Joseph H. Eichenlaub
Joseph H. Eichenlaub, 90, of Sonestown, died Wednesday, April 18, 2012, at the Muncy Valley Hospital Skilled Nursing Unit.
Born March 29, 1922, in Williamsport, he was a son of the late Harry and Olive (Buck) Eichenlaub. His wife of 52 years, the former Marie E. Eichenlaub (Boatman), preceded him in death on Nov. 2, 1995.
Joe was a graduate of Hughesville High School, Class of 1942, and was always proud that he won the Lycoming County Future Farmers of America title for identifying trees. He was employed at the former Schneidig Furniture, Montoursville, retiring in 1986.
One of Joe’s greatest passions in life was baseball. He was an influence and inspiration to many in the area who grew up associating him with Little League. He was one of the founders of the Sullivan County Little League, which was the third league started in the country. He coached the Sonestown team for 18 years, coached All Star teams and served many years as the league president. He was also an umpire for the Little League World Series qualifying rounds and his original umpiring equipment is in the Little League Museum in South Williamsport. Joe later coached junior league teams in Picture Rocks and was one of the coaches of the Picture Rocks Rockets when they won the West Branch Championship in 1971.
Joe was always able to see the irony of simple things and had a great ability to entertain. He used this skill for many years as a popular bartender in the area and worked such places as Hotel Laporte, Sonestown Hotel, Pine Tavern and for several years he managed the Sonestown Legion.
He enjoyed playing darts and pool and held the record of “high game” in the Sullivan County Dart League. Some of his other hobbies were hunting, fishing and training beagles for field trial competitions. In the spring, Joe could be seen on his Farmall tractor helping people in Sonestown get their gardens ready for planting, usually preparing his own garden last.
Joe was inducted into the Pennsylvania Voters Hall of Fame for voting in every election for over 60 years, an accomplishment he was very proud of.
His physical disability often slowed him down but he never let it stop him. He was much loved in the community and will be remembered for his generosity and ability to always make people laugh.
Surviving are a son, Rick Eichenlaub of Springdale; a daughter, Linda Sleighter of Suffolk, Va.; three sisters, Lucille (Robert) Campbell of Muncy, Betty Burkholder of Muncy and Madeline Sheetz of Picture Rocks; two grandchildren, Joel Eichenlaub and Emily Rowlands; and two great-grandchildren.
In addition to his wife and parents, Joe was preceded in death by four brothers, John, Milner, Benjamin and Marvin Eichenlaub and a sister, Beatrice Anderson.
Funeral services were held 10 a.m. Monday at the Valley United Methodist Church, 1874 Route 220 Highway, Muncy Valley, with the Rev. Charles A. Harris Sr. officiating. Burial followed in Hillcrest Cemetery, Sonestown. Friends called from 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday at the McCarty-Thomas Funeral Home, 557 E. Water St., Hughesville.
The family provided the flowers and suggest memorial contributions be made to the Sullivan County Midget League, 14782 Route 87, Dushore, PA 18614.
Expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family at www.mccartythomas.com.