Rice Twp. Resident
Catherine Pollins, 88, of Rice Township, Mountain Top, died September
30 at Davis Nursing Center, Mountain Top.
She was born in Hartford, Conn., Feb. 9, 1914, daughter of the late
Joseph and Constance Visgaitis Samolis, and was educated in Wilkes-Barre
Mrs. Pollins was a member of St. Jude’s Roman Catholic Church, Mountain
Top; and American Legion Mountain Post 781 Auxiliary.
Before retiring in 1971, she was employed in the garment industry in
the Wilkes-Barre and Lancaster areas. She had resided at Mountain Top for
Her husband, Chester, brother, Casimer, preceded her in death.
She is survived by brother, Ray, Blytheburn; sister, Dolores Biel,
Valley Stream Park, Mountain Top; a nephew.
Funeral was held from Desiderio Funeral Home Inc., 436 S. Mountain
Blvd., Route 309, Mountain Top.
Mr. Brent Joseph Wilson, 28, of 39 Sailfish Drive, Ponte Vedra, Fla.
died Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2002, in Jacksonville, Fla.
Mr. Wilson was born March 26 1974, in Wilkes-Barre, a son of Reginald
A. and Carole Fornett Wilson. Surviving in addition to his parents of Walkertown,
are a son, Tyler Joseph Wilson and his sons’ mother, Reena Motorca of Florida;
two brothers, Scott Christopher Wilson and his wife, Crystal of Belews
Creek and Joshua Dallas Wilson of Walkertown; a nephew, Christian Wilson
of Belews Creek; his maternal grandmother, Agnes Fornett of Mountaintop,
his paternal grandmother, Joyce Wilson of Florida; and several aunts and
We shall all cherish Brent’s memory and he will be greatly missed.
Teresa Kolesar, North Washington Street, Wilkes-Barre, died September
30 in Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.
She was born June 12, 1932, in Hobbie, daughter of the late John and
Mary Wayda, and was a 1950 graduate of Pringle High School.
Mrs. Kolestar was employed by Leslie Fay Inc., Plains Township, as
a cafeteria supervisor for more than 29 years, until its closing.
She was a member of Sacred Heart- St. John’s Parish Community, Wilkes-Barre.
Her son, Tim, died in April2002. Brothers, Joseph, John, Frank and
Michael, sisters, Rita Wensell and Suzanne Stein, also preceeded her in
She is survived by daughter, Barbara, Henderson, Nev.; five grandchildren;
brother, Anthony Wayda, Kingston; sisters, Marie Zajac, Wapwallopen; Bernadine
William H. Hall, Sr.
William H. Hall, Sr., 60, of Hobbie, formerly of the Honey Pot section
of Nanticoke, died Thursday at home.
He was born in Wilkes-Barre, son of the late Harold and Mary Swithers
Hall, and was a graduate of Nanticoke High School.
Mr. Hall was an Army veteran, serving as a sergeant in the Military
Police. He was employed as a food broker for more than 40 years. He was
a member of St. Mary’s Church, Dorrance; Honey Pot Volunteer Fire Company;
and the H&L Gun Club.
Surviving are his wife, the former Beverly J. Valentinelli; daughter,
Kimberly Novak, Hobbie; son, William, Jr., Lily Lake; two granddaughters;
sister, Arlene Whitmire, Hunlock Creek; nieces and nephews.
June Ogin Yeager
June Ogin Yeager, 70, Kestrel Road, Mountain Top, died October 6 in
Hospice Community Care Unit at Mercy Hospital, Wilkes-Barre.
She was born March 27, 1932, in Wanamie, daughter of the late Clarence
and Edith (Ruth) Ogin, and graduated from the former Newport High School
in 1950. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Shickshinny.
She was preceded in death by a sister, Miriam Capute.
Surviving are her husband, Allen S. Yeager, whom she married June 30,
1951; sons, David, Rollinsville, Colo.; Scott, Carlisle; three grandchildren;
sisters, Kathryn Benscoter, Rochester, Minn., and Dorothy Powell, Dallas.
Funeral will be Wednesday, October 9 at 11 a.m. from Mayo Funeral Home,
Inc., 77 N. Main St., Shickshinny, with her pastor, the Rev. Karen B. Allen,
officiating. Interment will be in Stairville Cemetery, Dorrance Township.
Friends may call Tuesday, October 8 from 7 to 9.
John M. Kaytrosh
World War II Veteran
John M. Kaytrosh, 79, of Fairview Township, died October 4 at Hospice
Community Care In-patient Unit, Mercy Hospital, Wilkes-Barre.
He was born in Kingston, May 14, 1923, son of the late John J. and
Mary Popeck Kaytrosh. He was a graduate of Kingston High School and the
Pennsylvania Military College at Widener. He graduated from Wilkes College
Mr. Kaytrosh was an Army veteran of World War II, serving as a second
lieutenant in the European Theater.
He was employed as an insurance adjuster by Nationwide and State Farm
insurance companies in the Wyoming Valley prior to his retirement.
He had resided in Mountaintop for the past 46 years. He was a member
of St. Joseph’s Church, Wilkes-Barre Township.
Surviving are wife, the former Mary A. Dennis; daughters, Pamela Sudall,
Radnor; Kaverne Kaytrosh-Rorstrom, West Chester; son Gerald John, West
Chester; three grandchildren.
Funeral was held from McCune Funeral Home, 80 S. Mountain Blvd., Mountaintop.
School Director, Supervisor
Harold Richards, 86, of Prospect Road, Rice Township, died Nov. 29
in Mercy Hospital, Wilkes-Barre.
He was born in Mahanoy City, May 12, 1916, son of the late John and
Lena Richards. He was a 1935 graduate of Mahanoy City High School.
Mr. Richards was employed by the Pennsylvania Railroad as chief clerk
of the Wilkes-Barre station, retiring in the early 70s.
He served on the Central Luzerne County Joint School Systems of the
Crestwood School District for 32 years. He also served as a supervisors
of Rice Township for 15 years.
Mr. Richards participated in activities of the Mountaintop Ambulance
Association, the Rice Township Volunteer Fire Company, and Rice Twp. Little
League. He was a social member of American Legion Post 781.
He was preceded in death by sons, John and James Harold; sisters, Martha
Scholl and Margretta Drumheller; brother, John.
Surviving are his wife of 65 years, the former Dorothy L. Johns; son,
Lynn, Wright Township; daughters, Barbara Helfrick, Eastpointe, Mich.;
Marilyn Myers, Dorrance Township; Debra Powis, Slocum Township; Diane Yanchulis,
Laceyville; 13 grandchildren; 19 great grandchildren.
Funeral services were held from McCune Funeral Home, 80 S. Mountain
Blvd., Mountain Top.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Rice Township Fire Company,
128 Willoweby St., Mountain Top Ambulance Association, P.O. Box 33; Mountain
Post 781 American Legion, 1550 Henry Drive; Mountain Top Little League,
375 Alberdeen Rd., all of Mountain Top, PA 18707.
Helen Mae Keiper
White Haven Resident
Helen Mae Keiper, 89, of White Haven, died November 27 in Wilkes-Barre
She was born in Buck Township, daughter of the late Ralph and Maude
Mae Wood Blakeslee and attended Shades Creek School.
Mrs. Keiper was a member of Mountainview Community Church of White
Haven. She was employed as a utility worker by White Haven Center and Split
Her husband, Stanley, died in 1987. She was also preceded in death
by brothers, Calvin, Joseph, Lucius, and Bradley; sisters, Violet Worthen;
Mildred Keiper; Joyce Hendershot.
Surviving are a son, Carl, White Haven; daughters, Jeanne Mae Gettig,
Weatherly; Carol Joy Hunsinger, Freeland; eight grandchildren; twelve great
grandchildren; sister, Florence Wheeler, White Haven; brother, Clarence
Blakeslee, Shades Creek; nieces and nephews.
Mary I. Strenk
Mary I. Koschelnick Strenk, 90, of South Plainfield, NJ, died January
24, at the Woodland Care Center, Plainfield, NJ.
She was born in Mountain Top and was a former resident of Manville,
NJ, before moving to South Plainfield, NJ 16 years ago.
Mrs. Strenk was employed as a coil wrapper by the former Diehl’s Manufacturing
Company, Bridgewater, N.J., for five years.
She was a communicant of Our Lady of Czestochowa Church, South Plainfield,
Her husband, Joseph, died in 1976.
Surviving are daughters, Dolores Sauers, Mountain Top; Terry Wilson,
South Plainfield, N.J.; five grandchildren; one great-grandson; sister,
Margaret Ogin, Manville, N.J.
James Eckenrode Sr.
World War II Veteran
James E. Eckenrode Sr., 88, of Fairview Township, died January 27 in
Mercy Hospital, Wilkes-Barre.
He was born in Wilkes-Barre on April 22, 1914, son of the late George
and Mary Eckenrode. He was a graduate of St. Nicholas High School.
Mr. Eckenrode was an Army veteran of World War II. He was employed
by ACF Industries, Berwick, for several years, and was a member of Teamsters
Local 401, Wilkes-Barre.
He resided in Mountain Top for more than 50 years and was self-employed
as a carpenter and contractor. He was an avid outdoorsman.
A son, Donald L., preceded him in death.
Surviving are his wife of 60 years, the former Ruth Blakeslee; son,
James E. Jr., Mountain Top; four grandchildren; sister, Betty Williams,
Colorado; brother, Carl, Wilkes-Barre.
A Memorial Service was held at McCune Funeral Home, 80 S. Mountain
Blvd., Mountain Top.
Memorial contributions may be made to Christ United Methodist Church
Building Fund, PO Box 7, Mountain Top, PA 18707.
Rose M. Nitkewicz
Rose M. Nitkewicz, 72, of Second Street, Plymouth, died January 28
in Mercy Hospital, Wilkes-Barre.
She was born on May 1, 1930 in Dorrance, daughter of the late John
and Stella Stankewicz Losczyk, and attended Dorrance Township schools.
Mrs. Nitkewicz had resided in Newark, NJ, and Michigan prior to moving
to Plymouth in 1975. She was a member of St. Mary’s-St. Stephen’s Church
Community of Plymouth. She was employed as a beautician in Newark, NJ,
for many years.
Her husband, Thaddeus, died in August 1995.
Surviving are her companion, Richard Kotch, at home; nieces.
World War II Veteran
Clyde Wood of State Street, White Haven, died January 25 at Mercy Hospital
Hospice Care, Wilkes-Barre.
He was born in East Side Borough, son of the late George H. and Florence
An army veteran of World War II, Mr. Wood served as a technician and
as a message center clerk, receiving two Bronze stars.
Prior to retiring, he was employed as a carpenter and as a cabinetmaker
by the Pocono Hershey Resort.
Mr. Wood was a member of St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church, Freeland;
the Lehigh Sportsman Association and the Disabled American Veterans.
He was preceded in death by his wife, the former Genevieve Sowa, who
died in 2001. Brothers, Harold and Robert, also preceded him in death.
Surviving are his sons, David J., White Haven; Clyde J. Jr., Baltimore,
MD; daughters, Mrs. Paul (Joan) Swerdon, White Haven; Mrs. Nicholas (Janice)
Kavounas, Macungie; 10 grandchildren; brother, George, East Side Borough;
sister, Jeanette Zehnar, White Haven; nieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic
Church, 643 Fern St., Freeland, PA 18224 of Hospice Community Care, 385
Wyoming Ave., Kingston, PA 18704.
Former Tax Collector
Julia Deal, 83, formerly of Towanda Street, White Haven, died January
25 at Davis Manor, Mountaintop.
Born in White Haven, she was a daughter of the late Loren and Anna
(Haas) Deal. She worked as a secretary for Shafer’s and Wheeler’s Garages,
and Bonnar Vawtar Printing, all in White Haven, and also worked for Mountaintop
Container and was tax collector for White Haven Borough. She was a member
of St. Paul’s Evangelical Church, White Haven, where she served as secretary,
treasurer and Sunday School teacher.
She was preceded in death by her sisters, Edythe F. and Ruth Meier.
Surviving are her sister, Gertrude Hildebrand, Hazleton; and several
nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Memorial donations may be made to St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Chuch,
Elizabeth M. Hammersley
Elizabeth M. Hammersley, 58, of Gumtree Drive, Tunkhannock, died January
29 in Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Wilkes-Barre.
She was born June 6, 1944, in Nuangola Station, Rice Township, daughter
of the late Charles C. and Bertha Hamm Weismer. She was a graduate of Fairview
Prior to retiring, she was employed by Acme Markets, Dallas, as a bakery
Mrs. Hammersley was one of the founders of the Wyoming County SPCA.
She was a member of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, Tunkhannock.
She was preceded in death by a grandson, Sawyer Hammersley; sister,
Surviving are her husband of 38 years, James S.; son, James S. Jr.,
Tunkhannock; daughter, Debra Sleboda, Wyoming; six grandchildren; sister,
Dolores Amann, Hanover Township; brothers, Carl Weismer, Dallas, Texas;
Joseph Tarutis, Deland, FL; nieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions may be made to The Sawyer Bear Fund, 106 Baker
Rd., Tunkhannock, PA 18657.
Elsie Fey, 87, of Fairview Township, died Jan. 30 in Geisinger Wyoming
Valley Medical Center, Plains Township.
She was born in Mountain Top on Sept. 30, 1915, daughter of the late
John and Mary Skolnick Matejick. She was a life resident of Mountain Top,
and was a graduate of Fairview High School.
She had been employed by Eberhard Faber Company, Crestwood Industrial
Park, for 19 years, where she originated the title for the employee newspaper,
Mrs. Fey was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the United Transportation
Union, Sunset Lodge No. 451.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Carl. F.; son, Carl F. Jr.;
sisters, Mary Brown, Alice Fichter and Anne.
Surviving are a daughter, Jean Ann, at home; son, John W., Wapwallopen;
five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; sister, Suzan Hudock, Mountain
The funeral was held from McCune Funeral Home, 80 S. Mountain Blvd.,
Memorial contributions may be made to the Presbyterian Church of Mountain
Top, 10 Oaklawn Street, Mountian Top, PA 18707.
Robert L. Richards
Robert L. Richards, 77, of Wilkes-Barre, died Jan. 31 in Hospice Care
of the VNA at Heritage House, Wilkes-Barre.
He was born in Mountain Top on March 7, 1925, son of the late Robert
and Ruth Jones Richards Haskins. He was a former resident of Philadelphia
and had been employed as a maintenance man by apartment complexes in East
Orange, N., before returning to Wilkes-Barre.
He was preceded in death by sisters, Jeanette Lindbuchler and Ruth
Kishbach; twin brother, Ronald.
Surviving are his wife, the former Dolores Schaufer; daughter, Audrey
Pesci, Wilkes-Barre; four grandchildren; brother, Gerald, Indian Rocks,
Fla.; nieces and nephews.
Funeral was held from McCune Funeral Home, 80. S. Mountain Blvd., Mountain
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