Richard S. Van Scoyoc
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Oct. 16, 1916 - April 30, 2019
Richard S. Van Scoyoc, Altoona, 102, died peacefully at his home on Tuesday, April 30, 2019.
He was born in Bellwood, son of Edward A. and Flora (Sitman) Van Scoyoc. He married Margaret Carn on June 23, 1951, at Jaggard Memorial Methodist Church.
Surviving are his wife; and his son, Timothy of Altoona.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Lillian Botwright Clifford; and a half-brother, Roy.
Richard was a veteran of World War II. On Jan. 23, 1941, he enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army and served with the 305 Signal Company Airwing in Puerto Rico. After attaining the rank of sergeant, he was accepted into Air Corps Administration Officer Candidate School in Miami Beach, Fla., and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant on Dec. 9, 1942. He then served as a supply officer with the 30th Troop Carrier Squadron, 89th Group at Dev Valle A.A.B. in Austin, Texas and the 55th Troop Carrier Squadron, Fifth Air Force, in New Guinea and the Philippines, rising to the rank of captain. He received the following medals for his service: American Defense Medal with Bronze Star; American Theater of Operations Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Medal with six Battle Stars; Philippine Liberation Medal with Bronze Star; Presidential Unit Citation; Good Conduct Medal; WWII Victory Medal; Armed Force Reserve Medal with Hour Glass Device; and Air Force Longevity Service Medal. Following the war, he remained in the U.S. Air Force Reserves and retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1969.
Richard graduated from Altoona High School in 1934. Upon returning from his military service, he attended Penn State University on the G.I. Bill, receiving the degrees of Bachelor of Arts in 1949 and Master of Education in 1952. He taught math and history for the Altoona Area School District, four years at Roosevelt Junior High School and 26 years at Altoona Area High School. He also served for a time as a guidance counselor and for one year was acting secondary curriculum coordinator. He retired in 1979 after 30 years of service.
In 1939, Richard was granted a local preacher's license in the Methodist Church, and he served for many years as a lay speaker in the Altoona District of the United Methodist Church. He provided pulpit supply for 61 different churches in central Pennsylvania on 327 different Sundays. He was a member of Christ Community United Methodist Church (formerly 58th Street United Methodist Church), where he taught Sunday school and held many offices, including lay leader, chairman of administrative board, church historian and Sunday school superintendent. Richard preached a final time at Christ Community church on his 100th birthday.
Richard was a life member of the Blair County Historical Society, where he served as a vice-president, trustee and member of the board of managers. He also drove for Meals on Wheels and was a board member and worker at the Altoona Food Bank.
Friends will be received from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday, May 3, 2019, and from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, May 4, 2019, at The Good Funeral Home Inc., Alto-Reste Park, where a funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, the Rev. Rebecca L. Holland officiating.
Memorial gifts may be made to Christ Community United Methodist Church Altoona or to the Blair County Historical Society.