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Harold Gale Smeltzer
Harold Gale Smeltzer, age 85, of Rimersburg, PA, passed away at Friday, February 10, 2012 at VNA Hospice in Butler.
He was born in Climax, PA on June 3, 1926, the son of Leonard Austin and Pearl May (Callen) Smeltzer.
Harold attended Himes School on Mayport Rd. and then Punxsutawney High School until he entered the US Air Force during World War II. He proudly served his country as an airman first class in the Rhineland and Central European Theater during the war, and continued to serve as a mechanic for the US Army and Air Force for 26 years through the Korean Conflict. Throughout his years of service, he was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star Medal, US Army Good Conduct Medal with two knots, European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with two bronze service stars, WWII Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal (USAF) with three knots, National Defense Medal, Occupational Medal (both in Germany and Japan), Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Korean War Service Medal and Air Force Longevity Service Award with four oak leaf clusters.
After retiring from the Air Force, Harold worked as a truck driver for Claude Hilliard and Murphy Coal Company. He was a member of Oak Ridge Evangelical Church, American Legion Post 454 and Fraternal Order of Freelance Photographers #58934. Harold also held life memberships with Disabled American Veterans Chapter 16, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7132 and 78th Division Veterans Association.
He had many hobbies, including photography and working on his computer. Harold loved being outdoors, and he frequently went hunting, fishing and camping. History was another interest of his, and he spent time researching military history and his family’s genealogy.
Family was paramount to Harold and he cherished the time he spent with them. He believed that family members should take care of each other, and he lived this belief out by caring for his wife and helping anyone in his family. Those who knew him will always remember him as a true man-one who deeply loved his country and family and who possessed a caring and nurturing spirit.
He leaves behind to cherish his memory his son, John Smeltzer and wife, Velma, of Rimersburg; daughters, Iva Nathalene “Sue” Tyson, of Cherryville, NC, Tina Lorenz, of Cherryville, NC, Diane Billotte and husband, Edward, of Rimersburg; and Dorthy I. Runyan and companion, Daniel Guntrum, with whom he resided for 22 years, of Rimersburg; 16 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; and sister, Doris Gayda, of Wheeling, WV.
Harold was preceded in death by his parents; loving wife of 33 years, Margie Annie Louise (Womeldorf) Smeltzer, who passed away October 15, 1989; sons, Terry Smeltzer and Vincent Edward Smeltzer; daughter, Carol Jean Best; brothers, Donald Smeltzer, who was killed in France during World War II, and Leonard Smeltzer; and sister, Claire Broscius.
Relatives and friends may visit from 2-4 PM and 6-8 PM on Monday, February 13, 2012 and Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at the Bauer-Hillis Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc., 758 Main Street, Rimersburg, where funeral services will be held at 11 AM on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 with Pastor Dan George officiating.
Military honors will be presented at the cemetery by the Rimersburg American Legion Post 454 and the VFW Post 7132. Burial will follow at Squirrel Hill Cemetery, Porter Twp., Clarion Co., PA.
Memorial contributions may be made in Harold’s honor to Disabled American Veterans, PO Box 1728, Butler, PA 16001.