MARGARET M. GARBER, 94, Educator taught hundreds of children to read
Margaret Garber, who died July 8, 2020, was a first grade teacher at Maytown Elementary School for 27 years and a long-time resident of Elizabethtown, where she and husband Henry M. Garber, one of the owners of Garber Motor Company, raised three children - Kim (James) Lifton, Joan (Dennis) Hossler and Tobin (Barbara) Garber. She has five grandchildren and one great grandson. Mrs. Garber is also survived by her sister Carol Ann (Robert) Schrader.
Margaret Garber was a creative, fun grandma. Her home featured ping pong tournaments and a pool table in the basement, basketball and swimming out back, and her favorite game of UPWORDS at the kitchen table. Her experiences as an elementary school teacher made her interested in amassing a large personal library of children’s books. After retirement, she volunteered as a story reader at the public library in Mount Joy and assisted with reading instruction in the Donegal School District.
Born in Wilkes-Barre, PA, Mrs. Garber was the daughter of Gilbert T. and Margaret Steever. A graduate of Elizabethtown High School, she received her college degree in Health Education at the State Teachers College at West Chester, PA. Her first job was as a physical education teacher in the Littlestown, PA, School District and she was also trained as a Girl Scout leader. One of her favorite stories from this period was about shepherding a group of girls on a rainy canoe trip down the Susquehanna River from Bucknell to Harrisburg, which included getting out in shallow water and pulling the canoes. Later in life, she became an avid golfer.
Margaret Garber loved Hershey Park, calling it “the most magical place on earth.” As a girl growing up in Elizabethtown, she would catch the trolley from Market Street and Linden Avenue to ride to Hershey to swim in the pool and slide down the water slide. Writing about those childhood summers in the Pennsylvania Heritage magazine, she remembered that on Sunday evenings, her parents would treat the family to rides on the carousel and they would watch soldiers from Fort Indiantown Gap try their luck at the shooting gallery. In her last years, she particularly enjoyed watching the Kissing Tower go up and down.
Mrs. Garber was skilled in making large handmade braided rugs, knitting patterned sweaters and she crocheted an heirloom christening gown. She pursued an interest in genealogy that enabled her to trace her family back to the Revolutionary War. She also connected with, and traveled to see, distant relatives living in Wales.
For her church, Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in E-town, Mrs. Garber scheduled volunteer readers and helped to count the offering. In public service-related activities, she accompanied husband Henry, a delegate, to the 1992 Republican National Convention in Houston and later became a judge of elections in Elizabethtown Borough.
Margaret Garber will be remembered fondly by family, friends and caregivers at St. Anne’s Retirement Community for her baseball caps, connoisseurship of peanut butter crackers and chocolate ice cream, and her cheerful “merci beaucoup!” Rest in peace, Margaret, we love you!
Services will be private. Memorial contributions may be made to her church, Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, 125 East High Street, Elizabethtown, PA.