research focused on politics, social and cultural transformation, kinship, personal narratives and gender. She conducted fieldwork in Scotland, in the South Pacific Island societies of Guam, American Samoa, Vanuatu, Melanesia, and in Finland.


Karen Virginia Armstrong was born in Reading, Pennsylvania on 26 December 1946, the daughter of Edward Adams and Virginia Rebholtz Armstrong, A lively, interested student, she achieved academic recognition at an early age. She graduated from Mount Penn High School in June of 1964, and completed her Bachelors, Masters and PhD requirements at the University of Pittsburgh by the age of 26. Armstrong’s first faculty appointment was as an associate professor in the anthropology department at Purchase College in New York. Following her departure from Purchase, she was a member of the faculty of the sociology department at Longwood College in Farmville, Virginia, for a short time before accepting a Fulbright Research Fellowship in 1987 to develop an anthropology curriculum within the sociology department at Tampere University in Tampere, Finland. After two years at Tampere, Armstrong was invited to join the anthropology department at Helsinki, where she remained until her death.


While anthropology was the predominant focus of her life, Armstrong was hardly one-dimensional. She was an avid reader, capable of discussing nineteenth and twentieth-century literature with expertise equal to that demonstrated by her voluminous grasp of culture and politics.


Armstrong is survived by two daughters, Delia and Annika, along with their father. She is also survived by her loyal companion Robbie, a Border Collie.

James C. Ebert, Sr.

James C.  Ebert, Sr., 73, of West Lawn  passed away on Friday in St. Joseph Medical Center.  He was the husband of Pamela J. (Clugston) Ebert.

Born in Reading, PA he was a son of the late George and Catherine (Bady) Ebert .

Jim was a pharmacy technician for the Reading Hospital for 20 years..  He was a veteran of Vietnam serving in the US Marine Corp. and a 1959 graduate of Mt. Penn HS.

In addition to his wife survivors include:

Two Sons:  James C. Ebert, Jr. husband of Charlene of Larksville, PA and Kevin M. Ebert husband of Maria of Center Valley, Pa; Two Daughters:  Shelly L. wife of Patrick Woznak of Winchester, VA and Kimberly A. wife of Jose Viruet of Kenhorst, Twelve Grandchildren and Two Great-Grandchildren.  He was pre-deceased by a sister Georgine Keller.

The family will receive friends on Thursday from 10-11:00 am with memorial services beginning at 11:00 Lutz Funeral Home, Inc. Mount Penn.  Inurnment will be in Forest Hills Memorial Park.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Wounded Warriors Project P.O. Box 758517 Topeka, KS 66675-8517.   For online condolences, please visit


George E. Geise

George E. Geise, 67, a resident of Exeter Twp., since 1978, passed away Friday, August 15, 2014 at home surrounded by his loving family, due to cancer thru which he was strong and ever hopeful that he would have more time on earth to do good.  He was the husband of Terri (Theresa) Burchill Geise for 43 years.  Born in 1946 in New Jersey, he was a son of the late Earl and Elizabeth Geise.  George graduated from South Western High School in Hanover, PA and obtained a B.S. from Bloomsburg University.  His first two years after college he taught and coached at Towanda High School in PA.  George then returned to college, receiving a degree from Penn State in Chemical Engineering and then pursued a career in chemical treatment and instrumentation and control.  He became self-employed in this field and working up until his passing.  George loved the great outdoors, camping, hunting and fishing, golf and playing guitar, were his relaxation.  He and his wife were foster parents for adolescent boys for approximately 10 years with many long lasting loving relationships.  He coached Exeter Midget-Mite Football for many years, along with coaching tee ball and was a Boy Scout Den Leader.  George served on the Exeter Township School Board for four years.  His greatest attribute was his kindness and self-learning throughout life.  He was known for his great sense of humor, good nature and colorful stories.  In addition to his wife, George is survived by his children Timothy Geise husband of Deborah of Troy, PA, Max Geise husband of Richelle of Champaign, IL, and Alex Geise husband of Luz of Sinking Spring; Lenny Shoemaker and numerous foster sons; Grandchildren:  Timothy Geise, Jr., Stephen Geise, Nicholas Jimenez, Eric Geise, Angie Davies, Jen Martin, Chrissy Burke and Randy Mieczkowski; Great-Grandchild: Colton Geise; Siblings Betsy Geise of York, Earl J. Geise of Boursville, WV and Robert Geise of Oxnard, CA as well as many beloved nephews, nieces and cousins.  Visitation with the family will be held from 10:00-11:00 A.M. with memorial services beginning at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at the Lutz Funeral Home, Inc. 2100 Perkiomen Ave. Reading, PA 19606.  Interment private at the convenience of the family.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your local Salvation Army Chapter.  George will forever be remembered as a mentor, a man of principles and acceptance.  For online condolences please visit

George F. Bernhard

Born January 3, 1926 in Narberth, PA, died on August 10, 2014 working on his farm in Robeson Township at the age of 88. He was the husband of the late Antoinette M. (Giangiulio) Bernhard. George is survived by five children: George A. Bernhard husband of Laura, Celeste Ann D’Annunzio wife of Steven, David L. Bernhard husband of Debi, Richard A. Bernhard husband of Holly, and Jean B. McCarney wife of James.  He is also survived by nine grandchildren:  David James, Taylor Bernhard, Scott Steven, Laura Celeste, Megan Antoinette, Samantha Elizabeth, Alexander William, Gunard Anthony, and Tucker Wesley.  George was an Electrical Engineer for Bell Telephone for 33 years until his retirement. He was also a member of the United States Navy.


The family will be having a private memorial.  In lieu of flowers, contributions can be sent in George’s name to Rock Hollow Woods Environmental Learning Center (a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching children’s lives through the great outdoors) 615 Rock Hollow Road, Birdsboro, PA 19508.



June E. (Ludwig) Keiser Harker

June E. (Ludwig) Keiser  Harker, of Wyomissing and formerly of Mt. Penn, passed away on Friday August 8 in St. Joseph Medical Center.  She was the widow of Charles Harker.

Born in Reading, she was a daughter of the late Herman and Estella (Gable) Ludwig.

June was a homemaker and is survived by one son Leroy Keiser of Chicago, two daughters Kay, widow of Edward Haup of flying hills and Ilona Simon of Gilbertsville as well as  8 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren. She is also survived by one brother Gary Ludwig of Temple, and sisters Gloria Renninger of Douglassville and Dorcas Zilles of Wyomissing.  Friends may call on Wednesday August 13th from 9:30 am – 10:30 am with services beginning at 10:30 am at Lutz Funeral Home, Inc. 2100 Perkiomen Ave, Mt. Penn 19606. Interment in Forest Hills Memorial Park.

For online condolences, please

Dorothy W. Aldrich

Dorothy W.  Aldrich, 90, formerly of Harrisburg, passed away on Wednesday at 1:00 AM in Berks Heim.

Born in Lilly, PA she was a daughter of the late George and Ida  (Klemstine) Rhawn.

Dorothy was a clerk for the Navy Supply Depot in Mechaniscburg for 22 years until she retired.

Survivors include son Paul E. Aldrich of Newry, PA, daughter Bonnie F. wife of the Rev. Steven Claycomb of Muhlenberg Twp.  Three grandchildren and a brother George F. Rhawn of Ambridge, PA

Services will be private.

For online condolences, please visit


William G. Hanna

William G.  Hanna, 79, of Reading  passed away on Friday in St. Joseph Medical Center.  He was the husband of Misaki  (Eumatsu) Hanna who passed away in 2008 .

Born in Rimersburg, PA he was a son of the late James  and Elizabeth  (Traister) Hanna.

William was an orderly for Tampa General Hospital and then was head of security for DCSWA until he retired.  He was a  Air Force veteran.

Surviviors include Son Harry A. Hanna husband of Darla of Mohnton.  Daughter Mary D. Binner with whom he resided.  Six grandchildren, six great grandchildren and a sister Gloria Hagan of Erie, PA.  He was pre deceased by a daughter Florence Segura.

Services will be private.

For online condolences, please visit


LaRue G. (Helfrich) Rodolff

LaRue G. Rodolff, 94, of Reading, passed away Friday, August 1, 2014 in Kutztown Manor.  She was the widow of Paul L. Rodolff who passed away March 23, 2005.  Born in Reading, she was a daughter of the late Forrest and Hattie (Hedrick) Helfrich.  She was employed by Western Electric and Barmac Shoes, both of Reading for many years.  LaRue is survived by:  One Son:  Ronald C. Rodolff husband of Linda of Kutztown; One Granddaughter:  Christi wife of Mark Bennett of Emmaus; One Brother:  Leverne Helfrich of Jacksonwald and One Nephew:  Robert Donaghy of Jacksonwald.  She was pre-deceased by her brothers Wayne and Forrest Helfrich, Jr. and her sister Thelma Donaghy.  Services and Interment are private at the convenience of the family.  Lutz Funeral Home, Inc. Mount Penn in charge of arrangements.  For online condolences please visit

Adam M. Hiester, Sr.

Adam M.  Hiester, Sr., 71, of Reading, passed away on Friday, August 1, 2014 in St. Joseph Medical Center.  He was the husband of Linda J. (Fegley) Hiester.

Born in Reading, he was one of the eighteen children of the late Herbert S. and Anna (Young) Hiester. Adam was a roofer for Rainbow Roofing until his retirement

In addition to his wife, Adam is survived by:  Two Sons:  Adam M.,Jr. of Muhlenberg Township and Kenneth J., Sr. of Reading; Two Daughters:  Crystal L. wife of Kevin Krick of Bernville and Tracey L. wife of Robert Darinsig of Exeter Township; Fourteen Grandchildren and Three Great-Grandchildren; One Brother:  Raymond W. Hiester, Sr. husband of Carol of Reading and Three Sisters:  Virginia widow of Kenneth Leed of Reading, Joyce widow of Rodney Steffey of Shillington and Marion wife of Richard Blessing of Hamburg.

Visitation with the family will be held on Monday, August 4 from 6:00-9:00 P.M. and a memorial service will be held on Wednesday, August 6 at 10:00 A.M. in the Lutz Funeral Home, Inc. Mount Penn.  Interment private at the convenience of the family.  For online condolences please visit


Joan P. (O’Brien) Hall

Joan P.  Hall, 81, of Reading and formerly of Beverly, MA passed away on Thursday, July 31, 2014 in the Reading Hospital. She was the widow of George L.  Hall.

Born in Bronx, NY she was a daughter of the late Howard V. and Margaret (Corcoran) O’Brien.

Joan was a nurse’s aide in the State of Massachusetts

She is survived by three Sons; Edmund Flanagan, husband of Barbara A. of Mt. Penn, Brian M. Flanagan, husband of Maureen W. of West Chester, Jerome F. Flanagan of Pottstown, one Daughter; Kathleen M.  wife of Jacob Stofko of Allentown; Five Grandchildren and Three Great-Grandchildren She is also survived by one Brother, Eugene of Maryland and one Sister, Peggy of New York.. She was predeceased by one Grandchild, Brian.

Visitation with the family will be held from 10:00-11:00 A.M. with services beginning at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, August 5, 2014  in the Lutz Funeral Home, Inc. Mount Penn.  .Burial will be private in Puritan Lawn Memorial Park, Peabody, MA. Contributions may be made to The Salvation Army of Boyertown and Beyond 409 S. Reading Ave. Boyertown, PA 19512.

For online condolences, please visit