John Richard ‘Dick’ Gonter

John Richard “Dick” Gonter, 85, Altoona, passed away peacefully Sunday surrounded by his loving family.

He was the son of the late William and Margaret (Lantz) Gonter. He married Carole Ann Reagan on Dec. 26, 1957, and they celebrated their golden 50th wedding anniversary on Dec. 26, 2007.

Surviving are a daughter, Lynne Gonter Nickum and husband, Jeff, of Mechanicsburg; a son, Scot and wife, Jolene, of Enola; two grandchildren: Zachary Campbell Nickum and Taylor Elizabeth Nickum, both of Mechanicsburg; a sister, Dorothy (Gonter) Andrews and husband, Paul, of Altoona; a brother, George of Altoona; and many loving nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife of nearly 53 years; a sister, Margaret “Peggy” (Gonter) Robaugh; and a brother, William.

Dick was a 1945 graduate of Altoona High School. He served in the U.S. Navy aboard the submarine USS Diablo during WWII. In 1992, he retired from Butterick Co. Inc. after 42 years of service as a photo lithographer. He had a strong work ethic and rarely missed a day of work. He also was previously employed by General Motors.

He was an awesome and loving grandfather, fondly called “Pappy,” and was never too busy to spend time with his grandchildren, who adored him and brought him much joy. He was a sweet, generous, selfless and kind man of few words with an easygoing spirit who was well loved by his family and friends.

Dick was a faithful man and a parishioner of St. Rose of Lima Parish since 1960. He was an avid golfer for many years, a member of Ironmasters Country Club, Cesare Battisti Club, Silver Sneakers and The Summit Tennis and Athletic Club, and a lifetime member of the Bavarian Aid Society. He also enjoyed boating, fishing and traveling with his late wife and his family. He was deeply loved and will be greatly missed.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, at The Stevens Mortuary Inc., 1421 Eighth Ave., Altoona, where a vigil for the deceased will be held. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church. Committal will be at Calvary Cemetery.

The family suggests that donations be made to the Odyssey Foundation, 4660 Trindle Road, Suite 204, Camp Hill, PA 17011.