A former Penn Manor student, remembered fondly here, died recently in combat during his service in Afghanistan.
Eric Torbert Jr., was a marine corporal and former graduate of Penn Manor High in 2003. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 2007.
He died December 18 during combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
He was a combat engineer. His unit was based at Camp Pendleton, California.
He was recently married to Marcelle L. Sebastian Torbert on June 12, 2010.
He was remembered by former Penn Manor High Principal Janice Mindish.
“He wasn’t very outgoing, but he was a nice kid. He never got in any trouble,” said Mindish. “You have to be proud that he was brave enough to do what he did.”
Librarian assistant for Penn Manor Pamela Yarnell said, “The whole thing with Eric definitely makes me worry about my son who’s over there now.”
“When you’re a teenager, you feel invincible. Until you go over seas and do what they do.”
Yarnell’s son, a graduate of Penn Manor in 1998, is a flight engineer for KC10s.
“Don’t forget to worry and think about those guys when they’re not here,” Yarnell said.
Torbert always enjoyed music and playing guitar, as well as playing in a local band, Whyte Lightning, according to a report in Lancaster Newspapers.
“I remember trying to get him to play basketball for the high school team back when I coached,” said John Erisman, a history teacher at Penn Manor.
Torbert worked as a newspaper carrier for the Lancaster Newspapers, and worked for BP Gas on Centerville Rd., as well as Just-4-Kids Furniture Store, according to Lancaster Newspapers.
Dr. Leichliter, Superintendent of Penn Manor School District, said the family is thankful for all the notes of condolences and is looking for ways to give back to the community in remembrance of Eric.
A memorial scholarship fund is being set up in Torbert’s name that will help high school students further their musical career.
Anyone interested in donating to Cpl. Eric Torbert Jr. memorial scholarship fund please send to: Cpl. Eric Torbert Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund. Susquehanna Bank; 536 Park City Center; Lancaster, PA 17601.
By Jenna Reel and Jessen Smith