Kenneth E. Umberger, 91, a resident of Masonic Village of Elizabethtown, formerly of Palmyra, died peacefully on the morning of June 9, 2023. He was the widower of Esther M. Umberger, who predeceased him on July 9, 2020.

Ken was born in Hebron, PA, on Feb. 2, 1932, to the late John and Dorothy (Templin) Umberger.

A graduate of Annville High School class of 1950, he immediately enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. Ken served at Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois during the Korean War, where he achieved the rank of staff sergeant and was assigned to the air training command in the jet engine specialist school to train mechanics and maintenance officers. Upon discharge, Ken worked for General Electric in Cincinnati and at Olmstead Air Force Base, then at General Electric in Cincinnati again before moving to the Lebanon Steel Foundry to make parts for GE jet engines. He was then hired by Hershey Chocolate Company and retired as supervisor of maintenance, utilities/facilities in the main plant in Hershey, PA, after more than 20 years of employment. He was a “Hershey” man and would insist that no ‘brand x’ candy would be allowed in his house! Ken and Esther met in Cincinnati, Esther’s hometown, and after several moves between Ohio and Pennsylvania, settled in Palmyra, where they raised three children.

Ken was very active in his church and community organizations. He served as the charter president of the Annville-Cleona Jaycees; a member of the Hershey Masonic Lodge #802; a member of the Prince Edwin Spring Creek Masonic Lodge #486 for more than 60 years; president of the Hershey Chocolate Supervisors Management Club; president of the Hershey High Twelve Masonic Club; a member of the Board of Directors of the Hershey Chapter of AARP, where he served as a driver training instructor for seniors; associate patron and worthy patron of the Palmyra Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star; and held a number of positions in the Annville High School Alumni Association. In his words, “I believe that each of us is charged to serve mankind rather than be served.”

Ken was never without a story, a joke, or an observation. He was a people person who loved to strike up a conversation and said he learned something from everyone he met. He had many fond memories and stories to share of his years of service to his country and from his places of employment. His family knew that in nearly every conversation, Chanute AFB, jet engines, his positions at General Electric and Hershey, or his hometown of Annville, PA, would be mentioned. He was a proud Pennsylvania Dutchman and extremely interested in his German heritage. His favorite pastime was woodworking with his brother, Dick. He enjoyed his last years at Masonic Village, making new friends and participating in bible study, board and card games, and social/discussion groups.

Surviving are his daughter, Gail L. Pentz, and husband, Keith, of Sarasota, FL; son, Gary L. Umberger, of Newtown Square, PA; daughter, Gay L. Wolf, and husband, Sam, of Mount Joy, PA; granddaughter, Amanda (Logan) Prokopowich; grandson, Morgan Kaylor; great-grandson, Mason Prokopowich; his sisters, Janice Peiffer, of Lebanon, and Elaine Lynch, of Elizabethtown; his companion, Dottie Hake, of Elizabethtown; and many nieces and nephews.

Ken was predeceased by his wife, Esther; his grandson, Mark Kaylor; his siblings and their spouses, Richard (Betty) Umberger, Bruce (Gladys) Umberger, and Doris (Roy) Van Mannen; and his brothers-in-law, Earl (Fritz) Peiffer and Paul (Pat) Lynch.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, June 14, 2023, at 7 PM from Kreamer Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc., 618 E. Main St., Annville. Interment will be held Thursday, June 15, 2023, at 10:30 AM at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery with military honors. A viewing will be held Wednesday from 6 PM until the time of his service at the funeral home. A Masonic Service will be held at 6:45 PM on Wednesday evening.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Palmyra First E.C. Church, 55 West Main Street, Palmyra, PA 17078.