STEWART, Earla Mae (Harriger), 85, of Toronto, OH, went to be with Jesus unexpectedly on Aug. 17, 2012, after a brief illness in Bucyrus, OH.
Earla was born on Aug. 2, 1937, in Mount Jackson, PA, to Roy and Minnie Harriger who preceded her in death.
She graduated from New Castle Business School and worked as a bookkeeper until she met the love of her life, Doyle Raymond Stewart, at a square dance. They were married on April 7, 1956, during a snowstorm and moved to Toronto as Doyle worked at Weirton Steel.
It was in Toronto that Earla and Doyle fully committed their lives to God. They began attending the Abundant Life First Assembly of God Church where Earla found joy in volunteering her time and talents as the church treasurer for 25 years and spent uncountable hours teaching Sunday School, praying for other's needs, and working at the food pantry until right before her illness. She also opened her heart to be a foster parent for a few years.
She was a stay at home mom that spent many hours playing and reading to her daughter and foster sons. She liked playing games with her biological grandchildren as well as many other children that adopted her as a grandma. She liked to cook and bake and passed this love to her daughter as well as the neighborhood girls who cooked in her kitchen. Her broccoli-bacon salad was a requested favorite at church and family dinners.
Life presented challenges as Earla endured the loss of her first-born infant daughter, Patricia Marie, Doyle's work accident that involved a 13 month hospital stay and life-long handicaps and the death of her first infant grandson, Jonathan Doyle Rebon, but her faith in God was her sustaining force.
She is also preceded in death by her husband of 31 wonderful years, Doyle, three brothers, Wesley, Wayne and Paul Harriger; her sister, Lois Freedom, and brother-in-laws, Harold and Don Stewart.
She will be deeply missed by her daughter, Karolyn (Dan) Rebon of Bucyrus, OH; foster sons, Richard (Stephanie) Brown of Nashville, TN, and Gary Brown; her grandchildren Danielle and Matt Rebon of Bucyrus, OH; foster granddaughters, Ashlyn Jarvis and Shawna Brown of Nashville, TN; brother, Leroy Harriger of New Castle, PA; sisters-in-law, Hazel Harriger of New Castle, PA, and Pauline Noble of Carrollton, OH; her long-time friend, Kathy Logan and family as well as nieces, nephews, neighbors, friends and church family.
Visitation for Earla will be held on Monday Aug. 20, 2012, from 5-8 p.m. at the J.E. Foster Funeral Home in Toronto, OH, followed by her funeral service Tuesday, Aug. 21 at 11 a.m. at Abundant Life First Assembly of God Church with Pastor Lloyd Hill and Pastor Dan Rebon officiating.
There will be additional visitation on Tuesday morning at the church from 10-11 a.m.
Burial will follow in Toronto Union Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be given in honor of Earla to Abundant Life First Assembly of God of Toronto, OH. www.jefosterfh.com