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Alan C. Black
November 29, 1947 ~ March 22, 2023 (age 75) 75 Years Old
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Alan C. Black, 75, of Lancaster, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at Lancaster General Hospital. Born on November 29, 1947 in Lancaster, he was the son of Merle E. and Louise (Baugher) Black. He was married 32 years to Linda E. Widmaier.
Alan was a graduate of Elizabethtown High School where he excelled at baseball, football and basketball. After graduation from Juniata College, with a very low draft number, Alan enlisted in the U.S. Army. He earned a Battlefield commission in Vietnam, and subsequently attended flight school (rotary wing). Alan had a variety of military assignments ranging from signals intelligence to flying to communications management to Flag Officer Aide at NATO. He attended Florida State University, earning a master’s degree in Instructional Design. His postings included Massachusetts, Kansas, Colorado, Florida, Germany and Belgium. His favorite duty station, however, was Alaska where he taught float planes and reveled in Alaska’s natural beauty and amazing wildlife. Among Alan’s myriad significant postings, the one he cherished the most was at Headquarters, European Command in Stuttgart, Germany. He and his team played an integral role in helping Eastern European countries prepare to become NATO members. Additionally, he was fortunate to be present, during a leisure trip to St Petersburg and Moscow, at Red Square when the Soviet flag was lowered, and the Russian flag was raised.
After retiring from the US Army (27 years), Alan worked as a Department of Defense consultant where he continued to work with Eastern European countries. He additionally led teams in the Pacific theater in assessing US preparedness for potential conflicts. Subsequently, Alan decided on a complete change of vocation – he started driving tour buses for Elite Coach in Ephrata “for a couple of years” all over the country. He loved the idea of starting, executing and completing a mission, and, of course, being in charge. The best part was the wonderful people he met, many of whom became lifelong friends. Seventeen years later, with the advent of COVID, he retired from the workforce.
Alan’s avid pastime was traveling in his motor home. Even though the Army sent him all over the world, he relished exploring this wonderful country. He, his wife and their four-legged companions travelled all 50 states, mostly in a variety of recreational vehicles. National Parks were his favorite venue, particularly the mountains and wide-open spaces. During his last years, he enjoyed being a “snow bird” wintering in Florida.
Alan relished every minute he spent with his family and extended family, especially since Military life made get togethers more challenging. He was always the “leader of the pack,” the “man in charge,” and the overall “fun-meister,” He would set up elaborate games engaging everyone to participate – no one could say “no” to Alan.
In addition to his wife Linda, Alan is survived by two children: Michelle Black of Big Lake, AK and Andrew Black of Texarkana, TX; two grandchildren, four great grandchildren; three sisters: Phyllis MacDonald, Carolyn Black-Sotir and Barbara Black; and one brother Merle Black.
A celebration of Alan’s life will be held on Saturday, June 10, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at the farm residence of Alan’s sister and brother-in-law, Carolyn and Michael. We’ll be outside or, in the case of rain, in the barn that Alan loved so much. We invite folks to bring their favorite memories or stories of Alan to share; light refreshments will be served. The address is 14601 Cooper Road, Phoenix, MD. If you can join us, please text Linda at (717) 314-3555. Hope to see you there to pay tribute to the husband, dad, brother, uncle, cousin, friend we love so much.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Alan's memory may be made to Steinway Series at Silo Hill @ www.steinwaysilohill.org (support) or The A. C. Baugher Endowed Chair in Chemistry at Elizabethtown College @ www.etown.edu (support town; institutional advancement; make your gift).