While creating a memorial service for her mom, Willa Lefever had to keep a few things in mind.
Her mother, after all, was Sonnewald Natural Foods founder Grace Lefever — a woman with a passion for sustainability, nutrition and the arts. After she died on March 25 at age 91, her family was tasked with finding the right way to honor her legacy, Lefever said.
Her memorial service will be open to the public and held Sunday at Grace Fellowship, 1405 Seven Valleys Road in North Codorus Township. Family will greet visitors from 3 to 5 p.m., and a service and pot luck meal will follow.
Remembering Grace: A member of West York Church of the Brethren, Grace Lefever wanted her memorial to be a blend of a Brethren service and a personalized service, her daughter said.
"It's going to be very personalized to her: what was important to her and what she loved," she said.
The service will feature the traditional sequence of scripture, prayer and song, Lefever said. There will also be a digital slideshow that includes more than just photos of Grace: There will be pictures of what she created, from her artwork to healthy salads decorated with wild, edible flowers, she said.
Attendees should dress casually and are invited to stay after the service for a pot luck dinner. The idea is that each family brings a covered dish, serving utensil and a full place setting for each family member, she said. There will be no printed paper used, and everything will be composted and recycled, Lefever said.
"The whole service is designed to be a real demonstration of what was important to Mom," she said.
Living better: A cordless microphone will circulate in the crowd during the meal, and attendees will get to share stories and memories of Grace, Lefever said.
She said she is expecting more than 500 people to attend the service, and there will be seating for 1,000.
The goal of the service is to provide closure for those who need it, as well as inspire people to make positive changes in their own lives, she said.
With a life spent blessing, inspiring, educating and challenging people, her mom would want people to leave the service different than they came, Lefever said.
"Mom will be pleased if the service really enriches people," she said.
— Reach Mollie Durkin at firstname.lastname@example.org.