Paul A. “Dude” Held, Jr., age 79, resident of 579 South Main Street, Cambridge Springs, passed away on Friday, February 11, 2010 at his home from the results of ten years of Alzheimer’s disease. Born on August 25, 1931 in Cambridge Springs, he was the son of the late Paul A. Held Sr. and Ida Benedict Held. He had lived all of his life in Cambridge Springs. He married the former Mary Elizabeth Rust on December 21, 1950 and she remains.

Held, Paul A. Dude graduated from Cambridge Springs High School in 1950 where his accomplishments were outstanding. Very active in musical events, Dude played drums in the High School marching band beginning in the 4th grade. While in High School, he was chosen for Regional and State band and was also accomplished in choral events. In his senior year he was chosen for the national FFA band in Kansas City. After high school, Dude was employed for seasonal work at the Carnation Milk Plant in Cambridge Springs for a time, but enjoyed mostly working on the family dairy farm where he had a number of riding horses. From 1961 until 1986, he worked for Conrail Railroad, (Erie Railroad), retiring in 1986.

As a faithful member of the Cambridge Springs First Baptist Church for 67 years, Dude was active there as Sunday School superintendent and a Sunday School teacher. He was a Deacon for many years and was honored as the first and only Deacon Emeritus. He enjoyed the Men’s Fellowship, served as Church Treasurer, and served on many committees over the years. Dude was very active at Camp Judson, a Baptist affiliated camp located on Lake Erie. He served there on the Board of Commissioners for many years and enjoyed providing his riding horses to the campers. Prior to the consolidation of Penncrest School District, Dude served on the Cambridge Springs School Board. He was a former Grange and Kiwanis member and actively served with the Gideon’s International. He was also involved in starting the Cambridge ministerial Summer Opportunity Program and School Release time.

Family members surviving in addition to his wife – Betty, of 60 years, include a son – Roger Held and his wife, Marilyn of Albany, NY; two daughters – Judy Jardina and her husband, Tony of Cambridge Springs and Paula Colvin and her husband, Ray of Auburndale, FL; fourteen grandchildren – Jennifer Lewandowski and her husband, Jeff of Venango; Justin Held and his wife, Kristin of Cambridge Springs; Matthew Held of Virginia; Philip, Keith, Joshua, Daniel, Elizabeth, and Kevin Held all of Cambridge Springs; Anthony Jardina and his wife, Karen of Pompano Beach, FL; Aaron Jardina and his wife, Jennifer of Saegertown; and Adam Jardina and his wife, Sherri of Cambridge Springs; Brian Girdwood and his wife, Courtney of South Carolina; and Kara Howarth and her husband, Scott of New Jersey. Twenty eight great grandchildren also survive.

Friends may call at the Van Matre Family Funeral Home in Cambridge Springs on Monday from 2-4 and 7-9. Funeral services will be held at the First Baptist Church of Cambridge Springs on Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. Reverend Rod Beardsley, pastor of the Church, will officiate. Interment will be in Millers Station Cemetery. Memorials may be given to the First Baptist Church, 339 South Main Street, Cambridge Springs, PA 126403, the Gideon’s International, P.O. Box 56, Union City, PA 16438 or, Asera Care Hospice, 1600 Peninsula Drive, Erie, PA 16505.