Meadville Tribune

February 10, 2013

Howard G. Racop

Meadville Tribune

CAMBRIDGE SPRINGS — Howard G. Racop, 96, of 26131 Miller Hill Road, Cambridge Springs, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, at Cambridge Springs Rehab and Nursing Center. He had been in failing health.

Born on Nov. 18, 1916, in Rockdale Township, Cambridge Springs, and living there for his entire life, Howard was a son of the late Timothy P. Racop and Julia Marie Campbell Racop.

In his earliest years, Howard was a dairy farmer in Rockdale Township and enjoyed the fruits of his labor as a result of his ethic “always doing a hard day’s work.” He was proud of his efforts and enjoyed being known for his horsemanship and helping other neighboring farmers. Beginning in the early 1960s, Howard became a meat cutter and was employed by Shorts Red and White Grocery in Cambridge Springs. It was there that he met a fellow worker, Jean Carpenter Bidwell, and they were married on Aug. 5, 1967. Howard had a previous marriage to Charlotte Campbell whom he married on Oct. 22, 1936, which ended in her death on Dec. 25, 1964.

One of Howard’s pleasures was square dancing. He was affiliated with Millers Station United Methodist Church.

Surviving Howard, in addition to his wife, Jean, are a son, Jerry Racop and his wife, Frankie Andrews Racop, of Cambridge Springs; a stepson, Ed Bidwell and his wife, Rita DeSio Bidwell, of Mill Village; two sisters, Vera Besonson and her husband, Don Besonson, and Ruth Lawrence; seven grandchildren, Mark Racop and his wife, Theresa, of Union City, Eileen Westover and her husband, Matt, of Anchorage, Alaska, Tina Brown and her husband, Mark, of Waterford, Tracie Duffy and her husband, Kevin, of Cambridge Springs, Tim Racop and his wife, Marsha, of Cambridge Springs, Becky Bidwell-Hanson and her husband, Paul, of Boston, Mass., and David Bidwell of Waterford; and eight great-grandchildren, Luke Racop, Jennifer and Christopher Westover, Dylan and Carter Brown, Nathan and Madalyn Duffy, and Henry Racop.

Howard was preceded in death, in addition to his parents and his first wife, Charlotte, by his son, Max Racop and his wife, Theresa Polach Racop; a stepdaughter, Leslie Ann Bidwell; and a sister, Ethel Turner.

Friends may call at Van Matre Family Funeral Home in Cambridge Springs on Tuesday from 11 a.m. until the time of the funeral at 2 p.m. The Rev. Brian Riddle, pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Drakes Mills, will officiate.

Interment will be in Mitchell Cemetery.

The family suggests that memorials be made to a charity of one’s choice. To send condolences, please visit