James H. Beckley

February 7, 1935 ~ July 19, 2022 (age 87)




James H. Beckley Sr., 87, formerly of Market Street, Mifflinburg, passed away Tuesday, July 19, 2022, at Nottingham Village, Northumberland. James’ wife of 64 years, Janice, passed away in August 2021.

James was born Feb. 7, 1935, in Donora, Pa., a son of the late Hugh and Lillian (Barefoot) Beckley.

James was a graduate of Donora High School, noted in his high school yearbook for his wavy blond hair and impish grin, a friend to all. James enrolled in Juniata College, where he met his future wife, Janice Mertz, and then transferred to Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh as part of a 5 year, dual degree program that saw him graduate with Business and Mechanical Engineering degrees, along with a subsequent MBA from Lehigh University.

On June 8, 1957, James and Janice were married and before long had four sons, resulting in James losing his hair at a fairly young age. All four boys’ first names started with J, giving Janice the name of her arts and crafts company, 6Js, but apparently they couldn’t get the family dog Cinnamon to go along with the naming convention. James was a long-time employee of Bell Telephone of PA and AT&T in New Jersey before retiring, and a member of the First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mifflinburg.

James was an avid reader, volunteer for local Mifflinburg worthy causes, and financial investor, keeping him out of the poorhouse while paying for four boys in college at the same time. James worked with Janice in her arts and crafts business, driving her as far as Dallas, Texas, to attend button collecting shows and fabricating wooden parts for Janice’s handcrafted sheep business (that tip of his finger did eventually grow back). They both spent each winter creating dolls for needy children at the Barefoot School in Haiti.

James is survived by his four sons and three daughters-in-law, James H. Beckley Jr. of Beltsville, Md., Jeffrey M. and Lynn A. Beckley of Batavia, Ill., Jon C. and Tiona A. Beckley of Waverly, Pa., Jay D. Beckley and Nicole L. Stout of Clarksburg, W.Va.; his eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, and one brother-in-law, Bob Snyder of Burlington, Wis.

He was preceded in death by his wife Janice; two sisters, Doris Beckley Dantin, Baton Rouge, La., and Cornelia Beckley Snyder, Burlington Wis.; and brother-in-law, Jack Dantin, Baton Rouge, La.

A private memorial service will be conducted with Rev. Curt Wingert officiating.

Interment will be in Riverview Cemetery, Northumberland.

Contributions in James' memory may be made to the TLC Barefoot School, c/o: Teresa Baudendistel, Treasurer, 3817 Happy Hollow, Bethel OH 45106.

Arrangements are by the Joseph W. Epler Funeral Home, 210 King St., Northumberland.

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