Iona Uhler

December 31, 1919 ~ July 23, 2022 (age 102)


Iona Pierce Uhler died peacefully in her sleep at Evergreen House in Jacksonville, New York on July 23, 2022. She was 102 years old.

She was born December 31, 1919, in Flora, Pennsylvania. Her parents were Irwin Lester Pierce and Hadia Madeline Croyle Pierce. She had an older sister, Audrey.

She graduated from State Teachers College in Indiana, Pennsylvania, now the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1941. She taught in the public schools of Pennsylvania until she moved to Ithaca, New York in 1946.

She met Lowell Dohner Uhler in Indiana, Pennsylvania. They were married in New York City on April 6, 1944, when he came home from East Africa. When he returned from his work as a malariologist with the U.S. Navy, they moved to Ithaca where Lowell became a professor at Cornell University and Iona a homemaker and active volunteer.

Through the years she was an involved PTA member, Girl Scout leader, Sunday School teacher, Service League volunteer and Salvation Army volunteer. She volunteered for numerous neighborhood, school, church, community and Cornell activities and organizations over the years.

Iona was honored in 2006 at the 14th annual Women Making History Celebration for her work at The Service League Shop. She worked in the shop every week for over thirty-five years. She joined in 1977 after she heard a radio ad for the organization. She became their longest serving member. She worked with the Salvation Army preparing and serving meals, distributing food and toys, and ringing the kettle bells at Christmas time. She made hospital visits to patients at the Cayuga Medical Center as a deacon of the First Presbyterian Church each week for many years.

When she moved to the Longview retirement community in 2012, she liked to attend Ithaca College events and joined the Intergenerational Choir with Ithaca College students. She was a member of the kazoo band at Longview.

Iona’s favorite activities included singing in choral groups, dancing to big band music, camping trips with the family, spending time with the grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren, traveling, a sabbatical in Florida and an eighteen-month long sabbatical in the Philippines. She traveled around the world from Ithaca and back. An especially memorable time was spending Christmas 1967 at the Taj Mahal in Agra, India with her family.

She is survived by her daughters, Karen (Carl) Spina of Fort Collins, Colorado and Rae (Howard) Lindsey of North East, Pennsylvania; grandchildren Michael (Sheila) Cushman of Munich, Germany; Jeni (Jeff) Ulvedal of Arvada, Colorado; Jodi Spina of Cranston, Rhode Island; Julie (Andrew) Solomon of Old Westbury, New York and David Wion of Zanesville, Ohio; great-grandchildren, Jordan (Kris) Banghart of Windsor, Colorado; Emma and Lily Cushman; Skyler and Keegan Ulvedal; and Danny and Emily Solomon; great-great-grandchildren, Emory, Charlie and Marlowe Banghart; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Arrangements are through the Bangs Funeral Home, 209 West Green Street, Ithaca, New York 14850. There will be no ceremony in accordance with Iona’s wishes. If you would like to commemorate her memory, please consider a gift to The Ithaca Memorial Society, Funeral Consumers Alliance of the Finger Lakes, P.O. Box 134, Ithaca, NY 14851 or The Salvation Army, 150 North Albany Street, Ithaca, New York 14850.

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