James M. Vogelsong, 87, of State College, died April 5 while under hospice care at Foxdale Village Retirement Community. The cause was pancreatic cancer. Born July 26, 1931 in New Cumberland, PA to Gardner and Susan (Kitzmiller) Vogelsong, Jim would have a classmate, Shirley DeWalt, who eventually became his future wife. However, neither knew their destiny when they graduated New Cumberland High School together in 1949.
He attended Penn State University and was a member of Sigma Pi, as well as the Army ROTC and Signal Corps, graduating in 1953 with a BSEE (Electrical Engineering). Jim soon made a career move that would be his longest-lasting: with HRB-Systems (now Raytheon Company) in State College. In 1963, he ran into his former classmate Shirley (DeWalt) Watts, a widow, at their hometown dry cleaner. That jump-started their long (and long-distance) courtship—commuting via a red Porsche sports car—and resulted in marriage on May 27, 1972.
Jim was a member of St. Paul's United Methodist Church, State College, from 1973. Besides spectating car race hill climbs, Jim enjoyed marathon running and ran recreationally into his 80s. He loved mental puzzles and any kind of challenge, Stan Kenton, dogs, and puns. Fixing things, solving problems, and encouraging and helping people were Jim's special talents. After retirement, he found the perfect volunteer job with CVIM (Centre Volunteers in Medicine), where he became their dependable organizer and champion recycler.
Jim was predeceased by his older sisters Elizabeth, Louise, and Vera, and is survived by his wife Shirley, his stepdaughters Sharon and Dianne Watts, and granddaughter Delaney Wilson. He also had eight nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be announced at a future date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to CVIM.net, PAWS.org, or St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 250 E. College Ave, State College, PA 16801.
Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at www.kochfuneralhome.com.
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