Bertha Elizabeth Hankin Schwantes (nee Derr), age 96, of Pilesgrove, NJ., graduated into Glory on February 16, 2021. Born on January 26, 1925 in Vineland, NJ, Bert was the beloved daughter of Rev. George R. and Frances Mitchell Derr. Raised in her home state of NJ., Bert attended Bryan College in Dayton, TN. She worked in accounting at Lit Brothers, Sealtest, and Campbell’s Soup.
Bert was married on July 9, 1949, to the first love of her life, John Henry Hankin, Jr. Together with John, they formed a family of four. Bert embraced her new role as Mom to her new daughters, Colleen and Jane. Their family grew to include a son, Andy, and two daughters, Judi and Libby.
Bert was busy at their home in Oaklyn, but not too busy to serve her beloved Savior. Over the years, Mom was a Bible teacher to all ages, from infants to Seniors at Haddon Heights Baptist Church. She served as director and teacher of VBS, and was active in Ladies All Day Mission. Bert was a doer, serving wherever needed: playing the piano, preparing meals, and often hosting guests and church gatherings. Family was important to Bert: camping with family throughout North America and spending time together was her passion. In her few spare moments, she enjoyed sewing and playing the piano and organ.
As her children grew, Mom returned to school, gaining her LPN license and working in Camden NJ. at Our Lady of Lourdes rehabilitation unit.
Mom’s first husband passed suddenly on December 4, 1985. Some years later, Mom was blessed to meet the second love of her life, John Paul Schwantes, and they married in 1993. Their family expanded to include two more grown children, John Schwantes, Jr. and Jane Schwantes Mavroftas and their families. They resided in Pilesgrove and enjoyed a full life of service shared with family and friends, especially enjoying and blessing their children and grandchildren. They loved traveling together throughout the world, working with the Woodstown chapter of the AARP, and making beautiful music together. In 2018 her second partner in life went on to be with his Lord and Savior.
Bert is survived and cherished by her children; Colleen McCourt (Gene), Jane Hankin, Andy Hankin (Lenore), Judi Williams (John), Libby Brady (John), John Paul Schwantes, and Jane Schwantes Mavroftas (George); and is well loved and remembered by her 13 grandchildren and 28 great grandchildren. In addition, she is predeceased by her brother George Derr Jr. and sister Ruth Derr Glover.
In lieu of flowers a donation may be sent in memory of Bert Schwantes to her favored missionaries, Edward and Dorothy Woods, 360 Benjamin Hill Road, Newfield, NY 14867. A viewing will be held Tuesday February 23, 2021 at 10:30 AM at Hope Community Fellowship, 3 Point Airy Road, Pilesgrove, NJ. A celebration of her life will be at 11:00 AM. Interment will follow at Lakeview Cemetery in Cinnaminson, NJ. Funeral arrangements under the direction of DuBois Funeral Home, 700 South White Horse Pike, Audubon, NJ 08106. Condolences and memories may be shared at DuboisFuneralHome