Sara Jane (Hertzler) Kroesen HartingSeptember 11, 1919 ~ June 30, 2017 (age 97)
Sara Jane Hertzler Kroesen Harting
Born: September 11, 1919
Died: June 30, 2017
Sara stepped away from her richly engaged life into the loving heart of God. She was under the care of Masonic Village Hospice for two weeks before passing from us. Her four children, two step children, 14 grandchildren, their spouses, 29 great-grandchildren and many friends shared love and laughs these past two weeks with Sara, Mom, Nana, Grandma and GG.
Born in Elizabethtown PA, Sara was the third child of the late Bessie (Baker) and Allen Hertzler. Her brother, John A. Hertzler and sister, Mary Spickler Wanamaker preceded her in death.
Sara, also known as Kelly, after her father’s nickname, graduated from Elizabethtown High School in 1937. She graduated from the School of Nursing, Jefferson Medical College Hospital, Philadelphia, PA in 1940. World War II broke out, and she joined the army in April 1942. She was assigned to the 38th General Hospital in Camp Bowie, Texas and the Middle East. In her letters she describes her many sightseeing tours and the welcome American nurses received. When not working in the hospital they were taken to dances by plane and boats on the Nile. She requested a transfer to the 4th Field Hospital in Italy because she did not feel “busy enough.” In Italy she worked in hospital tents and converted schools. The nurses lived in tents in the middle of vegetable and flower gardens.
Sara married Augustine “Gus” Paul Kroesen in an opera house on October 20, 1944. Gus was serving in Italy at the time. Sara's nursing friends worked together to sew a wedding dress from a parachute for the wedding. When she married Gus, Sara was required to resign her commission as a Second Lieutenant.
Gus continued in the Air Force, and they moved so frequently that each child was born in a different location in the United States and Japan. The final assignment was Izmir, Turkey where Gus passed away in July 1958. Sara returned to her hometown, Elizabethtown, to raise her children. Sara married Harry Harting June 1966 and gained two stepchildren, Louise and David. Harry died July 1985. Sara was a nurse at the Masonic Village Hospital.
Sara loved to play bridge, pinochle, and any game where there was laughter and fun. She visited her daughters in Florida and Arizona and traveled the world. She knitted an afghan for each of her grandchildren, and many sweaters. She volunteered with the Catholic Council of Women, Hershey Medical Center (over 2,500 hours), American Red Cross and Meals on Wheels. The family reunions brought her great joy. At one of her last bridge games she and her partner obtained a grand slam.
Her love of life expanded to her children and spouses, grandchildren and spouses (and great-grandchildren). They are: Howard Kroesen and Marilyn: Chris and Early: (Zachary, Mihkaela, Arabella); Curtis and Misty (Wyatt, Curtis, Kylie) Dean and Jennifer (Jude, Jett, Joelle); Carrie Beamenderfer and Brad (Greyson and Cecilia). Kathy Sellitto and Dave: Melissa Downs and Scott (Leah, Lexy, Andrew); Brian Harting and Erin (Olivia, Lincoln) Matthew Harting; Tara Reed and Ryan (Brooke, Morgan). John Kroesen and Kathy: John and Jen (Kingston); Justin and Julia (Roman, Evelyn, Max) Jennifer Hess and Todd (Tillie, Hazel, Rocco); Travis Eckert and Amanda (Ryan and Lincoln); Jane Kroesen: Isaac Way and Christine (Samuel and Hadley); Sara Way. Her stepchildren: Louise Olmstead and David Harting.
Funeral arrangements: July 14, 2017 at St Peter’s Catholic Church, 904 Mill Road, Elizabethtown, PA 17022, 9:30 visitation; 11:00 Mass. A celebration of Sara’s life will be held immediately after Mass at the Freemasons Cultural Center in the Lodge Dining Room. Sara will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC. Donations in Sara’s name may be made to Doctors Without Borders.
Arrangements entrusted to Miller-Finkenbinder Funeral Home & Crematory, Elizabethtown.
Memories and condolences may be shared at www.FinkenbinderFamily.com