|Birth: ||Apr. 8, 1936|
|Death: ||Jul. 2, 1980|
He was the son of Claude and Dorothy Bechdel Bechdel. He had a brother Paul and sisters Jane and Eleanore. He married Helen Fontana and they became the parents of a daughter and two sons. He was a third-generation Mortician from Beech Creek, Pennsylvania, a teacher, antique Furniture collector, past President of Clinton County Historical Society. Bruce became interested in genealogy due to the intertwining of nearby related family through the funeral home business. This interest was then further sparked by letters of inquiry from Samuel Pletcher Schenck, then of Dunedin, Florida. His widow and son recall that Harry and Vera Lingle would ride there bikes to Bruce Bechdel's house and they would all lock themselves in his Library with the huge desk and mahogany bookshelves and compare notes over letters received from Sam Schenck. Various cousins, aunts and uncles were then interviewed. This team soon realized they were all related. Ellen Berkebille of Lock Haven , Herb Bechdel of Howard now deceased, Charles Pletcher of State College, Harry Glossner of Howard were all involved in various degrees. Unfortunately Bruce Bechdel's life was suddenly taken in 1980. During that previous ten years he left behind a record of the tangled web they wove. Twenty years his work sat, until it was casually passed to me by his widow, my mother in law, Helen Bechdel. My first look exposed two folders crammed with scraps of seemingly random notes, letters, photos jumping from on side of the family to the other on the same napkin or evelope. What madness was this technique? I slowly realized how he was acquiring the mass of information via guests at the funerals in whatever order they entered and discussed various intertwined lines. He sat and casually jotted notes as they spoke of relations living and past. I am proud to have the honor of compiling, proving and releasing his history of this vast, brave pioneer family, my children's legacy.
The history of Of The Beech Creek area of Clinton County Pennsylvania by Harry and Vera Lingle page 83
Our community received a tremendous shock on wednesday July 2, 1980. Around noontime on that day Bruce A Bechdel, son of Dorothy (Bechdel) Bechdel and the late Claude H. Bechdel, was struck and killed by a truck. Bruce, who had operated the Bechdel Funeral Home following the death of his father in 1963, was hit while standing along the main highway East of town near an old farm home he was restoring. At the time of his death Bruce was leading a very busy and useful life. In addition to his undertaking duties he was a full time high school teacher. His extra activities were mainly centered toward his interests in history and antiques. He was president of the Clinton County Historical Society and was serving a number of other orginazations in various capacities. In addition to his mother and wife, the former Helen Fontana, he was survived by two sons and one daughter. Just two days prior to his death Bruce had made plans with the authors of this history for a visit to the old dilapidated Nestlerode cemetery in Liberty Township. Having just learned of the existance he wanted to view the old markers. This alone is enough to confirm his interest in area history.
Regarding the book: If you wish to share a comment or memory or question or complaint, please refrain from commenting here and email me. This memorial was created for his grandchildren and to be positive.
Helen Augusta Fontana Bechdel (1933 - 2013)
Created by: Leanne Keefer Bechdel
Record added: Jun 29, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14773553