Henry Pfischner

Obituary of Henry E. Pfischner

Henry E. Pfischner, "Hank", 91, of State College passed away on December 10, 2023 at his home of 57 years. He was born on September 24, 1932 in Millvale, PA to Charles E. Pfischner and Viola M. Pfischner (Klaiber). Hank's family owned and operated the E.T. Lippert Saw Company, and he had many fond memories of growing up in Millvale and of visiting the "plant", especially during the war years when production became a round-the-clock endeavor. To this day, millstones from the saw plant line edges of the driveway and flower beds of his family's former home.

Hank graduated from Shaler High School in 1950 and attended Bucknell University, graduating in 1954 with a B.S. degree in Commerce and Finance. While at Bucknell, he was a member of the Phi Lamba Theta fraternity, a unique organization for its time because it accepted pledges from all students, regardless of race, religion, or financial means. He maintained friendships from the fraternity throughout his life and viewed his time spent there as a formative experience.

Following college, Hank was drafted into the United States Army's Security Agency and was stationed at Bad Aibling, Germany. During his service he was responsible for decoding messages intercepted from behind the Iron Curtain.

On January 12, 1957 Hank married Carol F. Mason, who predeceased him on December 4, 2003. The two met at Bucknell when each hosted a program for the university's radio station - he a jazz program, and she an etiquette program. The couple moved to Glenshaw, PA where they built their first house.

In November 1966, Hank began work with Penn State as a Contracts Coordinator in the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies (now Sponsored Programs), eventually moving into the role of Associate Director; he retired from the university in December 1991 after 25 years of service. He felt exceptional pride in Penn State and the Centre Region, and often remarked how the move to State College was one of the best things he and his family had ever done. He was a member of St. Paul's United Methodist Church in State College, and a 50-year member of the Pennsylvania Freemasons.

Curious and humble, Hank fully embraced life. He had many passions and interests: History, geography, carpentry, sailing, coin collecting, good food, jazz music and old movies. He was an excellent cook. He and his wife had a particular affection for Colonial Williamsburg, and even decorated their house in that style. He was a "worker extraordinaire" and could often be found doing projects around his homes in State College and on Pymatuning Lake in western PA. More than anything, he loved being busy and being outside.

Hank is survived by his daughters, Linda Tobin of Bellefonte and Barbara Hamlett (Frank, MD) of State College, and his grandchildren: Mara Hamlett (known to Hank as Jacob) of Surprise, AZ, Michael Hamlett, a student at Western Atlantic University Medical School in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Lizzie Hamlett of State College, and Sarah Tobin, a student at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, ND. Known by his grandchildren as "Bagha" (a title coined by his eldest grandchild who, when learning to speak, mispronounced the word "grandpa"), he easily adopted the role of family patriarch. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Bonne R. Mason of Boca Raton, FL, affectionately referred to as "The Outlaw".

Hank is predeceased by his parents, his wife, his brother, Charles "Chuck" Pfischner, sister-in law, Trude Pfischner Heim, and brother-in-law, Gerald A. Mason.

Services will be private with the family in attendance, while a memorial luncheon will be held in the spring. The family would like to thank the UPMC Family Hospice and the Home Instead Care Agency for their outstanding and compassionate care in the final weeks of Hank's life.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation by visiting https://www.colonialwilliamsburg.org/give/other-ways-giving/honor-memory/?Code=BWOH00,  The State College Food Bank by visiting https://scfoodbank.org/product/EE741AB1/make-a-donation or the Jamestown Volunteer Fire Department in Jamestown, PA by visitng https://www.countyoffice.org/jamestown-volunteer-fire-department-jamestown-pa-e28/.

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