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A Wetzel and Son Obituary for:
David J. Lemal
October 5, 1921 - May 11, 2019

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Funeral Home - Wetzel and Son Funeral Home - 419 Huntingdon Pike, Rockledge, PA 19046 - 215-663-8550 - Map
Clergy - Holy Nativity Episcopal Church - 205 Huntingdon Pike, Rockledge, PA 19046 - 215-663-9903 - Map
Cemetery - Lawnview Cemetery - 500 Huntingdon Pike, Rockledge, PA 19046 - 215-379-1600 - Map
Family Florist - Blake Florist - 5 Huntingdon Pike, Rockledge, PA 19046 - 215-379-8787 - Map
Donation - St. Labre Indian School - PO Box 216, Ashland, MT 59003 - 1-866-753-5496 - Map

David J. Lemal of Rockledge, Pennsylvania died Saturday, May 11, 2019 at Southeastern Pennsylvania Veterans Center.  David was 97 years old, born October 5, 1921 at 21 Jarrett Ave and lived on Jarrett Avenue his entire life. David is son of the late Desire Lemal and the late Lida Lemal (nee - Watson).  He is the beloved husband of the late Eileen M. (nee Fornwalt) Lemal; adored father of Charlene; grandfather of Kristin, Stephen, and Sarah; great-grandfather of Remi; and brother of the late Thomas and William Lemal and the late Ruth Fesmire.
David grew up during the Depression and earned money for his family by trapping. He attended Rockledge School and graduated from Cheltenham High School, after which he worked at Standard Press Steel as a tool and die maker as manager of the tool room. The owner of SPS ordered war deferments for David because his work was instrumental to the war effort. David insisted on serving his Country in WWII and requested a cease of deferments. David was inducted into the United States Army Air Force on October 8, 1943.

After attending Birmingham-Southern College and cadet training, David was stationed on Tinian Island in Pacific and flew 22 missions over mainland Japan as a B-29 tail gunner serving with the 313th Wing, 99th Bomb Squadron, 9th Bomb Group during the Air Offensive Japan and Eastern Mandates Campaigns. David achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for “heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight” for a mission over Kobe, Japan in 1945 in which his aircraft flew through enemy fire and severe turbulence. He was also awarded the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign medal with two Bronze Stars, the Good Conduct Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and a Presidential Unit Citation. 
After his honorable discharge January 3, 1946, David returned to his job at Standard Press Steel where he worked until his retirement in 1984 as a tool and die maker and plant layout engineer. In this time, David met Eileen who was a manager at the Philadelphia Arsenal. The two were smitten and David sold his beloved Indian motorcycle to buy her engagement ring. They married in 1948 and in 1956 Charlene became their only child.

David’s favorite hobby was skiing, which he enjoyed with family and friends until he was eighty-one. He served as President of the Philadelphia Ski Club and was also a member of the V.F.W. Post 676, the National Rife Association, The Bucks County Fish and Game Association, and Friendship Williams Lodge #400 F&AM. An avid sportsman since his youth, David enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening, boating, woodworking, gunsmithing, fencing, train-crafting and building and flying model airplanes. A lifelong environmentalist and student of the natural world, he enjoyed photographing flowers to study plant anatomy and using his microscope to study microbes in local creeks. He had a vast knowledge of local flora and fauna and grew much of the family’s own food in a large backyard garden. Fed by an inquisitive nature, he read voraciously and there are few subjects in which he was not conversant.
David will be fondly remembered for his integrity, his humble and unassuming manner, and his kind and gentle disposition. He lived his principles of devotion and service by always putting others before himself. He was always quick with a joke and never had an unkind word to say about anyone. He was someone his loved ones could always trust and depend on, and the life he lived serves as model for his family and all who knew him. He was a beloved friend to everyone he met and will be dearly missed by all.
Relatives and friends were invited to David’s viewing on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at Wetzel and Son Funeral Home, 419 Huntingdon Pike, Rockledge, PA 19046 from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 PM. A Masonic Service was held at 8:00 P.M. for 15 minutes and all are welcome. Relatives and friends were also invited to David’s funeral service on Friday, May 17, 2019 at 11:00 A.M. at Holy Nativity Episcopal Church, 205 Huntingdon Pike, Rockledge, PA 19046.  His graveside service followed with military honors rendered by the United States Air Force at 12:30 P.M. at Lawnview Cemetery, 500 Huntingdon Pike, Rockledge, PA 19046.

The family requests attendees refrain from wearing perfumes, after shave or other fragrances.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to St. Labre Indian School, PO Box 216, Ashland, MT 59003.

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