Dr. Jerry Ben Fiddler, 81, of Indiana, died surrounded by his family on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, at St. Andrew’s Village in Indiana.
Born in Brockway on March 23, 1939, he was the son of Benjamin Fiddler and Margaret (Archibald) Fiddler. He was the husband of Elizabeth Degitz (Yoe) Fiddler for nearly 40 years.
Before attending college, Dr. Fiddler served in the Special Troops of the U.S. Army, where he was persuaded by fellow soldiers and officers to obtain a college education.
After finishing his military service, Dr. Fiddler matriculated at Clarion State University, where he obtained Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in English, and the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he received a Doctor of Education degree in reading. He was the director of IUP’s Reading Clinic and a professor in IUP’s Department of Special Education and Clinical Services for 29 years.
Toward the end of his teaching career, Dr. Fiddler worked for Special Education Mediation Services, where he helped to resolve disputes involving the rights of special needs children and their families and school districts. Participants from both sides in his mediations frequently praised him for his intellect, professionalism and ability to help even the most disparate parties find common ground. Dr. Fiddler also served as a special education due process hearing officer on the appointment of Gov. Richard Thornburgh.
Not only was education Dr. Fiddler’s vocation, it was his hobby. He enjoyed learning about all aspects of life and collected and read books on a wide variety of topics. He stressed
to his children, grandchildren and other family members the importance of education and continuing to learn throughout
life and shared insightful quotations to help guide them.
Above all, Dr. Fiddler truly loved his family and selflessly gave his time to them. Thanksgiving was his favorite holiday, and he and his wife, Elizabeth, hosted memorable meals where the family could come together, enjoy each other’s company and share great food.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his sons, Jerry B. Fiddler Jr. (Wendy), Goose Creek, S.C., and Thomas B. Fiddler (Lori), Lafayette Hill.
Other survivors include two grandchildren, Julia A. Fiddler and Nicholas P. Fiddler.
He was preceded in death by his parents; grandson, Benjamin P. Fiddler; and sisters, Vesta Fiddler Glessner, Phyllis Fiddler Thompson and Rita Fiddler Cook.
Interment will be held at a later date at the Beechtree Cemetery, Brockway, under the direction of Rairigh-Bence Funeral Home of Indiana. If desired, memorial donations may be made to Four Footed Friends, 220 Beck Road, Indiana, PA 15701.
Online condolences may be made at www.rbfh.net.