Wilbur Akerman Newell passed away peacefully at his farm in Stahlstown May 19, 2020, at 100 years old. He will be greatly missed by many including his wife, daughter, son-in-law, two grandsons, nieces and nephews. For those who knew him, he was an American hero and a legend in many ways. He was born Sept. 28, 1919, in Irwin.He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert E. and Agnes Newell; a grandmother, Helen Akerman; a brother, Robert Newell; two sisters, Lorna Brentzel and Nancy Schade; a niece, Kathy Newell; and a great-niece, Kelly Brentzel. He is survived by his wife, Carole Jones Newell; a daughter, April Newell Storm; a son-in-law, Justin J. Storm; two grandsons, Sage and Fisher Newell Storm; nephews, Terry Newell, Craig Brentzel and John and David Schade; and nieces, Cheryl Eiras, Barbra Jo Iverson and Becky Schade. He was a decorated veteran and hero in World War II with the 467th Bomb Group in the Army 8th Air Force (the Rackheath Aggies). He flew 35 missions over Germany out of Rackheath, England, in a B-24 as a navigator. His time in the military stuck with him his whole life and even in his final years he would tell you he couldn't "read" you when he couldn't hear what you where saying. His family members greatly enjoyed listening to all of his tales of his time spent during this period and will treasure them forever. After the war, he started up various businesses in the Irwin area including a machine shop with his father and brother called Newell & Sons with money from a GI loan. The shop was a huge part of his life up until the time he bought his farm in his early 50s in Stahlstown. Before he had a child of his own, he spent much time with his nieces and nephews and looked at them as his own children. They have many great memories of him hunting, fishing, waterskiing, motorcycling, flying and loaning them his car. He even flew one of them to and from college in his plane on the weekends. In the 70s he bought the farm in Stahlstown and settled down with his wife and daughter in his "retirement" years. During this time, he raised quarter horses and Angus cattle. He continued to raise cattle until the age of 90. In addition, Wilbur beat cancer at 90 and recovered from a broken hip at 95 years old. His daughter is extremely grateful for all the memories that she got to make with him during her life. She spent much of her youth following Wilbur around the farm "helping" fix fence, tending to cattle, picking apples and berries and working on tractors and cars. He also made time to help her with homework and ensure she understood the value of a good education along with being able to put that knowledge into everyday skills. He taught her the value of hard work but told her you must also remember to enjoy life too. This time will never be forgotten. During the last few years his wife, Carole was his main caregiver and spent almost every minute together with Wilbur. These are times that she will miss and remember fondly. His favorite hobby in life was flying his Ryan Navion. He spent much time flying in and out of Jeannette and Latrobe Airports. He also would fly out west and into Canada for hunting and fishing trips when he was younger. Later in life, Macular Degeneration took much of his eyesight so he turned to other hobbies such as farming and watching Steelers and Penn State football on TV. He was also a member of the Donegal VFW. Wilbur always told his friends and family that the ticket to a long life was to never stop moving and don't worry about things too much. His favorite sayings were "Whatever" and "Whatever will be will be." He lived life to the fullest and made every minute of it count. There will be a private service at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Stahlstown. A celebration of life will be held at a later time when it is safe to do so. Arrangements are being handled by SNYDER FUNERAL HOME INC., Ligonier. Memorial contributions can be made in Wilbur's name to the American Cancer Society.
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Published in Greensburg Tribune Review on May 24, 2020.