James E. Langenbacher, 58, Altoona, died Friday evening after a brave and courageous fight with
He was born in Chicopee Falls, Mass., son of Edgar Lloyd "Mike" and Betty (Fetterman) Langenbacher. He married Susan Ferguson on Oct. 11, 1980, in Morrisdale.
James E. Langenbacher
He will be sorely missed by his beloved wife of 32 years; their two children: Zach and Josh and his fiancee, Shasta Kurtz, all of Altoona; five siblings: Michael (Debbie) Langenbacher of Altoona, Danny (Paula) Langenbacher of Bellwood, Ricky Langenbacher of Bellwood, Lisa (John) Zitsch of Bellwood and Lori Isenberg of Johnstown; his parents-in-law, Robert and Cleora Ferguson of Morrisdale; his brothers- and sisters-in-law, Carol and Greg Rowles of Clearfield, Julie and Dave Commons of Hastings and Darin Ferguson of Morrisdale; a special aunt, Cathy (Steve) Wasylak of Altoona; and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
Among the relatives who preceded Jim in death was a grandmother, Hazel Fetterman, with whom he was particularly close.
He was a longtime accountant at Young, Oakes, Brown and Co. in Altoona, where he had worked since 1984.
He graduated from Bellwood-Antis High School in 1973 and Altoona School of Commerce in 1980 and attended St. Francis University.
Never losing his zest for life, Jim took his work seriously but often found the ability to make his coworkers, friends and family laugh even at the bleakest of times. In fact, he joked that he was someday going to copyright what became his new life motto after he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive type of melanoma: "Every day is a gift. So, today I give thanks for the gift I received yesterday, pray that I use today's gift wisely, and hope for another gift tomorrow."
It was often times tough to discern what he loved more: sports or sweets. An avid fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Pirates and Penn State football, he frequently utilized commercial breaks to check other scores or head to the kitchen for snacks. Local Girl Scout troops will especially see their sales drop.
Given his passion for sports, Jim drew great inspiration from Jimmy Valvano. One quote in particular summarized his fight: "Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever. I thank you and God bless you all."
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 11, 2013, at Jon C. Russin Funeral Home, Bellwood, where a funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, with the Rev. Peggy Bonsell officiating. Graveside services will follow at the Logan Valley Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The V Foundation for Cancer Research, 106 Towerview Court, Cary, NC 27513.