Olean- Eugene William Wascher, age 89, passed away peacefully in the Olean General Hospital on Wednesday, (May 20th). He was comforted in his stairway to heaven by family members.
Gene was born on April 4, 1931 in Williamsport, PA. He was the son of the late Charles L. Wascher and his mother, Myrtle M. Decker, both of Williamsport, PA.
In his early years, Gene was a member of the inaugural Little League team in Williamsport, PA. In August of 2018, Gene was honored at the Little League World Series as one of the founding players. His entire family was in attendance for this unique tribute.
While attending Williamsport Area High School, Gene was very active in sports, particularly football. He was a two-year starter and his senior year (48-49) he was the chosen captain of the football team. Also, during his teenage years, Gene enjoyed Boy Scouts, Marksmanship, and he took a keen interest in the art of fly fishing and fly tying. As a father, Gene passed along his craft of fly tying to his son Steven, and in turn, Steven passed the skills to his son Lee (Gene’s Grandson). Therefore, four generations have engaged in this artful process.
Upon Graduation from high school, Gene was employed by the Pennsylvania Railroad for a period of two years. In 1951 he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and became a radio operator. Eventually, Gene was transferred to Chicksands, England for permanent duty. However, prior to departure to England, Gene married the love of his life, June Marie Wolfinger. While in England, June gave birth to their first child, Susan Marie, on April 4, 1954.
While in the Air Force, Gene acquired the rank of Staff Sargent (E-5). Also, he gained the friendship of many life- long friends whom he was in contact with until his final days. Upon Genes discharge from the Air Force, the family returned to Williamsport where Gene was reemployed at The Pennsylvania Railroad. While working full time, Gene continued his education at Williamsport Community College in the field of Drafting.
In 1959 Gene accepted a job in Olean, NY with the Dresser-Rand Co., as a draftsman. While at Dresser, he formulated many great bonds with his coworkers as continued to enhance his drafting skills. In January of 1971 Gene accepted a position as a drafting instructor at Alfred State College, in Wellsville, NY.
Gene enjoyed both his coworkers and students alike, so much as to say he received “the Teacher of the Year Award” in 1986. Gene retired after 20.5 years as a senior professor. While at Alfred State, Gene was a member of the following: United University Professors, The Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Technical Illustrators Society of America.
In addition to his professional career, Gene was extremely active in his Faith. Both he and June were very active with the First Presbyterian Church of Olean for 60 years. He served as an usher, Deacon, Elder and with various committees. His church family was very near and dear to his heart.
Upon his retirement, he and June spent winters in New Smyrna Beach, FL. There they engaged in many unique activities and enjoyed the great company of their many acquaintances. Gene had many interests in life including: Bird watching and bird painting, golf, fly fishing, hunting, and spending time with his wife June and family.
He is survived by his daughter Susan Marie (Michael) of Chambersburg, PA and his son, Steven C. (Cheryl) of Greenhurst, NY. Gene has four grandchildren, Erin (Brian) Honsermeyer and Michael Breslin; Andrew and Lee (Barbara) Wascher. In addition to his grandchildren, he is survived by the three great grandsons; Patrick, James, and Evan.
In addition to his wife, he was predeceased by one brother; Louis Charles Wascher (September 4, 2018)
Donations can be made to The American Cancer Society; Loaves and Fishes Southern Food Pantry, 753 Prospect Ave, Olean, NY; First Presbyterian Church, 212 Laurens St. Olean, NY.
A graveside service will be held in Williamsport, PA on Thursday, May 28, 2020. Also, a memorial service will be held in Olean at a later date.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Guenther Funeral Home, Inc., 1303 E. State Street, Olean. Online condolences may be made at www.guentherfh.com.
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