Dr. LeRoy C. Smeltz, 85, of 1108 W. Mountain Road, Hegins, died Sunday, April 7, 2013 at his residence.
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He was born on Saturday, November 5, 1927, on the family farm near Sacramento, Schuylkill County, a son of William Roy and Verna Wagner Smeltz.
He graduated from the former Hubley Twp High School in 1945. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education in June of 1951 from Penn State. In August of 1957 he received his Master of Science 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 the Millersburg High School for one year. In September of 1952 he began teaching Vocational Agriculture at the 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. LeRoy served as Executive Secretary of the Pennsylvania Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association for five years and president of the Tri-Valley Community Fair Association for thirty-two 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.
He 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.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Mae E. Smeltz in 1981; his second wife Dorothy Jean Brosius Adams Smeltz in 2008: and by a brother Lester D. Smeltz.
He is survived by two daughters Joyce Dietrich and her husband Lynn of Chambersburg, and Nancy Hallowell and her husband Jim of Ottsville; two step sons Forrest Adams and his wife Linda of Mechanicsburg, Barry Adams and his wife Mary Jane of Fredericksburg, VA; two step daughters Rebecca Dietrich and her husband Daniel of Pitman, Lori Heim and her husband Larry of Pitman; an aunt Ruth Fetter of Leck Kill; thirteen grandchildren; sixteen great grandchildren; and several cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Services were to be held at Zion Lutheran "Klinger's" Church, Erdman, on Wednesday, April 10, 2013, at 11:00 am, with Rev. Jonathon Jenkins and Rev. Raymond Holland officiating.
A viewing was held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Wednesday at the church.
Burial 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 The News Item on Apr. 11, 2013