Donald J. Betz Sr.
MOUNT CARMEL, Pa. — Donald J. Betz Sr., 95, of 210 S. Vine St., passed away Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, at his home.
He was born Jan. 14, 1922, in Locust Gap, a son of the late Christine Betz.
He was a 1939 graduate of Mount Carmel Township High School.
He served in the U.S. Army during World War II as a staff sergeant with the 12th Armored Division. He was part of the Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns. He received the Bronze Star Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the American Theatre Medal and the European Theatre Medal with two bronze stars.
Donald married Helena K. (Knoblauch) Betz on May 1, 1944 in Philadelphia. She preceded him in death April 17, 2000.
Donald had been employed by Acme Markets for 43 years. He retired in 1984.
Donald was a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, the Mount Carmel Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2110, American Legion Post 91, the Clover Hose Fire Co. and a life member of the Locust Gap Fire Co., Aristes Fire Co. and West End Athletic Club Donald was an avid gardener and enjoyed his many trips to the beach. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather.
He is survived by two daughters, Barbara Anne and her husband, Joseph Paul, of Harwich and Helena Betz, of Philadelphia, Pa.; two sons, Peter Betz and his wife, Suzanne, of Strong, Pa. and Donald Betz Jr. and his wife, Sharon, of Mount Carmel Estates, Pa.; 10 grandchildren, which includes, Joey Paul of Long Beach, Calif., Jason (Bethany) Paul of Chatham, Joshua (Shannon) Paul of Groton, Jocelyn (Christopher) Wells of Virginia Beach, Va. and 19 great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church with the Rev. Francis Karwacki as officiant. Burial was in St. Joseph's Cemetery, Locust Gap. A guestbook can be signed at www.stutzfuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers expressions of sympathy can be made to the Mount Carmel Public Library, 30 S. Oak St., Mount Carmel, 17851.
JUST A COMMON SOLDIER
by A. Lawrence Vaincourt
“He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion, telling stories of the past.
Of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies; they were heroes, every one.
And tho' sometimes, to his neighbors, his tales became a joke,
All his Legion buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.
But we'll hear his tales no longer for old Bill has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer, for a soldier died today.
He will not be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,
For he lived an ordinary and quite uneventful life.
Held a job and raised a family, quietly going his own way,
And the world won't note his passing, though a soldier died today.
When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing and proclaim that they were great.
Papers tell their whole life stories, from the time that they were young,
But the passing of a soldier goes unnoticed and unsung.
Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land”
A guy who breaks his promises and cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow who, in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his Country and offers up his life?
A politician's stipend and the style in which he lives
Are sometimes disproportionate to the service that he gives.
While the ordinary soldier, who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal and perhaps, a pension small.
It's so easy to forget them for it was so long ago,
That the old Bills' of our Country went to battle, but we know
It was not the politicians, with their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom that our Country now enjoys.
Should you find yourself in danger, with your enemies at hand,
Would you want a politician with his ever-shifting stand?
Or would you prefer a soldier, who has sworn to defend
His home, his kin and Country and would fight until the end?
He was just a common soldier and his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us we may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict, then we find the soldier's part
Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.
If we cannot do him honor while he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage at the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline in a paper that would say,
Our Country is in mourning, for a soldier died today.