|Birth: ||Jan. 1, 1925|
|Death: ||Apr. 6, 1985|
Joyce was a daughter of Gilbert Allen Romberger and Fay Schell (Meckley) Romberger. Sister to Gilbert D. and Janet F. Romberger, she became the wife of Dr. Robert Fenstermacher, and mother to Margaret and Ellen. She was also a delightful aunt to me.
Joyce was a lovely young girl. She was lively, a cheerleader, and a beauty. Like all the Romberger kids she had a great sense of humor, but she had a wonderful hooting laugh like that of a sea fowl, that was uniquely her own.
I remember her as a kind and permissive aunt who did not get naggy about what you touched or played with. She always saw to your comfort with food and beverage, and asked you about you, taking a young person seriously, as though speaking with an adult.
One of the best stories about her is one I can tell firsthand. Back in the mid-1970's, an Allentown politician named Alton Frey opposed the funding for a youth center which would have given the city's teens a place to go and structured things to do. Back then there was little you could do if you were an Allentown teen. Sure, you could go some place and surreptitiously do something illegally fun, it was the 70's after all, but if you wanted something else, there was little to do that didn't border on loitering. You could go to football games, get a slice of pizza, and go home. Maybe you'd go bowling once in a while. A youth center was sorely needed for all the boomer kids of the time, but in the local newspaper Frey opposed it, and not too kindly, saying some very negative things about our town's youth.
In reply, I wrote a letter to the editor of the paper, voicing my opinion about the proposed center, and my infuriated displeasure with Frey's broad, ugly statements about Allentown's youth.
The evening of the day the letter was published, our phone rang. A woman asked for me by name and asked if she had me on the line, and I confirmed she did. She then burst out "Well, this is Mrs. Alton Frey, and I didn't like what you said about my husband! What do you think of that?"
Scared and flustered, I was trying to formulate a response when a wonderful hooting laughter came over the phone, and I knew Aunt Joyce had gotten me good.
I like to remember her this way, as a first class teaser. I also remember her by what was once a tiny thumb-sized cactus she got me for my 13th birthday, which is now pretty hefty. Cacti were very "in" back then, and Aunt Joyce always was up on that stuff.
My dad was very close with Joyce (whom he called Joycie) especially after the end of her marriage. He visited, helped her with her taxes, and they spoke on the phone a lot. Even when I was upstairs, I knew my dad was downstairs on the phone with her, because he laughed more than ever. They teased each other as only siblings could.
Joyce died of heart attack or stroke when she was only 60. It was around Easter, and I always feel the loss of her most at that time of year. It's also the time of rebirth and Spring, so that helps.
Mrs. Joyce C. Fenstermacher, 60, of Allentown, died Saturday in her home.
Born in Allentown, she was a daughter of the late Gilbert A. and Fay (Meckley) Romberger.
She was a member of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, Allentown.
Surviving are two daughters, Margaret, of Wilmington, Del., and Ellen of Pittsburgh; a sister Janet, and a brother, Gilbert D., and a grandson.
Services will be at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday (April 10) in the church. There will be no calling hours. The J.S. Burkholder Funeral Home, 16th and Hamilton streets, Allentown, is in charge of arrangements.
Gilbert Allen Romberger (1897 - 1961)
Fay Schell Meckley Romberger (1903 - 1954)
Robert P. Fenstermacher (1924 - 1991)
Gilbert Daniel Romberger (1923 - 2006)*
Joyce Carolyn Romberger Fenstermacher (1925 - 1985)
Janet Fay Romberger Bittner (1929 - 2011)*
Created by: sr/ks
Record added: Jun 21, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14664940