Mary E. Groff

Photo of Mary E. Groff

Mary E. Groff


     Mary E. (Harnish) Groff, 78, of Landis Homes, Lancaster, went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, May 7, 2020. She was preceded in death by her husband, Harold “Hal” Groff. They were married in 1965. Born in Lancaster, she was the daughter of the late Robert Harnish and Lydia (Landis) Harnish.  Mary was a life-long, selfless caregiver.  She cared for her late twin, Martha, and also her late husband, Harold, who was a quadriplegic for 32 years.  She adored her grandchildren and loved spending time with them.  Her smile was infectious and her heart was huge, which radiated to all those with whom she came in contact.

     Mary graduated from Lancaster Mennonite High School.  She then worked as a secretary at the Lancaster General Hospital School of Nursing.  After working there for two years, she decided to enroll at Eastern Mennonite College. It was there where she met her first fiance’ who died suddenly.  She then returned to Lancaster and found a job as a bookkeeper at Servomation. It was through her work there she met her husband.

     After 15 years of marriage, Harold was involved in an automobile accident which left him severely disabled. Mary quickly learned “it’s not what you have, but what you do with it.” Harold lived for 32 years, using a wheelchair. Mary was determined to create a normal life for her sons despite living in an abnormal world. Her husband’s disability opened many doors, one of which was with Joni & Friends Ministry. For many years, Mary hosted a support group for wives of husbands with disabilities. She found the ways they encouraged each other to be a blessing.

     Although she most recently attended Calvary Church, for many years she hosted a Bible study for the Lancaster Alliance Women. After no longer hosting, she remained part of the weekly studies. She also enjoyed many Alliance Primetimers’ activities.

     Mary volunteered at Landis Homes before moving there in 2015. She believed God puts you where He wants you to be, and was thankful God put her there. She loved living in her hybrid apartment with her new friends on the floor, who had become a second family.

     She was also a loving mother to her three sons: Brian married to Lynne (Ostrowski) Groff, Lancaster, and his children, Jordan, Alec, Jacob, Anabeth; Bradley married to Brenda (Fisher) Groff, Lancaster and their children, Madison, Avery, Tristan; Brett married to Heather (Rechtsteiner) Groff, Lancaster and their children, Jenna, Ellie, Savannah, Lucas. Her siblings were Louise Alderfer (Richard), Robert, and late twin sister Martha Glick.

     Funeral services will be at the convenience of the family. If desired, contributions may be made to Landis Homes.

Services Scheduled 

     Mary E. (Harnish) Groff, of Landis Homes, went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, May 7, 2020.  A drop-in Remembrance of Life Celebration will be held from Calvary Church, 1051 Landis Valley Road, Lancaster on Saturday, May 8, 2021 from 10 am to 12 pm in the chapel with a luncheon immediately following in the fellowship hall.

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