LAKE CITY, PA, U.S.A.
CORPSMAN, MARINE AIR BASE SQDN 36, FIRST MARINE AIRCRAFT WING
06/07/2013, LAKE CITY, PA
Jack S. Ehrhardt, 64 of Lake City, died Friday June 7, 2013 at St. Vincent Health Center.
Jack was born in McKeesport, PA, October 27, 1948. He graduated from Frazier High School in 1966 and two days later enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Jack received training at U.S. Naval Hospital Corps School in Great Lakes and at Camp Lejeune. He was deployed to Vietnam and was assigned to Marine Air Base Squadron 36, First Marine Aircraft Wing in January of 1968.
On at least three occasions he volunteered to fly on medical evacuation missions in support of the Marine Corps during the Tet Offensive of 1968. Ehrhardt’s last mission that ended his tour in Vietnam, happened when the CH-46 helicopter that he was aboard was shot down near Hue City, while en route to the ninth mission assigned to the crew that day. Ehrhardt acted as Corpsman on that day and with the crew, landed in nine unsecured landing zones, receiving hostile enemy fire in three of those LZ’s. He was the sole survivor of that incident.
He received the National Defense Service Medal with Fleet Marine Force Combat Operations Insignia with one bronze star, The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, The Purple Heart and the Air Medal.
Upon his discharge from the Navy, he continued his education at California University, where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. Later receiving his Masters Degree from West Virginia University in Social Work.
Jack had dedicated his life to assisting veterans when he became a counselor for the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Erie. In 2005 he retired from the VAMC with multiple salutations for 23 years of dedicated service to the veterans of this area.
Jack belonged to many veterans organizations, he enjoyed helping veterans and veterans causes, also golf and softball, but mostly, simply enjoying time with his family.
He will be greatly missed by his family, which includes his wife, Susan J. Ehrhardt, whom he married March 27, 1971 in Perryopolis, PA; two daughters, Michelle M. Ehrhardt- Edwards of Tampa, FL., Rachel S. Ehrhardt-Wright of Albion; a brother, John Ehrhardt and his wife Christine of Indiana; his grandchildren, Morgan Edwards-Kirk and Rob of Taylor, MI., Tony Lisek of Albion, Jordan Thigpen of Erie, Airman Dominick Lisek USAF Niagara Falls, NY, Jared Thigpen of Erie; great grandchildren, Gaebriel Kirk, Kimora Boyd-Thigpen, Juelz Boyd-Thigpen, Kai’lyn Boyd-Thigpen, Jullian Thigpen, a niece, Christine Ehrhardt and many friends.
June 7 2013 a warrior and a friend died. His heroics were only surpassed by his accomplishments of his service to veterans and to mankind. When Jack “Sparky Ehrhardt retired on July 6, 2005 at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Erie, PA, he was ambushed with accolades to include: A proclamation from the Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania for his work with veterans and his service to his country; from the Four Chaplains, the Legion of Honor for his service to veterans; two Pennsylvania State Senators sent certificates of special recognition; two Congressional Representatives cited Jack for his tenure in service to this country and to veterans in special citations; the AMVETS National Commander, a Vietnam veteran also, presented Jack a special citation.
“Doc Sparky” has touched many lives working as a VA counselor, helping veterans since 1 June 1982. He will be missed by veterans in Western PA, Western, NY and Far Northeast, Ohio.
Jack served with Helicopter Marine Medium Squadron 364 when it crashed during Tet Offensive in which only he survived. I later in that year joined the squadron. We had many talks about being combat air crew. Peace Jack and Condolences to Susan. Cliff Hayes June 9, 2013 11:35 PM