Mary E. (Lykens) Leister, 96, of Reading, peacefully left us to be with the Lord on Monday, June 10, 2019. A lifelong advocate of proper etiquette, vocabulary, attire and behavior, she leaves this world at a time when these traits are needed most.
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Born in Reading on December 7, 1922, she is the daughter of the late Paul H. and Anna Irene (Sech) Lykens.
Mary graduated from Reading High School, was a secretary at Carpenter Steel and active in the USO through which she met her husband of 54 years, the late James W. Leister.
Known best for her fashion shows and public relations from the 60s through the 90s, “Mrs. L” worked at the C.K. Whitner Dept. Store as the Administrator of the Modern Miss Club.
She founded the Mary Leister Charm and Finishing School in 1979 and continued to host fashion shows and provide instruction into her mid-eighties.
Mary Leister served as Chorister for First E.C. Church at 8th and Court Streets along with active participation in the Salvation Army, Easter Seals, ABWA, National Society for Shut-ins, Berks County Federation of Women’s Club and Publicity Chairman for the Berks Heim Volunteer Service Board.
Mrs. L had spent the last 5 years at Berks Heim where she continued to be a joy to those around her to the end with a caring staff that returned the same respect and admiration.
Mary loved to dance, take trips to Wildwood, NJ beach and went to modified stock car races at the Reading Fairgrounds. She could be seen in younger days on go karts at the shore, and racing in the powder puff derby at the Reading Jr. Stock Car Racing Assoc. on 13th Street Hill.
Mary E. Leister is survived by sons, Craig P. and Mark J. Leister; granddaughters Jessica L. (wife of Andy Whitmoyer), Amanda E. (wife of Jonathan Anisko) and Shannon M. Leister; Great-grandson Lucas F. Anisko and Great-granddaughter Penelope B. Anisko, and sisters Dorothy Ann Lykens and June E. (Lykens) Lantz. Mrs. Leister is predeceased by sister Fannie E. (Lykens) Valentino and brother John P. Lykens.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on Monday, June 17 at 7:00 PM with visitation starting at 5:30 PM at Lutz Funeral Home, Inc., 2100 Perkiomen Ave., Reading. Rev. Eileen Weglarz, Mary’s niece and goddaughter, will preside over services. A private gathering of the family will be held at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery where Mary will be interred with her husband James W. Leister. Lutz Funeral Home, Inc. is in charge of arrangements. For online condolences please visit www.LutzFuneralHome.com