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April 7, 2013
Dr. LeRoy C. Smeltz, 85, of 1108 W. Mountain Road, Hegins, passed away Sunday at his residence.
He was born Nov. 5, 1927, on the family farm near Sacramento, a son of the late William Roy and Verna Wagner Smeltz.
He graduated from the former Hubley Township High School in 1945. He received his bachelor's degree in agricultural education in June 1951 from Penn State University. In August 1957, he received his master's degree in agricultural education from Penn State, and in December 1969 he received his doctorate degree in education from Penn State.
LeRoy taught vocational agriculture at Millersburg High School for one year. In September 1952, he began teaching vocational agriculture at Tri-Valley High School, where he remained until his retirement in March 1984.
He served the Tri-Valley Education Association in various capacities including president and chief negotiator. He served as secretary for the Schuylkill County PSEA Coordinating Council; chairman of the Retirement Committee for PSEA Eastern Region; chairman and VPAE representative on the PSEA Resolutions Committee. He was one of the "founding fathers" of the Schuylkill County PSEA-Retired and served as the first director.
LeRoy was very active in organizations relating to his chosen field. He served as executive secretary of the Pennsylvania Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association for five years and president of the Tri-Valley Community Fair Association for 32 years. He was Region 7 vice president as well as secretary-treasurer elect and president of the Pennsylvania Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association. He was a member of the Schuylkill-Carbon County Pennsylvania Farmers Association and served as delegate to the American Vocational Association and National Vocational Agriculture Teacher Association Conventions. He was awarded the Honorary Keystone FFA Degree and Honorary American FFA Degree. He was an honorary life member in PVATA and NVATA. He also received the National Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association Outstanding Service Award.
One of his many outstanding achievements was initiating and organizing the Tri-Valley Environmental Education Center which included locating boundary lines and building bridges and trails. He was very proud of the educational value of this project and that it is now recognized as a Schuylkill County Tree Farm by the Forest Service.
He was a member and past president of the Hegins-Valley View Rotary Club, a Paul Harris Fellow, and served as chairman of the scholarship committee. He served as a member of the Hegins Area Ambulance Association Board of Directors and was also a member of several local fire companies.
LeRoy was a member of F&AM Valley Lodge 797, Valley View, Tremont Royal Arch, the Harrisburg Consistory, and the Tall Cedars of Lebanon Forest 125, Millersburg.
He was a member of Zion Lutheran "Klinger's" Church, Erdman, where he served as council president and secretary. He contributed much time and talent to the building and property committee. He also taught Sunday School and was president of the Cemetery Board of Directors for many years.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Mae E. Smeltz, in 1981; his second wife, Dorothy Jean Brosius Adams Smeltz, in 2008: and a brother, Lester D. Smeltz.
He is survived by two daughters, Joyce Dietrich and her husband, Lynn, Chambersburg, and Nancy Hallowell and her husband, Jim, Ottsville; two stepsons, Forrest Adams and his wife, Linda, Mechanicsburg, and Barry Adams and his wife, Mary Jane, Fredericksburg, Va.; two stepdaughters, Rebecca Dietrich and her husband, Daniel, Pitman, and Lori Heim and her husband, Larry, Pitman; an aunt, Ruth Fetter, Leck Kill; 13 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; cousins, nieces and nephews.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Zion Lutheran "Klinger's" Church, Erdman, with the Rev. Jonathon Jenkins and the Rev. Raymond Holland officiating. A viewing will be held from 9 a.m. until the time of services at the church. Interment will be made in Zion Lutheran "Klinger's" Cemetery, Erdman. Memorial contributions can be made to the Dr. LeRoy C. Smeltz Educational Memorial Fund, c/o Gratz National Bank, P.O. Box 816, Valley View, PA 17983. Buffington-Reed Funeral Home, Valley View, is in charge of arrangements. Condolences can be left for the family at www.buffingtonreed.com.
Buffington-Reed Funeral Home
200 West Main Street Valley View, PA 17983
Published in Republican & Herald on Apr. 9, 2013