Born Dec. 13, 1918 in Altoona, Pennsylvania, he was the son of the late Harry and Duelcea (Osborn) Brechbiel.
“Whitey” proudly served his country in the United States Army having retired as a Captain in 1962 following 22 years of service. He was the area Army Recruiter. He also served in Korea, Alaska, San Antonio, Texas, Japan and concluded his career in Dover. Following retirement from the military, he was the Purchasing Agent for the Marlite Company for many years.
He was actively involved in the community where he was a member of the St. John’s United Church of Christ having previously served on the church council as Vice President. He served on the board of directors and was past president of the Tuscarawas County YMCA, Past President of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, served on the Dover City Planning Commission and was a longtime high school football referee and in his earlier years officiated basketball. He is probably most remembered as a devout and active Lion both locally and statewide. Known as” Mr. Lion” for many years, Whitey was a life member, Past President and longtime secretary of the Dover Lions Club and was actively involved in the Rose Day activities for many years. He was also formerly the District Governor of the Lions and served on several state committees including former State Council Chairman. He was recently recognized by the Dover club for 55 years of service. He and his wife Margaret traveled to numerous national Lions conventions over the years.
He met a girl on a Friday the 13th named Margaret Buddemeier while in Denver, Colorado. She was a coed from Colorado State University. He bet another soldier $.25 he could get a date with her. The rest is history. Margaret and “Whitey” were married for 66 years until her passing on April 3, 2008.
He will be sadly missed by his family including his daughter JoAnn (Jim) Mercer of New Philadelphia and son, Richard “Dick” (Darlene) Brechbiel of Kokoma, Indiana; seven grandchildren, Scott (Song Pun) Mercer, M. Sean Mercer, Patrick (Kelly) Mercer, Wes (Mackenzie) Brechbiel, Erin Brechbiel, Stephen (Heather) Jackson, and Sandy (Eric) Smith; seven great grandchildren, Elliot, Leah and Olivia Mercer, Zoey Brechbiel, Cameron Smith, Chris Smith and Justin Smith, and Abbi and Kyla Jackson; a sister Joan Huegel of Erie, Pennsylvania and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Verna Street and two brothers, Roy and Ray Brechbiel.
A funeral service celebrating “Whitey’s life will be held Monday, March 11, 2013 beginning at 11am in the Toland-Herzig Funeral Home& Crematory at Dover with Pastor Dotty Hartzell officiating. Interment will be in the Dover Burial Park where the Dover VFW will conduct military honors. A reception will follow in the Dover St. John’s UCC Fellowship Hall. Friends may call at the funeral home on Monday from 10-11am. Those unable to attend or who may wish to express a fond memory of “Whitey”may sign the online guestbook by visiting the “Obituaries and Flowers” link on the funeral home website at www.tolandherzig.com
Memorial contributions may be made to one’s church or favorite charity.
Toland-Herzig Funeral Home& Crematory at Dover