Thelma Eileen (Kilgore) Zarker Harbonic left this earth to be with Jesus on Thursday, January 18, 2024, at West Shore UPMC, Mechanicsburg. She was the daughter of Howard J. and Erma B. (Neumyer) Kilgore. Thelma was born on February 10, 1945, in Mechanicsburg, PA and grew up in Enola. She graduated from East Pennsboro High School in 1963. Thelma met Melvin Zarker and they became engaged Christmas 1966 and married on September 9, 1967. After getting married and starting a family they lived in Mechanicsburg and York Haven. After the Three Mile Island incident, they moved their family to the area of Melvin’s hometown, Lykens, PA. There, Thelma attended the First Baptist Church of Lykens and was active as a helper for Sunday School, VBS and the Choir. Thelma and Melvin were active with the youth bowling program at Valley Lanes in Elizabethville for many years as well as bowling in an adult league on Saturday nights.
Thelma spent much of her life as a housewife and stay-at-home Mom but did work numerous jobs throughout her life: Bookkeeper at Fulton Bank, Tupperware Demonstrator, Avon Representative, Hersheypark and drove station wagon for Jeck’s Bus Company serving the Williams Valley School District.
Thelma also attended church in Millersburg at the First United Methodist Church and Mechanicsburg at the Grace United Methodist Church. Thelma remained active with the American Baptist Women’s Ministries and enjoyed the fellowship with other sisters in Christ.
Many hobbies of Thelma included being very active in her high school alumni association, spending many hours gathering information on classmates. She enjoyed genealogy, writing numerous pen pals, adult coloring books and sudoku puzzles. Thelma loved the beach and the sound of the waves and the smell of the salt in the air. She collected angels and snowmen, among other eclectic items.
Preceding her journey to Heaven were her parents, a brother, James Kilgore and her husband, Melvin, who passed away in 2003. She was also preceded by great-grandson Wyatt Evans who is the brightest star in the night sky. She is survived by a sister, Delores Stevens of Mechanicsburg, Step-son, Kenneth (Sandy) of Harrisburg, Step-daughter, Janice (Danny) of Harrisburg, Douglas (Jane) of Mechanicsburg, Darlene (Patrick) of Shippensburg, Daniel (Debi) of Texas. Good friend Jodie Swartzlander was considered another “daughter”. Her grandchildren: Rebecca, Jason, Melissa, Katherine, Christopher, Amanda, Catharine, Jacob, Caleb, Matthew, Alicia, Jasmine and Fredrick, followed by several great-grandchildren. In addition, she has several nieces, nephews, cousins, pen pals, classmates and friends who will miss her.
A Celebration of Life will be held on her birthday, Saturday, February 10, 2024, at Immanuel Church, 800 S. Market St., Mechanicsburg, PA 17055. The family will receive visitors from 3-4pm with the Celebration beginning at 4pm. Following, will be the chance to continue the visit with family and friends in the Fellowship Hall enjoying Thelma’s favorite snacks and a light meal. Please wear something purple, as that was her favorite color, specifically lavender.
In lieu of flowers, her children ask that a donation be made in her name to Give Kids the World, a charity that provides weeklong vacations to the families of children with critical illnesses in Central Florida; because providing happiness, inspires joy and hope.
The Sullivan Funeral Home is honored to serve the Zarker & Harbonic families.