Hays B. Whitsel age 92, of Chambersburg, PA, passed away on Wednesday, January 1, 2020, in the Chambersburg Hospital. Born November 6, 1927, in Cromwell Township, Huntingdon County, PA, he was the son of the late Richard D. and Fannie Gabert Whitsel.
A U.S. Navy veteran, Mr. Whitsel served honorably in WWII in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. He participated in Operation Crossroads for both the Able and Baker atomic bomb tests at the Bikini Atoll. He continued his service as a firefighter for the Letterkenny Army Depot for 35 years, retiring in 1979. He was a member of the George Washington Lodge #143, the NRA, National Association of Destroyer Veterans, Tin Can Sailor Association, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. He was also a life member of the Atomic Veterans, the American Legion Post 46, and the VFW Post 1599. Mr. Whitsel taught Red Cross First Aid for 24 years. He enjoyed his family, big game hunting out West and spending time at his farm in Huntingdon County.
Surviving are three sons, Bradford Whitsel (wife Tappey) of Chambersburg, PA, Timothy Whitsel (wife Cheryl) of Enterprise, OR, and Brian Whitsel (Karen Merisotis) of Chambersburg, PA; three grandchildren, Ryan Hays Whitsel (wife Peggy) of DeBary, FL, Amanda Whitsel Ingram (husband Benjamin) of Herndon, VA, and Madeline Lee Whitsel of Chambersburg, PA, two great grandchildren, Ava and Harper Ingram, and three siblings, Benjamin Whitsel, Warren Whitsel, and Eleanor Rohrer.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia “Ruth” Whitsel in 2012, and three brothers and four sisters.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, January 7, 2020, at 10 AM at the Chambersburg Church of the Brethren, 260 S. Fourth St., Chambersburg, PA where Pastor Joel Nogle will officiate. The family will receive friends on Monday, January 6, 2020, from 6:00 until 8:00 PM in the Thomas L. Geisel Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 333 Falling Spring Rd., Chambersburg, PA and ½ hour prior to the service at the above church on Tuesday. Interment will be in Monroe Valley Cemetery, Cromwell Township, PA at 2:00 PM on Tuesday.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his name to the N.R.A., National Rifle Association of America, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030. Online condolences may be offered on his Book of Memories page at www.geiselfunerlahome.com.