Patricia Ann Shollenberger "Pat" Bear

May 1, 2013

Patricia Ann "Pat" Shollenberger Bear, 84, of Muhlenberg Township, entered into eternal rest Wednesday at Reading Hospital and Medical Center, West Reading.

Pat was the wife of Garland J. Bear. They were married Oct. 6, 1950, and celebrated 62 years of marriage. Theirs was a lifelong love affair. Pat and Garland met in first grade at Hamburg Elementary School and continued their friendship throughout school, marrying after college graduation.

Born in West Reading, she was a daughter of the late H. Raymond and Amelia Miller Shollenberger. Pat was a 1946 graduate of Hamburg High School and a member of the National Honor Society. She graduated in 1950 with a bachelor's degree in French and Latin from Wilson College, Chambersburg, also receiving the Buchanan Award.

Pat was a member of the Wilson College Alumnae Association and was a one-time member of its Board of Directors. She loved Wilson College and maintained many close relationships. Pat was a life-long student and continued her education throughout her adult life at Albright College and Alvernia College.

In her younger years, she was a member of Bethany United Methodist Church, Hamburg, where she was baptized, confirmed and married. She was a Sunday school teacher for more than 50 years for the preschool through adult classes, first at Bethany United Methodist Church, and then at Christ Church United Church of Christ, Temple, where she maintained her membership prior to her passing. Pat was also a long-time Girl Scout leader in Hamburg and Muhlenberg Township, being involved with Brownies, Cadets, Girl Scouts and Senior Scouts. During her younger years, she was a World War II airplane spotter.

Pat was a member of the Junior Women's Club of Muhlenberg. While serving as president, she was instrumental in the creation of the Muhlenberg Community Library in 1960. Along with her husband, Garland, Pat received the 2004 Dreisbach Award for exemplary service from the Berks County Public Libraries.

Pat was also a member of the Senior Women's Club of Muhlenberg, Hamburg Historical Society, Berks County Historical Society, the American Association of University Women, a longtime member of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association, as she enjoyed bird watching, Reading Planetarium being an amateur star gazer, a shareholder of Reading Public Library, a charter member of the Muhlenberg Area Council of Republican Women, and also delivered Meals on Wheels.

Pat enjoyed annual neighborhood picnics and holiday parties. She loved to travel; enjoying her trip with her husband, Garland, to the Holy Land. While there, they purchased Holy Water from the River Jordan and two of their grandchildren were baptized with that water. She also traveled to Oberammergau, Germany, where she saw the Passion Play.

Pat loved to vacation in Ocean City, N.J., with her family. She did this for more than 50 years. She also enjoyed going to Sanibel Island and visiting the bird sanctuary. Pat loved Boston terriers, having three named, Teddy 1, Teddy 2, and Teddy 3.

Pat was preceded in death by a brother, H. Raymond Shollenberger Jr.; and two sisters, Martha M. Shollenberger and Henrietta S. Shollenberger.

Surviving, in addition to her husband, are three children, Philip G., husband of Karen Wagoner Bear, Harrisburg, Cynthia A. Bear, wife of Al Pugnet, Hillsborough, N.J., and Bradley R., husband of Susan Reber Bear, Hamburg; and five grandchildren, Ryan K. Dunne, Megan C. Dunne, Victoria S. Bear, Jessica M. Bear and Laura N. Bear.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday from Christ Church United Church of Christ, 4870 Kutztown Road, Temple, with the Rev. Dr. Harry L. Serio officiating. Interment will be in St. John's Cemetery, Hamburg, immediately following the funeral service. A viewing will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Leibensperger Funeral Homes Inc., 223 Peach St., Leesport, and from 10 to 11 a.m. Monday at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Christ Church United Church of Christ, 4870 Kutztown Road, P.O. Box 205, Temple, PA 19560, or Bethany United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 325, Hamburg, PA 19526 or Muhlenberg Community Library, 3612 Kutztown Road, Laureldale, PA 19605. Leibensperger Funeral Homes Inc., Leesport, is in charge of arrangements. For online condolences, please visit

Published in Republican & Herald on May 2, 2013