We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Porterville Funeral & Cremation Center
Richard (Dick) Schlagel
1927 – 2022
Richard A. Schlagel, brother, father, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle and friend to “MANY” peacefully passed surrounded by his loving family on Wednesday June 15, 2022. Dick was born on May 24, 1927, in Meridian, PA, to Edith Schlagel. After the death of his mother he lived a short time with his three uncles until it was decided that it would be best if he and his brother were placed in St. Paul’s Children’s Home (Orphanage) where he resided until 1943. As noted in a recent book he wrote about his years at St. Paul’s, he felt that he received an excellent education that grounded him for the future years to come in all aspects of his life. From 1943 to 1945 he served as bellhop at the Willard Hotel in Butler, PA, which taught him about earning and saving money.
In 1945 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in the Gunnery Division on the U.S.S. South Dakota (a battleship) until 1947. Dick attended college at Slippery Rock State Teacher’s College and graduated in 1951 with a B.S. degree in Elementary Education. He went on to earn a master’s degree from USC in 1958.
In September 1951 he moved to California to begin his career as an educator. And what a career it was! He served 36 years in the Porterville Unified School District in several roles: teacher, vice-principal and principal. In his retirement he continued serving in a variety of roles at several school districts, including as superintendent.
Dick had many interest and hobbies: athlete (especially softball in his younger years), playing card games and washers with family and friends; author (he has written six books since his first published book, "From Poverty. . .To Prime Time," in 2011) and a life of service. He belonged to several organizations that he served for many years in a variety of ways: Association of California School Administrators (ACSA – Region XI) for 45 years; Tulare County SCICON Board member for 20 years; created and help run the All-American Student Classic (AASC) that served over 8,000 children throughout several counties. His heart was always to encourage and help children in whatever way he could.
In October 1957 he met his life-mate, Juanita Peckenpaugh Swen, and they were married in December of that year and would have a wonderful life together, along with their five daughters and their families. Family was very important to Dick – fun vacations, attending ball games (Go Dodgers! – even though his true love was the Pittsburg Pirates), backyard barbeques, family cruises, watching the grandchildren’s ballgames and holiday get togethers.
He served his church, the Porterville Church of the Nazarene, in a variety of ways during his 65 years as a member. He was Sunday School Superintendent for 25 years and thoroughly enjoyed attending Sunday School each Sunday. He has lifelong friends that he has made and his “Church Family” was very special to him.
Dick was preceded in death by his mother (Edith), wife (Juanita) and many much-loved extended family members and dear friends. He is survived by his brother, Donald Schlagel of Fenelton, PA; five daughters: Gloria (Rony) Anderson, Frances Manley, Georgeanne (Michael) Borjon, Cindy (David) Camarena – all of Porterville and Sharon Taira of Bakersfield. Ten grandchildren: Valerie (Rick) Craig of Porterville, Angie (Ernie) Alcantar of Porterville, Jason Evans of Acworth, GA; Jennifer (Lina) Anderson of Porterville, Amber (Marcial) Morales of Springville, Amanda (Ramon) Smith of San Diego, CA, Jonathan (Kristen) Camarena, Nicholas Taira, Ashlee (Liz) Taira all of Bakersfield, Joshua (Katie) Camarena of Celina, TX. Great Grandchildren: Teresa Alcantar of Bakersfield, Tomas Alcantar of Porterville, Nathaniel Craig of Porterville, Isabella Morales of Springville, Jasmine Evans Acworth, GA, Remi & Jagston Camarena of Bakersfield, Kennedy Camarena of Celina, TX, Amara and Reo Smith of San Diego.
The family would like to thank his caregivers at Bella Home where he spent the last year of his life, Dr. Maria Perez-Cunanan and the caring staff at the Roger S. Good Cancer Center for their many years of loving care they gave our father.
Viewing will be held Wednesday, June 22, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. followed by a Celebration of Life Service at 10:00 a.m. at Porterville Funeral and Cremation Center, 765 W. Henderson Avenue, Porterville, CA. Graveside Services will be held Thursday, June 23, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. at Bakersfield National Cemetery located at 3038 East Bear Mountain Blvd., off of Hwy. 58 East.
Memorial contributions, may be made to the Porterville Church of the Nazarene, 2005 W. Olive Avenue, Porterville, CA 93257 or to Bristol Hospice Foundation of California, 2439 W. Whitendale Avenue, #B, Visalia, CA 93277