E. Arlene (Esbenshade) Holbein | Obituary


In the embrace of a loving family, E. Arlene Esbenshade Holbein passed away on the morning of her 99th birthday, March 28, 2022 at home. She was the daughter of the late Paul and Mary (Sangrey) Werner of Willow Street.

Arlene was the widow of her beloved darling Donald Z. Esbenshade. The two met at his West Lampeter High School where Don transferred his senior year from Manheim Township to pursue classroom work in the Agricultural Farming program.

Their courtship began when Don volunteered to help Arlene pick corn for a committee she chaired, making chicken corn soup for the West Lampeter Fair.

After graduating from high school, Arlene was employed for five years at the Hamilton Watch factory, making parts for the World War II effort, while Don worked in agriculture. They married once the war was over and soon after acquired their own farm on Pitney Road where they raised their family and Arlene tended to her extensive gardens of abundant flowers and vegetables. Their farm was a festive site as Arlene and Don hosted family, friends and neighbors at Eden Manor for corn roasts and Fourth of July picnics with homemade hand-churned ice cream. Later, Don and Arlene operated Pequea Fishing Tackle in Strasburg and enjoyed sharing Christmas trees from a tree farm they acquired in northern Pennsylvania. They had celebrated twenty-five wonderful years of marriage together when Don died suddenly of heart disease at the age of 48.

Arlene was a beautiful, kind and generous soul.

One could never leave Arlene’s visit without a container of her homemade treats which she has carefully wrapped with a bow.

More recently, she happily gave home-grown lavender sachets to her caregivers which she had placed under their pillows for stress relief,” as she explained her mother once shared with her as a piece of restful advice. .

Along with her sisters, Arlene learned the art of pie making from her dear mother in the 1930s and together they would take their pies and cookies to Fulton Market in Lancaster.

During the 1960s and 1970s Arlene baked pies for two restaurants – Kramer’s on Pitney Rd. and her son Jere’s – ‘Esbenshade’s Restaurant’ 340 N. Queen.

Later, Arlene was introduced to C. Richard Holbein and he asked for her hand in marriage after a brief courtship. During their seventeen year marriage, Arlene worked tirelessly with him in the businesses they developed together – Rohrerstown Lawn & Turf and The Packaging Store. They enjoyed the “Dance of the Month” club and went boating in the bay with friends. When Dick fell ill with cancer, Arlene was his 24/7 comforter and loving caregiver until his passing.

Arlene was talented in many ways and particularly enjoyed watercolors, gardening, sewing, crafting for her church bazaar, volunteering at the Homestead Village gift shop, and all things culinary – baking, cooking, canning and freezing of fruits and vegetables. Biscotti, sand pies, caramel, cheese balls, and chicken and corn soup were family favorites. As a member of Farm Women #22, her many recipes graced the pages of their Dinner Bell’ cookbooks.

Arlene raised butterflies from parsley and milkweed in her garden, releasing them outside alongside the joyous joy of her grandchildren.

A favorite pastime in recent years was enjoying the sights and sounds of bluebirds, hummingbirds, downy woodpeckers and other feathered friends outside her window from her comfy chair, as she perused cryptograms, crosswords and puzzles in the morning paper. She easily beat her words with Friends opponents.

Arlene also enjoyed watercolor painting on the outdoor patio with her daughter as the birds chirped and cheered her on, producing beautiful artwork the family will cherish.

She will be remembered mostly for her grace, kindness and brilliant mind, which would last until her final days.

“You can’t do a kindness too soon, because you never know how long it will be too late” – just one of the many quotes she embodied.

Arlene is survived by two daughters, Linda Esbenshade, of Lancaster, Diane Esbenshade Supple, wife of Dr Edward Supple, of Lititz, and two sons, Jere Esbenshade husband of Cheryl, of Lancaster, Mark Esbenshade, husband of Kathleen, of Lititz; eight grandchildren, Tanya, Brooks, Emily, Jared, Kevin, Greg, Ricky and Michael; ten great-grandchildren, Quinn, Avery, Caitlin, Kalin, Eliana, Bodie, Luke, Andrew, Graham and Ronan. She was Aunt Lenie to a host of loving nieces and nephews. Arlene was the last surviving sister of her close-knit Werner family, predeceased by Sandra Lee Werner, Paul Werner, Jr., Dorothy Eckman, Betty Aston, Harold Werner, and H. Clair Werner.

The family would like to thank Dr. Chatha for his dedicated care in maintaining Arlene’s excellent quality of health and life for so many years.

Arlene’s family is full of gratitude, she graced this world for 99 years, but she will be sorely missed!

A Celebration of Life Service will be held Saturday, June 4, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at Lititz Springs Park (Scout Lodge). The family will receive friends and family at the pavilion from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. A private family service at the cemetery will be held at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, if desired, contributions in memory of E. Arlene Holbein can be made at: Foundation Fighting Blindness – in the hope that FFB research may one day benefit her grandson who has vision loss. https://give.fightingblindness.org/campaign/raising-our-sights-honor-memorial/c247441; Mailing Address: Foundation Fighting Blindness, PO Box 45933, Baltimore, MD 21297-5933 – or – Arlene’s Church where she served in the Altar Guild: Salem United Church of Christ, 2312 Marietta Ave., Lancaster , PA 17603.

To send online condolences to the family, please visit: SnyderFuneralHome.com


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