"And the hunter home from the hill"
Harold J. (Hal) Cypher, 70, of North Strabane Township, went to be with his Lord and Savior Saturday, December 4, 2010, following a two-year fight with cancer.
He was a dedicated Christian and a faithful member of Peters Creek Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Cypher was born October 31, 1940, in Canonsburg, a son of John McAnallen and Dorothy Guthrie Cypher.
Surviving are his beloved wife of 51 years, Patricia Ann Kereki Cypher; a daughter, Suzanne Cypher of North Strabane Township; a son, Harold John Cypher Jr. of Canonsburg; granddaughters Cheri Cypher and Kristin Cypher; and grandsons Brandon Cypher and Logan Cypher.
He was a graduate of Canonsburg High School and of Washington & Jefferson College.
Mr. Cypher was retired from Cooper Power Systems and was self-employed as a tax accountant for more than 20 years, until 2006. At the time of his death, he was serving as a full-time staff member at Peters Creek Presbyterian Church.
He served as a petty officer second class in the U.S. Navy amphibious forces, first aboard the USS Krishna and later the USS Plymouth Rock. In addition to being deployed during the 1961 Berlin Crisis and the Cuban Crisis, his ship served as a tracking and capsule recovery vessel for the Project Mercury phase of the space program and also was assigned as the security vessel for first lady Jacqueline Kennedy during her Mediterranean tour.
Mr. Cypher was active in local veteran organizations and was a past commander of American Legion Post 902 and financial officer of AMVETS Post 911. He was especially proud of having a role in restoring and maintaining the Civil War veterans’ section at Oak Spring Cemetery, the establishment of the veterans memorial in North Strabane Township, renovation of the World War I “doughboy” monument in Canonsburg and establishment of the Washington County Veterans website.
He also was a founding member of The Greater Canonsburg Heritage Society, where he served as the society treasurer for many years and was honored to have been a part of the committee that planned and established the Perry Como memorial and statue in downtown Canonsburg.
Mr. Cypher was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing. These were pursuits he shared with his son and grandsons, as well as the old companions of his youth. A member of Canonsburg Sportsmen Association, he also was a past financial officer. He treasured the hours spent along streams, afield or in the forest, and his was a lifelong love of nature, wildlife and woodcraft. His home was always graced by an assortment of dogs and cats, and he will be especially missed by his big tabby cat, Lil Bit, who was his faithful and constant companion and friend during his illness. A student of local and colonial American history, he was a member of The Colonial Williamsburg Society and Bushy Run Battlefield Association, an original member of Trent’s Virginia Provincial Company of French and Indian War reenactors, Jefferson College Historical Society, Washington County Historical Society and The Company of Military Historians. He loved building and using the flintlock firearms and accoutrements of the 18th century. His interest in colonial history also was reflected in the happy hours spent in his garden, where he loved experimenting with colonial-era plants and vegetables, in his cluttered workshop, where he reproduced all sorts of colonial period items, and in his equally cluttered study, from which he had authored and published numerous articles on historical subjects.
A favorite quote, by Robert Louis Stevenson: “Home is the sailor, home from the sea/And the hunter home from the hill.”
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday in Beinhauer-Bogan Funeral Home, 164 West Pike Street, Canonsburg, 724-745-5810. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, December 8, in Peters Creek United Presbyterian Church, 250 Brookwood Road, Venetia, with the Rev. Jeff Such officiating. At the request of the family, interment will be private.
At the request of the deceased, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Hillman Cancer Center, 5115 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15232, or Peters Creek Presbyterian Church, Harold Cypher Memorial Fund, 250 Brookwood Road, Venetia, PA 15367.
Please add tributes at www.beinhauer.com.