My name is Judy Pelter.  I am a friend of Julia and Dana.  I, along with Dana, tenderly called Julia, “Mama” and she absolutely loved it and so did I!!  She was also very happy that Dana had a friend in PA and insisted since she was bedridden that we “go out and play”—her little girls.  We went through quite a drama of asking permission, being told to be good, telling her “we love you, Mama”, and having her say “I love you too, honey”.  I visited almost weekly in the last few months and tried to provide some laughter and entertainment, as well as sharing tender moments and prayers.  I usually came in costume and had some good lines—but Mama had better lines than I did!!


Mama also shared time over the years with my family, as she and my aunt, Irene Shaffer, were high school friends and remained so.  She always ventured with us to Kingston to visit my other aunt, Emma Minier, and her family.  She had a special affinity for my cousin, Wendy, and we always called her the president of Wendy's fan club.  The travel back and forth provided us with much conversation about our families and the past and present.  Sometimes we were accompanied by my Scottie, Heather, who just passed away, and she provided us with much entertainment.


I feel as if I am here as a representative of the SHS Class of 1926.  Julia, my aunt, Irene Shaffer, and our good friend, Mary Heintzelman graduated together and remained friends all these years.  They were prime organizers of their reunions, many of which my daughter, Jennifer, and I attended.  In latter years, my family and I organized mini-reunions and birthday celebrations for the three of them with my granddaughter serving as their “mascot”. I have pictures of those reunions. I have the original football beanie from 1926, as well as the yearbook and other memorabilia.  The beanie and some pom-poms had some use in the past year or so, as Mary Heintzelman used them as a Halloween costume in 2007 at age 96, and I wore Mary’s costume to cheer with Mama a few months ago.


We will miss Mama, but I have to tell you that she has been very comfortable and at peace these last months.  She has verbalized that, and we have said prayers of thanksgiving for that.  She had God’s assurance.  One day when I visited, a beautiful sunbeam shone through the bedroom window.  She pointed it out and said, “This is what Heaven is going to look like when I get there!”  We were reminded of the old Sunday School hymn, “Heavenly Sunshine”.  I thought of another one,

“Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam”.  Mama’s inscription in her high school yearbook says:  (her nickname was Judy)


“A poetess fair is this young lass

The best that you can find.

Judy’s also always full of

Mirth, laughter, and sunshine.”


 Mama will surely be a sunbeam for us always and is now indeed contributing to that Heavenly sunshine.

Happy Birthday, Chris!
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