Leona Catherine Grove (also known as L.C.), age 91, passed on to her new life in heaven on Wednesday, February 5, 2020, at Messiah Lifeways Retirement Community, where she had been living since 1999. Born January 8, 1929 in Maugansville, MD to Edgar and Emma (Horst) Parmer, she was the sister of Ralph and Alton Parmer, now also both deceased. She married Luther Elwood Grove of Hagerstown, MD on September 1, 1951; Luther passed peacefully on July 23, 2011, just before they planned to celebrate their 60th anniversary.
Leona was always an excellent student and had a life-long interest in teaching that led her to be one of the only young people in her Mennonite community to go beyond the 8th grade. She not only graduated from Greencastle High School, but was also the valedictorian of her class. Leona continued her education at Goshen College, in Indiana, where she majored in math and got a teaching credential. This was at a time when almost no women chose to study mathematics. She taught math for one year before marrying Luther and settling down on the Grove family farm where she embraced the life of a farmer’s wife and raised two daughters. Once her daughters were older, Leona resumed substitute teaching and, when Heritage Academy opened in 1969, she taught upper-level math courses, and served as senior-class advisor, until her retirement in 1995.
Leona’s childhood church was Cedar Grove Mennonite Church in Greencastle, PA. Later, she and Luther became members of Paramount Brethren in Christ Church in Paramount, MD, where she was an active member and served as the choir director. After moving to Messiah Village in Mechanicsburg, PA, Leona and Luther remained active, volunteering for many tasks, such as caring for young children in the Children’s Family Center, and helping to raise funds as part of the Connections campaign.
Leona is survived by her two daughters Karen Grove and her husband Jay Ach, and Jolene Ness and her husband Randy; by her three grandchildren Jaron and his wife Blair, Katie and her husband Josh Abro, and Natalie; and by three great-grandchildren Weston Abro, and Beckett and Jennings Ness.
Leona will be remembered for her energy, intelligence and hospitality, and her Christian faith. She was always busy helping others and inspired those around her to achieve at their greatest potential. She was beloved by her high school students, her grandchildren, and many others. She loved music and throughout her life participated in various musical groups. She affected so many lives in positive ways and will be sorely missed.
A memorial service will be held at the Messiah Village Brethren in Christ Church on Friday, March 20 at 3:30 p.m., with a visitation hour beginning at 2:30. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to Messiah Village Endowment Fund, 100 Mount Allen Dr., Mechanicsburg, PA 17055. Burial will be at the convenience of the family in Cedar Lawn Memorial Park, Hagerstown. Arrangements were handled by the Harold M. Zimmerman And Son Funeral Home of Greencastle. Online condolences may be expressed at www.zimmermanfh.com
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