Induction set for Claysburg Hall of Fame

CLAYSBURG -?The Claysburg Area Hall of Fame committee has announced its first list of five inductees into the Claysburg Hall of Fame. The inductees for 2014 are Frederick and Christina (Walter) Claar, Norman “Sonny” Close, Cpl. Harry Harr, Richard “Dick” Lingenfelter and Regis Nale Sr.

Induction of the inaugural Claysburg Area Hall of Fame members will be at 6 p.m. April 5 at Claysburg-Kimmel High School auditorium.

The program will include the presentation of Hall of Fame members with a reception immediately following the presentation with light refreshments. The public is invited and dress is business casual. There is no charge and no advance tickets are needed.

The nominators of these five inductees will be the presenters of the awards for the Hall of Famers. The induction and reception event is jointly sponsored by Claysburg Preserving Artifacts, Stories and Traditions and Claysburg Rotary.

Additionally, marker plaques will be placed at the Claysburg Community Park by summer in the Claysburg Hall of Fame area, which will be a newly designated area at the park approved by the Greenfield Township supervisors.

The Hall of Fame committee is comprised of nine members from the Claysburg area who were elected last year when the committee was formed.

This year’s honorees include:

Frederick and Christina (Walter) Claar were nominated to the Claysburg Area Hall of Fame by the Upper Claar Church of the Brethren. The Claars were pioneers of the Klahr Valley near Claysburg. Frederick died on March 2, 1864, and Christina died on April 13, 1853.

They settled in the area before the town of Claysburg was settled in 1804. They had 13 children.

Norman “Sonny” Close was nominated for the Claysburg Area Hall of Fame by his granddaughter, Linette Burket. He married Anna Treese of Claysburg. They had four daughters. There are 10 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

Close served in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, with the U.S. Army from March 1943 to November 1945. He taught at Claysburg High School for 37 years, retiring in 1988. Those years of teaching included 33 years of football coaching, 23 years of basketball coaching and 16 years of baseball coaching at Claysburg-Kimmel. He also coached Teener League Baseball in Clausburg. He was also an early supporter of Little League baseball in Claysburg. He died March 21, 2002.

Cpl. Harry R. Harr was nominated by Frank Ball of Everett. Harr lived in the East Freedom area and attended the Claysburg schools through the eighth grade. He married Mary Winifred Berkheimer on March 20, 1943. They had one son, Harry Jr., whom Cpl. Harr never saw. He entered the U.S. Army on Nov. 16, 1942. On June 5, 1945, Cpl. Harr was killed in action on Mindanao, Philippine Islands. On April 1, 1946, he was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for gallantry in action.

Harr had many awards and buildings named after him in the surrounding area, as well having the I-99 bridge that crosses Route 220 at East Freedom named after him on Nov. 3, 2011.

Richard “Dick” Lingenfelter was nominated for the Claysburg Area Hall of Fame by Dr. Edward Schultz of Claysburg. Lingenfelter graduated from Greenfield-Kimmel School District in 1955 and then attended Penn State for one year. He also attended a variety of management courses, including many from General Motors Corp. He is married to the former Nancy Albright. They have one daughter, four grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Dick has lived in Claysburg his entire life. Dick worked for Zeigler Chevrolet from 1955 and retired as service manager after 44 years. His experience at Zeiglers earned him numerous awards from General Motors.

Through the years, he has been heavily involved in sports and especially baseball, where he could be seen pitching. He earned many awards for sports through the years. He also co-chaired two of Claysburg’s celebrations for the 175th and 200th anniversary of Claysburg. He co-directed many of the Claysburg minstrel shows.

As co-chairman of the Claysburg Park Committee, he helped in organizing and directing the work of many other volunteers from an empty field and had the vision to see the project through to fruition.

Regis Nale Sr. was nominated for the Claysburg Hall of Fame by his son, Regis Nale Jr. He graduated from the Claysburg High School in 1940. He married Betty Glass. They have seven children, 14 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. Regis and Betty were lifelong residents of Claysburg until one year ago when they relocated to Hollidaysburg for long-term care for Betty.

Regis served in the U.S. Army as a technical sergeant in India making maps or doing engineering topography. He worked for Shaffer’s Store in Claysburg and retired after 42 years of service with the A&P as produce manager. He was on the board of the Blair County Senior Citizens, was one of the founding fathers of the Claysburg Food Bank, received awards from the American Cancer Society and received the George Award. He was known as Santa Claus throughout the Claysburg area.

For more information, contact Rich Allison at 239-2901 or 412-496-4540.

For more detail on the Hall of Fame, visit