SUNBURY — Gary D. Yagel, 64, of 438 N. Second St., went home to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009, after a two-year battle with cancer. He passed away peacefully at home with his family at his side.
He was born July 9, 1945, in Shamokin, but was raised and educated in Sunbury. He was a son of Betty (Rice) Yagel, of Milton, and the late John Z. Yagel. On Jan. 1, 1963, he married the former Shirley A. Clark in First Baptist Church, Sunbury, where they still attended at the time of his passing. Gary's passing broke a 47-year union of love. They had two children, Stanley J. Yagel and Denise M. Berry.
Gary started his career at the Sunbury Daily Item when he was 11, working as a paper boy until entering a full-time position in advertising. He went on to be a printer and composer in later years. He worked for the Item for 36 years until his retirement in 1998. After retirement, he and a buddy painted for 10 years for family and friends before he got sick and could not work anymore.
Gary enjoyed many different types of activities in his lifetime, like watching football with his family, picnics on the porch and going to his grandchildren's games and activities. He was always there to help his children and grandchildren with whatever came along. He was a good dad and husband, and he loved his family very much. He had a great sense of humor and a great attitude, which got him through the cancer years.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Gary and five other friends purchased a hunting cabin in Bald Eagle Forest, near Hartleton, where he had lots of good memories. He was a member of the Susquehanna Valley Billiard League for many years as an assistant coach and coach at one time or another, a life member of the Americus Hose Company and Northumberland Fire Company and a social member of the Loyal Order of Moose and Sunbury Social Club.
Gary and his wife loved to ride motorcycle for most of their married years, with many friends and family down through the years. He especially enjoyed going to Bike Week in Ocean City, Md., each year in September with his good friends. He had just become a member of the American Legion Riders, but never got a chance to ride with them. He especially loved going to church on Sunday morning and being with his church family, whom he loved dearly. Gary had many friends from all walks of life, and he treasured each and every one of them.
In addition to his wife and mother, he is survived by one son, Stanley J. Yagel and his companion, Lisa Hogarty, of Trevorton; one daughter and son-in-law, Denise M. and Michael A. Berry, of Sunbury; five grandchildren, Morgan Yagel, of Danville, Michael A. Berry II, of Sunbury, Kennedie Yagel, of Northumberland, and Chase and Haley Hogarty, of Trevorton; one brother and sister-in-law, John and Lorraine Yagel, of Sunbury; sister-in-law, Connie Yagel, of Dornsife; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Diane and Terry Patterson, of Bloomsburg; sister-in-law, Alice Clark and her companion, George Wendt, of Northumberland; and his many loving nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father and one brother, Robert Yagel, of Dornsife.
A viewing will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday in First Baptist Church, Fourth and Chestnut streets, Sunbury, where the funeral will be conducted at 11 a.m. Monday with the Rev. Darrin G. Hunt officiating.
Burial will be in Pomfret Manor Cemetery, Sunbury.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations in Gary's memory be made to the American Cancer Society, Patient Service Center, P.O. Box 897, Hershey, PA 17033, or Geisinger Hospice, 100 N. Academy Ave., Mc24-11, Danville, PA 17822-2411, or First Baptist Church, Fourth and Chestnut streets, Sunbury, PA 17801.
Funeral arrangements are by the Jerre Wirt Blank Funeral Home, 395 State St., Sunbury.