Leona Magdalena Souser

December 23, 1924 - June 30, 2022 Kennett Square, PA | Age 97

Leona Magdalena Souser (née Bechtold) was born December 23, 1924 in Philadelphia PA, and passed away June 30, 2022, after a brief illness at age 97.

She graduated from Olney High School in Philadelphia in 1943 and received a BA from Ursinus College in 1947. Her debate team skills served her well her entire life.

She was a founding member of St. Michael Lutheran Church in Kennett Square (now in Unionville, PA) and was very active in the congregation for 65 years, from Sunday school teacher to social ministry chair. She was an expert on the life and teachings of Martin Luther.

Leona followed in her Lutheran minister father‘s footsteps by choosing a career helping others. Her first job out of college was as an adoption placement social worker with Lutheran Children and Family Services. Being a city girl, she needed to learn how to drive in order to visit the families in rural towns. Her driving instructor, Richard Souser, Sr became her husband on September 9, 1950. Leona channeled her educator mother by becoming a certificated teacher after taking the necessary coursework at Millersville State College. She taught in the Manheim PA schools during the early 50’s. After taking some time off to raise her four children, she later became a regular substitute teacher for Kennett area schools including Unionville and Avon Grove. But she was most proud of her 25 year career as a social worker for the Tick Tock Day Care Center.

Leona was a much loved and giving person. She lived in the same house in Kennett Square for 66 years. In addition to the Tick Tock and Church, she had a longtime involvement with the Needlework Guild (NGA), Girl Scouts (many years as a cookie sales chairperson), and other community agencies and causes such as the Kennett Square Housing Board. She enjoyed traveling, was a voracious reader, and loved keeping track of her family. She will be remembered for her sense of humor/quick wit and her love of all things chocolate. In her later years, she relished the companionship of her many caregivers, neighbors, and visitors. We thank them for giving her the ability to remain in her home until a few months ago.

Leona was predeceased by her husband Richard Souser, Sr., her parents, Gustav and Leona (Wetmore) Bechtold, her brothers Austin, George, and Gus Bechtold, and sister Esther Bonnet. She is survived by her children, Margaret (Peggy) Woehleke (Steve) of Moraga CA, Richard Souser, Jr. (Dana) of Richmond VA, Roger Souser (Linda) of West Chester PA, Mary Buchanan (Bill) of Clarion PA, and 8 grandchildren: Sarah Woehleke, Leanne Woehleke, Andrew Souser, Charlotte Souser (Justin Byron), Matthew Souser, Kevin Souser, Louden Buchanan (Jordyn), Catherine Buchanan and 2 great grandchildren: Harrison and Ellie Buchanan.

Services will be held at St. Michael Lutheran Church in Unionville on Friday, July 15, at 11:00 AM. Before the service there will be visitation with family and friends at the church from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM with a reception following the service at the church. The service will also be live-streamed. https://www.stmichaelpa.com/video.html Interment will be the following day, Saturday, July 16, 2022 at 10 AM at Philadelphia Memorial Park, 124 Phoenixville Pike, Frazer, PA 19355.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests that donations be made to the Tick Tock Early Learning Center, 1694 Baltimore Pike, Avondale, PA 19311 or St. Michael Lutheran Church, 109 E. Doe Run Rd., Unionville, PA 19375


Funeral Service

July 15, 2022 11 AM St. Michael Lutheran Church
109 East Doe Run Road
Unionville, PA 19375


  1. Dear Peggy and Family,
    I happened to notice your dear mother’s obituary and thought I would send my fond condolences here.

    May she and your father rest in peace, until you all meet again in heaven.

    What a wonderful, long life she had!
    With sympathy and prayers,

    Monica Kenney,
    KHS, Class of ’71

    Really enjoyed.reading the story about how your mom and dad met!

    Monica E Kenney | August 9, 2022 at 8:40 PM
  2. So very sorry for your loss.
    What a remarkable woman to accomplish so much in her lifetime.

    Linda Ely | July 21, 2022 at 4:34 PM
  3. Leona was so warm and loving to her family and friends. She was easy to talk to and easy to laugh with. All her children and grandchildren will have many special memories of the talks they had with their mom and grandmother.

    She once gave me a sourdough starter and when I told her about all the loaves of bread I made from it, she really seemed pleased.
    She always had a quick smile and twinkle in her eye.

    That’s how I will remember her, always.

    Karen "Kitty" McIntosh | July 14, 2022 at 2:15 PM
  4. No matter how old we are, it’s never easy to lose your mother. We know she will always hold a special place in your heart.

    May the memories of her long and well lived life bring you comfort. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

    Linda & Gary Darnsteadt
    Walnut Creek, CA

    Linda Darnsteadt | July 13, 2022 at 9:53 PM
  5. An inspiring life. She will truly be missed.

    Bruce and Becky Corn

    Becky Corn | July 13, 2022 at 6:29 PM
  6. Many words come to mind when I remember Leona. Spunky describes her demeanor even when somewhat housebound. Knowledgeable is a given, as Leona was so rich in information about our church, its people, its history and yet she could still expound on current events. Leona was a traditionalist, but modeled a “women’s lib” attitude throughout her days. One always wanted to cheer her on with a hearty “you go girl”.
    Naturalist is another descriptor. Leona posted photos of her flowers and birds that delighted her Facebook friends.
    Though she is now safety in the arms of her Maker and no longer with us in body, Leona will live in spirit in so many hearts.
    Love to a Pillar of St. Michael Lutheran Church
    Barb Vann
    P.S. Leona used to call me to donate to funeral and memorial receptions. Usually, I would by sandwich rolls with her donation. She tagged herself as the”bun lady”.

    Barbara Vann | July 9, 2022 at 7:54 AM
  7. What an amazing person Mrs. Souser was living a very full life. She will be missed by all who knew her. Jeanne McIntosh Kelley

    Jeanne M Kelley | July 8, 2022 at 10:55 AM
  8. One of the things I will always remember about your Mom is her love of family and love of books. She was an inspiration.

    “It doesn’t matter how old we are, we always need our mothers. My prayers are with all of you.”

    Joan and Mark Wilmot

    Joan Wilmot | July 7, 2022 at 8:17 PM
  9. RIP Mrs . Souser, And prayers for the family during this difficult time,

    Ana Feliciano | July 7, 2022 at 8:29 AM
  10. Barbara and I will always remember our last visit and overnight stay the fall before covid set in. Aunt Lee was the same sharp, engaged, and welcoming host she had always been, and her warmth and wit will be our lasting memory. She loved, and was blessed, with remarkable parents, siblings, and her family that were the center of her life. Rest grant her, and eternal peace!
    Pr. Ron and Barbara Bechtold Lee, Christopher, Jennifer, and Jonathan.

    Barbara Lee | July 6, 2022 at 10:38 PM
  11. Bill, Mary, Louden, and Catherine:

    Praying for you. God will take care of you.


    Brenda Sanders Dede | July 6, 2022 at 5:00 PM
  12. You will be missed, Mrs. Souser. When I visited my grandparents, I always enjoyed visiting and chatting with you about you, your family and the goings-on in the neighborhood. I could not have asked for a better neighbor, watchful eye and friend for our grandparents. The backyard fence, the common wall and the front porch railing were no obstacles for Mrs. Souser and Mary. Always Mrs. Souser and Mary, never Leona and Mrs. Ironside.

    RIP Mrs. Souser. Holding you and your family to the Light.

    -Don Smith and Cal Brackin

    Don Smith | July 6, 2022 at 4:44 PM
  13. You’ll be missed, Mrs Souser. Always loved to visit and catch up with you about you, your family and the goings-on in the neighborhood when I was visiting my grandparents. I couldn’t have asked for a better neighbor, watchful eye and friend for our grandparents. The common wall, back yard fence and front porch railing were no obstacles to the friendship you shared with our family. Holding you and your family to the Light.
    In peace, Don Smith and Cal Brackin

    Don Smith | July 6, 2022 at 4:06 PM
  14. An enviable life well lived!

    May she Rest In Peace.

    John Anderson

    John Anderson | July 6, 2022 at 12:28 PM

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