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Who was the Cumberland County woman who won the National Pie-Baking contest in the 1950s?
In 1952, Leah Witmer Foreman, of Boiling Springs, was named the National Queen after winning the National Pie-Baking contest in Chicago.
It was her cherry pie that earned the then-Boiling Springs High School senior the honor in February 1952.
Foreman told The Sentinel in 2002 that she didn’t know that she had a talent for baking prior to the competition, saying the competition was just “something that came up.”
When Foreman arrived home from Chicago, she was greeted by the Boiling Springs High School marching band, which escorted her from the Harrisburg train station down Market Street where she was greeted by Gov. John Fine, Pennsylvania Attorney General Robert Woodside, Thomas Oyler — president of the Cherry Growers Association — and other dignitaries, according to a 1952 Sentinel article.
Along with the parade, Foreman hand delivered a cherry pie to Gen. Douglas McArthur and his wife in their suite in the Waldorf Astoria in New York.
That was the only baking competition Foreman entered. She married the late Richard Foreman two months after graduation and started a family.
“I’m not crazy about publicity,” she told The Sentinel in 2002.
She told The Sentinel that she continued baking after high school, but largely for her husband and four children, Richard, Randy, Scott and Steven.
“As I raised my children, I baked a lot, not just cherry pies but apple and some others,” she said.
Foreman began driving a school bus when her youngest son reached school age and retired in 1995.
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