BELLEVILLE - Jessie (Laughlin) Gearhart Witzel, 98, of Shawnee Hills, Belleville, died peacefully in her sleep at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, in her home with her long-time caregiver son, Dr. Darwin Gearhart, at her side.
She was born July 26, 1915, in McVeytown, the daughter of the late George and Lucretia (Penneypacker) Laughlin.
Surviving are: her children, Dr. Darwin Gearhart of Belleville, Marvin Earl Gearhart (Donna), of York, Martha Faye Richard (David, Jr.), of Lakeland, Fla., Miriam Ann Jury (Robert), of York, and David Lee Witzel (Rosemary), of McAlisterville; six grandchildren, David Richard III, Donald Richard, Dawn Marie Kushto, Kristopher Jury, Deborah Bushover and Matthew Witzel; 11 great-grandchildren, Sarah Richard, Emily Richard, Brady Bushover, Heather Bushover, Caroline Jury, Annabella Jury, Owen Jury, Josie Jury, Julian Kushto, Jordan Kushto and Cole Kushto.
In addition to her parents, Jessie was preceded in death by: her husband, Donald E. Gearhart; siblings, Earl P. Laughlin, G. Russell Laughlin, John C. Laughlin, Mabel Laughlin and Hazel Dunmire.
In early life, Jessie worked at the Lewistown Shirt Factory and in the Chief Logan High School cafeteria. In 1969, she moved to Miami, where she graduated as valedictorian from Miami-Dade College School of Nursing. She worked as a nurse in hospitals in Miami and Boca Raton, Fla.
Jessie enjoyed extensive travels throughout western Europe, Canada and the United States. In recent years, she visited Hawaii and enjoyed two summers of travel throughout Alaska, having visited 49 of the United States.
She was a member of the Spring Run Church of the Brethren in McVeytown and the Shining Stars Sunday school class of the church.
A funeral service will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, April 28, 2014, at the Spring Run Church of the Brethren, 6712 Ferguson Valley Road, McVeytown, officiated by Pastors Craig and Kate Gandy and niece Sharon Grassmyer as eulogist. Interment will be in Spring Run Cemetery.
Viewing and family visitations will be from 6 to 8 p.m on Sunday, April 27, 2014, at Harshbarger Funeral Home, 3 S. Market St., McVeytown, and from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Monday, at the church.
Memorial gifts for Jessie may be contributed to the Spring Run Church of the Brethren, P.O. Box 333, McVeytown, PA 17051.