Sylvia Irene Hoke

August 26, 1936 - May 8, 2020
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Sylvia Irene Hoke, 83, of Selinsgrove passed away Friday, May 08, 2020 at her home surrounded by family. She was born August 26, 1936 in Selinsgrove, a daughter to the late Francis Samuel Gemberling and Grace Katherine Boyer. She was a 1953 graduate of Freeburg High School. On February 20, 1954, Sylvia married William E. “Sam” Hoke. This year they celebrated 66 loving years of marriage. Over the years she held various jobs, including the silk factory in Middleburg, as well as the shirt factory in Freeburg. For 12 years, she and her husband owned and operated the Empire Hotel in Freeburg. At 80 years old, her most recent and cherished job was working at her granddaughter’s amusement company, Penn Valley Shows, traveling to different local fairs and carnivals. There, she also worked alongside her daughters and great-grandchildren. She enjoyed pouring funnel cakes, shaking lemonades, and making conversation with the patrons. Sylvia was happiest with a house full of family. She loved holding and spending time with her grandchildren, all of whom would often spend their weekends having sleepovers at her house. She also enjoyed shopping, making ceramics and family picnics. She was very proud of her family history; her grandfather, Constable Francis Gemberling Sr., solved the 1924 Willow farm murder. Sylvia was able to dedicate a magazine containing an article about the murder to the Snyder Co. Historical Society. In addition to her husband, she is survived by one brother, Ronald E. Gemberling, of Aberdeen, Md., and one sister, Shelly A. Wertz, of Freeburg, seven children; Sherry (Terry) Swab of Middleburg, Susan (Jack) Conner of Selinsgrove, William Jr. (Vicki) of Selinsgrove, Brian (Lori) of Middleburg, Chris of Selinsgrove, Cary (Misty) of Selinsgrove, and Rodney (Casey) of Freeburg, 21 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by one grandson, Shane Hoke. Sylvia married into a large family, and is also survived and preceded in death by them: Mary Gearhart, Betty Kessler (deceased), Francis Hoke (deceased), Richard Hoke (deceased), Ada Treaster (deceased), Dorothy Hinkle, Charles Hoke, Robert Hoke, Donald Hoke, David Hoke, Gary Hoke (deceased), Marlene Trautman, Judy Connolly and Patti Whitmyer. Memorial contributions in Sylvia’s memory can be made to the St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, c/o LJ Hoffman, Financial Secretary, P.O. Box 5, Freeburg, PA 17827, or to the Freeburg Volunteer Fire Company, 15 E. Market St., Freeburg, PA 17827. The Klee Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc., Shillington is assisting the Hoke family.


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St. Peter's Lutheran Church

c/o LJ Hoffman, Financial Secretary
P.O. Box 5
Freeburg , PA 17827

Freeburg Volunteer Fire Company

15 E. Market Street
Freeburg, PA 17827


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Timeline for Sylvia Irene Hoke

Born: August 26, 1936
Died: May 8, 2020

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Klee Funeral Home

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