Governor George Michael Leader
M. Leader HERSHEY George Michael Leader, a self-described "seventh generation Pennsylvania Dutch farmer," who was the second youngest Governor of Pennsylvania, died at his home in Hershey, on Thursday, May 9, 2013. He was 95. Leader attended Gettysburg College, then finished his degree at University of Pennsylvania in 1939. Later that year, he married Mary Jane Strickler, and began service in the U.S. Navy as a Supply Corps Officer on the U.S.S. Randolph. Following the war and in line with his family's seven generations of farmers, he bought a poultry farm in York Co. Soon he became active in local politics and was elected to the State Senate seat previously held by his father. After one term as a Democratic State Senator, he was elected Governor of Pennsylvania in a landslide in 1955 at the age of 36. In 1962 Leader and his wife founded a company that provided skilled nursing and rehabilitation for seniors. By 1981, the company was the largest provider of skilled nursing care in the state. Leader later established Country Meadows Retirement Communities and in 1980 launched Providence Place, where he was currently serving as its Chairman, President, and CEO. Governor Leader was active in community organizations throughout his professional life. In his post-gubernatorial years he served as National Crusade Chairman of the American Cancer Society, on the boards of the Philadelphia Home Loan Bank, and of numerous colleges, universities, and hospitals. In his later years he focused his attention on prison reform, on local charities that supported students in the Harrisburg School District, and on international organizations serving Africa and, in particular, Ghana. Governor Leaderwas pre-deceased by his son, Fred, in 2003, and by his wife, Mary Jane, in 2011. He is survived by his son, George Michael Leader, III (Karen), daughter, Jane Leader Janeczek (Ted), and son, David Charles Leader (Liesa); and by 12 grandchildren, Jennifer J. Leader (Hershey), Alex M. Janeczek (Hershey), George Michael Leader, IV (Hershey), Meredith Janeczek Mills (Lititz), Katelyn E. Leader (Oxford, England), Andrew M. Janeczek (McLean, Va.), Tania S. Leader-Hanmer (Hershey), Ricardo S. Leader (State College), Kristin J. Leader (Hershey), Catia S. Leader (Lisbon, Portugal), Manuel F. Leader (Hershey), and Grace E. Leader (Hershey); and two great-grandsons, Kyle and Colin Leader-Hanmer, also of Hershey. He is also survived by Anne Gardner Leader of Hummelstown, widow of his son, Fred; and his brother, Henry B. Leader of York. Visitation will be held in the Hoover Funeral Home, Route 422 and Lucy Ave., Hershey, on Wednesday, May 15, from 4 to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, May 16, at 10:30 a.m. in the Derry Presbyterian Church, Hershey. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the following charities would be appreciated: the not-for-profit assisted living community that he founded in Harrisburg, Ecumenical Retirement Community, 830 Cherry Drive, Hershey, PA 17033; a program that assists ex-offenders to prepare for employment, CRAM (Christian Recovery Aftercare Ministry), 509 Division St., Harrisburg, PA 17110; or his church, Derry Presbyterian Church (Mission and Peace Fund), 248 E. Derry Road, Hershey, PA 17033. Share online condolences at www.hooverfuneralhome.com
Published by York Daily Record on May 12, 2013.
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56 Entries
Valenda Newell
November 9, 2016
It was a wonderful privilege to be a part of the chaplaincy team at Hershey from 1998-2002. During that time I met Gov.Leader. His love for God & others was exemplary.We look forward to the day when those who have died in Christ will hear His voice & be raised to Eternal Life. God's best to the Leader family.
Rev. Ken Engle
May 18, 2013
What great memories I have of your father and mother over the last 21+ years working at Country Meadows. You were blessed to have had them and I feel for your loss. May God grant you all peace within.
Jeanette Calaman
May 18, 2013
MICHAEL JANE AND DAVID...MY THOUGHTS ARE WITH YOU AND THE REST OF THE FAMILY DURING THIS VERY DIFFICULT TIME OF SORROW. I KNOW YOUR DAD HAD A DIFFICULT TIME WITHOUT YOUR MOM, AND NOW THEY ARE BOTH AT PEACE IN GOD'S MEMORY. SOON NO MORE SICKNESS OR DEATH. .......LOVE MISS MARTHA
May 17, 2013
Dear Leader Family,

We send our sincerest condolences and hope the many memories you have will help comfort you during this difficult time. We will always treasure the ones we have of Govenor George Leader and his wife dining with us at the Hillside.

With love, the George Sgagias Family & the staff from the Hillside Cafe
George Sgagias
May 17, 2013
My sister spent her last years in the loving care of Country Meadows, South Hills. The good that the Governor did throughout his life will live long after him. God's love and blessings on his family.
Richard Hughes
May 17, 2013
Happy are the mericiful,since they will be shown mercy."matt.5:7....dd
May 17, 2013
Our sympathy to your family. He was bigger than life. Ermo and Vicki Sicher
May 17, 2013
My deepest sympathy to the family of Governor George M. Leader. May we all meet in the light of the Lord.
Kathleen Karrer-Lewis
May 17, 2013
Guy Leader III,
My condolences to you and your family .....
Robert Jeffrey Schundler
May 16, 2013
To the family of Governor Leader: We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Governor Leader. We are deeply grateful for the example he set to compromise and reach across the aisle for the greater good, regardless of party affiliation or economic standing. William Penn would be proud of him as a true steward of Penn's Woods.

With Deepest Sympathy to the Leader Family,
Central PA Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration
May 16, 2013
Please accept our sincerest condolences upon the loss of your father and grandfather. He will be fondly remembered for the good that he did for so many.
Nick & Terry Govelovich
May 15, 2013
We send our sincere condolences to the Leader family at this difficult time. We had the pleasure of meeting the Governor at my sister, Barbara Frey's retirement party and will never forget the warm and down-home hospitality. Carol and Alan Kline, Newport, Pa.
May 15, 2013
Dear Leader Family,
So sorry for your recent loss, words cant express, my sorrow for your family. He truly, was one of a kind, I dont believe,I will ever in my lifetime, meet someone like him. I will miss seeing him sit at Table 4, in the dining room,miss his smiling face and endless chatter.He always told us ,how he appreciated us. I t was such a pleasure to get to know him, he will truly be missed. On the same token, he now with his Heavenly Father,and his loved ones.May he Rest In Peace.
Linda Miller
May 15, 2013
Dear Leader Family,
My deepest sympathy goes out to your entire family, in this time of sorrow.
It was truly a blessing to have known, such a truly caring person,he was one of a kind.
I will miss, seeing him sit at table 4. I dont believe there were many nights, when he didnt tell us how he appreciated us. I will miss his endless chatter,and his smiling face.

Rest In Peace, Governor
Linda Miller
May 15, 2013
Michael and the Leader family.
Peace be with you on the passing of your Dad. It was a pleasure to have him recite poetry from memory the night we honored him at the York County Chamber.
My Mom, 97 years old, died in January.
You don't get over the loss of a parent, but they prepared us well, and we get used to it. In Christ, Tom Donley
May 14, 2013
We have lost a true community servant. Governor Leader lived up to his name as a leader and a trustee for our older Pennsylvanians.
Rep Mauree Gingrich
May 14, 2013
My deepest sympathies go out to Michael, Jane, David & the entire Leader Family. It is a sad day for those who had the honor of meeting & working for Governor Leader. His legacy will continue to live on through you all.
Janet Swartley
May 13, 2013
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
May 13, 2013
Governor Leader's life is one to be celebrated and honored. He was my friend and mentor. I look to his example and seek to do likewise. Thank you, Gov.

Greg Anderson, The Woodlands, TX
May 13, 2013
George Leader was always such encouragement to his peers. We will miss him dearly. Romans 15:33
May 13, 2013

May God's gentle peace fill your heart and comfort your soul today and
in the days to come, I am so very sorry for your loss. As you cherish
fond memories also know that God is with you and will provide peace
and hope in the days ahead.
May 13, 2013
I was an employee of Country Meadows of Allentown for a few years and I met Mr Leader at a luncheon in Hershey. He was gracious, courteous, and kind. He spoke at that luncheon and expressed his appreciation and respect to those of us who were peons(and he never call us that!!!!!!)He did not degrade us; rather--he acknowleged us!!!! It was a pleasure to have been employed by such a down to earth man.. In sincerety and sorrow for your loss, Doreen E. Mayo
May 12, 2013
Mothers' Day, 2013; sympathy & kindest regards to the Leader family & thundering herd of folks throughout PA & elsewhere who admired an exceptionally special man. God bless 1 & all. Take care.
Ray Allen
May 12, 2013
My deepest sympathy to the Leader Family. I had the honor to have worked for Mr. Leader at the Leader Nursing Home in West Reading years ago and then with Country Meadows of Hershey years later where his son Michael continued with his fathers vision and compassion for seniors and the coworkers. The family will be in my thoughts and prayers at this very difficult time.
Patricia Newhouse
May 12, 2013
My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
Rachel Neals - Ecumenical
May 12, 2013
My Deepest Sympathy to the Leader Family. Govenor was a wonderful caring man, who created a beautiful setting for so many in later years. Former Employee; Debra Klingler
May 12, 2013
Thank the Lord for allowing us to have him in our lives, what a blessing this man was to all who knew him. My thoughts are with family and loved ones.

Barbara
Barbara Frey
May 12, 2013
DEAR FAMILY MEMBERS,

IT IS WITH PROFOUND SADNESS THAT WE BID FAREWELL TO THE GOVERNOR. WHAT A HANDS-ON PERSON HE WAS. I VISITED MANOR CARE HOME IN CHBG. YESTERDAY, AND A WORKER TOLD ME SHE WAS HIRED 37 YEARS AGO BY MR. LEADER, AND COMMENTED ON HOW HE LOVED TO WALK IN TO THE KITCHEN OR LAUNDRY AND JUST "PITCH-IN." LAST YEAR THE GOVERNOR CONTRIBUTED $500 TO THE YOKEFELLOW PRISON MINISTRY TO HELP LOCAL INMATES & FAMILIES.
WE WILL ALL MISS THE GENEROSITY AND EXHUBERANT SPIRIT OF THE GOVERNOR.
CHAP. JOHN RAUCH
May 12, 2013
Yes,
Hoping that a Godly man as Governor Leader will have men as Godly carry the torch, appreciate the years that bring wonderful peaceful times in the 1960 era.. To God be the glory, great things He Hast done..
chaplain Detwiler
May 12, 2013
My condolences to the Leader family.

Former employee,
Vicky Holland
May 12, 2013
Our thoughts and prayers go out to family & friends.
NAC Divisions
May 12, 2013
Oue family sends your family condolences. May you allow god ti comfort you. Romans6:23
l r
May 11, 2013
May God bless his family with wonderful memories until they are reunited.
May 11, 2013
Please accept my condolences. May the peace of God that excels all thought comfort the family during this time of sorrow.
May 11, 2013
My deepest sympathy to the family of Governor George M. Leader.

Mark Weiser Russell
Mark Russell
May 11, 2013
A great man of dignity and integrity walked among us. What a lifetime of accomplishment and service. Thank you, Governor Leader.
Ed Haines
May 11, 2013
Our condolences to the Leader family...may his soul rest in peace but never be forgotten. God bless always...
Irani family
May 11, 2013
Our sincere condolences to the Leader family. May his soul rest in peace and never be forgotten. God bless always
Irani's
May 11, 2013
Heartfelt condolences to the Leader family over the loss of the Governor. He and Mary Jane provided a wonderful legacy for the seniors of Pennsylvania.
Robert Domagalski
May 11, 2013
I remember a Georgia Leader from Leader Heights area, who was my neighbor in the 1970s on Colfax Avenue, Binghamton, NY ,and I believe she attended SUNY Binghamton at the time (Harpur College). I'm thinking she may very well be the daughter or granddaughter of this esteemed gentleman, and I would like to give her my heartfelt condolences. Last time I saw her I stopped at her home, I believe in York, PA, on my way to Florida. Trusting that she is doing well. Again, my thoughts and prayers are with all the Leader family, with fond memories of Georgia...no doubt a namesake. Please pass along.
Beverly Kirkegaard
May 11, 2013
Offering my condolences during this diffcult time.May close friends help the family thru this most sorrowful time.(Prov.18:24)B.Meill
May 11, 2013
George will be sadly missed. I remember my Dad taking me to his house and seeing the merry go round in his back yard. Prayers for the family.
Karen Kohr Greenleaf
May 11, 2013
The Governer was a great man for the State of Pennsylvania; he was wonderful to ALL of his employes. Rest in Peace, for you did a Great Job..
BERNIE MC CABE
May 10, 2013
My condolences Leader Family,
I am sorry for your loss.May God comfort you in your time of need.
May 10, 2013
My condolences to the Leader family,may the words of Jesus strength you in this time of great sorrow at Jomn 5:28,29 he promised that "all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out" ~ Stella ~ Palmdale,Ca.
May 10, 2013
You are remembered by me and all my family. Roderick Lee Perkins son of Betty Leader,
Roderick Perkins
May 10, 2013
Rest in peace, good steward and servant.
Bob Lamb
May 10, 2013
I-I myself am the One that is comforting you people."isah51:12...~~~~
May 10, 2013
My sympathy to this wonderful family in a time of sadness.
Cathy Benfer
May 10, 2013
Although I did not always agree with Gov. Leader, I found him to be a man of great qualities. His passion and devotion to the state he served as chief executive and as a very young man remains unmatched. My sympathies to his family and may he rest in peace.
Prof. Milburn Cleaver
May 10, 2013
My condolences to the family. May the many memories of George be of some comfort to you.
Cheryl
May 10, 2013
America lost a great American in George Leader's passing. He gave opportunity and hope to many citizens of Pennsylvania. He cared. Condolences to his family.
Thomas Gorton
May 10, 2013
A GREAT MAN!
Jim Lavelle
May 10, 2013
My deepest sympathy to the Leader family. You are in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.
I recently stayed at the South Hills Country Meadows facility and have never received better care any time in my life. I made life long memories from my stay there, thanks to the wonderful staff.
David Pugh
May 10, 2013
in loving memory in God's care rest in peace.
Dwayne Bickham
May 9, 2013
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