Donald George Cargas, 93

March 07, 2014

Donald George Cargas, 93, longtime resident of Lancaster, passed on from this world on Friday, March 7, 2014 after a long life of positive influence.

He was born on February 20, 1921, in what was then the Panama Canal Zone, to the late Spyro Cargas and Maria Beeftink Cargas. He was the younger brother of the late Maria Cargas Ogden Kissinger and the late Florence (Bobbi) Cargas Wileman Adair. As with many others who came of age during the Great Depression, he supported himself from the time he was 12 years old. As a youngster he had morning and evening newspaper routes, sold newspapers at St. Joseph’s Hospital, and worked at Cargas Cleaners, his father’s dry cleaning business. For all his life he lived the motto of Cargas Cleaners, “Always On Time”. He was in the first class to graduate from the newly-built McCaskey High School in 1938 and was instrumental in keeping classmates in touch with each other over the decades. He attended West Virginia Wesleyan University and Franklin & Marshall College.

During World War II, Captain Cargas served as a transport pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps in the South Pacific. He was a member of the Reserve Officers Association and VFW Post 7294 in Millersville.

During wartime, and after 3 dates, he married Dolly Stoll Cargas. During their 51 years together before Dolly’s passing, they sent their caring values down through the generations, starting with their 5 children, Chip Cargas, husband of Becky Cargas, of Lancaster; the late Bob (Bubba) Cargas; the late Lynn Cargas; Cindy Cargas, wife of Phil Heesen, of Richmond, VA; and Jim (Bo) Cargas of Mountville; 7 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.
Most of Don’s working career was at Armstrong World Industries, retiring in 1983 as Advertising Production Manager. He was a community leader and doer in organizations as diverse as the Lancaster County Planning Commission, Manor Township Planning Commission, Manor Township Zoning Hearing Board, Conestoga Chapter of American Business Clubs, AARP Chapter 530, Optimist Club of Lancaster, Strasburg Heritage Society, and Clearwater (Florida) Lions Club. He was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Millersville.

In 1997, Don married Helen Pachuta Leibensperger Cargas, this time after one year of dating. They enjoyed traveling the world and remained devoted to each other through all the challenges and joys of later life, right up until Don’s passing.

Don was known for his cheerful demeanor, unbridled optimism, and ability to deal with any challenge life had in store for him. He was always helping others.

Relatives and friends are invited to a celebration of Don’s life on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 2:00 PM at Charles F. Snyder Jr. Funeral Home & Crematory, 3110 Lititz Pike, Lititz, PA 17543. Relatives will receive family and friends from 1:00 pm until the time of the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Cargas Education Fund, c/o Thaddeus Stevens Foundation at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, 750 East King St., Lancaster, PA 17602 ( or to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Central PA Chapter, 2405 Park Drive, Suite 100, Harrisburg, PA 17110 (

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Condolences to the Family

March 19, 2014

Cindy, Chip, and Bo,
I am so sorry for the loss of your dad. He had such a long positive life, full of memories for you to hold onto. I will always remember his cheerful smile. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Cheryl Moser

March 14, 2014

Don was a neighbor of ours for many years. He also was a reference to start my career at Armstrong. Although we lost touch when he moved, we still remember him as a decent man who will be missed.
Jeanne Mitman, also Emil

March 13, 2014

Cargas Family
My memory of Opa is one of a grandfather with unconditional love and laughter for everyone in his family.  We are very sorry for your loss.  He lived a long and happy life.
Ian, Carissa, and Ella

March 12, 2014

So sorry to hear of Don’s passing.  We really enjoyed spending time with Don and Helen and the Twin Lake Village gang from Lancaster in NH and locally.   Dot and Dick Nolan and family.

March 12, 2014

At Armstrong, for part of my time there, Don was my boss, one of the best I ever worked for. At McCaskey, he was a good sprinter in track and would have gotten more recognition except that another guy named Barney Ewell was on the team, too. I don’t remember Don’s time anymore, but when he told me about it, the time was still very respectable, and that was years later. My husband Jim worked with Cindy at Pequea Elementary School in Penn Manor School District. The three of us were interested in environmental education and worked together to give Pequea kids a love for nature. The last time I saw Don, he asked me if I still had the alligator. It was a stuffed animal–a joke from people in his department. I always made a comment about it when I was in his office. When he retired, he gave it to me, and, yes, I still have it. I’m glad he got to see the Phillies win 2 World Series. We were both avid fans. Jim and I send our sincere sympathy to the Cargas family.  Lee Amigh

March 11, 2014

Chip, Cindy, and Bo, I’m so very sorry about your Dad. He lived a long and amazing life. I had the pleasure of knowing him for many years, and was amazed by the fact that he was always positive, no matter what life challenged him with. Back in the 1970’s, he always used to call me, “the girl with the Allie McGraw hat.” He will be greatly missed and never forgotten.
Love, Cindy L

March 10, 2014

Uncle Don was a very good man. Our prayers and thoughts are with the family.
Gary & Maria Irvin

March 10, 2014

I was sorry to hear about the passing of your father.  I don’t think I remember ever meeting him but he must have been quite a man and I am sure he will be missed.  But I do have very good memories of working with you as a teacher and fellow staff member at Penn Manor. My thoughts are with you during this very difficult time.     Barry Kauffman,

March 10, 2014

Don’s friendly smie and pleasant demeanor will be missed. His guidance was always appreciated.
Clearwater Lions Club

March 10, 2014

Cindy, Chip and Jim- I am very sorry to hear of your father’s passing.  I know Jill (Wilson) my wife always spoke highly of him. My thoughts and prayers are will you guys at this time!
Sincerely yours,
Thomas Grosh

March 09, 2014

My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Cargas family.  What a memorable, loving, achieving life Don has lived.  A long, enjoyable, connected, loving life.  What more could we ask.  In loving memory,  Carole Campbell

March 09, 2014

So sorry too hear about the loss of your dad. I always admired him. My thoughts are with you and your family.
Dave S

March 09, 2014

I had the privilege to work for Don in the Advertising Department of Armstrong Cork Company in the 1970’s.  He was truly a wonderful Supervisor who always had a smile on his face, and a kind word to pass along.  My condolences to his familiy.
-Carol Arnold McCune

March 09, 2014

To the Cargas Family:
With heartfelt sympathy, our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Tom & Cecilia Ogden and family

March 09, 2014

My thoughts and sympathy to the entire family.  What a long, loving and influencial life he lived. May you all find peace in knowing heaven gained a very important angel.

Saturday, March 22, 2014
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Charles F. Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory
3110 Lititz Pike
Lititz, PA 17543
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Saturday, March 22, 2014
2:00 PM
Charles F. Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory
3110 Lititz Pike
Lititz, PA 17543
Map and Directions

Get Maps and Directions >
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