Deborah (Snyder) German July 30, 1935 - May 2, 2024

Deborah German was a true New Tripoli farm girl, born on July 30,1935 to Webster and Thelma (Lenhart) Snyder. As a girl she picked potatoes and harvested hay with her siblings Philip, Elaine Rehmann, Doris Klint, and Ira. We can reliably say she was fed a steady diet of her mother’s famous lemon sponge pies throughout her youth which likely provided a sweet finish for what was often a hard life. Deborah’s Marilyn Monroe-esque looks caught Mark German’s eye and in 1953 they married. Deborah became mother to five children Lynn German Long, Susan (Ray) Friend, Kathy German (Erich Schrempp), Neil German (Betty Sacco), and Eric German, all of whom inherited her eclectic tastes and burning curiosity. Although she learned to play Debussey’s Claire de Lune on the piano for her husband, the marriage didn’t last and in 1969 Deborah moved to Allentown with the kids where she got to work getting her first Master’s Degree in Social Work from Marywood College. Ever the academic, at 72 years of age she would go on to get a second Master’s Degree in Theological Studies from Moravian Seminary.

Deborah’s mother wanted her to be a church deacon, but Deborah served God in different and arguably more practical ways. She worked for the Department of Aging, later ran a foster home for women who were moving towards independent living, and towards the end of her life opened her home to newly arrived immigrants in need of a helping hand. In retirement she volunteered for Meals on Wheels, read books to preschool students, and later volunteered as a Stephen through her church, Holy Spirit visiting the elderly. Throughout adulthood the Focus Group remained her spiritual community.

She may have been a Pennsylvania Dutch farm girl, but she was anything but old school. She could tell you exactly what hue of magenta a pickled red beet egg should be, but she also could give you advice on making great Indian curries, Middle Eastern lentil soups, and tiramisu.  She never met a Scrabble opponent she couldn’t beat, and for decades after she left her New Tripoli farm, she could be seen swimming laps in the pond on her parents’ old property. A lover of foreign films and novels in verse, Deborah carried with her a great appreciation of music inspired by her grandfather who purchased a George Steck grand piano in 1890. The family legacy of music is proudly carried on in her great grandchildren today.

Maybe it was her uncanny mix of traditional roots with that thoroughly modern streak that caught Donald Lippert’s attention or maybe it was that Monroe twinkle in her eye, but Donald and Deborah were loving companions in the last years of their lives. Deborah’s family is grateful that she found him, and he found her.

Deborah German passed away on May 2, 2024.

Deborah was a proud mother of five, grandmother of seven, and great-grandmother of six and was a fond aunt to many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her brother Phillip Snyder, daughter Susan Friend, and by in-laws Isabel Snyder, William Rehmann, John Klint, and Lois Snyder.

A private memorial and celebration of her life will be held this summer. Arrangements by Stephens Funeral Home, Inc. www.stephensfuneral.com

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Deborah’s name to Volunteers of America, 730 W. Union St., Allentown, PA 18101, for the benefit of pre-school children to whom she loved to read.




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