Carrie Rifenbery

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Dec. 15, 2012

Carrie Rifenbery passed away at Lakeside Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, where she had been a resident for 2 months.

She was born in Shenandoah on March 20, 1923, to Carrie Rose and Clarence Eicke. Eleven days after giving birth to Carrie, her mother died of complications to childbirth. Carrie and her sister, Ethel, were sent to Wilkes-Barre to be raised by their father's four sisters, Syvilla Eicke, Lillian Naum, Ethel Eicke and Josephine Pifer. These sisters raised the two young girls, becoming the only family they ever knew or loved in their young lives.

Carrie graduated from GAR High School, class of 1941. She began a very short career as a secretary at the Flack and Yetter Insurance Agency.

On June 15, 1946, Carrie married the love of her life, Carl Rifenbery, and the secretarial career ended very abruptly. Carrie preferred to be a "stay-at-home wife" and very soon, a mother.

Keeping an immaculate home and raising two children were primary on Carrie's list of priorities. She also found time for her church, the Luzerne Methodist Church, and its many organizations. She was a Sunday school teacher, choir member, Board member, president of the Friendship Class and a devoted fund-raiser for the church.

She was a Girl Scout leader, and was happiest when her living room was stacked to the rafters with Girl Scout cookies. Carrie's door was always open, neighbors turned to her when they needed help, kids came home for lunch because she made pancakes and any stray animal found shelter and loving care from this woman.

Carrie's husband, Carl, passed away on Jan. 30, 2012. She is survived by her daughter, Jane, and her husband, David Phillips, and by her son, Jeff, and his wife, Angie, all of Luzerne.

Also surviving are her grandchildren, Major Stephen Carl Phillips, Afghanistan; Heather Rifenbery McCabe and husband William, Luzerne; Tiffany Rifenbery, Courtdale; and Megan Phillips Richards, PA-C, and husband David, Canterbury, Conn. Carrie was thrilled to have met her great-granddaughter, Emily Richards, Canterbury. She is also survived by her sister, Ethel Kitchen, and niece, Jo Ann Garber, Weatherly, Pa.

Carrie will be remembered by her children as a very loving and fiercely proud mother. She will be missed.

Carrie's family extends a sincere "thank you" to the staff of Lakeside Nursing and Rehab Center for treating mom with dignity, compassion and loving kindness during her short stay.

Family and friends are welcome to attend a memorial service on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, at 11 a.m. at the Luzerne Methodist Church, Bennett St., Luzerne. Visitation will be held at the church Saturday morning from 10 a.m. until time of service.

Carrie had a love for animals and loved to support the local SPCA. The family respectfully asks that any donations be made in Carrie's name to the Luzerne County SPCA, 524 E. Main St. Fox Hill Road, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702.

Arrangements are by the William A. Reese Funeral Chapel, 56 Gaylord Ave., Plymouth

Published in Times Leader on Dec. 19, 2012