Harold J. Eager, 97, Lancaster Sunday News editor, WWII vet, enjoyed golf, traveling

By on April 20, 2016

Harold J. Eager, 97, of Lititz, died Sunday, April 10, 2016, at Moravian Manor.

He was born in Lancaster, the son of the late Harry Thomas Eager and Anna Roehm Eager. He was preceded in death by his first wife: Mary Danner Eager; and by his three brothers: Richard, Herb, and his twin, Harry Eager.

A graduate of Lancaster Boys High School (now McCaskey), Eager served in the Army in World War II as a second lieutenant in the 58th Infantry provisional battalion and then the 53rd Infantry. He served in the Aleutian Islands as a company commander as part of the Alaskan Defense from 1942 to 1944.

Other than the four years he spent in the Army, he worked for Lancaster Newspapers every year from 1937 to 1984. He began as a copy boy and was promoted to police reporter when the previous holder of that job went missing. He went on to be the sports editor, assistant city editor, and city editor for the Intelligencer Journal, and became the editor of the Sunday News in 1966. He won several Keystone Press Awards from the Pennsylvania Society of Newspaper Editors and established the popular “Sunday Views” column. As a sports editor, he was the first writer to coin the term “Blue Streaks,” which became the mascot of Manheim Township High School. He wrote a book on Lancaster General Hospital, entitled “100 Years of Caring.”

Eager was a member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the Pennsylvania Society of Newspaper Editors, the Associated Press Managing Editors Association, the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, and the Sigma Delta Chi journalism fraternity (now known as the Society of Professional Journalists). He was also a member of the Lancaster Automobile Club, a Lancaster Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow, member of the Hamilton Club, and an associate member of the Slumbering Groundhog Lodge.

He enjoyed golf, bowling, travel, and spending time with his family, especially at his summer home “The Crest Rest,” in Wildwood Crest, N.J.

He is survived by his wife: Joyce Schlemm Meyer Eager; two children: Harold Jr. (Ellen) of Lancaster, and Cynthia Rice (Charles) of Harrisburg; two grandchildren: Jeffrey Rice (Mary Anne) of Boalsburg, and Alison Robinson (Gavin) of Chesterbrook; and a stepson: Brad Meyer (Sherrie) of St. Petersburg, Fla.

Memorial services were held April 18 at Klein Chapel in Steinman Hall at the Moravian Manor, Lititz. A private interment will be held at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Moravian Manor ­ Herrnhut Community, 300 W. Lemon St., Lititz, PA 17543.

To leave an online condolence for the family, visit DeBordSnyder.com. DeBord Snyder Funeral Home and Crematory, Lancaster, handled the arrangements.

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