Catherine Hartleb Smelser, age 91, of Erie, passed away Monday, March 28, 2022 at The Residence at Presque Isle Bay (Bickford Senior Living). She was born in Wattsburg, PA on January 12, 1931 to the late Arthur Reed Merry and Grace Phillips Merry. Catherine was a graduate of Wattsburg High School.
Catherine, with her husband Bill, owned and operated Hartleb’s Delicatessen in downtown Erie for over 30 years. They forged many lifelong friendships through their business. After Bill’s death, Catherine later retired to Seminole, FL where she had numerous friends and family. She also resided during the summers on Lake Simcoe, Ontario, Canada with her second husband Don, where again she made many lasting friendships. In addition, Catherine volunteered at the Red Barn Theatre in Jackson’s Point Ontario, Canada. While in Erie she was a member of several social and charitable organizations including the Erie Maennerchor Ladies Auxiliary, East Erie Turners, St. Vincent Auxiliary, and others. She also volunteered at the Seminole Public Library. Catherine was an avid reader and was passionate about politics and current events. She enjoyed crossword puzzles-especially the New York Times edition, golf, traveling, bingo, entertaining and most of all, spending time with family. Most recently, all of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren gathered for a “Christmas in July'' celebration.
She is survived by her children, William E. Hartleb, Jr and wife Elaine of San Diego, CA, Cynthia L. Boucher and husband Douglas of Erie, PA, Mary E. Hartleb of Reno, NV, Kathleen M. Lindell and husband Bren of Erie, PA, Joseph R. Hartleb and wife Amy of Erie, PA. She is further survived by her grandchildren, Emily Kitcho, husband John, son John of Erie, PA, Mark Boucher, wife Neely, son Brooks, daughter, Hallie of Bethesda, MD, Anna Lindell of Brooklyn, NY, Ellen Hartleb of Chicago, IL, Benjamin Hartleb of Pittsburgh, PA and Tucker Hartleb of Erie, PA (at home).
In addition to her parents, Catherine is preceded in death by her first husband, William E. Hartleb, Sr., her second husband, Donald Smelser, her sisters, Frances Merry, and Helen Downs, and brothers, Arthur Merry, and Charles Merry as well as nephew Michael Merry and nieces Caroline Merry and Judy Downs.
The family would like to thank the staff at The Residence at Presque Isle Bay (Bickford Senior Living) for the loving care and compassion they provided to her this last year.
Friends are invited to call on the family Saturday, April 2, 2022 from 1:00 p.m. until the time of the service which will be celebrated by the Rev. Shawn Clerkin at 3:00 p.m. at Burton Quinn Scott Cremation & Funeral Service Inc. Downtown 602 W. 10th Street, Erie. Burial will be private and held at a later date. In lieu of flowers please consider donations to the Mercy Center for Women and The Erie County Public Library.
Send Condolences to www.BurtonQuinnScott.com