Ardella Brubaker, 105, of Newport, PA passed away Saturday, February 27, 2016. Born September 11, 1910, "Dell" was the daughter of George and Carrie (Mitchell) Hombach of Newport.
She was preceded in death by her aunt, Katie McNaughton, and sisters Oleta Myers, Violet Rice, and Virginia Baker. She is survived by a daughter, Linda Birmingham and husband Dan Nied of York, PA; a grandson, Steven Birmingham of Dover, DE; a granddaughter, Merideth Edgar and her husband Joe of York, PA; and a granddaughter Heather Edgar and her husband Dan of Myerstown, PA. She is also survived by great-granddaughters Lauren and Alexis Edgar.
Ardella grew up in Newport where her parents tended the cemetery. At times, they were so poor, they lived on coffee soup, small bits of bread floated in coffee. In an era when less than 20% of people completed high school, she walked down the long hill into town every day to finish her education and became a high school basketball star. She was the first person in her family to go to college, making the daily 2-hour commute by train to Central Penn College, taking a full schedule of classes and scrubbing floors to pay tuition. She was clocked as one of the fastest typists in the world, garnering an offer to tour the country demonstrating the newest typewriter models. Her education allowed her instead to take a more stable job with the New York Life Insurance company. Following a successful stint there, she served her country, first at Olmstead Air Force Base and later at the New Cumberland Army Depot.
It would be nearly impossible to have lived in Perry County, Pennsylvania in the past 40 years without encountering Ardella Brubaker. You may have seen her working the circulation desk at the Newport public library, at a covered dish or bake sale at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, at the Seven Stars thrift store, at a concert supporting the community band in Millersburg, at the food bank in New Bloomfield, or at the recycling center in East Newport. If you participated in a walkathon in Oliver Township, you may have stopped in her yard for refreshments. If you are a member of Civic Club, Church Women United, Susquehanna Rovers Volksmarch Club, Garden Club, or the Historical Society, you’ve likely seen her at a meeting, maybe even donning a full fire suit as she did at a demonstration recently. If you’re a senior who no longer drives, Ardella may have picked you up to take you to an event. She has brought a handicapped child into her home, worked for the Head Start program, and volunteered at the local senior center and nursing home, helping people many years her junior. In recognition of her years of service, Newport High School bestowed an honorary degree in 2008, and Central Penn College bestowed an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2010. The town of Newport presented her with the key to the city in 2015.
A viewing will be held from 10 to 11 am Wednesday, March 2, with a service at 11 am, both at David M. Myers Funeral Home, 125 Walnut Street, Newport PA.
The family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Newport Public Library, 316 North 4th Street, Newport, Pa. 17074.
David M. Myers Funeral Home Inc.