Lawrence Pion, 95, formerly of Loretto, PA passed away on February 7, 2022 at Garvey Manor and Our Lady of the Alleghenies, in Hollidaysburg, PA. Larry was born in Providence, RI on July 11, 1926. Larry graduated from high school a year early and left a promising football career to enlist in the Navy in 1946. Soon after he met the love of his life at the Bainbridge Naval Training Center in Port Deposit, MD. He married Dotty Barr in 1949 and they had eight children. Larry was a graduate of Providence College, earned an MA degree from the University of Massachusetts and later earned a PhD from Penn State. He accepted a teaching position at St. Francis University in 1951. During his 60 + years at St. Francis he taught biology, served as the chair of the department for 11 years, and was a member of the Faculty Senate. He began the Marine Biology program and served as the first Director of the Physician Assistant Program, one of the first PA programs in the United States. Over his career, he helped countless students pursue various medical careers and those students never forgot the passion for learning, the pursuit of excellence and joy of inspiration that was his trademark. He was a teacher, first and foremost, but his classroom had no walls. His kids will tell you that he continued to share lessons up until his last breath. Those lessons: love your family, serve God, smile at everyone and be kind. Simple lessons, but lifelong lessons. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He is survived by his wife, Dotty, and his brother, Richard. Larry is also survived by 8 children: Marcia Vespa (Paul), Joan Kosto (Bob), Lawrence Pion (Nancy), Edward Pion (Jo), Amy Erculiani (Dave), Joseph Pion (Denise), John Pion (Diane), and Ann Shrum (Richard). He was loved by 26 grandchildren and 30 great grandchildren. The viewing will be held at the Gibbons Funeral Home, 1688 Liberty St., Ashville, PA 16613 on Friday, February 11, 2022 from 2 until 6 PM. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel, 321 St. Mary St., Loretto, PA 15940, Saturday at 9:00 AM. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions be made to St. Francis University in Loretto, PA or to Garvey Manor and Our Lady of the Alleghenies, 1037 S. Logan Blvd., Hollidaysburg, PA 16648 in Larry’s memory. www.gibbonsfhashvillecoalport.com
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