Acquisition No.: 2017-05
Title: Anvil; Rita Walters Estate.
Item History:

My hope was to one day have the late Rita (Sneeringer) Walter represented in this catalogue file. This red blacksmith's anvil had occupied the Walter's household for a minimum of forty years. Its origin is unknown. The anvil weighs about 100 pounds and has seen very few if any hammer blows ever. It is ironic, even artistic, that an old red anvil, the antithesis of Rita, should represent her memory.

Rita was married to the late Bernard Walter. The couple raised their seven children in faithful religious devotion, at 58 East Hanover Street in Bonneauville, PA. Bernard and Rita were greatly respected in a community that was about 97% Catholic in the mid-20th Century.

Retired from farming, Rita's parents Clarence and Elizabeth "Lizzy" Sneeringer lived their later years about one block west of their daughter, on Hanover Street. Prior to that, the couple owned a dairy farm on the same street but still further to the west; just outside of Bonneauville. White Run creek ran through their property. On the downstream side of the bridge (once a covered bridge), where the stream runs under Rt. 116, the Sneeringer's kept a picnic grove for free use by Bonneauvillians and others. Townsfolk used to walk, bike, motor, and even rollerskate to the site. In the days before air conditioning and swimming pools, the shady location and the cool waters offered summer relief. It was one of many acts of kindness that reflected generation after generation of the Sneeringer's family values and awareness of social responsibilities.

Note: Click on "The Collection" tab of this web page. There are three photos of fashionable young Bonneauville ladies. The center one is of eight girls setting on a bridge abutment. That abutment is on the south side of the road, on Rt. 116, just west of the town. The bridge marks the location of the Sneeringer's picnic grounds. The camera lens that the unknown photographer used, does well at exaggerating the size of the bridge.

In 2015 my wife and I had the opportunity to visit Rita's sister, Sister Mary Dolores Sneeringer, a nun who is now retired and living at St. Joseph Villa, Flourstown, PA (near Philadelphia). On the window sill of Sister Mary Dolores' room sat an eight by ten black and white framed photograph. The eleven faces were familiar, (Rita is back row, fifth from left.) I had grown up two doors (west) of Clarence and Lizzie's house. Every memory of the Sneeringer's during my childhood is a good one. The gentle kin seemed to define familial love.

At age 96 Rita most certainly shattered the old adage; "only the good die young."

Hanover Evening Sun Obituary:

"Rita M. Walter

August 15, 1920 - January 5, 2017


Rita M. Walter, 96, entered God's eternal care, Thursday night, January 5, 2017 at her home surrounded by her loving family.

Born August 15, 1920 in Adams County, she was the daughter of the late Clarence J. and Elizabeth M. (Hufnagel) Sneeringer. Rita was the loving wife of Bernard A. Walter who died September 8, 1977.

Rita was a member of St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church, Bonneauville, where she served as the church organist for 70 years, was a former member of the Parish Council, and was also a member of the National Council of Catholic Women.

Rita is survived by seven children; Philip F. Walter and wife, Sofia of Stafford, Va., Michael J. Walter and wife, Colleen of McSherrystown, Joan D. Buckley of Hanover, Lois A. Crane and husband, Ray of Huntersville, N.C., Janice E. Klunk and husband, Ronald of McSherrystown, Marian L. Meckley and husband, Jeff and Kathryn M. Smith and husband, Bill all of Hanover; 28 grandchildren; 43 great-grandchildren; two brothers, Bernard E. Sneeringer of Bonneauville, and Benjamin J. Sneeringer of Littlestown; and two sisters, Sister Mary Dolores Sneeringer of Philadelphia, and Justina L. Meckley of Hanover. She was preceded in death by three sisters, Loretta M. Orndorff, Anna M. Miller, and Teresa Sneeringer; and two brothers, Rodney Sneeringer and Francis P. Sneeringer.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10 a.m., Monday, January 9, 2017 at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church, 12 East Hanover, Street, Gettysburg (Bonneauville) PA, with Father Peter DiTomasso as celebrant. Burial will be in St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church Cemetery, Bonneauville, PA. A viewing and time to share memories with the family will be held from 2-6 p.m., Sunday, January 8, 2017, with a prayer service at 6 p.m., at the Kenworthy Funeral Home, Inc., 66 East Hanover Street, Gettysburg (Bonneauville) PA.

Serving as casket bearers will be her grandchildren, Michelle Walter, Michael Buckley, Jeremy Smith, Joseph Smith, Bryan Walter, Chad Meckley, and Todd Crane as well as her seven children.

In lieu of flowers contributions in Rita's memory may be made to St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church, 12 East Hanover Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325 or the , 924 North Colonial Avenue, York, PA 17403.

The Kenworthy Funeral Home, Inc., 66 East Hanover Street, Gettysburg (Bonneauville), PA is assisting the family with funeral arrangements. . .

Published in Evening Sun on Jan. 8, 2017"

Photograph: Image  Image