L. Shirley Theis

Leanna Shirley (Waite) Theis, 93, passed away on Tuesday, September 25, 2018 at her home in Hamburg, PA. She was the wife of Nicholas Theis with whom she shared 35 years of marriage.


Born in Merchantville, NJ on March 18, 1925, Shirley was the daughter of the late Thomas Waite and Estie Jane (Singley) Waite.


Shirley loved animals from an early age, raising livestock on her parent’s small farm and developing herself as an expert horse rider. When her father strongly discouraged her from becoming a veterinarian, she reluctantly trained as a secretary, but quickly dropped that line of work in favor of a wartime job building tires at the Firestone plant in Pottstown, PA. Her subsequent marriage to Nicholas, a farmer who also loved animals in general and horses in particular, allowed Shirley to informally pursue the vocation that her father had discouraged. Thus, over the years, she attended the birth of countless calves and kids and nursed many a sick animal back to health. She was a member of the American Dairy Goat Association throughout her adult life. She was also an accomplished carpenter and plumber, single-handedly installing the first indoor bathroom in her mother’s home in the 1950’s and continuing to build sturdy fences, gates, and feeding stalls for the farm animals well into her later years.


She is survived by one son, Thomas Theis, Croton on Hudson, NY, two daughters, Linda Martin, wife of Steve Moser, Neosho, MO, and Donna Theis, Hamburg, PA, four grandchildren, Kirk and Nicholas Sloan, sons of Linda Martin, and Erica and Matthew Theis, and three great-grandchildren, Conner, Ryan, and Finn Sloan.


She is predeceased by her sisters, Alice Scull and Esther Dise.


A viewing will take place on Saturday, September 29, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. at the Houck and Gofus Funeral Home, Inc., 955 N. Charlotte St., Pottstown, PA. 19464, followed by a memorial service.  Interment will take place after the service at Highland Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Humane Society at www.humanesociety.org. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.houckgofusfuneralhome.com