Retired Hempfield Area librarian loved to read |
Obituary Stories

Retired Hempfield Area librarian loved to read

Joe Napsha

Margaret Rumbaugh served as a librarian at Hempfield Area’s West Point Elementary School and at her church, Charter Oak Church in Unity — an appropriate job for a woman who had a passion for reading.

“She loved reading and hated that we (as a society) don’t read as much,” said her son, Donald Rumbaugh of Grove City. “The library was a great fit.”

Margaret Z. Rumbaugh of Hempfield died Saturday, April 6, 2019, at her home. She was 95.

She was born Feb. 11, 1924, in the Allegheny National Forest village of Starr, near Tionesta, a daughter of the late Floyd C. and Ruth M. Dickrager Zuendel.

Mrs. Rumbaugh grew up on a farm in an enclave called German Hill, where farming and hunting were prevalent, her son said. She went to a one-room school house and learned to memorize a poem a week, he said.

Growing up during the Depression, she helped out with the family’s farm chores, including milking cows, Rumbaugh said.

After high school, she went to Clarion State College, where she earned an education degree in the 1940s. It was while she was a student at Clarion that she met her future husband, William F. Rumbaugh, a member of the Army Air Force. He was home on leave during World War II, before he went to Europe and fought in the Battle of the Bulge, Rumbaugh said.

The couple married in 1953, and her husband worked as a salesman for the former Atlantic Richfield Co. They moved to Greensburg, relocated to Erie then back to the Greensburg area, Rumbaugh said.

She was a vital member of Charter Oak Church. She also was a member and past president of the United Methodist Women and member of the Naomi Circle.

“She was the elder stateswoman” at church, Rumbaugh said.

Mrs. Rumbaugh also was a member of the Greensburg College Club. She was a member and past president of the Hempfield American Field Service, Adult Chapter, as well as a member of several retired teacher associations, including the Pennsylvania State Education Association-Retired.

Mrs. Rumbaugh enjoyed traveling with her husband. They went on cruises and would participate in Elderhostels, educational trips for senior citizens, Rumbaugh said.

“She was always learning,” he said. “She loved to read, read, read,” particularly historical fiction. “She exemplified a life well lived.”

Mrs. Rumbaugh was preceded in death by her husband in 2009.

Surviving are two daughters, Kathi Davis of Coraopolis and Sue Maga of Greensburg; two sons, Donald Rumbaugh of Grove City and John “Jack” Rumbaugh of Alexandria, Va.; 10 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

Friends will be received from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Kepple-Graft Funeral Home, 524 N. Main St., Greensburg. A funeral service will be held at noon Saturday in Charter Oak Church, 449 Frye Farm Road, Unity. Private entombment will be held in Westmoreland County Memorial Park.

Memorials may be made in Mrs. Rumbaugh’s memory to Charter Oak Church.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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