Eugene A. Deardorff, “Grampa Gene,” 83, of Lurgan Township, Newburg, Pa., passed away peacefully on Sunday, Sept. 6, 2020, at Chambers Pointe Menno Haven, Chambersburg. He was born Sept. 19, 1936, in Gettysburg, the son of the late Arthur D. and Lareina (Raffensperger) Deardorff.
Gene graduated from Biglerville High School in 1954 and Gettysburg College in 1958. Continuing his education, he received a master’s degree in physics from Clarkson College of Technology (now Clarkson University) in 1966 and earned his doctorate in chemistry from the University of Delaware in 1970.
A dedicated teacher and educator, Gene taught 41 years until his retirement in 1999. Beginning as a lab instructor at Gettysburg College, he continued on to Gettysburg High School, Canandaigua (N.Y.) Academy and lastly to Shippensburg University as a chemistry professor for 30 years. After retiring, he enjoyed assisting in elementary school classrooms where his grandchildren attended.
He was a member of Memorial Lutheran Church in Shippensburg, serving on church council as an elder as well as teaching Sunday school. He also was a member of the Roxbury Lions Club, Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and the American Chemical Society for 58 years.
Gene loved everything about baseball; he was a player in his younger years and coached many players on the Lurgan Lions Pony teams. He was a lifelong Phillies fan and later compromised by cheering for the Orioles.
An avid genealogist, Gene spent many retirement days researching the many branches of his family at the Adams County Historical Society in Gettysburg. He was especially proud of his Deardorff heritage with his ancestors arriving in America as early as 1719.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Demaree D. Deardorff. Also surviving are his two daughters, Jennifer Atkinson of Blue Ridge Summit, and Kristin Deardorff of Erie, Colo.; and his three sons, Peter Antony Deardorff of Holland, Benjamin Deardorff of Lancaster, and Dr. Matthew Deardorff of Los Angeles, Calif. He is also survived by his sister, Anita Slaybaugh of Selinsgrove, and his brother, Edward Deardorff of Lancaster. Missing “Grampa Gene” are also 13 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Family was the light and center of Gene’s life, from attending most of the school and athletic events for all his children and grandchildren to building a backstop and installing a baseball field in the back yard to being sure each of the kids thoroughly understood imaginary numbers and had mastered using a slide rule!
Professional services are entrusted to Dugan Funeral Home and Crematory Inc., Shippensburg.
Because of COVID-19 concerns, services will be private and will be held at the discretion of the family.
Interment will be in Fairview Cemetery, Arendtsville.
Memorial contributions may be made to Memorial Lutheran Church, 34 E. Orange St., Shippensburg, PA 17257; or to Katie’s Place, 130 S. Penn St., Shippensburg, PA 17257.
Friends may express online condolences at DuganFH.com.