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Russell (Rusty) J. Bergholtz, 63, of Saegertown was called home by his Savior and Lord, surrounded by his loved ones Saturday, September 15, 2018 at UPMC Hamot due to heart complications.
He was born January 8, 1955 in Meadville, the youngest son of Devon (Deacon) N. Bergholtz and Imogene (Jean) L. (Wilson) Bergholtz. He has been a resident of Saegertown since he was 7 years old. He graduated in 1974 from Saegertown High School.
He married Debra N. Vanderhoof November 17, 1979 and they later divorced. He is survived by a daughter, Kristi L. Bergholtz of Saegertown; a loving friend, Joyce David of Grove City; many other good friends; a sister Nancy J. Dearborn, of Erie and several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by an infant brother Devon N. Bergholtz Jr., his paternal grandparents, Norbert F. Bergholtz and Omega D. (Frost) Bergholtz McDowell; his maternal grandparents, James P. Wilson and Mary Kathryn (Bauer) Wilson Grande, and three uncles DeForest McDowell, Thomas Husband and Robert L. Wilson.
He worked at various jobs throughout his life, including driving school bus for many years for the Saegertown Area Schools. He had last worked at Weber Electric Supply Company as Counter Manager.
His true passion in life was Volunteering! He had previously been a Volunteer Fireman with the Saegertown Vol. Fire Dept., West Mead #2 Vol. Fire Dept. at the same time and later on with Hayfield Central Hose Co. #1, where he had also been an E.M.T. and Fire Police Captain.
He previously had been involved with the Boy Scouts of America for many years. First being a Cub Scout with Pack #254 and a Boy Scout with Troop #254, both in Saegertown. He had served has the Advancement Chairman, Assistant Cubmaster and Cubmaster for Pack #254. He also served as a Committeeman for Troop #254. During this time he was also active on the Crawford District later on the (Washington Trail District) staff serving as the Training Chairman, Unit Commissioner, Assistant District Commissioner and also District Commissioner. He also had served as the Chairman for the Patriot’s Day Awards Program (9-11) ceremony, which he truly took pride in doing. He served as the Course Director for OWL Weekend (Outdoor Webelos Leader) Training for many years. He was on staff for the University of Cub Scouting, serving as the Dean and then it’s Advisor for many years.
He was previously employed by the French Creek Council, BSA. Serving as it’s Day Camp Director for seven years and then Camp Director at Custaloga Town Scout Reservation. During his Scouting tenure he was awarded the Silver Beaver Award, which is the highest award that can be bestowed upon a volunteer by a Boy Scout Council. He was also awarded the District Award of Merit, which is the highest award that can be bestowed upon a volunteer by the District. For each of these awards, one is nominated and chosen by their peers. He served on the Silver Beaver Selection Committee several times. He also earned the Distinguished Commissioner Award twice along with many other awards and was also a previous member of the Order of the Arrow, Langundowi Lodge #46. The Order of the Arrow is Scouting’s National Honor Society. He took Wood Badge training completing his ticket as an OWL and later served on staff for a Wood Badge Course.
He was a member of the Twelve Apostles Lutheran Church in Saegertown, where he served as an Acolyte, Usher and on the Church’s Council as Vice-President and President. He also baked the bread for Holy Communion.
He was a member of the B.P.O. Elks, Meadville Lodge #219 for 25 years, serving as the Exalted Ruler during the 2014-2015 Lodge year. He was a member of the Grand Lodge and the Drug Awareness Chairman for the Northwest District of the Pennsylvania State Elks Association.
He was extremely proud of his Native American (Seneca) and German Heritage!
He was an avid baseball, football and hockey fan, enjoying the Erie Seawolves, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Indians, Penn State football, Pittsburgh Steelers and Penguins.
He enjoyed his family and friends, wood working, working around the yard, his dog Shadow and cat Sully, as well as cooking. In 2011 he took 3rd Place at the Crawford County Fair in the Unusual Category for his Pecan Jam.
Calling hours will be Thursday, September 20th from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at the ROBERT W. WAID FUNERAL HOME, 581 CHESTNUT ST., MEADVILLE with an Elks service at 6:45 p.m.
The funeral service will be Friday, September 21st at 2:00 p.m. at Twelve Apostles Lutheran Church, 358 Euclid Avenue, Saegertown with Rev. Mark Fischer, Pastor, officiating.
The family suggests that memorial contributions be made in his name to either the Elks Lodge #219 (for the Major Projects Program), c/o Anne Bluxome, 519 Hartz Ave., Meadville, PA 16335 or Twelve Apostles Lutheran Church, P.O. Box 640, Saegertown, PA 16433.
Memories and condolences may be shared at www.waidfuneralhome.net.
Elks Lodge #219
c/o Anne Bluxome, 519 Hartz Ave., Meadville PA 16335
Twelve Apostles Lutheran Church
358 Euclid Ave., P.O. Box 640, Saegertown PA 16433