Dr. John F. Bleyer, 85, of Greensburg
Distinguished and devoted member of our community; the good Dr. John F. Bleyer, professor emeritus, passed away peacefully at the age of 85, on August 26th under the care of Excela Health Hospice at Westmoreland Hospital.
He is preceded in death by parents, Clarence Bleyer and Edith Gamber; along with his sister Carol Ann Doyle (Kenneth) and his eldest son Shawn Paul Bleyer. Dr. Bleyer is survived by his beloved wife of 35 years,Victoria Schwartz Bleyer; his siblings Micheal Bleyer, Patricia Childs (Robert), and Terrie Eshleman (Micheal). John’s brilliant influence is lovingly embodied by his children; son James Bleyer (Daisy Holzapfel) with mother Bernadette Hines Bleyer; his daughters Patricia Bleyer Gearhart (Bill Deditch), Deborah Anne Bodnar (Brian Miller), Carol Bleyer Hafer; along with his grandchildren Donald Gearhart, Regis Bodnar, Matthew Bodnar, Ashley Spallone, Anastazia Byerly-Bleyer, Gail Hafer,Mark Hafer and Brian Miller Jr.; plus numerous nieces and nephews.
Dr. Bleyer was born in Washington D.C. and then moved to Mount Joy, PA with his family. As a teenager he enjoyed wrestling and weightlifting immensely. He proudly served our country for 4 years in the U.S.Navy Reserves further transferring to the U.S. Army as a tank commander and drill instructor with the 7th Armored Cavalry. In the later half of his service, he was transferred to Iceland, which he enjoyed telling many stories about.
Following his service, Dr. Bleyer enthusiastically earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Ohio, his teaching certification at the Millersville University of Pennsylvania, his doctorate in education at the University of Pittsburgh and did post-graduate work at Duquesne University.
Dr. Bleyer passionately led a life of scholarship. His 43 year teaching career began in the Lancaster, PA area. When he relocated to Greensburg, he taught and became the principal of Hannastown Elementary, also acting as the first director of the Headstart Child Development Center in PA. Subsequently, he was a professor of philosophy at Seton Hill University. Eventually, at Saint Vincent College he chaired the Education Department and was the certification officer for the PA College Education Department, mentoring the upcoming education leaders of other colleges and universities.
Dr. Bleyer is listed as a noteworthy educator by “Who’s Who in American Educators.” Other memberships included him as vice president of the Greensburg Library Association, National Council for Social Studies (teacher education committee), National Society for the Study of Education, National Council of Teachers in English, Pennsylvania Council for Social Studies and Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education.
Following his retirement at age 75, he enjoyed the study of anthropology and genealogy. Raised in Lancaster County, his roots ran deep in Pennsylvania but his love for geography had no bounds. He was especially fond of taking cross-country road trips with his children during their youth to expand their universe. The Bleyer home has remained filled through the years where he was dedicated to cultivating a beautiful garden (both literally and figuratively); his family & friends being the deep well of joy and vitality that he cherished immensely. He leaves us to admire a golden example of life’s beauty, wisdom and love.
A gathering of family and friends of Dr. John F. Bleyer will be held on Wednesday September 7th, 2022 from 4-7pm at Kepple-Graft Funeral Home, 524 North Main Street, Greensburg. Funeral Services will be private (for family only). For online condolences, please visit www.kepplegraft.com