James P. Bressler, 99, of Williamsport, died on Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Williamsport.
He was born on Aug. 13, 1914, in Hegins, and was the son of Charles and Ida Eckler Bressler. James and his wife, the former Barbara Slocum, were married on December 8, 1945.
James graduated from Penn State University with both a Bachelor of Science and a Masters degree. He also had earned 22 credits in their Doctoral program.
James taught at West Sunbury and West Fallowfield High Schools before coming to Williamsport in 1945. At that time, James was hired to establish the Agricultural Program at the Williamsport Technical Institute. In 1965, he became the Head of the English Department in the newly organized Williamsport Area Community College. In 1968, he became Dean of Applied Arts and Sciences for WACC and Director of Vocational Education until his retirement in 1975.
Jim liked to joke that he then began his second career in the Archaeology field at the age of 60. In 2011, Jim was awarded the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology Lifetime Achievement Award for 50 years of dedication to Archaeology. In addition to this prestigious award, the James P. Bressler Heritage Trail on Canfield Island at Loyalsock Township's Riverfront Park and the James P. Bressler American Indian Gallery at the Lycoming County Historical Society's Thomas T. Taber Museum were named in his honor. His leadership and vision helped contribute to the Thomas T. Museum becoming a showcase for history and Archaeology in North Central Pennsylvania.
Jim led excavations at numerous local archeological sites, including Canfield Island in Loyalsock Township. He also had several articles published in the "Pennsylvania Archaeologist," North Central Chapter No. 8 newsletter, local historical society journals, and others.
He was past president of the following organizations: Williamsport Education Association, Lycoming County Historical Society and North-Central Chapter No.8, Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology. In addition to these three organizations, he was also a member of the Society of Professional Archeologists, Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology, Alpha Gamma Rho Social Fraternity at Penn State, Penn State Alumni Association, John Laedlein Lodge No. 707, Free and Accepted Masons, The Williamsport Consistory, Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees, Faith Alliance Church, Muncy Historical Society, The Nature Conservancy and Bald Eagle Art League.
Jim was an avid outdoorsman. He enjoyed spending time at his land in Cascade Township, dubbed by Jim as "Ravendell," as well as fishing and hunting, especially turkeys.
Jim is survived by his wife Barbara and a sister, Helen Allvord, of Hegins.
Funeral services will be at 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 19, 2014, at Faith Alliance Church, 2405 Bottle Run Road, Williamsport, with Rev. John Otto officiating. Visitation will be held on Saturday at the church from 2:30 p.m. until the time of the service. Burial will be will be private and at the convenience of the family.
The family will provide flowers and suggests that memorial contributions in Jim's name be made to North-Central Chapter No. 8, Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology, 858 W. Fourth St., Williamsport, PA 17701.
Kaufman Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc.