Monday, March 18, 2019

Schuylkill County Obituaries for 03/17/19

Schuylkill County Obituaries for 03/17/19


Thomas P. “Odie” O’Donnell, 67, Schuylkill Haven, died Friday morning at his home with his wife Robin by his side.

Born February 11, 1952 in Pottsville, he was the son of the Francis and Margaret (Feinauer) O’Donnell.

He was a 1972 graduate of Nativity BVM High School, Pottsville and a 1976 graduate of Reading Area Community College.

Odie was an excellent story teller who lovingly had the “gift to gab”. He took great pride in his Top 500 1960’s playlist and loved sports especially March Madness. He could often be found hiking or walking his dogs Yogi, Lucy, or Cody or taking care of his cats.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a sister Ann Gorman; brothers Michael and Joseph O’Donnell; and a sister in law Mary O’Donnell.

Odie is survived by his loving wife of 40 years, Robin (Edmonds) O’Donnell, Schuylkill Haven; brothers Francis “Frank” O’Donnell, Pottsville and Daniel “Danny” O’Donnell and his wife Mary Ellen, Pottsville; sisters Suzie Gillespie and her husband William, Washington and Peggy Kaplan, Nevada; several nieces and nephews and his fur child Wendy.

Services will be private and at the convenience of the family. Schlitzer Allen Pugh Funeral Home 515 West Market Street Pottsville has been entrusted with the funeral arrangements. Please visit to leave a condolence for the family. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Ruth Steinert Memorial SPCA 18 Wertz Road Pine Grove PA 17963.


Rodney N. Schnoke, 47, of Sweet Arrow Lake Rd., Pine Grove, passed away on Thursday, March 14, 2019 at Good Samaritan Hospital, Lebanon after a long battle with debilitating pain and is now in eternal peace.

Born on March 5, 1972 in Pottsville, he was a son of Ernest Jr. and Linda Knapp Schnoke of Pine Grove.

He attended Pine Grove Area High School.

Rodney worked at Penn Dye and most recently Environmental Stoneworks.

He was a member of the Pine Grove Pigeon Club, Roedersville Gun Club, and loved hunting and fishing.

Surviving, in addition to his parents, and grandfather Ernest Schnoke, Sr. of Pine Grove, are his fiancee and long time companion of 20 years, Wendy Wolfe Griffith; son, Joshua Schnoke; step daughter Jayde Nagle, all of Pine Grove; two grandchildren, Iris Rayn and Skye Walker Littlejohn; sister, Lisa Krause of Pine Grove; nephew, Ryan and wife Chelsea Schnoke.

Memorial Services will be held on Friday, March 22, 2019 at 11:00 A.M. at Manbeck's EC Church, 110 Wild Cherry Rd., Schuylkill Haven with Pastor Norman Dixon officiating. There will be a visitation on Friday, March 22, 2019 from 10:00 A.M. until 11:00 A.M. at the Church. Interment will follow in St. John's Lutheran Cemetery, Pine Grove.

In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer contributions be made to the H. L. Snyder Funeral Home, Inc. 139 S. Tulpehocken St. Pine Grove, PA 17963 in his memory. 

The H. L. Snyder Funeral Home, Inc., Pine Grove is in charge of arrangements and you may send condolences to the family at


Catherine M. Schaeffer, 92, formerly of Pine Grove, passed away on Saturday, March 16, in the Lehigh Valley Hospital, Schuylkill East, Pottsville. 
Born on October 5, 1926, in Pottsville, she was a daughter of the late William and Marion Hammer Thompson .

Catherine was a graduate of Pottsville High School. She loved her family and enjoyed playing cards.
Preceding her in death were her first Husband, Cletus Searle; a Son, Richard Searle; a Granddaughter, Alicia Marie Gurski; and 9 brothers and sisters.

Surviving are her husband, Claude J. "Firp" Schaeffer; two Daughters, Donna Searle-Rittle of Lebanon; Robin Gurski of Pine Grove; three Sons, David Searle, Mark Searle, both of Tremont; Glen Searle of Pine Grove; seven grandchildren Jay C. Searle, Justine Wagner, Heather Searle, Nichole Wolfe, Ryan Searle, Catherine J. Gurski, Kimberly White; 5 great grandchildren; two Sisters, Betty Ryndock and Ruth Livingston.

Funeral Services will be held at H. L. Snyder Funeral Home, Inc., on Thursday, March 21, at 2:00 pm with SALM John Ziegler officiating. There will be a viewing on Thursday, March 21, from 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm at the H. L. Snyder Funeral Home, Inc. Interment will follow in the St. John's Lutheran Cemetery, Pine Grove.

The family would prefer, in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society for Schuylkill County, 712 S. Keyser Ave., Taylor, Pa., 18157, in her memory.
You may send condolences to the family online at


Rebecca M. Yorty, 91, of Pine Grove, passed from this life into eternal life on Saturday, March 16, 2019 at Providence Place, Pottsville, while having the tender and loving care of family, staff caregivers and members of Compassus (Hospice).

Rebecca was born in Washington Twp, Pine Grove, on May 14, 1927, the eldest daughter of the late Charles and Marie Brown Kintzel.

She attended a one-room schoolhouse through 8th grade and then made her way into Pine Grove High School, often walking the several miles. At 16, she began working at Fox Knapp Mfg, Pine Grove as a seamstress. She worked in the garment industry off and on for many years.

In 1946 she married Luther A. Yorty, her neighborhood sweetheart; and they enjoyed almost 55 years of marriage until his death in February 2001. Early in their marriage they both joined the Schuylkill Church of the Brethren and became very active members. Rebecca served by her husband's side as a church deacon for about 30 years, and she was a Primary Department Sunday School teacher for close to 40 years. She also taught Vacation Bible School classes many years, transporting a carload of neighborhood children.

In her retirement years, Rebecca became an avid quilter; and completed many large, intricate hand-stitched quilts, which her family treasures. She was a fastidious homemaker and took pleasure working in her flower beds.

Rebecca was a very loving, devoted, hands-on daughter, wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, aunt.... She was so delighted to have her family with her.

In addition to her parents and husband, Rebecca was preceded in death by three brothers: Jeremiah, Thomas and Lawrence Kintzel, a sister Rhea Kutz, and five infant siblings.

Rebecca is survived by her only daughter, Nan, wife of Rev. Robert Hoenich; granddaughters Dr. Alethea, wife of Daryl Wessner, Gwendalin, wife of Benjamin Moyer and Janelle, wife of John Gruber; five great granddaughters: Sophia and Calista Wessner, Shea and Isla Moyer and Joanna Gruber. Also surviving are three sisters: Rose, widow of William F. Hoy, Mabel, wife of Edwin Motter and Grace, wife of Jay Fenninger, many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held on Sunday, March 24, 2019 at 5:00 P.M. at the Schuylkill Church of the Brethren, 347 Sweet Arrow Lake Rd., Pine Grove with Pastor Richard Hoffman officiating. All are respectfully invited to attend a visitation on Sunday, March 24, 2019 from 3:00 P.M. until 5:00 P.M. at the Church. Interment will be in the adjacent church cemetery at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorial donations be given to the Schuylkill Church of the Brethren, 347 Sweet Arrow Lake Rd. Pine Grove, Pa. 17963 in her memory.
The H. L. Snyder Funeral Home, Inc., Pine Grove is entrusted with the arrangements and you may send condolences to the family at


James Withelder, 78, of Heckscherville, Cass Township, passed away on Tuesday at Lehigh Valley Hospital, Schuylkill – East. 

Born in Tremont, he was a son of the late Harry and Marie Minnichbach Withelder. He attended Tremont schools before working in the local anthracite mining industry. He was later employed by the Garden State Tannery, Fleetwood.

Jim collected antique bottles, and enjoyed trading and selling his finds among fellow collectors.

He was preceded in death by three sisters, Judith Ann Withelder, Jean Withelder and Carol Withelder; two nephews, Harry and Paul Withelder; a niece, Anne Withelder.

Jim is survived by three children, James Withelder, Jr., Minersville, Judy Sullivan, Virginia, and Christine Withelder, Saint Clair; six grandchildren, David and Brittany Bush, Joshua and Jessica Withelder, Crystal and Lance Withelder; nine great grandchildren, Adalee Mae Withelder, Kieran and David Bush, Briannah Smith and Nevaeh Bush, Emily Fyffe, Kristen, Makayla and Ava Deans. He is also survived by a brother, Paul Withelder, Shoemakersville; two nephews, James and Jon Paul Withelder; a niece, Crystal Ochs.

Relatives and friends are invited to offer comfort and support to Jim’s family on Wednesday evening from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. at Dutcavich Funeral Home, 200 Sunbury Street, Minersville.


Stanley A. Stefanski, 68, of Harrisburg, formerly of Shenandoah, passed away on Sunday, January 27, 2019, at his residence.

Born in Shenandoah on Jan. 13, 1951, he was a son of the late Stanley J. “Sonny” and Stella (Vernalis) Stefansky.

Stan was a 1968 graduate of the former J.W. Cooper High School, Shenandoah, and a 1969 graduate of the Computer Educational Institute, Philadelphia, where he received a degree in data processing.

Prior to his retirement, he was employed by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) as a computer operations supervisor.

He was a former member of St. Casimir’s Church, Shenandoah.

Stan was an avid Philadelphia Eagles, Phillies and Penn State fan. He liked visiting the casinos. He especially enjoyed visiting with his family and being together with them at holidays and celebrations.

Preceding him in death, in addition to his parents, were two cousins, Richard Yarnitsky, who was like a brother to him, and Robert Siddall.

Surviving are his sister, Mary Ann Keretski, of Mount Carmel; three nieces, Karen Janolek and her husband, John, of Mount Carmel, Virginia Keretski and her fiance, Chuck Kreiser, of Mount Carmel, and Angela Ventilli and her husband, Tommy, of Mount Carmel; one nephew, Peter Keretski and his wife, Tammy, of Kulpmont; four cousins, Rita Karas and her husband, John, of Ringtown, David Hollenbach and his wife, Mona, of Teaneck, New Jersey, Valeria Sajone, of Shenandoah, and Eileen Fluharty, of Smithville, West Virginia; great-nieces, great-nephews and second cousins.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday, March 22, 2019, in St. Casimir’s Church, 229 N. Jardin St., Shenandoah, the Sacred Worship Site of Divine Mercy Parish. Monsignor Ronald C. Bocian, pastor, will officiate. Interment will follow in St. Casimir’s Cemetery, Shenandoah Heights. A visitation will be held from 9 until 10 a.m. Friday morning in St. Casimir’s Church.

Walukiewicz-Oravitz Fell Funeral Home, 132 S. Jardin St., Shenandoah, is in charge of the arrangements.


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