Lance "Champ" Roland Pledger went to be with his Lord and Savior who was first in his life.
He was preceded in death by his father, Arthur Pledger; and his mother, Virginia Pledger, whom he loved dearly.
He is survived by Jane Pledger, his wife of 52 years; and his daughter, Carrie Pledger.
He was a lifelong athlete and dedicated runner and coach. He competed in the 1968 Olympic trials for the marathon. He was a graduate of Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia, where he was a star cross-country and track and field athlete. He was honored with the title of Mr. Senator for the D & E Senators and was later inducted into their Hall of Fame. His graduate work was completed at Gannon University in Erie, Pa.
Mr. Pledger was an English teacher in his boyhood town of Corry, Pa., in Erie County. There he coached track and field and cross-country for over 30 years. He dearly loved his students and runners.
After retiring, he and his wife moved to Mercersburg, Pa., where he served as a substitute teacher and cross-country and track and field coach for the James Buchanan school system. He loved James Buchanan and his students and runners. The JB cross-country course was named after him during his time there.
He leaves a legacy of inspiring many students and friends with his integrity, his unwavering encouragement and interest in others, his joyful nature and his unique interests. He would often say, "I've had a wonderful life." He will be deeply missed.
Donations can be made in honor of Lance to the James Buchanan cross-country team in Mercersburg, Pa., or the Corry middle- and high-school cross-country teams.