Gary R. VogelSeptember 30, 1947 ~ January 19, 2018 (age 70)
Gary R. Vogel slipped peacefully to his heavenly home on the cold morning of Jan. 19, 2018. Gary finished his final battle, with his faithful family and friends walking him to victory.
Gary was welcomed to this world on Sept. 30, 1947, by his loving parents Frank J. Vogel and Mildred "Babe" (Flexer) Vogel. Gary was raised to work hard, play hard and never quit fighting! He enjoyed playing baseball, hunting, fishing, assembling model rockets and shooting guns.
Gary graduated from Williamsport High School in June of 1965. He received his draft papers and quickly went to the local Army recruiting office to enlist. Following in his father's footsteps, Gary served this great country. He was a door gunner in a UH-1H "Huey" in the 189th Assault Helicopter Company, which was under the 52nd Aviation Battalion falling under the 1st Aviation Brigade. He served one and a half tours during the TET Offensive. It was one of the largest military campaigns during the Vietnam War. Gary was shot in the hip forcing him to return home leaving his brothers to finish the fight. His decorations, medals, badges, and campaign ribbons awarded include the Vietnam Service Metal with two bronze service stars, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Metal Marksman (Rifle M-14) National Defense Service Metal and Sharp Shooter (Rifle M-16). His rank was SP4(T). Sadly, this war wouldn't end for Gary and his family until he breathed his last breath.
Gary retired from Textron after 41 years of service as an aircraft engine assembler.
On July 10 1971, Gary married Sharon Lusk and together they had two children, Michele and Ricky. The wages of war took its toll on Gary's marriage. After 26 years together Gary and Sharon felt it best to divorce. Although they no longer remained married, they were always there and faithful to their children, remaining friends until the very end.
Gary met Dot Blanchard from Louisiana and they were married on Sept. 29, 2001, in the backyard of Gary's Loyalsock home.
Gary always enjoyed raising animals and having pet turkeys, ducks, geese, chickens, pigs, dogs, horses, deer and even goats. He loved nature and especially enjoyed fishing.
He often would call his children and was very proud of all of their accomplishments. He was most proud that his children and grandchildren loved God. He longed for the peace of knowing God's love. He finally committed his life to his Lord and Savior, Jesus, in December 2017. He experienced a peace he had only dreamed of for 50 years.
Gary was predeceased by his parents.
He is survived by wife, Dot (Blanchard) Vogel; a daughter, Michele (Brock) Machmer, of Williamsport; a son, Gary "Ricky" (Jodi) Vogel II, of Canton; two stepdaughters, Keysha Pruitt, of Williamsport and Tessa Pruitt, of Cleveland, Texas; six grandchildren, Elizabeth, Faith, Clayton and Blaine Vogel and Erin and Abbie Machmer; three step-grandchildren, Nick, Noah, and Jake; a sister, Carol (Larry) Rudy, of Danville; ex-wife and friend Sharon (Lusk) Biber; brother-in-law, Kenny Haines; special niece, Kristin (Rudy Loadwick); a special nephew, Scott (Nicole) Rudy; and faithful friends, Sonny Bhagat and "brotha" Rob "Chuck" Fausey.
A funeral service to honor the life of Gary will be held 11 a.m. Wednesday, January 24 at Faith Wesleyan Church, 1033 Tucker St., Williamsport, with Pastor Casey Spencer officiating. Interment will follow at Wildwood Cemetery. A viewing will be held from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, January 23at Knight Confer Funeral Home, 1914 Memorial Ave., Williamsport.
Memorial contributions may be made in Gary's name to Susquehanna Health Foundation, c/o the Gatehouse, 1001 Grampian Blvd., Williamsport, PA 17701.