Gilbert Walter Parthemore, 88, of New Cumberland, passed away on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, surrounded by family, including his wife and best friend of more than 65 years, Sondra L. (Askin) Parthemore. Gil was born on September 16, 1934 in Harrisburg, to the late Gilbert Jacob and Helen (Hamburg) Parthemore.
Gil’s story starts and ends in New Cumberland, with those he touched extending much further than the confines of his small hometown. A 1952 graduate of the former New Cumberland High School, he would serve for two years in the U.S. Army, playing trombone in the 75th Army Band. He would marry his childhood sweetheart, Sondra, and the two would start a family while Gil earned degrees from both Elizabethtown College and the former Eckels Mortuary College in Philadelphia.
He had many jobs prior to and during his time as a funeral director, at one point or another working for Bethlehem and Harrisburg Steel, Hershey Medical Center and Dauphin Deposit Bank/Lemoyne Trust. Early employment at Hoff-Stone Funeral Home, New Cumberland, and Mt. Olivet Cemetery helped him to fully realize his interest in funeral service. He would work for several funeral homes in the area before becoming a licensed funeral director in 1968; and wasting no time at all, he would open his own establishment, Gilbert W. Parthemore Funeral Home, in August of 1969. It took almost two months for him to receive his first call, but starting from there, the community of New Cumberland (and beyond) began to find comfort within the doors of 1303 Bridge Street. All three of his sons would become funeral directors, with a grandson following suit as well, and as much as he took pride in starting and establishing his own business, he equally enjoyed watching his sons take over the funeral home following his retirement in 1998.
Whenever Gil did something, he was “all in.” As it would turn out, Gil certainly did a lot – for his family, for his business, and for his community. He was a member of New Cumberland First Church of God as a boy, but would join St. Paul’s Lutheran Church after marriage. He was a member and past-District Governor of the PA Funeral Director’s Association and was a part of the Capital City Funeral Director’s Association. Gil was past-president of the Rotary Club of West Shore, “Lion of the Year” with the New Cumberland Lions Club, a former responder and current member of both the New Cumberland Fire Department and Ambulance Association, a former Republican Committee Person, a member of the Chartier Club, the town’s Parks & Recreation Board, and he belonged to the VFW Post #7415 and American Legion Post #143. He was a founding member of the New Cumberland Town Band and would play for years with the West Shore Symphony, Zembo Shrine Band and the Harrisburg Consistory Orchestra. He was a member of Eureka-West Shore Lodge 302 - Mechanicsburg, Harrisburg Consistory, Zembo Shrine, Tall Cedars of Lebanon, and Jesters, and was past-president of both Cumberland County Shrine Club and Mid-Atlantic Shrine Association. Gil served on the PA Dept. of Education Bureau of Planning and Evaluation, Title 111 State Advisory Council, and he was also one of the founders of Industries Limited, an organization structured to employ and promote the wellbeing of those with mental and physical limitations (before becoming part of CPARC). He coached his kids’ youth baseball and football teams, supported the Cedar Cliff High School boosters, and in recent years, looked forward to monthly luncheons with his NCHS classmates.
Gil was a family man, instilling in his sons that aside from God, your spouse is the most important person in your life. He loved and relied on Sondra in so many ways. She remained by his side – always, assuming any role needed (on top of raising three boys) to support her husband and ensure their family’s success. He took fatherhood in stride and swelled with pride as each son decided to join the family business. Without surprise, he redefined the role of “Pap,” providing his grandchildren with all the history, wisdom, and tasteless jokes they could handle; he would also become their biggest supporters and advocates as they grew and pursued their dreams. He was a gentleman (on most occasions) with strangers and the community alike, the quintessential “fun uncle,” and a role model for so many who were fortunate enough to have known him. His presence in the lives of so many will be deeply missed. Gilbert, Dad, Pap, Uncle Gil – we love you.
In addition to his wife, surviving Gil are his three boys and their wives, Gilbert J. “Gib” Parthemore (wife, Joanna), Bruce R. Parthemore (wife, Rebecca “Becky”), and Stephen K. “Steve” Parthemore (wife, Elvira), all of New Cumberland; grandchildren, Gilbert A. “Gibby” Parthemore, Helen R. Beck (husband, Brady), Christopher J. Parthemore (wife, Julianna), Reynolds P. “Renny” Parthemore, Quentin T. Parthemore(Jess), Lance S. Parthemore, Garrison A. Parthemore and Gwyneth M. Parthemore; great-grandchildren, Oliver and Avery; a sister-in-law, Sharon Parthemore; and a slew of nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by three sisters and a brother, Bessie Ulsh, Joyce Shupp, Kathryn “Katie” Kuhn, and George Parthemore; as well as three infant brothers, Karl, Richard and Joseph.
Viewing hours will be from 4-7PM on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at his very own Parthemore Funeral Home & Cremation Services, New Cumberland. A funeral service will take place at 11AM the following morning, Thursday, March 23, at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, New Cumberland, with burial immediately following in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Fairview Township.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution to celebrate Gil’s memory to either St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 530 Bridge Street, New Cumberland, PA 17070, or to the New Cumberland Olde Towne Foundation, 714 Bridge Street, New Cumberland, PA 17070.