Eugene VanGorder
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PORT ALLEGANY - Eugene Sidney VanGorder, a devoted husband, father, grandfather, pastor, veteran, and friend, died April 29, 2021. He contracted COVID which led to a devastating stroke that ultimately ended his life.
Eugene, Gene to most, died months before a planned 70th birthday celebration for which he requested a firework display and full family attendance. Some might associate such a grand party with a boisterous man, but Gene was well known for his gentle spirit, his curious disposition, and his steadfast commitment to his family. He loved to be outside and was an avid hunter. He was recently at work on a new, elaborate tree stand on the family's property to rival his previous build. He proudly taught all of his children how to hunt, fish, and be industrious with their labors.
Gene graduated from Port Allegany High School with the class of 1970. He enlisted to fight in the Vietnam War and served his country with dignity and bravery for two-and-a-half years in the United States Navy. Upon his return, he was a driller in the gas and oil field industry until his retirement in 1990. Most importantly, Gene loved Jesus and committed his efforts and his attention to knowing God and sharing His love with others. Gene was saved at a Billy Graham service in 1968 and since then, the abundance of joy that Gene found in his relationship with Jesus overflowed into his family and community. His family rejoices that Gene now resides in Heaven, where he can finally ask the deep, philosophical questions that so occupied his earthly conversations.
He is survived by his adoring wife, Sally Anne, of 47 years. Eugene and Sally shared a playful and adventurous love and faced adversity together without fear, assured by their faith.
He is survived by his five children, whom he loved fiercely and counseled wisely. They are Joshua R. (Nyasia) VanGorder of Port Allegany, Brandy L. (Brad) Scott of Meadville, Tammy S. (Robert) VanGorder of Smethport, David J. (Megan) VanGorder of DeKalb, Illinois, and Gerritt S. VanGorder of Port Allegany. He is also survived by his sisters, Sharon (Rick) Swanson of Kersey, and Sandy Urbanick of Fernley, Nev.; his brother, Stanley VanGorder of Indiana, Pa.; and his half-brother, Rick Valentine in Minnesota.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Lois Hardy VanGorder, and his brother, Gordy.
Friends will be received from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday in the Birch Grove Mennonite Church, Port Allegany. Masks will be provided. A private funeral service will be held on Monday, May 3, 2021, at 11 a.m. in the Birch Grove Mennonite Church, with the Rev. Dale Detweiler, pastor, officiating. Burial will be in Annin Creek Cemetery, Turtlepoint. He left an indelible mark on his family, friends, and church community.
Memorials can be directed to Gene's church, Birch Grove Mennonite Church, Two Mile Road, Port Allegany, Pennsylvania.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Switzer Funeral Home, Port Allegany. Condolences can be made at www.switzerfuneralhome.


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Published in The Bradford Era from May 1 to May 8, 2021.
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8 entries
May 5, 2021
Sally we are so sorry to hear about Gene. You two brought a ray of sunshine into our shop every time you stopped in. We always joked around that it would be cheaper for him to buy a new machine with how many trips he would make here trying to fix his old one. You were a shining example of a loving couple and in a business that is normally full of grumpy people and unpleasant daily interactions, having the VanGorders stop in was a welcomed gift. We will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.
- Your Friends at Cleveland Brothers Equipment Company in Lantz Corners
Heather Ritts & Coworkers
Friend
May 4, 2021
Sally and family, we are deeply sorry for your loss which will leave a huge hole in your hearts! He is rejoicing now and waiting for us to join him! We dearly loved his kind, loving spirit. He was always so happy to see us when we came back to visit! Blessings and prayers as you grieve. Love you!
Jerry and Julie Edgreen
Julie Edgreen
Friend
May 2, 2021
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May 2, 2021
Gene was a great guy. I loved getting to know him whenever I visited from college. He was kind, caring, would make me laugh and always asking deep questions. Gene will be so missed!
Jennifer Freeman
Friend
May 1, 2021
Thoughts and prayers. Love to you all.
Heather Kerrick (Miles)
Neighbor
May 1, 2021
Gene was such a kind soul! The last time I saw him and Sally was last year when we went home to visit and he gave me a hug a told me he was so happy I was doing so well since my stroke. All our love to Sally and the kids!!
LuAnn Gamet
Friend
May 1, 2021
He was a gentle and kind man. He left no doubt with any one he spoke to that he loved JESUS. He was an inspiration to me and my 3 children. He will be forever remembered in my heart til JESUS takes me home. I love you Sally and am thinking of you constantly. So glad we joined as family!
Lettie
Family
April 30, 2021
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
Jan Bloss
Friend
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