Lulu Mae (Embree) Wanaselja, 96, of Ephrata, PA, went home to be with her Savior on Monday, June 24, 2019.
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She is survived by 5 children,15 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. All knew of her generosity, hospitality and love of family.
Lulu was born on a farm in Morley, Iowa on February 28, 1923 to the late Arthur Ray and Bessie (Jones) Embree. She was the youngest of their four children. Her siblings Lee Embree, Verne Embree and Lucille Martens all pre-deceased her.
She learned the value of hard work, diligence and the joy of community. She excelled in 4-H clubs and became the Women’s State Health Champion at age 16. After graduating from Mechanicsville High School, she worked as a secretary in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for a time before moving in with relatives in Pasadena, California. She and her sister Lucille became real “Rosie the Riveters” working on the wings of B-17 planes at the Boeing plant nearby. Her sister convinced her to go to Iowa State University to study Home Economics, which she did for one year.
In March of 1944, she met a Navy recruit, from Staten Island, NY, Oley Wanaselja, at an Inter-Varsity meeting and became his wife on June 22, 1946. They spent 70 amazing years together, raising five children and a niece, and encouraging 15 grandchildren and 28 great grandchildren. They lived in Iowa, Ohio, Long Island, NY, Laconia, NH and eventually Ephrata, PA. They enjoyed traveling throughout the United States and overseas, including visits to Indonesia and Zimbabwe, Africa where their daughters were serving, living out the faith their parents taught and showed them. Oley and Lulu were active in whatever church they attended and often opened their home to people passing through. They lived the faith they taught and that had a huge impact on their family.
In January, 2007, they moved to an independent living apartment at Fairmount Homes, in Ephrata, PA, overlooking the beautiful farmland, which reminded Lulu of her youth in Iowa. Lulu loved hosting, entertaining, interacting with people and doing counted cross-stitchery. Many friends and family members have been blessed by the “love she sewed into the cloth” to quote her grandson!
She is pre-deceased by her beloved husband, Oley, and survived by her children, Linda
Wanaselja, of Ephrata, PA, Larry (Phyllis) Wanaselja, of Milton, DE, Lee Wanaselja, of Ocean
Grove, NJ, Lois (Tom) Jackson, of Harare, Zimbabwe, Africa and Lula (Larry) Filbert, of Lancaster, PA, and a daughter-in-law, Barbara Wanaselja of East Meadow, NY. She is also survived by her sister’s daughter, Barbara (Martens) Rotelli and Ron Rotelli, of Canyon Country,
Burial will be private at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, August 3, 2019 at 12:00 Noon. Family visitation will be 30 minutes before the service and during the light buffet reception afterward, to which all are welcome! The service will be at
St. John’s Center, UCC (near Shady Maple), 432 Reading Road, East Earl, PA 17519, 717- 445-5622.
In lieu of flowers, Memorial contributions may be made to:
Fairmount Sharing Fund
333 Wheat Ridge Drive
Ephrata, PA 17522
Arrangements by Stradling Funeral Homes, Inc., Akron/Ephrata. Online condolences can be given at stradlingfuneralhome.com.