James D. Weidensaul, 85, USAF vet, Boeing retiree, father of three, enjoyed singing

By on January 25, 2017

We celebrate the life and mourn the passing of James D. Weidensaul, 85, of Lititz. He went home to be with his Lord and Savior unexpectedly on Jan. 11, 2017, at his home in Luther Acres.

Born in Dover, Okla., he was the son of the late Rev. Charles Frances and Mary (Hayen) Weidensaul. He was preceded in death by his wife, Donna Ruth (Rowland) Weidensaul.

Jim was a longtime member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Lancaster, where he and Donna will be interred at the Memorial Garden. With his wonderful, full bass voice Jim loved singing throughout his life and was an enthusiastic member of Trinity choir.

He graduated as valedictorian of Eudora High School, Eudora, Kansas, in 1949. Jim was involved in many activities and developed a life-long love for music and sports. He attended Ottawa University, Ottawa, Kansas, where he and his teammates had the honor of winning the NAIA football championship. Jim served in the US Air Force for four years in radar communications, based in Alaska.

Jim started his career with the Boeing Co. in Wichita, Kansas, with subsequent positions in Seattle, Wash., and York. In 1961, he joined Hamilton Technologies, a division of Hamilton Watch Co., Lancaster. While at Hamilton, Jim was director of quality assurance, and later vice president of the Metals Division. In 1977, Jim became president of Lancaster Metals Science Corp. He also held positions of divisional quality assurance manager at Cleaver Brooks, and director of operations at United Chem-Con Corp. In 1987, Jim rejoined the Boeing Co. in Lake Charles, La., with additional assignments in East Aurora, N.Y., and Baltimore, Md. He retired in 2001.

He served the community for many years in a variety of ways: coached Little League baseball; umpired youth and adult ball leagues; Manheim Township Republican Committee chairman; and chairman of Lancaster’s American Cancer Society, where he received the Golden Sword Service Award from Lawrence Welk and Arnold Palmer, national chairmen of ACS.

Jim and Donna moved to Luther Acres in 2005, where he was Donna’s constant and devoted companion until she passed in 2010. During his time at Luther Acres anyone asking Jim how he was doing could expect an enthusiastic “Wonderful good!” in reply. He just had a way to brighten people’s day by acting as Santa, Uncle Sam, and Gandalf; or wearing his fancy colorful clothes, or singing “Happy Birthday” to each of the residents.

Surviving are three children: James Carroll (Laura) of Lancaster; Mary Kathryn Barge (Bart) of Bedford, Wyo.; and Margaret Anne Smith (James) of Lititz; six grandchildren: Douglas James, David Swift, and Daniel Rowland Weidensaul; Mary Kathryn Steele (Nick); Jon-Paul Lewis Smith; and Gloria Ruth Smith; and a great-grandson: Mark Steele. He is also survived by three siblings: William E. (Ruth), Herbert H., and Mary Carol (Phillip) Velez.

Siblings Donald E. and Charlotte M. Fehlauer preceded him.

A celebration of life service will be held at the community room at Luther Acres, Lititz, on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Luther Acres Benevolence Fund, at luthercare.org/giving/donate-now.

To send an online condolence, visit SnyderFuneralHome.com. Charles F. Snyder Jr. Funeral Home and Crematory, Lititz, handled the arrangements.

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