Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Schuylkill County Obituaries for 10/31/2017

Schuylkill County Obituaries for 10/31/2017


Jean A (Ketchledge) Barron, age 86, of E. Broad St., Tamaqua, died Monday, October 30, 2017, at Orwigsburg Center, Orwigsburg, Pa.

She retired after 42 years of service from the former Atlas Powder Company where she worked the Cap Line.

Born in West Penn Township on May 8, 1931, she was the daughter of the late Robert and Lottie I. (Graham) Ketchledge.

She is survived by her
Bonnie Lee Barron of Tamaqua;
Barron wife of Andy George;

She was preceded in death by her daughter, Barbra Jean Brode; son, Robert "Sonny" Ketchledge.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the E. Franklin Griffiths Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc., 655 East Broad Street Tamaqua, Pa., where the family will receive friends from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM, Friday, November 3, 2017.

Funeral service will be at E. Franklin Griffiths Funeral Home & Cremation Services at 11:00 AM, Friday, November 3, 2017.

Private Interment.
Online Registry and Condolences may be signed at

Nellie Margaret Wenzel passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 28 in St. Luke’s Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Coaldale where she had been a resident for the past two years and a half years.

Nellie was born at home on Dutch Hill in Tamaqua in 1929, the daughter of Franas and Anele (Abromaitis) Virbickas, immigrants from Simnas, Lithuania. Her father passed away when she was two years old. Lithuanian was spoken at home and Nellie only learned English when she attended kindergarten at St. Peter and Paul’s elementary school. In 1998, Nellie visited Lithuania for the first and only time, returning to the farmstead where her mother was born and raised, and visiting the church in which her mother was baptized and married.

Nellie was preceded in death by her parents, her husband George Wenzel, Jr (2012), brother Albert J. Petcavage (2001), sister Helen (Petcavage) Corrigan (2008), son Lee Frank Wenzel (2010), and son-in-law Glenn Shoff (2012).

Nellie was a 1946 graduate of Tamaqua High School. After graduation she was employed by the Tamaqua Evening Courier. She met her future husband George at Lakeside in Barnesville and the couple was married in 1949. After raising her three children: George III, Mary Karen, and Lee, she resumed her newspaper career at the Times-News office in Lehighton.

Nellie was an avid card player. As a young mother, she hosted a pinochle club consisting of friends and relatives. On “card club” nights, the children of the household were treated to some of the “goodies” before being tucked into bed so the grownups could socialize. Later Nellie became an accomplished bridge player and accumulated masterpoints as a member of the American Contract Bridge League. Over the years she participated in numerous public and private bridge and pinochle clubs in Tamaqua, Lansford, Pottsville, and Allentown. Most recently she was a regular pinochle player at Tamaqua Senior Citizens gatherings. Nellie also enjoyed reading and solving crossword and bridge puzzles. She loved theater and was a patron of the Ritz Company Playhouse in Hawley and the Schuylkill County Council for the Arts in Pottsville.

Nellie is survived by her son George III of Quakake: daughter Mary Karen (Wenzel) Shoff of Tamaqua; grandchildren Lindsay (Shoff) Chiavaroli and husband David Chiavaroli; Damian Shoff and wife Julia (Peters) Shoff; great-granddaughters Blayke Kranch and Sophia Chiavaroli; great-grandson Abraham Shoff; sisters-in-law Janis (Jones) Wenzel and Carol (Karnes) Wenzel; nieces Suzanne (Krepak) Krell, Helen (Corrigan) Hoffman, Mary Elizabeth (Corrigan) Young, Ann (Wenzel) Jones, Janis (Wenzel) Reimiller, Betsy (Wenzel) DeAngelo, Christine (Wenzel) Lesisko, Sharon (Wenzel) VanBuskirk; and nephews Richard Krepak, Thomas Corrigan, John Patrick Corrigan, William Wenzel Jr., and Frank Wenzel.

Nellie was a member of St. Peter and Paul’s Roman Catholic Church in Tamaqua.

In grateful appreciation of the love, care, and spiritual support extended to Nellie during her last years, the family requests that donations be sent to the Community Fund, St. Luke’s Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, care of Cathy Watkins.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the E. Franklin Griffiths Funeral Home & Cremation Services Inc. of 655 East Broad Street Tamaqua, Pennsylvania 18252.

A Prayer Service will be held on Wednesday evening at 5 o'clock P.M. from the Funeral Home. Friends shall be received from the conclusion of the service until 7:00 P.M.

Private interment SS. Peter & Paul R.C.C. Cemetery, Owl Creek, Pennsylvania.

online registry and condolences may be signed at


Mary J. Brannum, 98, formerly of Tamaqua, PA and Kempton, PA, died on Thursday, October 19, 2017 in Pottsville, PA. 

She was the wife of the late Choye “Ray” Brannum who died in 1996. 

Born on August 28, 1919, Mary was a daughter of the late George and Eva (nee Spaar) Krell. A high school graduate, she was a secretary for the Fairmount Cemetery in Newark, NJ. Mary was a member of St. John United Church of Christ, Tamaqua and the Hester Rebekah Lodge, Tamaqua. 

In addition to her parents and husband, she was also predeceased by her siblings, George Krell, Alfred "Bud" Krell, Donald Krell, John Krell, Roy Krell, Charles Krell, Robert Krell, Carole Krell, and Constance Henry. Interment services will be held at 11:00 AM on Monday, November 20, 2017 at the Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Annville, PA. Online condolences may be made at 

Arrangements are being handled by the Zizelmann-Gulla Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc., Tamaqua.


Larry D. Barr, Sr., 72, of Pine Grove, passed away on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at the Lehigh Valley Hospital East Norwegian.
Born on November 9, 1944 in Pottsville, he was a son of the late Mary E. "Doll" Barr.
He was a 1962 graduate of Pine Grove High School and was a member of St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Pine Grove and the Pine Grove Masonic Lodge #409 F. & A.M.
Larry was a Mechanic and Owner of LDB Interstate Corp., Pine Grove.
Preceding him in death was a grandson, Daniel Jeffrey Barr.
Surviving are his wife of 53 years, Linda Bretzius Barr of Orwigsburg; two sons, Larry Barr, Jr. of Douglassville and Jeffrey Barr of Pine Grove: two grandsons David Barr and Logan Barr; a sister, Stephanie Geist of Pine Grove.

Funeral Services will be held on Monday, November 6, 2017 at 11:30 A.M. at the H. L. Snyder Funeral Home, Inc., Pine Grove with Dr. Richard Schoenleber officiating. There will be a viewing on Monday, November 6, 2017, from 10:00 A.M. until time of service at the Funeral Home. Interment will follow in St. John's Lutheran Cemetery, Pine Grove.
In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer contributions be made to the GBS/CIDP Foundation International, 375 East Elm St. Suite 101, Conshohocken, Pa. 19428, in his memory with Larry's name on the memo line of the check.
You may send condolences to the family online at our website


Eva J. Bender, 91, Englewood, Frackville, passed away peacefully Monday morning at Broad Mountain Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Frackville.

Born in Frackville, she was a daughter of the late Joseph and Rose Kamansky Bender. She was a member of St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, Frackville.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her four brothers: John, Peter, Michael and Frank Bender; her three sisters: Anna Pavlosky, Helen Bender and Susan Bender; and by her nephew Rev. John J. Pavlosky.

Eva is survived by nieces and nephews.

Private Funeral Services and Interment will be held at the convenience of the family.