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Obituary of Eugene C. Breiner, 92


Eugene (Gene) C. Breiner, 92, passed away quietly and peacefully, surrounded by loved ones, on Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at his home in Newville, Pennsylvania after a long illness. He was clear headed to the end, sharing stories from the depth and breadth of his lifetime during his final weeks. He was born in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania on October 29, 1925. He graduated from Tamaqua High School, Class of 1943, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania and graduated as an aircraft mechanic from Williamsport Technical Institute (now known as Pennsylvania College of Technology) Class of 1944. Gene married the love of his life, Ardella, on May, 7, 1949 at Ellington AFS in Houston, Texas. He was well known and loved in the Pennsylvania general aviation and home-built aviation communities. Gene's quick wit, fun humor, unwavering passion and love for aviation is known in many parts far away and close at home. We were lucky to have him be our parent, grandparent or friend and we will treasure the fun moments and remember his life wisdoms he would share freely. He was a Korean War veteran, serving part of that time on Johnston Island in the Pacific (1950). His aviation career started at Sunbury Airport and he operated a maintenance shop at Danville Airport, Danville, Pennsylvania, starting in 1952, as an Airframe & Powerplant mechanic before completing a 30 year career as a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Principal Airworthiness Inspector (Maintenance). He retired in 1989, beginning a new phase as devoted primary caretaker for Ardella during her final years. Concurrently and after she passed away, Gene’s retirement years were spent as a FAA Designated Airworthiness Representative, continually mentoring others in the aviation maintenance field. Untold hours were spent at his ‘aviation home’ with his flying family of friends at Bermudian Valley Airpark, Kralltown, Pennsylvania. Outside of work, one of his most notable life accomplishments was restoring and flying a 1929 Fleet Model 2, now residing in the Smithsonian, as he hoped to inspire others especially the young to fly. He named it “Plane Jane”, because it was “just a plain airplane” and made sure that everyone knew “it was NOT a Stearman”! He also restored, flew, and maintained a 1936 J-2 Taylorcraft Cub and 1947 PA-12 Piper Super Cruiser in retirement. Gene was thrilled to play a small role in the Wright Flyer aircraft replica project that flew at the Wright Brothers’ Centennial celebration in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 2003. On the walls of his home, he proudly displayed numerous awards from Fly-in events around the regional area honoring his work. He was a recipient of both the FAA Charles Taylor “Master Mechanic” Award and the FAA Wright Brothers “Master Pilot” Award honoring his 50+ years of aircraft mechanic and pilot experience, respectively. He was active in numerous aviation groups including the Quiet Birdmen, Experimental Aircraft Association, Antique Airplane Association (Potomac Chapter), the Piper Cub Club, International Fleet Club, OX-5 Pioneers and was a founding board member of the Sentimental Journey to Cub Haven Annual Fly-in and the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association. All told, his aviation career spanned 74 years and his love of aviation since a young child.

He is survived by his daughters Joyce K. Breiner (David Yaney) of Pooleville, MD and Janet L. Breiner (Todd Pearl) of Mechanicsburg, PA, and grandchildren Maria A. Breiner (Brandon Clouser), Alexander B. Yaney, and Mason E. Breiner (Bri L. McClauslin), and great granddaughter Lilian plus one due in April. Gene was preceded in death by his wife, Ardella M. (McNaughton), parents, Claude A. Breiner and Carrie P. (Frantz); and brother Allen R. Breiner, Sr. A private gathering is planned for August with a public Celebration of Life on October 20, 2018, 11:00am at Bermudian Valley Airpark, Kralltown, PA. Additional details and RSVP for the October Memorial can be found by clicking here for this announcement. In lieu of flowers, a memorial aviation scholarship is being planned and will be announced soon.

An online guestbook may be signed and condolences sent to the family at

Name of Deceased

Eugene C. Breiner



Date of Death


Date of Birth


Funeral Home

Mark D. Heintzelman Funeral and Cremation Service

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