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Remembering Former PMTA Chairman John Keagel

Remembering Former PMTA Chairman John Keagel

Champion of the trucking industry and active member of PMTA, John Kagel, 68, passed away Friday, March 8, 2024.

He passed peacefully at home surrounded by family. 

John was battling a critical illness and fought every day to continue to participate in PMTA events and meetings and his work at H R Ewell.

John will be sorely missed and impossible to replace at PMTA.

He held positions on the Board of Directors, the Safety Management Council, the Truck Driving Championships Committee and his favorite, the Youth Driving Championships Committee. 

John participated in the Truck Driving Championships (TDC) Committee for over 30 years. He continued to volunteer at TDC until 2023. Keagel worked his way to the top of both the Board of the Safety Management Council and PMTA Board of Directors. He served as Chairman of the Board from 1999-2001.

Keagel worked as Vice President of Safety and Human Resources at H R Ewell, Inc.

“He made safety his focus in every situation,” said PMTA Safety Director John Rigney. “He was a master when it came to scoring the TDCs. He was meticulous and made sure every aspect of the data was correct because he wanted to make sure all the competitors were treated fairly.”

John was always willing to lend a hand and served PMTA until the very end. 

“This is a loss for the entire PMTA family because John touched so many parts of the association for such a long time. PMTA is a better association in all the places he worked hard to improve," said President and CEO Rebecca Oyler. "Our thoughts and prayers are with John’s family, and we hope they will take comfort in knowing PMTA is stronger today because of him.”

John was Pennsylvania State University graduate. There he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Business. John was a member of First Presbyterian Church of York serving as an elder and working in youth programs. 

John was a dedicated family man who enjoyed hiking, biking, camping, and traveling with his loved ones including his beloved dogs.

In addition to his wife, John is survived by his daughter, Allison (Keagel) Matteson and her husband, Daniel of Melbourne, FL; his two sons, Michael Keagel and his wife, Chelsea of Niagara Falls, NY and Mark Keagel of York; his four grandchildren, Ace Matteson, Ian Coleman, Lucas Keagel, and Avery Keagel; his sister, Janys (Keagel) Kercher and her husband, Terry; and his brother, Jeff Keagel. He also leaves behind nieces and nephews who have many fond memories of their uncle. His absence will also be profoundly felt by a community of friends and colleagues who respected and admired him.

Following cremation, a memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 23 at 11:00 AM at First Presbyterian Church of York, 225 E. Market Street, York.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Wreaths Across America at You can donate through PMTA here:


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