THOMPSONTOWN - J. Frederick "Fred" Heath, 81, of Thompsontown, died at 6:56 a.m. Monday, July 2, 2012, at his home.
Born March 8, 1931, in Thompsontown, Juniata County, he was a son of the late John F. and Helen F. (Forney) Heath. On June 30, 1950, he married his surviving wife, Janet F. (Freed) Heath, with whom he shared more than 62 years of marriage.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by: his children, Dennis F. Heath and wife, Lois, of Oriental, and Debbie C. Winey and husband, Guy, of Mt. Pleasant Mills; four grandchildren, Stacey Snyder and husband, Lonnie, of Richfield, Seth F. Heath, of Oriental, Jill Witherite and husband, Jeffrey, of Mt. Pleasant Mills, Jason Winey, of Middleburg; and he leaves behind three great-grandchildren, Laura Snyder and her fiance, Joshua McMillen, of Quakertown, Carson Witherite and Lydia Witherite, both of Mt. Pleasant Mills.
J. Frederick ‘Fred’ Heath
He is the last of his generation, having been preceded in death by two sisters, Betty H. Sausman and Nancy H. Pheasant.
Fred was a 1948 graduate of Thompsontown High School and an active, lifelong member of the Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Thompsontown, where he served as Luther League leader, on the church council and at different times as the superintendent and teacher for both adult and children's Sunday school.
He was also a member of the Tennis Lodge No. 371 F&AM, Thompsontown, where he had served as chaplain, and the Tall Cedars of Lebanon Juniata Valley Forrest No. 88. During his membership of the Thompsontown Lions Club, he served on the entertainment committee, and was instrumental in helping to organize the Fall Fest, where he was in charge of the games for many years.
In 1988, he was the honored recipient of the Outstanding Citizen award.
His interest in Scouting led him to help form the Thompsontown Boy Scout Troop 69. Fred also served as the Explorer Advisor, served on the Cub Committee, and was a certified Merit Badge Councilor. In 1962, he was honored for his dedication to Scouting with the Shawnee District Gold Medal Award.
Another membership was the J. E. Bowen AmVets Post 122, Thompsontown, where he was in charge of the annual trout derby for many years.
For 31 years, Fred, along with his wife, Janet, felt it was their civic duty to honor the veterans buried in the Emmanuel Lutheran Cemetery, by placing American flags on their graves.
In earlier life, Mr. Heath was employed by Standard Steel, Burnham, and later Precision Ware of Thompsontown after which he worked for Lewistown Specialty Yarn, until retiring in 1996.
Fred's love of the outdoors was embodied in his enjoyment of hunting and fishing, especially his trips to Michigan for salmon; however, his greatest joy came from spending time with his children, grandchildren and great- grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 5, 2012, from the Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Thompsontown, with the Rev. Michael Sigler officiating. Interment will follow in the church cemetery.
Viewing will be from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service, Thursday at the church, where Masonic services will be accorded by his lodge, at 10:45 a.m.
For those who desire, memorial contributions in Mr. Heath's memory may be made to the Hospice of Central PA, 1320 Linglestown Road, Harrisburg, PA 17110.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Brown Funeral Homes Inc., 100 Bridge St., Mifflintown.
Online tributes and condolences may be sent to the family at www.brownfuneralhomesinc.com.