Leola "Ollie" Ilene (Sword) Bitner, 94

January 01, 2011
  • Leola "Ollie" Ilene (Sword) Bitner
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MAY 2, 1916-DEC. 31, 2010

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — Mrs. Leola "Ollie" Ilene (Sword) Bitner, 94, formerly of 447 Moss Spring Ave. in Greencastle, passed away Friday, Dec. 31, 2010, at 8:39 a.m. at The Shook Home in Chambersburg, Pa.

Born May 2, 1916, in Montgomery Township, Pa., she was the daughter of the late Steward V. and Elva G. (Bricker) Sword. She was married in New Hope, Va., in 1939 to her husband, J. Nevin Bitner, who died Nov. 15, 1985.

In her early life, she worked summers at Greencastle Packing Co., and from 1934 to 1939, was employed by Stanley Co. in Chambersburg. She was a homemaker while raising four children. From 1956 to 1960, she and her husband co-owned and operated Campus Retreat on South Washington Street in Greencastle. In 1964, she became manager of Wogan’s Drug Store in Greencastle, which later became Bargaintown and Keystone. From 1966 to 1994, she was assistant manager and manager of Rite Aid in Greencastle, retiring in 1994.


She was a den mother for the Cub Scouts on three occasions and active in the Girl Scouts as her children were growing up. She was one of the earliest crossing guards in Greencastle.

She graduated from Greencastle High School in 1934, and was a star on the girls basketball team.

She was a member of Grace United Church of Christ in Greencastle since May 1, 1941, where she assisted with kindergarten and taught Sunday school. She was a member of Loyal Disciples Sunday School class and the former Eleanor Porter Circle, with whom she spent many hours making quilts. In addition, she enjoyed attending New Light MCC in Hagerstown, Md.

She daily read her Bibles and had documented in each when she had started and finished them.

After retiring, she spent time writing her memoirs, crocheting doilies and afghans, playing Chinese checkers and Uno, and reading, until her failing eyesight no longer allowed it. She still enjoyed walking, playing dominos and card games on the computer.

She is survived by one daughter, Bonny J. Andrews, and husband, Joe, of Martinsburg, W.Va.; two sons, Vinson E. Bitner and wife, Shirley, and Hal N. Bitner, and one sister, Nellie J. Mowen, all of Greencastle; six grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by one son, Robert E. Bitner; two brothers, Harold L. and Robert L. Sword; two sisters, Vera M. Wagner and June V. Wagaman; and one grandson, Brian K. Bitner.

Funeral services will be Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011, at 11 a.m. at Grace United Church of Christ, 128 E. Baltimore St., Greencastle, with the Rev. James Hughes officiating, and will be followed by a celebration of life in the church hall. Burial will private.

The family will receive friends Monday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Miller-Bowersox Funeral Home, 521 S. Washington St., Greencastle.

If desired, memorial contributions may be made in her name to Grace UCC Building Fund, 128 E. Baltimore St., Greencastle, PA 17225; or New Light MCC Building Fund, 40 W. Church St., Hagerstown, MD 21740.

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