Helen R. Sarver, 103, of the Locust Grove Retirement Village, Mifflin, PA, and formerly of Mifflintown, passed away on Saturday, January 28, 2017 at the village.
Born on July 16, 1913 in Lack Township, Juniata County, she was a daughter of the late Daniel B. and Sarah (Noss) Robinson. On November 27, 1941, she married her late husband, Hugh F. Sarver, with whom she was blessed to share more than 29 years of marriage until he preceded her in death on March 20, 1970.
Surviving are several generations of nieces and nephews.
Her only daughter Ruth Ann Sarver preceded her in death on September 27, 1960; and she was the last of her generation, having been preceded in death by three brothers, Carl Robinson, William Robinson and Banks Robinson, and three sisters, Maude Long, Sarah ‘Ruth’ Kossack and Esther Lawler.
Mrs. Sarver was a 1931 graduate of Tuscarora Valley [Port Royal] High School, a graduate of the Lewistown Hospital School of Nursing, and a member of the Westminster United Presbyterian Church, Mifflintown.
In earlier life, she was a registered nurse, before being a self-employed dairy farmer with her late husband Hugh.
Helen had a passion for extensively traveling the United States and the world. Whether it was a bus trip or a cruise she thoroughly enjoyed the trip.
A funeral will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 from the Brown Funeral Homes, lnc., 100 Bridge St., Mifflintown with the Pastor Nancy McClure officiating.
interment will follow in the New Church Hill Cemetery, Port Royal.
Viewing will be from 1 p.m., Wednesday, until the time of services, at the funeral home.
HELEN ROBINSON SARVER AT 101
by Deb Brackbill
When I think about all the changes that have occurred during my lifetime, it boggles my mind. So, I can only imagine how much has changed during Helen Robinson Sarver's life. You see, Helen will be 101 on July 16, 2014, and those who know her can attest to the fact that she's a pure delight to talk to! For those who haven't had the pleasure of meeting her, I’d like to tell you a little about her.
Helen was born in East Waterford, (she was delivered by Dr. Quig) and is the daughter of Banks and Sarah Robinson.
She had six brothers and sisters--Herman, Ruth, Maude, Carl, Esther, and Banks, and the family lived on a farm near East Waterford. Her father's family immigrated to America from Ireland, and her mother's family was Dutch.
Everyone had their own chores to do on the farm-churning butter twice a week, helping with the gardening, canning and preserving. The family raised their own cows and pigs which they butchered for the family's meat. Helen remembers the winters being so cold back then that they were able to hang the butchered meat in the attic where it would stay frozen till spring! Her mother baked bread - fifteen loaves lasted half a week, and then she'd start over baking fifteen more. She also sewed all the children's, clothes, so she had little time for relaxing.
Helen and her brothers and sisters all went to a one room school-The Wallace School, which was located about 2 1/2 mites from their farm, right beside the Smith Farm. There were about 30 students in the whole schnook and the teacher would call each grade up to the front of the room where they would have their lessons. She remembers the big blackboard that was used in the school and how everybody played together during recesses. She also recalls that everyone carried their packed lunches to school and that the school house was heated by a big old wood stove that sat in the middle of the room.
When it came time to go to high school in Port Royal, the children would hitch a ride on the Tuscarora Valley Railroad. Helen can still remember the engineer blowing the whistle to let them know that the train was coming. When she got old enough, her father bought her a Ford to drive back and forth to school. She provided rides for other students and they helped pay for the gas. Her favorite subjects in school were: English, Geography and History.
After graduation, Helen decided on a career—nursing. She applied to the Lewistown Hospital School of Nursing and was accepted. It took five months to complete her training in Medical, Psychology, and Pediatric care. During that time, the students stayed at the hospital which supplied a room and gave them a stipend. She added that the hospital didn’t look anything like it does today, back then it was only one wing. Students attended classes, and then they were on the floor, under the supervision of a supervisor. When she completed her studies, Helen went into private duty nursing; her first job paid $5 for twelve hours work. She says it was hard work, but she met a lot of nice people.
At the age of 28, Helen married Hugh Sarver, a successful farmer. They had attended high school together, but never really got to know each other till some years later. The couple adopted a daughter, Ruthann—the love of their lives. Ruthann brought a joy to their lives that they had never experienced, but tragedy struck when the little girl was about 2 1/2, when they learned that she had cancer. They took her all over the state seeking treatment, they even took her to a children's hospital, but she passed away at the tender age of four. Helen can still remember the grief that she arid her husband felt when they lost Ruthann, and when Hugh died, she was filled with grief once again.
After Hugh's death, Helen realized that she had a lot of time to fill, and since she's always been curious about how people in other countries lived, she decided to do some traveling. Her travels took her to 28 countries, all over the United States, including Alaska, and throughout Europe.
She can't decide which country she liked best, but she did discover that there's no place like home, and people in other countries just don't treat you like they do in your own home town.
Some of her more amazing travels included seeing Hitler's silo, and the lost city of Atlantis. She will admit that she thinks Alaska had the most beautiful scenery of any place she's been, and it was while she was there that she discovered a great secret-it was revealed to her how God made the rainbow! It was during a terrible storm. She was scared to death at the noise and the lightning. She was at a place where four streams met and looking down she could see the ice under the water. Suddenly, she saw the rainbow appear out of nowhere. It was an amazing experience that she'll never forget, no matter how old she is.
Helen has always embraced religion and has been a member of the United Presbyterian Church since the age of twelve. She can close her eyes and still see the beautiful dress that her mother made for her when she joined the church. Her faith has always been a big part of her life, and Helen says it's important to her to show her appreciation to God for all he's done for her.
Even at the age of 100, (almost 101!) Helen knows that God has a plan for all of us. and she can hardly wait to see what he has planned for her next.