Welcome to the memorial page for

Alma Kathleen (Hartman) Espenshade

December 12, 1913 ~ April 25, 2017 (age 103)
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Alma Kathleen (Hartman) Espenshade, 103, formerly of Elizabethtown, passed away peacefully on April 25, 2017, at the Brethren Village Retirement Community, Lancaster. Born Dec. 12, 1913, in Rockingham County, Virginia, near Harrisonburg, she was the daughter of the late Rev. Walter W. and Elsie (Wampler) Hartman. She married Eby Charles Espenshade in June 1939.

Her family moved to Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, in 1919, and in 1932, she graduated from Annville High School. She graduated from Elizabethtown College in 1937 and received a master’s degree from Temple University in 1961. She also took additional graduate courses at Syracuse, Marquette and Millersville universities.

She was a schoolteacher and elementary school principal in Lancaster, Lebanon and Dauphin counties for over 32 years, and in 1976, she retired from the Elizabethtown Area School District.

Alma was a longtime member of the Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren, where she served on local, district and national committees of the Church of the Brethren. As part of the church’s national emergency relief team, she traveled to disaster sites across the country to provide child care. Following her retirement, she joined Brethren Volunteer Service and supplied social services to young people on an American Indian reservation in Colorado. She was also a member of the Elizabethtown Business and Professional Women’s Club and was named its “Woman of the Year” in 1982. Alma also was a member of the National Education Association and the Pennsylvania and Lancaster County Retired Teachers associations. She served as secretary for the local association and won the 2002 Lancaster Senior Spelling Bee. She volunteered with numerous organizations, including Meals on Wheels, and continued volunteer work at Brethren Village into her 100s. Alma was an avid traveler. She visited every state in the United States and every continent except Antarctica.

She lived frugally and gave generously from her means. She was a major donor to charitable causes, including organizations focused on relief work, youth, education, housing and the environment.

Alma had the courage of her convictions. She spoke her mind and was strong and resilient.  Whether it was challenging school authorities on how teachers were paid or demonstrating locally and publically against the U.S. war in Vietnam, she held firmly to her sense of right and wrong and openly expressed her points of view. When her husband died in August 1958, she determinedly raised three children ages 11 to 15 as a single parent.

She will be lovingly missed by two sons: Dr. Thomas J. Espenshade, husband of Pamela Hotine Espenshade, of Princeton, N.J.; and John P. Espenshade, husband of Gabriela Mund Espenshade, of Littleton, N.C. Also surviving are five grandchildren and six great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband; a daughter, Rebecca J. Kenderdine; and siblings Galen, Jodie, Rayburn, Russell and Stanley Hartman, and Omega Hartman Sandy.

A Memorial Service will be held at 2:30 PM on Sunday, June 25, 2017 at Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren, 777 S. Mount Joy St., Elizabethtown, PA 17022 with Pastor Greg Davidson Laszakovits officiating.  A time of visitation will be held following the memorial service on Sunday.  Private Interment was in Mount Tunnel Cemetery, Elizabethtown at the convenience of the family. 

Arrangements have been entrusted with the Miller-Finkenbinder Funeral Home & Crematory, 130 North Market Street, Elizabethtown, PA  17022, 717-367-1543.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Alma’s memory to the Eby Espenshade Scholarship at Elizabethtown College, 1 Alpha Dr., Elizabethtown, PA 17022.

Condolences and memories may be shared at





Charitable donations may be made to:

Eby Espenshade Scholarship at Elizabethtown College
1 Alpha Drive, Elizabethtown PA 17022
Tel: 1-717-361-1000

 Service Information

Memorial Service
June 25, 2017

2:30 PM
Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren
777 South Mount Joy Street
Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania 17022

Private Interment

Mount Tunnel Cemetery
1058 South Market Street
Elizabethtown, PA 17022

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