Mary Elizabeth (Geibe) KarnesJanuary 10, 1922 ~ November 20, 2017 (age 95)
Mary Elizabeth Karnes, 95, of Elizabethtown, passed away peacefully on Monday, November 20, 2017 at Masonic Village. Born January 10, 1922 in Rapho Township, she was the daughter of the late Harry Z. and Meta (Zook) Geibe. She was preceded in death by her husband of 36 years, Douglas E. Karnes, and a son, Robert.
A 1939 graduate of East Donegal Township High School, Mary was employed for eight years as an operator for the Columbia Telephone Company. After her children were in school, she began volunteering at the Elizabethtown Public Library, where she eventually became a staff member, retiring after 50 years.
A member of Donegal Presbyterian Church since 1937, Mary served in many capacities, including elder, church librarian, church historian, and Sunday School teacher. She was also instrumental in collecting and organizing the archives related to the church’s history, and was an active member of the Donegal Society, serving several terms on the Executive Board.
In 1989, Mary joined the efforts to save a log house in Elizabethtown that eventually became the Winters Heritage House Museum. As the librarian of the newly established genealogy library, she researched, collected, and cataloged materials, and answered countless questions on Elizabethtown history, families, buildings, and businesses. During her tenure, she clipped 40-years’ worth of articles and obituaries from the “Elizabethtown Chronicle” to be added to the historical archives.
In 2004, Mary was chosen as “Woman of the Year” by the Elizabethtown Business and Professional Women’s Club in recognition of her many years of service to the Library, as well as her efforts in local history. As a member of the Elizabethtown Historical Society, Mary had an active role in preserving the history of her community, and guided log house and walking tours. Mary was one of several who spent countless hours working with Dr. Richard MacMaster to compile, edit, and illustrate the local history book, Elizabethtown: The First Three Centuries. She was also involved in the compilation of a historical DVD, “Elizabethtown: A Diamond from Donegal,” which was created to help celebrate the town’s 150th anniversary.
Mary will be remembered by all who knew and loved her for her beautiful spirit and personality; ever-present smile; love of family and friends; amazing cooking and baking creations; love of reading, history, and genealogy; and unbeatable Scrabble skills.
Mary is survived by two children: Karen Karnes of Elizabethtown, and Barry Karnes (Elizabeth Iacavone) of Longwood, Florida; and two grandchildren: Jessica of Winter Springs, Florida, and Jamie of New York City. In addition to her parents, husband, and son, she was preceded in death three brothers, Lloyd Geibe, Wilbur Geibe, and John (Jay) Geibe.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend Mary’s memorial service on Saturday, December 16, 11:00 a.m., at Donegal Presbyterian Church, 1891 Donegal Springs Road, Mount Joy, with Pastor Matthew Randolph officiating. The family will receive friends from 10:00-11:00 a.m., and again in Fellowship Hall prior to the luncheon. Interment will be private. Boyer Funeral Home, Elizabethtown, is in charge of the arrangements. Memories and condolences may be shared at www.Boyer-Elizabethtown.com.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution in Mary’s name to the Elizabethtown Public Library, 10 S. Market Street, Elizabethtown, or Donegal Presbyterian Church Capital Campaign, 1891 Donegal Springs Road, Mount Joy, PA 17552, or Winters Heritage House Museum, 47 E. High Street, Elizabethtown.