Marlin “Lee” Bettleyon, 86, of Northumberland, passed away on Wednesday, March 29. He was born in Sunbury on April 25, 1935, and was the oldest of five children. Lee was the son of the late Eugene and Bessie (Hoey) Bettleyon.
He was a Norry Pineknotter and graduated from that High School in 1954. Lee was a quadruple letterman in baseball, football, basketball and gymnastics. After high school, he was recruited by the Pittsburgh Pirates to play in a Minor League Division. Lee chose instead to stay in Northumberland to marry his High School Sweetheart, Doris (Bollinger) on March 26, 1954. Lee and Doris were married for 49 years. Their five children and eight grandchildren include, Lee Ann (the late Jim) Wagner of Northumberland; David (Carol) Bettleyon of Northumberland, and their two sons, Brian and Troy; Lina (Shawn) Longacre of Paxinos, and her daughters Amanda and Alison Wagner; Raymond (Barbara) Bettleyon of Mt. Carmel, and their sons, Dr. Jordan Bettleyon, Colin and Jonas; and Jessie (Todd) Smith of Sunbury, and their son, Joshua. Lee also has three great-grandchildren, Tori Schellar, Deegan and Preslee Reichenbach, of Sunbury. He also has numerous nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews. He is survived by his sisters, Bonnie Aleta, Cindy McKee, and a brother, Jeff Bettleyon.
After high school, Lee continued to play baseball for the West Branch Aces and the Northumberland A’s. He also played softball for a few years and coached Little League and Teener League in Northumberland for 28 years. On May 27, 2019, Lee was surrounded by his family and inducted into the Northumberland Baseball Hall of Fame. He and his wife were sports enthusiasts and while his health allowed, he would attend athletic events and programs of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He enjoyed going to baseball and softball games, basketball, football and wrestling matches. For years, he would show up at Shikellamy’s district office to ask for his Senior Citizen discount to attend events. Lee loved archery, hunting, fishing, boating and camping. He taught his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to shoot bow and arrow and was probably present when they caught their first fish. He would also faithfully fill his bird feeders and watch the birds and squirrels from the windows. Lee seemed to know and talk to everyone, and because of that, he was also affectionately referred to as, “The Mayor of Point Township.” For years Lee and his wife Doris played Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus for Mount Carmel Area School District, Winnie the Pooh Daycare and for his family and their Christmas parties. As a favorite tradition, he was known for collecting free items from businesses or purchasing items with coupons and then wrapping them in newspaper and giving them out at Christmas. Another tradition was for Doris to make homemade vegetable soup and the two would host a party at their house for family and friends to watch the Northumberland Halloween parade.
Lee became employed with Pennsylvania American Water Co. when he was a teenager. He worked with the company as a utility worker/operations manager for 38 years until his retirement.
As a widower later in life, he found an enjoyable companion, Carol Diehl of Northumberland. Carol has been by his side for the past 13 years. The two enjoyed going to concerts and sporting events together, bus trips, playing cards and getting together with family and friends.
Lee was proceeded in death by his parents; his wife, Doris; a sister and brother-in-law, Judy and Gene Ray; and a son-in-law, James Wagner.
A viewing will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. on. Wednesday at the Joseph W. Epler Funeral Home, 210 King St., Northumberland, where funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. with Rev. Karla Leiby officiating.
Burial will follow in Riverview Cemetery, Northumberland.
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