“SENIOR” SPOTLIGHT: Lloyd Reigel
Lloyd was born on April 9, 1929 to Raymond and Bertha while living in Rutherford Heights. In 1931 they moved to the Grantville area and then on to Ono where they ran a dairy farm on Dead End Road. His father worked at Indiantown Gap so Lloyd helped his mother run the farm. Every morning he milked the 9-15 cows before walking about one mile to the one-room school in McGillstown. In the evening, he milked them again. Lloyd had 4 siblings, older sister, Mabel and younger ones Richard, Mary Jane and Janet.
He quit school in his sophomore year because he told his teacher he wanted to be a mechanic. To earn money he trapped muskrats, skunks, opossums and one tme he even trapped a fox. He sold them at Sunset. Sometmes his Grandpa would slip him $10. He bought his frst car, a 1927 Chevy, at age 15 for $100 but he had to rebuild the motor. In 1948 he won a brand-new car for $1.00 afer buying 5 chances for $1.00 at the Newmanstown Carnival. What a happy day that was! Fords are his favorite vehicles.
On Sunday afernoons they would hitch up the one-horse sleigh to his horse, Scoty, and go for rides. Once during a snowstorm, he loaded up a neighbor girl sufering from appendicits and took her across the felds to McGillstown to meet the doctor. Art Miller went along walking on one side while Lloyd walked on the other to steady the sleigh.
His family atended Steelstown EC Church and when the boys and girls were old enough to behave, they all sat in the front row of church with the boys on one side and the girls on the other. He had a good SS teacher who sometmes took the class on trips or played games with them. They went sledding, ice skatng, and played hockey. He was baptzed and became a Christan at the age of 12.
He met the love of his life in 1947 at the Casino Roller Rink in Lebanon. Grace worked there as a soda jerk and she could skate beter than him. One night he gave her a ride home and the rest was history! They started datng in January and were married that same year on June 11, 1949 in the Lutheran church in Lebanon. They wanted to get married on roller skates but the pastor wasn’t keen on the idea! The recepton was held outside and hotdogs were served. They had a small cake that only fed about half the people so some of his friends went and bought more cake.
They bought their home in Ono in 1949. Lloyd worked for Shuey Sales and Service untl Jonas Donmoyer ofered him a job and when he turned 21, Jonas ofered him a truck driving job doing many trips to NY.
When Grace was pregnant and prety well along, she wanted to go sledding, so Raymond Funck brought along a piece of tn and while going down the hill, they were told to “lean”. Lloyd leaned one way and Grace leaned the other and she caught her foot on the tn and had to be taken to the doctor. At that tme the doctor knew she was carrying twins but never told them. What a surprise when in May of 1950 they became the parents of twin girls, Jean and Jane. Their son, Jerry was born a few years later.
Grace had quit school two months before she graduated when her mother passed away. Sometme in the 1950’s they both went to Harrisburg to get there GED’s. Lloyd passed but Grace did not and she said “It’s okay, I don’t need that anyway.”
Jonas Donmoyer was building the Texaco staton along Route 22 and asked Lloyd to be in charge. He was a good employee and Jonas believed in him. Lloyd operated the staton from July 4, 1957 untl July 4, 1991. During those years he had many opportunites to help people. He used his wrecker many tmes at all hours. He even used it to haul an old furnace out of someone’s basement. One tme the state police called him and he used it to haul a safe that someone had blown up and throw down over an embankment. A black family from MS stopped at his staton on their way to NJ in a dilapidated car to atend the funeral of the man’s mother. They were out of gas and money and he asked if he could do anything to earn some money. Lloyd notced 2 small children and a baby in the car. He flled their gas tank, put oil in, and gave them $20 to get something to eat at Fern’s Diner. They must have told Fern that Lloyd gave them the money and she would not accept it. They wanted to return it to Lloyd but he refused and said “what he gives, he doesn’t take back.” Pastor George Atkins was listening to the exchange of conversaton and when the man mentoned that they needed diapers, Pastor George went to the store and came back with a huge carton of diapers. Upon their return trip from NJ, they stopped and asked Lloyd, why he did what he did for them and Lloyd said, “The good Lord must have told me to.”
The Jonestown Bible church youth group wanted to go to California and had an old bus. They asked Lloyd if he would “fx it”. He tore it all apart, put 2 new tres on the front, replaced the back tres with beter ones, replaced the whole exhaust system, installed a larger gas tank, replaced belts and the radiator. He set the governor at 55MPH and said a prayer that they would get to CA. They blew the horn when they passed his staton on the way there and again on the way back. They were blessed ofen. When he went out of business, he gave away most of his tools to employees and family members and only kept a few for himself. He sold the business to Steve Hoerner who had been Lloyd’s employee for about 12 years.
He enjoyed bowling and he had a team for 20-25 years. He also enjoyed fshing trips to Canada. He dressed as Santa and used a 2 wheeled cart and pony to go through Ono. He was an organizer of the Ono Fire Company and served about 28 years, some as fre chief. He worked for East Hanover Township as a mechanic and a driver. He and Art Miller ran against each other for township auditor. Just for fun they made a deal that whoever lost would have to push the other one in a wheel barrel through Ono. Art won and Lloyd pushed!
Lloyd served on the board of Trustees at Ono for about 25 years and as President the year they broke ground for the new sanctuary. He asked Rev. Strickler where they would get all the people to fll it and Rev. Strickler said not to worry. He donated his tme snow plowing the parking lot for many years. He even tried his hand as the groundskeeper for a year.
His advice to young men would be:
- Go to church and become a Christan during your teen years.
- When you meet a good Christan girl, treat her right and make sure you have your life together so you will be able to plan your future.
- Always ask your wife before you make big purchases...”Happy Wife-Happy Life.”
His favorite Bible verse is Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd....” He memorized that verse as a litle boy in Steelstown. Thank you, Lloyd, for sharing this interview with us! Lloyd currently resides in Room 12 at Countryside Christan Community.