William Heard obituary (1946 – 2021) – Bangor, Pennsylvania
Pete was born July 26, 1946 in Trenton, NJ to the late William J. “John” Heard of Bangor and the late Jeanette (Piersee) Heard, formerly of Wells, Kansas. But he grew up in Bangor where he excelled in athletics (his lifelong passion), graduating from Bangor High in 1964. After graduating he moved to Rider College (now Rider University) in Lambertville, NJ thanks a basketball and baseball athletic scholarship. . He studied history and world affairs, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1968. While at Rider, he was also a member of the Theta Chi fraternity. He went on to obtain a master’s degree in secondary education from the University of East Stroudsburg. Pete returned to Bangor where he taught social studies in his alma mater. Additionally, he began his long coaching career as a men’s basketball assistant coach to longtime Bangor coach Bill Pensyl (who affectionately referred to Pete as “Hometown”).
Pete moved away from his Bangor roots in 1973 to Schuylkill Haven, PA, where he taught American history and world cultures at Schuylkill Haven High School. He was hired as the head coach of the boys’ basketball team for the 1973-74 season. Pete coached the team until 1978. He returned to training for the 1982-83 season. Under his leadership, Schuylkill Haven won back-to-back District 11 Class A championships in 1984 and 1985. By the early 1980s, his teams also played in many state playoff games. He stopped coaching at Haven after the 1986 season. But he returned to training as the head coach of boys’ basketball at Tri-Valley High School (Hegins, Pa.) From 1996 to 2001. .
Pete was also a faculty member at Penn State University (Schuylkill Campus) for over 20 years, where he taught a history course called International Understanding – or as he called it, International “Confusion.” At Penn State, he also served as an assistant men’s basketball coach. In addition to teaching at Penn State Schuylkill, Pete helped organize basketball and baseball summer camps and taught youth fundamental skills in the sport.
Mid-teaching in high school and college, in addition to being a basketball coach, Pete attended Myerstown Theological Seminary in Myerstown, Pa., To become a pastor. He was the pastor of Williamstown Evangelical Church, Williamstown, PA in the 1980s before becoming the pastor of Vera Cruz Evangelical Church, Emmaus, PA until the early 1990s.
After retiring from Schuylkill Haven High School in 2003 and Penn State in the early 2000s, Pete continued to assist and be an assistant coach in men’s basketball at various schools, as well as coaching a team. local semi-professional men’s basketball court. He also continued to teach at Northampton County Community College. He has also sometimes been asked to speak on world affairs at various Northampton County and Lehigh Valley Teachers ‘and Community Colleges’ conferences.
Pete was inducted into the Schuylkill County Sports Hall of Fame for being an accomplished Schuylkill league and Schuylkill County men’s basketball coach. He was also inducted into the Lehigh Valley Sports Hall of Fame for being a great basketball player in addition to his accomplishments as a coach (Pete was also a member of the Hall of Fame Board of Directors of Lehigh Valley Sports). He was also inducted into the Bangor High Sports Hall of Fame.
Pete is survived by his daughter Heather of Yardley, PA., His former wife Marthea Heard, Schuylkill Haven, PA (formerly of Pennington, NJ), his sister Mary Beth Gadakar, Princeton, NJ, and his brothers Jeffrey Heard (wife Joann ) Fountain Hill, PA., And Joel Heard, Allentown, PA. Pete was predeceased by his younger sister, Martha Van Etten (husband Scott) Mullica Hill, NJ. Pete is survived by 2 nephews, Clay and Kyle Gadakar, Seattle, WA., As well as 3 great-nieces and 2 great-nephews. Pete is also survived by many cousins ââas his father, William J. “John” Heard, was the oldest of 10 children.
Pete lived a full and busy life and enjoyed being a teacher and coach. He has helped guide and shape countless people. He was beloved and will be sadly missed.
The funeral will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, December 3 at the East Bangor Community Church, 136 W. Central Ave, East Bangor, PA with Reverend David Goss officiating. Family and friends are invited to visit from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 2 at Gaffney Parsons Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc., 314 S. First Street, Bangor, PA, and from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday, December 3 at church. Interment will be in St. John’s Cemetery, Bangor, PA. Online condolences can be offered at gaffneyparsons.com.
A memorial service will also be held at Schuylkill Haven since Pete also had roots in Schuylkill County. The date and times will be announced later.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate a cash donation to the www.v.org on behalf of Pete. That organization is the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer research – named after the late great North Carolina state men’s basketball coach Jim Valvano.
Posted by Morning Call on November 28, 2021.