Mrs. Martha E. Stauffer, 82, of Elizabethtown, passed away peacefully at the Masonic Village Evergreen Unit on Sunday, May 7, 2023. Marty had been under the care of a team of nurses and doctors for the last year. Born in Lancaster, PA, she was the daughter of the late Elmer Zimmerman and B. Elizabeth Zimmerman. She was married to Kenneth D. Stauffer, who preceded her in death in May of 2007. Marty grew up in Intercourse, PA, in the 1940s and 1950s, attended East Lampeter High School, then transferred to the new Pequea Valley High school and graduated in 1957. Marty then enrolled at Kutztown State College where she earned a B.S. in Art and English Education in 1961.
After marrying Ken in 1961, they enrolled in the first class of the Peace Corps to serve in Ethiopia. Her teaching skills were immediately put to work when she taught Art and English in the mountain town of Mekele. Marty and Ken returned to Africa with their family twice as teachers in Cape Coast, Ghana, where she taught at Adisadel College through the Hershey Chocolate Company’s Teachers for West Africa program and at Wesley Girls School as part of an experimental Peace Corps family program.
After settling in Elizabethtown in the early 1970s, Marty joined St. Paul’s United Methodist Church and became an active member, sewing costumes for cantatas, designing artwork for the sanctuary, serving on the advisory board and the staff-parish relations committee, and playing in the bell choir. She made many friends through her work with Welcome Wagon. She continued her teaching career as a substitute in the Elizabethtown School District throughout the 1980s and early 1990s and as a mentor to young people her whole life.
As a hobby Marty created macrame, batik, and quilted artworks, teaching classes at the Etown Community Center and selling her art at local arts and craft shows. Marty was a member of the Dutchland Polkateers Polka Club and a student at Arthur Murray Dance Studio, Lancaster, traveling to ballroom dance competitions. She was an avid reader and book club member. Marty continued to travel throughout her life, visiting Africa, Costa Rica, Hawaii, and Alaska, and trading visits with friends in Ontario, Canada. Marty was a runner, participating in races and fund raising. She also loved to ski and took many ski trips around the US to Maine, Vermont, Colorado, and New Mexico. She and Ken also enjoyed socializing and exploring new dishes as members of the Elizabethtown Gourmet Club.
Marty is survived by her brother Bill Zimmerman, husband of Joanne, of Intercourse, her daughter Stephanie Stauffer, wife of Kelly Williams of Mt. Joy, and her son Philip Stauffer, husband of Elizabeth Stauffer, and three grandsons, Denali Allen, Carson Stauffer and Jasper Stauffer, of Jemez Springs, New Mexico. She is also survived by a foster daughter Wossenyelesh Mazengia, Washington D.C. She was preceded in death by her brother Jim Zimmerman of Intercourse. A memorial service will be held on Friday June 2, 2023, at Saint Paul’s United Methodist Church, 398 N. Locust Street, Elizabethtown, with visitation at 10:00 AM, service at 11:00 AM, and a light luncheon at the church immediately following the service. All are welcome at the luncheon. The family requests that memorial contributions be made to Hospice of Masonic Village or to Saint Paul’s United Methodist Church.
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