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Jacob's Story

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Our beautiful son and brother died Wednesday, July 5, 2017 as result of a tragic accident. Jacob grew up in a loving household and was the second of six children. He was the son of Margaret (Popovnak) Bearer and Paul B. Hale and step-mother Dawn Popovich. Preceded in death by maternal grandfather, James Popovnak; and paternal grandmother, Elizabeth J. Hale. Survived by parents; siblings, Sarah (Nathan Pappal), Michael, Isabelle, Benjamin and Joshua; step-sisters, Brittany, Victoria and Jensen; nephew, Roland; grandmother, Margaret Popovnak; grandfather, Donald J. Hale. Nephew of Rose Marie and Frank Arcurio, Victoria and Andrew Hecker, James and Lisa Popovnak, Michael Popovnak, Kathy (Jim) Winters, Diane Dever, Jeffrey and Cathy Hale, and Brian and Tammy Hale, Robert and Nikki Behr; and special family friend, Daniel Polenik. He was a 2013 graduate of Central Cambria High School and an active member Pennsylvania National Guard. Jacob had a charismatic personality with beautiful blue eyes and a smile that could light up a room. His siblings absolutely loved and looked up to a man, who at the age of 22 was serving in our military, recently returning from a year of deployment in Kosovo, purchased his first home on his own shortly thereafter, and enrolled in classes to return to his career path at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown for the upcoming fall semester. He joined the National Guard while still attending high school in December 2012 and had incredible determination and dedication to both family and country. An avid hockey player, Jake was a member of both the Altoona Trackers and Mid-State Mustangs, winning three state championships and the national title in 2011. He loved his dogs Riley, Whitney and Ace, and was a true and loyal friend to many. Jacob was bold and fierce in his convictions, but always exemplified kindness, respect and a fantastic sense of humor.
He would have preferred in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the Humane Society of Cambria County. Jacob will continue to be a beacon of light for all who had the privilege of calling him friend and will be sadly missed by all but remembered forever in our hearts. Friends received 2-8 PM Friday at Harris Funeral Home, 500 Cherry Lane, Richland, where Funeral Service will be held at 10 AM Saturday. Rev. Kevin McNamara, officiating. Military Rites provided by PA National Guard and Menocher Post 155 Ritual Team. Private Inurnment.
Published on July 6, 2017
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