Emma Louise Workman Gunsallus of Zion in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, passed away peacefully to be with the Lord on Saturday, January 9, 2021.
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Born into humble beginnings in Mingoville, PA, she was the daughter of the late William S. and Geneva W. (Reed) Workman on February 10, 1936. She was a 1954 graduate of Walker Township High School.
During her childhood, she grew to know the value of hard work. She would help her family work on a farm that they rented in Stormstown, PA. Eventually, her parents moved back to Walker Township where they purchased a farm of their own and she worked side-by-side with them. She also held jobs at Getting Engineering, Hecla Park, Nittany Valley Country Club, and a general store in Mingoville, PA.
Young Emma enjoyed roller skating at Hecla Park and square dancing. At one particular square dance, she caught the eye of Elmer D. Gunsallus. They would marry on July 1, 1957. During their marriage, Elmer enlisted in the US Army. This would have them living in Oklahoma for a year. Elmer and Emma moved back to her Walker Township roots. They welcomed a daughter into their family in 1962 and son in 1969.
Emma enjoyed serving others. She worked as a waitress, hostess and greeter at The Corner Room in State College, PA for 61+ years until her retirement in 2018. During her time there, she met many notable public figures. A few that she was most proud of were former Presidents Gerald Ford and Dwight D. Eisenhower; Penn State head football coach, Joseph V. Paterno, who she called her friend; and Beverly Hillbillies star, Nancy Kulp. She enjoyed meeting and befriending all those who she came in contact with. Many people came to see her there when they visited the area.
Emma had strong ties to Nittany Valley Alliance Church, where she was an active member and volunteer. She served as a Deacon, Sunday School teacher, nursery helper, and she cooked for many church dinners.
Emma enjoyed having fun. In her younger years, she liked riding on snowmobiles. She also enjoyed attending the Centre County Grange Fair and the local fireman’s carnivals. Emma liked watching Penn State Football games and going to dirt track races at the Clinton County Speedway and Port Royal Speedway.
Emma will be loved and missed by all who knew her.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Elmer D. Gunsallus, and a niece, Katlyn N. Comly.
She is survived by her children, Darlene L. Gunsallus and Elmer E. Gunsallus, her brothers, William R. Workman (Karen), and Gary L. Workman, all of Bellefonte, and several nieces and nephews.
There will be a public viewing held on Friday, January 15, 2021, from 10am-noon, at Wetzler Funeral Service, Inc., 206 N. Spring Street, Bellefonte. Funeral services will immediately follow at noon, at the funeral home, with Rev. Ben LeClair officiating. Burial will follow at Zion Cemetery. Following CDC recommendations, social distancing is encouraged, and face coverings will be required at all services.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Emma’s memory to the Nittany Valley Alliance Church, PO Box 108, 1003 Nittany Valley Drive, Mingoville, PA 16856.