HOUTZDALE - James Francis Sherkel, 85, of Houtzdale passed away Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021 at Mt. Nittany Medical Center, State College.
Born May 29, 1935 in Philipsburg, he was the son of the late Carl M. and Lorraine (Hall) Sherkel.
Jim found solace in his faith as a dedicated member of Christ The King Catholic Church, and served as a lector for many years.
He was a 1953 graduate of HWB High School where he was the star pitcher of the school's baseball team.
Jim's passion was baseball and in 1954, he was contracted by the Shelby Clippers, a minor league team of the New York Giants, and had a 32 game pitching career. He continued his love for baseball as a Houtzdale Little League and Teener League coach and worked with the Moshannon Valley High School baseball team as a volunteer pitching coach.
Jim was a founding member and past president of the Moshannon Valley Booster Club, and a PIAA basketball referee.
He enjoyed participating as an End Man in the Moshannon Valley Minstrel Show.
Jim retired from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation as county maintenance manager with Engineering District 2 out of Clearfield after 32 years of service. Prior to his employment at PennDOT, he was employed as a surveyor for Yost Associates and Lee-Simpson Associates.
On Aug. 18, 1956 in Winchester, Va., he married Jeanne Swidersky who survives at home.
Surviving are his five children, James S. (Roxanne) Sherkel, Lisa A. (James) Hawkins, Christopher L. (Marie) Sherkel, Gregory C. (Denise) Sherkel and Jeffrey P. (Beth) Sherkel; along with 10 grandchildren, Brett C. Sherkel, Timothy J. Hawkins, Ryan L. (Elise) Hawkins, Paul M. (Courtney) Hawkins, Justine E. Sherkel, Eric C. Sherkel, Joshua J. Sherkel, Courtney D. (Bryce) Cooper, Sydney J. Sherkel and Karly C. Sherkel. Also surviving are eight great grandchildren, Tara, Henry, Penelope, Roger, Harry, Kyla, Stori, Priya; a sister, Rosemary (Sherkel) Gallagher and her husband Thomas; and numerous nieces and nephews .
Preceding him in death were his parents; and his brother and sister-in-law, Fred and Pauline Sherkel.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, there will be no public visitation.
A private Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated with the Rev. Fr. Joseph Czarkowski as celebrant.
Interment will be at St. Lawrence Cemetery, Houtzdale.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Moshannon Valley Little League, c/o Nick Oppel, 629 Houtz St., Houtzdale, PA 16651.
Online condolences may be made to the family at www.birgerafreebergfuneralhome.com.