James Gehas, 95, of Coatesville, passed away on Saturday, August 1st, at the VA Medical Center, Coatesville.
Born in Christiana, PA, in 1924, James was a member of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Lancaster, and St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, Coatesville.
He is survived by his second wife, Magda Gehas of Coatesville, Joanne Gehas, Raleigh, NC (daughter of James and Mary Gehas, his first wife who preceded him in death), many nieces and nephews, members of Magda’s extended family and many friends.
He was also preceded in death by his parents, John and Irene Gehas, brother, Louis Gehas, and sister, Lula Kopteros.
James had just finished his 11th grade in High School when called in June, 1943 to serve his country in World War II with the 82nd airborne and 509th parachute infantry battalion and served in Italy, France and Belgium, fighting against the Germans. He was discharged in December, 1945 after having suffered frozen feet which required him to spend two months in a hospital in England. He was awarded a Purple Heart for his service.
After his discharge, James received his high school diploma in 1947. He enrolled in 1949 at the Taylor Business School (Philadelphia, PA) and graduated in 1951. Additionally, James received his certificate of accounting from Franklin and Marshall College in May, 1963. He worked as a Fiscal Officer for many years at the Coatesville VA Medical Center, retiring in 1985.
James served as Chapter Commander of the Valley Forge Chapter 1777 of the Chester County (PA), Military Order of the Purple Heart (M.O.P.H.). In 1953, he moved up from State Senior Vice Commander to State Commander of the PA M.O.P.H. He was also awarded in 2011 the Chevalier to Legion of Honor award at a ceremony at the French Embassy in Washington, DC, for his military service aiding the French during World War II. He also served for more than twenty years as Quartermaster for VFW post 287 in Coatesville.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at the Harris Mountain Funeral & Cremation Service, 1030 E. Lincoln Highway, Coatesville, where relatives and friends may visit from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. Interment will be in Fairview Cemetery, Coatesville.
Donations in his memory can either be made to Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 64 Hershey Ave., Lancaster, PA 17603, or St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, 11 Oak St., Coatesville, PA 19320; or to the Disabled American Veterans at www.dav.org.
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Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church
64 Hershey Avenue, Lancaster PA 17603
St. Nicholas Orthodox Church
11 Oak Street, Coatesville PA 19320
Disabled American Veterans