Margaret Spleen Verbeke, 88 years old, died Monday, April 17, 2017, at Hospice & Community Care Center, Mount Joy, Pa. She was born July 17, 1928, in Ridgway, Elk County, Pa., to Elsie Rosenkrans Spleen and Maurice Spleen. Her only sibling (twin, Mary S. Zawacki) predeceased her in 2007. Margaret was a graduate of Mansfield State College, Class of 1950. For five years she was the Penn State Extension Home Economist for Jefferson County in Brookville, Pa. She married Henry G. Verbeke whom she met through the Agriculture Extension Service. They were dairy and potato farmers in Reynoldsville, Pa., enjoying 40 years of marriage until his death in 1996. To this union were born six children: three sons, Victor M. Verbeke (Karen Aubel), Harleysville, Pa., Vincent C. Verbeke (Laurie McNight), Charlottesville, Va., and David R. Verbeke (Sherri Adams), Harleysville, Pa.; and three daughters, Kathleen V. Nowicki (James), Hopewell, N.J., Sarah E. Verbeke, Somerville, N.J., and Ruth E. Ortiz (Louis), Lancaster, Pa. She is also survived by 13 grandchildren. She was a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, New Holland, Pa., where she enjoyed worshiping at daily Mass for 20 years. She enjoyed Bible Study and teaching catechism classes and RCIA at this church and at St. Bernard's and St. Mary's churches near her former home in western Pa. She was a 74-year member of the PA State Grange, a 51-year member of Catholic Daughters of America, and an 11-year member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Groff-High Funeral Home, New Holland, Pa. Funeral Mass will be at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 150 Water Street, New Holland, Pa., at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 21. There will be no viewing. The family will greet friends and family for one hour before Mass at the church. Her cremains will be buried in St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery, Reynoldsville, Pa., on Saturday, April 22, at 11:30 a.m. Friends and relatives are invited to join the family at a fellowship meal following the Funeral Mass on Friday in the church social hall and also following the graveside service on Saturday at the Hormtown Community Center. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to Our Lady of Lourdes Church Building Fund, 150 Water Street, New Holland, PA 17557.
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