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Martha's Story

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Martha "Jane" Conrad, 88, a lifelong resident of Sunbury and a devoted wife, dedicated mom to three children and doting grandmother and great-grandmother, died on July 2, 2016, at Nottingham Village, after an illness.

In a word, Jane was all about - family. She once was asked if her family was all that she thought about. She replied: "What else is there?" She was the glue and the heart and soul that kept her family close and united.

All of the family members would agree, instantly, that they could not have had a better wife, mom or grandmother. She was the best.

Born on May 27, 1928, she was the eldest of two children to Robert and Martha (Hollenback) Oberdorf, who lived on South Tenth Street in Sunbury. She had a sister, Joann, who was born in 1929 and died during infancy. Jane was educated at Sunbury schools and graduated from Sunbury High School in 1946.

She was well-known in downtown Sunbury as a young woman, working at the Rea & Derrick drug store and for several car dealerships in town. It was at a car dealership on Market Street that Jane met her husband, Theron W. Conrad, when the dashing World War II Army Air Corps veteran bought a 1948 Chevrolet convertible and took her for a ride.

They were married in 1952, celebrating 63 years of marriage last October 25. Theron still lives in the Conrad homestead on Fairmount Avenue, where they raised three active children, who Jane said, "Sure kept us busy."

Jane was a charter member of the Order of the Eastern Star and to the Tall Cedars of Lebanon Auxiliary, of which she was a former president. When her children were old enough, Jane went back to work for a car dealership - Zimmerman's Dodge, where she worked for years in the service and warranty department.

Jane was a female athlete who was ahead of her time. She reminisced about sneaking into Sunbury's Third Ward grade school with other girls at night in the 1940s to play basketball when no one was around - decades before girls did such a thing. She loved baseball and went to many minor league games in Sunbury with her dad. She was a lifelong Phillies fan. Richie Ashburn, Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, John Kruk and Darren Daulton were her favorite players.

She had a deep affection for dogs, including "Iggy," from her childhood, and "Inky" and "Mitzi," during her adult years. She was smart, generous and she made great peanut butter and marshmallow fudge.

Jane instilled into her children the value of morality, honesty, humor, education and personal accountability. She was the center of her family. Her children are parents now (one's a grandparent) and they hope that they've taught their children half as well as she taught them.

Jane is survived by her husband, Theron W. Conrad, and their three children: daughter, Joann Weres, of Pottsville, and her husband, Michael; son, Eric Conrad, of Winthrop, Maine, and his wife, Barbara; and daughter, Ellen Mull, of Sunbury, and her husband, John. There are six surviving grandchildren, Beth Weres, of Mount Lebanon, Pa. and Kurt Weres of Pottsville; Emma and Nora Conrad, of Winthrop, Maine; and, Lauren and Tyler Mull, of Sunbury. Also surviving are two great-grandchildren, born to Beth Weres and her partner, Steven Popovic, Sophia Ann and Ethan Matthew Popovic.

Friends and family may visit from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday at the David T. Zweier Funeral Home Inc., 157 Chestnut St., Sunbury,followed by the funeral at 11 with the Rev. Richard Fangman officiating. Interment will follow in Pomfret Manor Cemetery, Sunbury.

Condolences may be made at davidzweierfuneralhome.com.
Published on July 3, 2016
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