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GKH Says Farewell to Mary Ellen Wolfe

Mary Ellen
Mary Ellen and her office “lighthouse wall”

Mary Ellen Wolfe, GKH’s first legal assistant, will retire at the end of December after 39 years with GKH.

On Thursday, June 9, 1966, Mary Ellen Wolfe left Strausstown at 7:30 a.m. in her pride and joy, a newly acquired 1959 Chevy Impala, black with sporty red interior. With great trepidation and butterflies in her stomach she began her first job with a Lancaster law firm.

While working there, she learned to know a young attorney named Elvin Kraybill. In 1977, Elvin Kraybill and John Gibbel, along with Mel Hess, another youngster just starting out, founded Gibbel Kraybill & Hess. Mary Ellen Wolfe came along as a legal assistant, and the four of them have worked together ever since. At the recent GKH holiday party, Mel honored Mary Ellen as the firm’s founding mother. Others have referred to her as the fourth founding partner.

Whatever you call her, Mary Ellen has been at the heart of GKH’s estate administration practice since its inception almost 40 years ago. Her profound knowledge of estates and trusts, her acerbic wit, and her kindness and compassion are legendary at GKH. Clients and those who were fortunate enough to be her colleagues will now have to learn to navigate a landscape that no longer includes Mary Ellen on a daily basis. It won’t be the same without you, M E!

Mary Ellen plans to spend her extra time doing the things she enjoys most: being with family, visiting lighthouses, and participating in church activities.

Best wishes, Mary Ellen. You’ll be greatly missed.