James Elwood Detwiler, 96, Woodbury Township, rural Williamsburg, went home to be with the Lord late Wednesday afternoon at The Village at Morrisons Cove, Martinsburg, after a brief illness.
He was born in Woodbury Township, son of the late Grover Cleveland and Frances "Fannie" (Kensinger) Detwiler. He married Elizabeth L. Banks on May 10, 1939, in Frankstown, and she passed away Oct. 6, 2011, ending 72 years of marital union.
Surviving are five children with whom he was blessed: Lois McCall and husband, Ed, and Tom and wife, Karen, all of Williamsburg, Jesse "Sonny" and wife, Sandy, of Martinsburg, Bill and wife, Tairi, of Honeoye Falls, N.Y., and Fran Szynal and husband, Steve, of Richfield, Ohio; 12 grandchildren: Dave Detwiler, Ron Detwiler, Pam Jenkins, Linda Smith, Kim Morgan, Cristyn Reynolds, Alycia Matychak, Shauna Kime, Stephanie Urbancic, Steve Szynal Jr., Tracy Detwiler and Trudy Forshey; 23 great-grandchildren; and five great-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by four brothers: Lester, John, Jesse and Harvey "Jack"; and four sisters: Freda Singleton, Mary Blyler, Kathryn Forshey and Ruth Gunnett.
Jim had formerly attended the Royer one-room schoolhouse. He retired as a maintenance man at Lakemont Park, Altoona, in 1980 after five years of service and had previously been employed as a pipefitter at Westvaco, Williamsburg, for 35 years.
He was the oldest member of Royer United Methodist Church, rural Williamsburg. He was a former member of both the Williamsburg and Martinsburg Sportsmen's associations and was a longtime volunteer Red Cross blood donor. He was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting, fishing and trapping, and he loved the family farm where he and his wife had resided for 50 years.
Friends will be received from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, at John C. Bolger Funeral Home Inc., Williamsburg, where a funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013, Chaplain Linda S. Banaszak officiating. Private interment will follow at Royer Cemetery, rural Williamsburg.
The family prefers that memorial contributions be given to Royer United Methodist Church Memorial Fund or the Williamsburg Volunteer Fire Company, Station 90, to be earmarked for the Williamsburg Veterans Memorial Center.