Karla Ann Wingert (79) beloved daughter, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, aunt, niece, cousin and friend passed away at her son Chris’s home, surrounded by family and friends on December 18, 2018. Karla was born on April 29, 1939 in Harrisburg, PA and was the daughter of James C. and Barbara L. [Hartzok] Wingert of Middletown, Pennsylvania.
Karla is survived by her three devoted children: Jennifer L Hoke, Robert F Hoke, Jr., and Christopher L Hoke (Yvonne). Continuing her legacy of love and caring are her grandchildren, Nicole Hoke, Joshua Hoke (Tiffany), Jared Hoke (Jonelle), Elisha Aponte (Jose), Christopher Hoke, Heidi Hoke (Bryan), multiple great grandchildren, and her loving sister, Barbara Zimmerman (Dan), a number of cousins, nieces, nephews and many, many friends, including Will, her long-time companion. She was preceded in death by one grandchild, Sandra (Hoke) Altepeter, and her loving brother, James Wingert.
Karla resided in Middletown, but during her early childhood and teenage years she spent many summers helping her grandparents at their fruit orchard in Marion, Franklin County. Some of her happiest times and memories were from those days with her grandparents. This is also where she developed a love and fondness for cats that had grown through the years. She loved and cared for rmany cats during her lifetime including feral colonies. She also had a passion for roller skating in her younger years that extended into many years of her adult life. She graduated from Middletown Area High School as Salutatorian of the class of 1957 and won a Science Achievement Award from Bausch & Lomb. She attended Wilson College in Chambersburg, PA and graduated from Pennsylvania State University – Harrisburg with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.
Karla was an accomplished horsewoman. She owned Golden Vicary, whom she nicknamed Vickie and she trained and showed award winning horses in the ring. She was a pilot, having trained in the 1960’s at the Hershey Airfield and taking friends and family, including her children, nieces and nephews, for plane rides in a Cherokee Piper. Karla was an accomplished author, having written a story “The Teaberry Mystery” for the February 1966 issue of Ellery Queens Mystery Magazine. In 1983 Karla also authored and copyrighted the musical comedy,” If You Don’t Weaken” with script, music and lyrics all written by her. Karla enjoyed the beauty around her and worked in her yard to create an oasis of flowers, trees and lilacs, one of her favorite flowers. She also enjoyed tulips and had a passion for populating her yard with multitudes of colorful tulips. Talking about her house, Karla renovated much of her house herself, learning various aspects of carpentry and flooring to make a loving home for her children.
Karla enjoyed playing Bridge with her mother at the Camp Hill Bridge Club. Karla trained German Shepherds for herself as well as for the Pennsylvania State Police Academy. She also had a passion for genealogy and tromped through many cemeteries, sometimes pulling her children along with her to explore many tombstones. She spent countless hours researching many records in dusty courthouses, and interviewing many older relatives in order to capture memories before they were lost and to create a genealogical tree for the Wingert and Hartzok sides of the family. Karla enjoyed playing computer games and was an avid Role Playing Gamer with active memberships in a variety of RPG sites. Karla was an avid reader, often reading through a book in one day prior to devouring the next book in her quest for knowledge.
During the last couple of years of her life Karla’s health declined and she was assisted at home by her grandson, Chris. Karla will be deeply missed by her family and friends however her accomplishments will live on and her memories will linger with those who knew her.
A Funeral Service will be held on Friday, December 21, 2018 at the Fager-Finkenbinder Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc., 208 North Union Street, Middletown, PA 17057 with a 10 AM viewing and a Testimonial Service at 11 AM. A Graveside Service will be held at 2 PM on Friday in Maplewood Cemetery, 166 Colorado Street, Marion, PA 17235. Memories and condolences may be shared at: www.FinkenbinderFamily.com