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Loss of friend tough on community: LaVonne Ackerman

Posted 10/23/19

Hey folks! Checking in from Singer Island in sunny Florida!

I was recently in the Middletown area as a dear friend, Dave Morsberger, passed away so very unexpectedly on Oct. 6. It was a shock to …

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Loss of friend tough on community: LaVonne Ackerman


Hey folks! Checking in from Singer Island in sunny Florida!

I was recently in the Middletown area as a dear friend, Dave Morsberger, passed away so very unexpectedly on Oct. 6. It was a shock to his wife, who woke up next to her deceased spouse, his children and grandchildren, and his community. He is greatly missed.

We drove up north ... straight through. It took us 16 1/2 hours. What words can we say to his loved ones? Our loved ones? How do you reach out to others while your pain is so raw? The viewing, the funeral, the reception afterwards, then the interment ... all opportunities to offer condolences and hope. Somehow thoughtful stares and hugs with pats on the backs sufficed.

I know of several other recent deaths, including Bill Darrah, Harvey Kutz and Torin Dworchak, associated with the Lower Swatara-Middletown communities. These losses cause people to be in shock and then in deep grief. Words seem inadequate while trying to comfort those whose lives are permanently changed.

While at the interment, Dave’s 2-year-old grandson was asked to say a few words about his Pappy.

All he could say is he wished he was not dead. Simple, but that is what is in all our thoughts.

My advice: Live, while lavishingly loving others, each day intentionally. Give time and attention. My prayer is for us all to be our best to each other.

Have a blessed week.


Happy birthday to MariAnne Kapenstein of Lower Swatara Township. She celebrates on Friday, Oct. 25. Enjoy your me-holiday weekend!

Ray Shaver of Lower Swatara marks his cake-and-ice cream day on Friday, Oct. 25. I hope 51 cool things happen to you, Ray!

Best wishes for an excellent birthday to Darlene Nickel of Lower Swatara on Saturday, Oct. 26.

Happy special 22nd birthday to Alexa Fulmer of Lower Swatara on Saturday, Oct. 26. Make it extra special!

Happy cake day to Justin Shaver on Sunday, Oct. 27. He is 22. Congrats!

Michelle Carnes of Lower Swatara celebrates her special frosty-filled day on Sunday, Oct. 27. Enjoy!

Happy 19th last teener birthday to Jaynee Stubbs of Middletown. Her fun-filled day is Sunday, Oct. 27.

Best wishes to RJ Sherrick of Royalton, who celebrates his 19th cake day on Monday, Oct. 28. Have a wonderful week!

Samantha Landis of Lower Swatara celebrates her happy birthday on Tuesday, Oct. 29. Have a sweet week!

Jennifer Friedrichs of Elizabethtown will hear the birthday song on Oct. 29. I hope the melody sounds terrific on Tuesday!

Happy sparkles-and-glitter birthday to Anna Buffington on her final teener year. She hits 19 on Tuesday, Oct. 29. Enjoy it all week!


Best wishes for a marvelous 41st wedding anniversary to Craig and Donna Etter of Lower Swatara. Their romantic celebration day is Monday, Oct. 28.

Happy belated 10th anniversary to Jeff and Diane Carricato of Lower Swatara. This sweet couple celebrated their daffodil-diamond-tin day on Oct. 17. Congrats and God bless you both!

Cozy Confetti Baked Beans

1 can kidney beans

1 can butter beans

1 can baked beans

1/2 lb hamburger

8 slices bacon

1/4 c. onion

1 c. ketchup

1 c. brown sugar

1 Tbsp. molasses

1 tsp. dry mustard

Fry hamburger and bacon. Mix with all other ingredients. Bake 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees.

Chicken dinner

All are welcome to come out for the Lower Swatara Lions Club chicken barbecue on Saturday, Oct. 26, in Shope Gardens. Look for them at 2 Theodore Ave.

Dinner includes half-chicken, baked potato, applesauce and roll. Pickup time is noon to 2 p.m.

Tickets are available from any Lions member, or come early. There is a cost.

Don’t cook, enjoy being a winner and having a chicken dinner!

Congrats in order

Congratulations to Tawfiq Alashoor of Middletown, who earned a doctor of philosophy degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta during the summer semester.

Trunk or Treat

Middletown First Church of God, 245 W. High St., invites you to a fun-filled night for the whole family from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26.

Children are invited to come in costume and go from trunk to trunk (or lawn chair) in the church parking lot to gather treats. There also will be snacks and other activities. Please invite your friends and neighbors too!

New this year: There’s no cost, but trunk-or-treaters are asked to bring a nonperishable food item to be donated to the WEcARE food pantry at Penn State University Harrisburg.

If it rains, Trunk or Treat will be held in fellowship hall.

Call 717-944-9608 or email with questions.

Quote of the Week

“Being a voice of encouragement for someone involves asking good questions, offering a listening ear, sharing words of hope, and walking the journey with them.” — John Shirk, author.

Question of the Week.

What makes a friend precious to you?

“Someone who is there to share the good times in your life and is there even more to love and support you when times are tough. I am blessed with many ‘precious’ friends.” — Deb Breon, Lower Swatara Township.

“I like when a friend is nice to me. I don’t like it when someone is not nice to me.” — Julia Killeen, 6, Camp Hill.

“Someone you know is there for you, either in spirit or face to face. I can be myself without fear of rejection. Someone who will speak truth to you, with love.” — Marsha Boltz, Harrisburg. 

“The connections and the experiences we share!” — Michelle Kruse, Ohio.

“Thinking of what my best friends have in common is probably that as time goes on and life changes, you know that they’re always sincerely there for you. They have your best interest and well-being at heart.” — Ryan Wood, Singer Island, Florida

“If they are funny, reliable, and not a liar!” — Logan Benner, 13, Royalton.

“When they accept me for who I am, values me. A good listener, a trustworthy pal.” — Robin Wood, New Jersey.

“When they share with me, and like playing cars with me!”  Ayden Windows, 5, Susquehanna Township.

Proverb for the Week

Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding (10:23).

Reach LaVonne Ackerman at 717-649-7366 or by email at