York – Mrs. Elsie B. Lichtenberger, 60, of 226 East Liberty Street, died Tuesday, April 24, 2012, at Piedmont Medical Center.
Memorial services will be 11:00 AM Saturday, at Mt. Prospect United Methodist Church, 2543 Mountain Gap Rd., Hwy 901, Richburg, S.C., 29729, with Pastor John Rumford officiating. Internment will be in the church cemetery.
Elsie Marie Bennett was born on May 5, 1951 in Sioux Rapids, Iowa to the late Erle and Alma Rohle Bennett. She grew up in the small town of Marathon, Iowa where her parents operated a small hotel and restaurant, which was later converted into a laundromat and a pool hall.
During her high school years, Elsie was very active in cheerleading, theater, and music. She wowed the crowd in her junior year of high school as the lead female vocalist in “Finian’s Rainbow.” She moved several times during high school, but graduated Salutatorian from Woodward Granger High School in 1969. While in Woodward, she frequently shared her vocal talents with the Woodward Christian Church congregation.
After graduation, Elsie started her working career as a secretary and bookkeeper at her brother-in-law’s trucking company in Storm Lake, Iowa. She also worked part time at a local truck stop part time, where she met a truck driver from Allentown, PA who stole her heart. After a year-long courtship, Elsie married Roy Clayton Herman on April 24, 1971.
Elsie and Roy moved to southern California near her oldest sister, Erla Wetherell. On September 5, 1973, Elsie gave birth to her daughter, Amber Dawn Herman. Elsie enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom until Amber went to kindergarten. Through a friend, Elsie found a job driving all over Southern California delivering lost baggage with a smile to thousands of worried airline passengers. She also worked at the Alta Loma Brethren in Christ Church as the church secretary. Elsie was very active in the church choir, ladies’ groups, and served on the church board. Additionally, Elsie and Roy were the official church treasurers for several years, which is where she really refined her outstanding bookkeeping skills. In 1991, Elsie left her job as the church secretary and started working for Bellevue Cemetery in Ontario, CA as the Executive Secretary to the General Manager of Bellevue Cemetery. She also shared her heart and talent for talking with grieving families as a service counselor and funeral planner.
After 16 years in Southern California, Elsie returned to her roots and moved to small town Breda, IA. Roy was still driving a truck and Elsie worked for a local company called Computer Transportation Service as a transportation service broker for specialized computer equipment. Elsie really enjoyed the life of a small town and the people who became her friends. She was very involved with the Wheatland Presbyterian Church women’s group, church choir and also with the local American Legion Auxiliary.
In the early 1990s, Elsie and Roy left Iowa and headed for the east coast. The lived in New Jersey very briefly on the offer of a new job with another transportation company. She later switched careers and started working with the hotel industry at the front desk and sales. Elsie and Roy moved to Greensboro, NC for a second job relocation and to be near Roy’s sister, Jane. Elsie worked her way up to Assistant General Manager with the AmeriSuites Hotel Corporation. During this time, Elsie and Amber cared for Roy as he battled ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) from which he passed away in October of 1997.
Elsie and Amber stayed together and moved to Charlotte, NC in November of 1998 when Elsie was asked to move and open the new AmeriSuites hotel near the coliseum. A handsome foreman on the hotel jobsite by the name of Ray Lee Lichtenberger introduced himself to her at the hotel. They started their courtship over a cup of coffee and became instantly attracted to one another. At Amber’s wedding in December of 2000, Elsie caught the bouquet and Ray caught the garter, which was a sign to both of them that they were destined to tie the knot! They married on November 23, 2003 in beautiful Gatlinburg, TN.
For the last 12 years, Elsie worked for Graham Foods in Charlotte, NC as an expert bookkeeper doing payroll, accounts payable, and accounts receivable for approximately 18 restaurants and 700 people. She also worked diligently at making a home out of their beautiful 1850s historic house into a place her and Ray could call home. She entertained many guests with her outstanding meals, beautiful décor, sewing, and crafts with true southern hospitality. She also had a very soft heart for all animals and took in many stray cats who needed a home.
Elsie’s kind heart, generosity, and many talents will be greatly missed by many friends and family. I can only hope that I have inherited even a fraction of her talent, generosity, and love as a mother.
"I love you, Mom!" Amber
She is survived by her husband, Raymond Lee Lichtenberger; her daughter, Amber Dawn Herman Perkins; three sisters, Erla Wetherell, Evelyn Carpenter, and Elaine Ely; and a granddaughter, Harleigh Lichtenberger.
The family will receive friends at a Fellowship meal immediately following the graveside service in the church education building.
Memorials may be made to the Humane Society of York County, 2036 Carolina Place, Fort MIll, S.C., 29708.
Whitesell Funeral Home is serving the Lichtenberger family.