Obituary for Vera J. Houseknecht (Rowlyk)
Vera J. “Honey” Rowlyk Houseknecht, 76, of Linglestown, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Sunday, January 7, 2018, in the M. S. Hershey Medical Center.
Born in Ridley Park, PA, on June 23, 1941, she was the daughter of the late William Charles and Mary Pecuich Rowlyk.
Vera lived to serve others. She was a loving and devoted wife and mother, a faithful Christian, and a selfless caregiver. A 1959 graduate of Ridley Township High School, Vera continued her studies at Jefferson Hospital, Philadelphia, to become an electrocardiogram technician. She worked as a clinical technician in the office of Dr. Norman Makous at the Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia.
On July 5, 1961, she married the love of her life, Pastor Gerald E. Houseknecht, Sr., in Trinity Lutheran Church, Hagerstown, MD. Upon moving to Central Pennsylvania, Vera was a Personal Care Assistant at the former Odd Fellows Home, Middletown, and then as a private home health caregiver.
Eventually the Lord led Vera and her husband to serve as co-directors of the Gospel League Home for women and their children at the Pacific Garden Mission of Chicago, IL. Upon their return to the Harrisburg area, Vera became active in the Evangelical Free Church of Hershey serving in the Visitation & Prayer Ministry with The Rev. Paul Haken. She also served in a clothing ministry at the church, and facilitated a cancer support ministry. A true Prayer Warrior, Vera’s faith was unwavering, so no matter where she called home, she actively taught Sunday School, started women’s groups to praise the Lord, and reached out to those in need. However, the role she treasured most was helping to raise her grandson, Zachary. Her passion was to love on and help others. With a song in her heart and on her lips Vera always put God first, others second, and herself last.
In addition to her beloved husband of almost 57 years, Gerald, Vera is survived by two sons, Gerald E. Houseknecht, Jr. husband of Diane W. of Glenmoore, and Mark J. Houseknecht of Linglestown; four grandchildren, Zachary M. Houseknecht of Hershey, and Jessica T. Houseknecht, Erica N. Houseknecht, and Alexa K. Houseknecht all of Glenmoore; two brothers, her twin, Wasyl T. “Sonny” Rowlyk, husband of Carol of Ridley Park, and George T. Rowlyk, husband of Sue of Lincoln University; her brother-in-law, Frank Kruger of Georgetown, DE; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents, Vera was preceded in death by her first granddaughter, Joy Houseknecht, and her sister, Nina M. Kruger.
A service to celebrate Vera’s life will be held Tuesday, January 16, 2018, at 11:00 AM in the Evangelical Free Church of Hershey, 330 Hilltop Road, Hummelstown, with The Rev. David V. Martin officiating. A private interment will be in Grand View Memorial Park, Annville. Relatives and friends are invited to the visit with the family in the church’s Welcome Center on Tuesday from 10:00 AM until time of the service.
Trefz & Bowser Funeral Home, Inc., 114 West Main Street, Hummelstown, is handling the arrangements.
Those desiring may send memorial contributions to her church, Evangelical Free Church of Hershey, 330 Hilltop Road, Hummelstown, PA 17036.
Online condolences may be shared at www.trefzandbowser.com.