Erna Hamm Brodhecker, age 93, entered the presence of her Lord on Sunday, May 21, 2017. She was born July 1, 1923 in Omsk, Siberia to Henry and Catherina Braun Hamm. She married K. Walter Brodhecker at Calvary Church on August 4, 1945, and even after 70 years of marriage their love and commitment were evident to all. She and Walter were faithful members of Calvary Church. Erna retired from the payroll department of Lancaster Malleable Castings after 30 years. She enjoyed the beach, crochet, TV game shows, international travel, chocolate, cream filled donuts and shoes. During the holidays she and Walter enjoyed making Date Nut Loaf Cakes and Christmas cookies for family and friends. Someone, somewhere probably still has a Brodhecker Date Nut Loaf Cake stashed away in their freezer.
Erna frequently shared stories about God’s grace and protection in her life. She was born in Russia to a German Mennonite family that survived the Russian revolution, brutal anarchy, WWI, persecution, and famine. After a miraculous escape to Canada in 1924, they settled in Lancaster in 1927, where Erna grew up speaking German at home and graduated from Manheim Township H.S. in 1941. An interesting role for Erna was being named “Miss Salvage” of Lancaster County in 1943 as part of efforts to promote conservation and recycling during WWII. She and Walter enjoyed their home on Zarker Road in Eden until moving to Woodcrest Villa and the Mennonite Home.
Erna was preceded in death by her husband Walter, her daughter Linda Pittman, wife of Robert Pittman of Clermont, FL, and by her siblings Albert Hamm and Anne Acker.
Erna is survived by her sisters Mary Carper, wife of the late Richard G. Carper, and Helen Frey, wife of Gerald Frey; her sister-in-law Rita Hamm; her daughters Julia O’Brien, wife of Rev. Jack O’Brien of Southampton, PA, and Mary Lou Brubaker of Willow Street, wife of the late Dean R. Brubaker; and 12 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.
Erna will be missed by her family but they are greatly blessed to have had her with them for so many years. Erna left a legacy of dependence on the Lord, love for her husband and family, a neat and clean home, attention to details, a good sense of humor, quiet demeanor, hard work and frugality, and sharp dressing with matching accessories. When asked for advice, her response was “Trust the Lord”.
A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, June 1, 2017 at 10:30 A.M. in the Mennonite Home Chapel, 1520 Harrisburg Pike, Lancaster, PA 17601. A Private Interment will be held at East Petersburg Mennonite Church. In lieu of flowers, gifts in Erna’s memory may be sent to: the Mission Fund at Calvary Church, 1051 Landis Valley Road, Lancaster, PA 17601-4887. Arrangements by the Workman Funeral Homes, Inc., Mountville/Columbia. To send an online condolence, visit the condolence page.