American Veteran 01

James Edwin Bechtold

May 17, 1924 ~ April 7, 2023 (age 98) 98 Years Old


James Bechtold of Bolivar, PA passed away Friday, April 7, 2023 at 98 years old. Jim was a devoted husband to Ann (deceased), a loving father to three children, and son of Evan Samuel Bechtold and Virginia Ruth (Snyder) Bechtold. He was born in 1924 in West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh, and graduated from Ligonier High School. Then went to work at US Steel, before joining the US Army. Although he was trained in ground artillery, he served in WW II in England, as a Top Gunner on a B-17 until the armistice when he became chief of the guards of the prison camps in Landsberg, Germany. During that time he suffered injuries. After recovering from his injuries, Jim went to Bolivar, PA to visit his grandfather, Ed (Sneezy) Snyder former Mayor of Bolivar. There he met Annie Dominick, his future wife, and Bolivar became his home for the rest of his life. In the early 50's he was an avid stock car racer, but gave it up to spend more time with his family. A lifetime member of Bolivar United Methodist Church, Jim served on the church council for several years. He also served on the Bolivar Town Council. After his military service, Jim became a watchmaker and worked at a jewelry store in Johnstown. In later years he owned an insurance agency. In retirement he and his wife Ann owned and operated Dom's Deli in -Bolivar, PA. Jim is survived by his three children: Karen Gerlach (Rob) of Greensburg, James Robert Bechtold, of Bolivar PA, and Jane Bishop (Lee) of Baltimore, MD. as well as a grandson Jeffrey DeAmicis Knowles Gerlach (Stephanie) of Boston MA. He will be fondly remembered by friends for his good nature and dry sense of humor.  A  funeral service will be held at the Bolivar United Methodist Church on Tuesday April 11, 2023 at 1 :00 pm with Pastor Ron Gardner officiating. Interment will follow in the Saint Simon and Jude Cemetery, Blairsville, with the Blairsville Military Service Group presenting Military Honors.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Bolivar United Methodist Church. McCabe Funeral Home, 144 East Main Street, Ligonier is in charge of arrangements.

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