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Gerald's Story

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Gerald H. Botdorf, 76, of McClure, went to be with his Heavenly Father on Oct. 26, 2017.
He was born Oct. 11, 1941, in Harrisburg, a son of the late Howard and Irene (Mengel) Botdorf, of Millerstown.

He is survived by his loving wife Harriet (Hawk) Botdorf, with whom he celebrated 50 years of marriage in December 2016.
He and his wife were blessed with three daughters, Natalie (Bill) Taylor, of Cleveland, Ohio, Rhonda (Scott) Ritter, of Mifflinburg, and Christy (Greg) Roelke, of York; and is also survived by his grandchildren, Benjamin, Andrew, Julia, Kayla and Nathaniel Taylor, Jenna and Jeremiah Ritter, Evelyn Roelke, and two stepgranddaughters, Lauren Roelke and Jordyn Pope; three sisters, Dawn (Donald) Brink, of Hummelstown, Darlene (Larry) Jones, of Birdsboro, and Delores White, of McAlisterville; a sister-in-law, Gloria (Jack) Wagner, of McClure; a brother-in-law, the late Baird Hawk; along with numerous nieces and nephews.

Jerry graduated from Greenwood High School. He enjoyed scouting and earned the rank of Eagle Scout. He attended Elizabethtown College, earning a teaching degree and lettering in soccer and baseball for each of his four years at E-town. Jerry was a member of the Blue Jay soccer teams who won the 1959 Middle Atlantic Conference Championship and the 1960 National Championship, a team that was inducted into the Elizabethtown College Athletic Hall of Fame.
After earning a graduate degree from Penn State University, Jerry began his teaching career at West Snyder High School and taught there for 35 years before retiring in 1999. He was involved in many dimensions of school life, but some of the highlights of his service to the Mounties included serving as a Student Council advisor, a varsity baseball coach for 10 years, an assistant baseball coach for seven years, an assistant soccer coach for 10 years, and a varsity soccer coach for 19 years. Many memorable moments were shared with the young men and fellow coaches on those athletic teams, but one of Coach Botdorf's personal favorites was the 1973 Pennsylvania State Soccer Championship. On and off the field he felt it was a privilege to be able to positively impact and mentor the students and athletes who attended West Snyder.
Not only did Jerry contribute to life at the high school, but he also valued giving back to his community in ways such as coaching VFW Teener Summer baseball for 13 years and supervising a summer youth recreation program in McClure for nine years. After retirement, he remained actively involved with the Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association, serving as the State's statistician and historian for 30 years, and executive secretary for 24 years, along with receiving the organization's Honor Award in 2000, and PSCA Service Award in 2007.
He particularly loved the outdoors and pursued all of his passions with gusto, which included archery and other deer hunting seasons on Shade Mountain, surface hunting Indian artifacts, traveling to six continents with his wife, and serving his beloved Mount Bethel Church family. Jerry maintained an abiding love for the Lord Jesus Christ. He was a member of various organizations such as the Snyder County Historical Society, the Indian Artifact Collectors Association of the North East, and the Masonic Lodge of Middleburg. Jerry lived life to its fullest!

Friends and family will be received from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Mount Bethel Church, 16 E. Specht St., McClure, where the funeral will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the McClure Revitalization Committee, c/o Robin Grove, PO Box 158, 10 S. Brown St., McClure, PA 17841.

Arrangements are by the Pheasant Funeral Home, 316 W. Market St., Beavertown.
Published on October 29, 2017
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