Jack Eugene Getgen, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and friend, passed from this mortal existence on Saturday, October 12, 2013, in Williamsport after a long and blessed life. He was born Oct. 20, 1918, to Ira Lerch and Elcy May Hollins Getgen in Williamsport, the second of seven children. Jack was strong-willed and a fighter from the beginning, having entered this world in the midst of the Spanish Flu epidemic. His mother had the flu and he was born with it and miraculously, they both survived.
His family moved to a farm on Bottle Run Road in 1926 and he spent virtually the rest of his life living on that land. His father passed away in 1933, leaving his mother a young widow to raise seven kids during the Great Depression. They all worked together to provide a living and keep the family together.
Jack met his sweetheart, Eleanor Louise Porter, and they were married on July 3, 1942, in Muncy Valley. They had a long and loving marriage, celebrating their 71st anniversary recently. The parents of eight children, Jack was very proud of his family and loved them all dearly.
A veteran of World War II, he served in the Army Air Corps from 1942 to 1945, spending much of that time overseas in England supporting the war effort by keeping the planes flying in the European theater. He was featured in the Sun-Gazette series, "Defenders of Freedom."
Jack worked at Avco-Lycoming as a machinist for nearly 40 years. After his retirement in 1981, he enjoyed farming, had a sharpening business, traveled with his wife, learned to play the organ, worked on the restoration of two tractors and served faithfully in his church. He was an elder and founding member of the Christian Church at Cogan Station, a member of the Bottle Run Grange and the American Legion.
Jack always had a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face. He had a great sense of humor and was quite a storyteller. He loved spending time in the great outdoors hunting, fishing and camping. He has left a legacy of love of God, family and country and will be greatly missed by his family and all those whose lives he has touched.
Jack is survived by his dear wife, Eleanor and his children, Bonnie Charron, of Oroville, Calif, James (Sue), of Penn Yan, N.Y., John (Rhonda), of Williamsport, Susan (Jon) Rey, of Sandy, Utah, Don, of Williamsport, Bart (Beth), of Williamsport; daughter-in-law, Rose; 16 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren; and youngest brother, Clair "Sam" Getgen. He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Vickie; son, Brett; brothers, George, Richard and Ira; and sisters June and Marjorie.
We will celebrate his wonderful life on the 95th anniversary of his birth, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013. Friends may call during the visitation at Sanders Mortuary, 821 Diamond St., that evening from 6 to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Monday, Oct. 21, 2013 at 11 a.m. at the Christian Church of Cogan Station, 5904 Lycoming Creek Road, with pastors Mark Beard and Harry "Bud" Yoder officiating. There will also be a visitation at the church on Monday from 10 a.m. until the time of service. He will be laid to rest in the cemetery at the Christian Church at Cogan Station. "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."
Arrangements entrusted to Sanders Mortuary. www.SandersMortuary.com