Miscellaneous Luzerne County, Pennsylvania Obituaries


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Herbert W. Cruikshank
World War II Veteran
Herbert W. Cruikshank Sr., 73, of Foothill Drive, Mountain Top, died June 13 in Mercy Hospital, Wilkes-Barre.
Born July 21, 1927, in Wyoming, son of the late Jay M. and Katherine (Kay) Miller Cruikshank, and attended Keystone College.
Mr. Cruikshank was an Army veteran of World War II, having served in 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions.
Before retiring, he was employed as a toll switchman by Bell Atlantic for more than 30 years.
He was a member of Boy Scouts, attaining rank of Eagle Scout, and was a Cub Scout Leader; life member and past president, Chapter Council, Telephone Pioneers of America, and was inducted into Pioneer Wall of Fame; member, First Church, Wilkes-Barre; Masonic Lodge 61; Caldwell Consistory; Rem Temple AAONMS; American Legion Post 781, Mountain Top; Susquehanna River Watch.
His wife, the former Mae M. Weidner, died September 11, 1995.
Surviving are sons, Herbert W. Jr. and Jay M., both of Mountain Top; two grandchildren; brothers, Jay, Palo Alto; Phil and William, both of Wilkes-Barre; Archie, Sugar Run; nieces and nephews.
Memorial donations may be made to First Church of Christ, Carey Avenue and Horton Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702.

Marjorie L. Nanstiel
White Haven Resident
Marjorie L. Nanstiel, 85, of White Haven, died October 10 at Davis Manor, Mountain Top.
She was born in White Haven, daughter of the late Fred and Katheryn Smith Jones.
She was a life resident of White Haven and a member of the Presbyterian Church of White Haven.
Her husband, Charles, died in 1990. Brothers, Fred, Carl, Frank and Rex, also preceded her in death.
Surviving are nieces and nephews.
Memorial donations may be made to Presbyterian Church of White Haven, 305 Berwick St., White Haven, PA 18661.

Ronald W. Stanton
Research Geologist
Ronald W. Stanton, 50, a government research geologist who developed methods of predicting coal bed thickness and the quality of world coal resources, died of cancer September 27 at his home in Vienna.
Mr. Stanton began working for the U.S. Geological Survey as a field assistant in 1973 and spent his entire career there. A specialist in organic coal petrology, his work led to modifications of coal petrographic classifications that are used by the American Society for Testing and materials and other coal geologists.
In the 1990s, he was assistant chief of the coal geology branch and chief scientist of the surveyís Eastern Energy Resources Team.
Mr. Stanton was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pa and moved to Mountaintop at an early age. He was a graduate of Wyoming Seminary, West Virginia University, where he also received a masterís degree in geology and received his BS from Waynesburg, PA.
He was an honorary member of the International Committee for Coal Petrology, a committee officer of the American Society for Testing and Materials and a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and the Society of Mining Engineers.
He was a Boy Scout leader, a soccer and basketball coach for youth leagues in Fairfax County and an organizer of the Hunter Mill Defense League, which fought development in Vienna. His interests included fly-fishing and bluegrass music. He played the violin, banjo, piano and trumpet.
Survivors include his wife, Cindy Stanton, and son, Timothy Stanton, both of Vienna; his parents, Jack and Sylvia Stanton of Mountaintop, PA; a sister and a brother.

Helen M. Richwick
Registered Nurse
Helen M. Richwick, of Spruce Street, Mountain Top, died October 18 in Mercy Hospital, Wilkes-Barre.
She was born in Breslau, Hanover Township, daughter of the late Walter and Magdeline Chrulski Andrucik, and was a graduate of Hanover High School and Georgetown University School of Nursing, Washington, DC.
She had resided in New York for several years, before moving to Mountain Top 30 years ago.
She was a member of St. Mary/St. Stephenís Church Community, Plymouth.
She was employed as a registered private duty nurse in New York City.
Brothers, Walter and John; sisters, Regina Andrucik and Lillian Cologie, preceded her in death.
Surviving are niece, Irene Rose Andrucik, Hanover Township; cousins.
Memorial donations may be made to the charity of the donorís choice.

Beatrice Hinchcliff
Wapwallopen Native
Beatrice A. (Aunt Beaty) Hinchcliff, 88, of Wapwallopen, died October 20 at the Hospice Community Care Unit of Mercy Hospital, Wilkes-Barre.
Born on January 28, 1913, in Wapwallopen, she was a daughter of the late Alvin L. and Carrie A. Whitebread Hess. She was a lifelong farmer and worked with her late husband on their dairy farm. She continued to run the farm after his death, until her retirement. She was a member of the Pennsylvania Farmersí Association. She was a member of St. Johnís United Church of Christ in Wapwallopen since 1949. Until her health began to fail she was very active in church functions. She was an avid gardener and was known for extensive home canning and cooking for family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Leroy E. Hinchcliff; brothers, Hoyt, Raymond and Ralph Hess; and sisters, Arlene Hess, Mae Hess and Mabel Huttenstine.
Surviving are sons, Harold A. and Robert L. Hinchcliff, and daughter, Mrs. Robert (Diane B.) Dawson, all of Wapwallopen; six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held 2 p.m. Wednesday from the Mayo Funeral Home Inc., 77 N. Main St., Shickshinny, with the Rev. M. Jane Hess, officiating. Interment will be in Old River Church Cemetery, Wapwallopen. Visitation will be 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Old River Church Cemetery Association, Box 3522, RR 3 Wapwallopen, 18660, or to St. Johnís United Church of Christ, RR 2, Box 22P, Wapwallopen.

Hamilton Eaton
Former Resident
Hamilton H. ďHarryĒ Eaton, 69, of Wilkes-Barre, and formerly of Mountaintop, died October 21 at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. He had previously been a patient at the John Heinz Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, Wilkes-Barre Township.
Born in Pittston, he was a son of the late David Cummings and Annie Day Eaton. He attended Pittston schools. He was a truck driver most of his life and worked for S&W Enterprises, Plains Township, prior to his retirement due to disability.
He was preceded in death by a daughter, Jacqueline Eaton, brothers, David, Al, Charlie and Thomas Eaton; and sister, Mrs. Evelyn Briggs.
Surviving are his wife, the former Betty Haas, at home; sons, Floyd Eaton, Duryea; and William Eaton, at home; daughters, Frances Mary Eaton, Hunlock Creek; and Kassandra Eaton, at home; brothers, Robert Eaton, Chicago, Ill.; and Morgan Eaton, Dallas; five grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the H. Merritt Hughes Funeral Home Inc., 451, N. Main St., Wilkes-Barre with Pastor Harold Hoskins, Maranatha Fellowship Church, Swoyersville, officiating. Private interment will be at the convenience of the family. Friends may call from 7 p.m. until time of service on Wednesday. The family requests that flowers be omitted and that memorial donations be made to Maranatha Fellowship Church, 135 Owen St., Swoyersville, 18704.

Edmund Opachinski
World War II Veteran 
Edmund Opachinski, 84, of Nuangola Road, Mountain Top, died May 20 in Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Plains Township.
He was born July 3, 1917, in Nanticoke, son of the late Michael and Katherine Opachinski, and attended Nanticoke public schools.
Mr. Opachinski was an Army veteran of World War II, having served as a sergeant in the infantry in Europe. He received the Purple Heart while serving in Germany.
Before retiring, he was employed in the maintenance department by Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center for 30 years. He was a member of Holy Trinity Church and American Legion Post 350, both in Nanticoke.
His wife, the former Clara Toback, died Dec. 8, 1981.
Surviving are his son, Robert, with whom he resided; three grandchildren; brother, John, New York; sister, Sophie Hritzik, Korn Krest. 

Helen M. Mika
Retired Businesswoman 
Helen M. Mika, 84, of Nuangola died May 20 in St. Joseph Hospital, Hazleton.
She was born in Edwardsville, daughter of the late Jacob and Mary Karash Zaboly. Mrs. Mika was a successful businesswoman for 55 years, first operating Helenís Horseshoe Bar, Ashley, from 1947 until 1957, and later the Pine View Inn, Nuangola, from 1957 until 2002. She was a member of St. Maryís Maternity Church, Wilkes-Barre.
Her husband, Chester Mika Sr., died Feb. 10, 2002; brothers, Joseph and Frank; sister, Josephine Ivanich, also preceded her in death.
Surviving are sons, Chester, St. Peters, Mo.; Ronald, Bear Creek; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; brother, Karl, France; nieces and nephews. 

Donald Smith
Life Resident 
Donald Smith, 93, of Wright Township died May 20 at home.
He was born April 4, 1909, in Albert, Wright Township, son of the late George and Anna Barbara Hildebrand Smith, and was a life resident of Mountain Top, attending Fairview Township schools.
Before retiring, he was employed by Spaide Transport, Wilkes-Barre, as a truck driver.
Sisters, Helen Smith and Mae Jones; brothers, Charles, Walter, Clarence, Marvin, Percy, Ralph and Carl, preceded him in death.
Surviving are his wife of 63 years, the former Norah Koons; daughters, Barbara Mack, Chestertown, Md.; Eloise Bricker, Reading; three grandchildren.
The funeral was held from McCune Funeral Home, 80 S. Mountain Blvd., Mountain Top.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Community Care, 385 Wyoming Ave., Kingston, PA 18704 or Presbyterian Church of Mountain Top, 10 Oak Lawn St., Mountain Top, PA 18707. 

Walter Shemanski
Former Resident 
Walter J. Shemanski, of Dearborn, Mich; formerly of Wapwallopen, died April 21 at Heritage Hospital.
Born in Glen Lyon, he was a son of the late John and Pauline Tomczak Shemanski. He was formerly a security guard. He was a veteran of World War II.
He was preceded in death by his wife, the former Eleanor Tennesen.
Surviving are his sister, Dorothy Macyda; brothers, Clemence and Henry; and many nieces and nephews. 

Harold S. Donlin
Area Resident 
Harold S. (Harv) Donlin, 50, of West Green Street, Nanticoke, died Wednesday in Mercy Hospital, Wilkes-Barre.
He was born May 16, 1952, in Wilkes-Barre, son of the late James and Virginia Gaylord Donlin. He attended Hanover Area schools.
Mr. Donlin was employed by State Correctional Institute, Retreat as commissary clerk manager for the past 10 years. He was formerly employed as a cook by Valley Crest Nursing Home, Plains Township, for more than 20 years.
He was a member of Christ United Methodist Church, Mountain Top; Stickney Fire Company No. 1, Nanticoke; Nanticoke Firemenís Relief Association; 12th Man Football Booster Club; and Nanticoke Junior Trojans Booster Club.
Surviving are his wife of 20 years, the former Cindy L. Davis; son, Stephen, and daughter, Jennie Lu, both at home; brothers, James, Virginia; Paul, Dallas; Patrick, Wilkes-Barre; sisters, Janet Caffrey, Shavertown; Paulette Garber, Hanover Township; Susie Higgins, Plymouth; Ellie Kivler, Plains; nieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions may be made to Christ United Methodist Church Organ Fund, P.O. Box 7, Mountain Top, PA 18707, or to charity of the donorís choice. 

Elizabeth Desiderio
Former Resident 
Elizabeth (Emma) Desiderio, 88, formerly of Mountain Top and Forty Fort, died July 23 at Balanced Care, Kingston.
She was born April 3, 1914, in Forty Fort, daughter of the late John Eade and Alice Eade Marsden, and attended Forty Fort schools.
Mrs. Desiderio was employed for 22 years by Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Plains Township.
She was a member of St. Paulís Lutheran Church, Mountain Top, and its LCW and Happy Group.
Her husband, James; sister, Charlotte Zampetti, preceded her in death.
Surviving are nieces and nephews, including Anna Mae Sipko, Forty Fort; Angela Mazzarella, Exeter; Vincent Pagliante, Shavertown.
The funeral has held from Desiderio Funeral Home, 377 Park Ave., Wilkes-Barre.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Paulís Lutheran Church, South Mountain Boulevard, Mountain Top, PA 18707. 

Roy W. Brandau
World War II Veteran 
Roy W. Brandau, 82, of RR 3, Wapwallopen, died July 27 evening at home. 
He was born March 24, 1920 in Hazleton and was the son of the late Phillip and Matilda Waldron Brandau.
He graduated in 1937 from the former Hazleton High School. He also graduated in 1949 from Bloomsburg State Teacherís College with a B.S. degree in education. He received his masterís degree in education from Temple University.
Mr. Brandau served as a commander of an ambulance corps in the U.S. Army during World War II.
He became employed in 1949 by the Eastern Lancaster Area School District in New Holland, where he taught until his retirement in 1982.
At the time of his retirement, he was chairman of the business education department. Throughout his teaching career, he was very active in the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA), serving as its president on the state level in 1963.
He was a past member of the New Holland Rotary Club and an avid bird watcher. Mr. Brandau was very active in St. Johnís United Church of Christ, Wapwallopen, where he sang in the choir for many years.
Surviving are his wife of 60 years, the former Clio Mowery, whom he married July 25, 1942; son, R. William Brandau II, Wapwallopen; daughter, Mrs. Kerry (Abby) Shields, Covington, La.; five grandchildren.
Funeral will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the Old River Church, Wapwallopen, with his former pastor, the Rev. M. Jane Hess, officiating. Interment will be in the Old River Church Cemetery, Wapwallopen. Friends may call Tuesday, 7 to 9 p.m. at the Mayo Funeral Home Inc., 77 N. Main St., Shickshinny, and Wednesday, 10 to 11 a.m. at the Old River Church.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Johnís United Church of Christ, c/o Linda Schell, RR 2, Box 22 P, Wapwallopen, PA, 18660.


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