The Rev. Loretta May Witmer Roberts, 81, passed away in the early morning hours, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in her residence at Phoebe Berks, Wernersville.
She was the widow of the late Charles L. Roberts.
Born May 11, 1938, in Sunbury, Northumberland Co., she was the daughter of the late
John A. & Arlie L. (Bingaman) Witmer.
Loretta dedicated her life to community service and profoundly impacted the lives of everyone who had the privilege of knowing her. She was a staunch advocate for civil rights during the 1960's, having been a Freedom Rider and marching with Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Mississippi Delta. She graduated from Upper Dauphin High School in 1956, and later Ursinus College in 1960 with a BA in History. After graduation, she worked at Plainfield Congregational UCC and was very active in Church Women United, the youth ministry, and several social outreach programs serving all members of the Plainfield community. She later attended Union Theological Seminary in New York, was ordained in 1978, and went on to pastor at Plainfield United Methodist Church in New Jersey. In 1982, she was installed as the pastor at Bern Reformed UCC in Bernville and pastored there until her retirement in 1999.
Survivors include two nephews, Paul Van De Putte and Jahn Van De Putte and their families. In addition to her husband, Loretta was predeceased by a brother, Stewart Witmer, and a sister, Dorine (Witmer) Van De Putte.
A Memorial Service at Bern Reformed UCC is pending and will be held at a later date when all who knew her can gather and celebrate her life. Burial will take place at Grandview Cemetery, in Pillow, PA.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Bern Reformed UCC at www.bernreformeducc.org or to Phoebe Ministries at www.phoebe.org.
The Mull Funeral Home, Womelsdorf is in charge of arrangements. Fond memories of Loretta may be shared at www.mullfh.com
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