Francis "Earl" Rothrock Monday, February 25, 1924 - Monday, July 24, 2017
Earl Rothrock, 93, South Philipsburg, passed away at his home peacefully after an extended illness on Monday, July 24th, 2017. Born February 25, 1924 in South Philipsburg, Earl was the second of 4 children of the late Clarence Earl and Frances (Kelley) Rothrock. On October 1st, 1946, he married Dorothy L. Stonebreaker in West Pittston, PA. She passed away February 3, 2004. Surviving are 4 children: Robert S. Rothrock and his wife Lynn (Munson, PA); Janet L. Swartz and her husband John (Munson, PA); Thomas E. Rothrock (Philipsburg, PA) and his ex-wife Susan Hess (Lititz, PA); Kenneth L. Rothrock and his wife Linda (Newnan, GA); and 2 sisters; Jean Patterson (Tonawanda, NY) and Shirley Mostyn (South Philipsburg, PA). Earl had 10 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren at the time of his passing. He was preceded in death by: his parents, Clarence and Frances Rothrock; his wife of 57 years, Dorothy L. Rothrock; his sister, Gertrude Ryver and her husband Alfred; his brothers-in-law Art Patterson and Jack Mostyn; and 3 great greatgrandchildren. Earl lettered in High School football while playing Quarterback for 3 years and was involved with both the Rifle and Sports Clubs. He was one of ten seniors enlisting in the US military which the 1943 Philipsburg High School class yearbook is dedicated. Earl enlisted early in 1943 with assignment to the 559th Coastal Artillery Battalion (US Army) where he completed much of his initial individual and unit training throughout Tennessee and the Carolinas on military maneuvers. Equipped with trailer mounted 40mm BOFERS anti-aircraft cannons and truck mounted Quad 50 caliber machine guns, the unit was re-designated the 559th Anti-Aircraft Artillery (Automatic Weapons) Battalion and arrived in Great Britain in August, 1944. Serving as a truck driver and an anti-aircraft weapons crewman with Battery C, (559th) during WWII in Europe, his unit was credited with downing 12 enemy aircraft while defending Allied positions throughout Belgium, France and Germany from September 1944 until the European war’s end in May 1945. One of the Battalion gun sections also mistakenly shot down a British Spitfire. The pilot survived but was understandably upset with the nervous firing element…… Once the European War ended, the 559th, along with two other AAA Battalions, moved to Antwerp, Belgium where they processed over 271,000 servicemen back to the US until inactivated in March 1946. During his military service, he achieved the rank of Technical Corporal 5 (Tec 5) and was awarded: The Good Conduct Medal; the American Campaign Medal; the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 3 bronze stars (signifying involvement in four major combat campaigns); the World War II Victory Medal; and the Rifle Marksmanship Badge. Upon Honorable Discharge, he drove trucks for Crain Trucking Company where he received the one and only traffic ticket of his entire life – for an over loaded vehicle. Afterwards he joined the Labor Union, trained as an Iron Worker and worked on many of the Penn State University campus buildings constructed throughout the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s. His last job was on the 9th Street Water Treatment Plant in Philipsburg, 1989. His hobbies and interests included deer & turkey hunting, long range varmint and target shooting, hand loading rifle ammunition, and flea marketing. Funeral services will be held at the David K. Dahlgren Funeral Home, 228 N. Centre St. Philipsburg, on Saturday, July 29, 2017 at 11:00 AM with The Rev. William J. Ellis officiating. Military honors will be accorded at the funeral home by the American Legion John Ashley Dennis Jr. Post 437 Honor Guard. Burial will be in the Philipsburg Cemetery. Friends will be received at the funeral home on Friday, July 28 from 2 to 4pm and 6 to 8pm and on Saturday, July 29 from 10am until the hour of service. Memorial contributions in Earl’s memory may be made to Christian & Missionary Alliance Church, 317 Hemlock St. Philipsburg, PA 16866. Online condolences to the family may be made at www.dahlgrenfuneralhome.com.