Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Schuylkill County Obituaries for 06/13/19

Schuylkill County Obituaries for 06/13/19

Marvin E "Elmer" Geist, age 91, of Hegins, passed away Thursday, June 13, 2019 at the Tremont Health and Rehabilitation Center.

He was born on Tuesday, November 8, 1927, in Hegins, a son of the late Arthur Geist and the late Laura Kessler Geist.

He served in the US Army during World War II.

He was a coal miner for area coal mines and had worked for Penn DOT for eight years.

He was of the Protestant Faith.

He was a member of American Legion Post 575 and VFW Post 8237 both of Valley View, the former Valley View Fire Company, Hegins Fire Company, and the Valley View Gun Club. He also volunteered as grass mower for the Hegins Park for over 40 years. Marvin was a die hard Phillies fan and enjoyed spending time with his family.

He was preceded in death by his parents; by a son, James M Geist, two brothers, Walter Geist and Clyde Geist, and a sister, Eleanor Reinoehl.

He is survived by his wife Betty M Dunkelberger Geist, to whom he was married for 70 years.

He is also survived by two daughters, Mary Ann Willier and her husband Larry of Hegins, and Debra L Buffington and her husband Charles of Hegins; seven grandchildren; ten great grandchildren; two great great granddaughters; two brothers, Arnold Geist of Hegins, and Ronald Geist of Hummelstown; a sister, Lorraine Schwalm of Harrisburg; and several nieces and nephews.

As per Marvin's wishes there will be no services.

Buffington-Reed Funeral Home, Valley View, is in charge of arrangements.

Condolences can be left for the family at

Betty Mazalusky, 96, of Mahanoy City, passed away Thursday, June 13th, at Shenandoah Senior Living Community.

Betty was born in Mahanoy City, PA on August 8, 1922, a daughter of the late Anna (Miko) and Michael Babyar.

Betty graduated from Mahanoy City High School

She as a member of Saint Teresa of Calcutta Parish Mahanoy City.

She had worked at Atlas Powder in Tamaqua, and General Cigar in Mahanoy City.

She enjoyed Gardening and had belonged to the Mahanoy City Senior Citizens.

She was wife of the late Frank Mazalusky.

Betty is survived by two daughters, Ann Bloomfield, of Mahanoy City; Betty Fenkner, of Greir City, and three sons Michael, of Mahanoy City; Francis, of Hamburg; Joseph, of Mahanoy City;

She is also survived by 11 Grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by brothers Adam, Michael and sisters Anna Blasko and Irene McGuire.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Saint Teresa of Calcutta Parish, Mahanoy City, PA, at 10 am on Tuesday, June 18th, with Rev. Kevin P. Gallagher officiating.

Friends may call Tuesday from 9 am at Saint Teresa of Calcutta Parish.

Burial will be in St Casimir Cemetery on Wednesday.

Louis D. Truskowsky Funeral Home & Crematory Inc. Mahanoy City is in charge of arrangements. Visit to sign the guest book and send sympathy cards.

Mary M. Spehrley died June 8, 2019 at the age of 103

Born in Pottsville, December 13, 1915, she was the daughter of Allen P.J. and Sarah Yost Moyer.

She was a graduate of Pottsville High School Class of 1933. She worked as a secretary/bookkeeper for Nagle's, Trans Video, Schneider & Davis, and retired in 1980 from Kutztown State College.

She was a the oldest member of Evangelical United Methodist Church, where she was a member of the choir, and served on several committees during her lifetime. She was an avid bridge player and belonged to several clubs.

She was preceded in death by her husband Charles W., sister Mildred Fortuna, sister Orpah Weigand, and brother Orren Moyer.

Surviving are two sons, Charles, of Key Colony Beach, FL, and David, of Louisville, KY; two granddaughters, Kimberly Laughlin of Chalfont, PA, and Kristen Mims of Tinicum, PA; four great-grandchildren, Morgan, Shane, Emily and Trevor; and one great-great-granddaughter, Hazel.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held on June 21, at 11am, Evangelical United Methodist Church, Pottsville, with Rev. John Wallace officiating. Visitation will begin at 10am. The family would prefer remembrances in the form of contributions made to Evangelical United Methodist Church 305 S. Centre Street, Pottsville PA, 17901 or to the Pottsville Free Public Library 217 W. Market St. Pottsville PA, 17901. Interment will be private at Schuylkill Memorial Park, Schuylkill Haven.

Arrangements are under the care of James B. Humphrey, F.D. James E. Humphrey Funeral Home, Pottsville.

Please share your memories and condolences with Mary’s family by signing the guest book at


Charles T. Forney, 67, of Rockledge, Cass Township, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday at his home.

Born on April 30, 1952 in Pottsville, he was the son of the late Burton and Eleanore Yeasted Forney. He was a 1970 graduate of Nativity B.V.M. High School, and attended Penn State. He was employed by Tredegar Film Products, Marlin, for 41 years before retiring as a supervisor in 2014.

He was a member of St. Matthew the Evangelist Church, Minersville. An avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed hunting, fishing and spending time by the ocean. He was also a lifelong Philadelphia Phillies and Eagles fan.

Charlie is survived by his loving wife of 43 years, the former Patricia Campion; his two daughters, Nicole Forney and Lisa Forney, both of Rockledge, his devoted grand-puppies Lola, Gus and Penny; two siblings, George Forney (spouse, Eileen), Pottsville, and Karen Jackson (spouse, David), Elkton, Maryland; a sister-in-law Annette Bulino (spouse, David), Minersville; nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends may call at Dutcavich Funeral Home, 200 Sunbury Street, Minersville, on Monday from 6:30 A.M. until 9:30 A.M. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday at 10:00 A.M. in St. Matthew the Evangelist Church, 139 Spruce Street, Minersville. Interment will be in St. Stanislaus Kostka #2 Cemetery, Branch Township.


Joseph F. Gallagher, Jr., was called Home on June 12, 2019. In his final days, he was surrounded by the three girls in his life. He lived a fun-filled seventy-three years! He often referred to himself as a jack of all trades, master of none; however, the rest of us referred to him as Joseph, Joe, Joey, Dad, “ The General,” or the oilman, and he will be fondly remembered for his many talents. Two of his talents which his family greatly enjoyed are his storytelling and his gifted singing voice. Joe frequently embellished stories about himself and his beloved family, with his family hanging on to his every word to know how their personal story, which had already taken place and had a different outcome, had occurred during this storytelling session. He was also a talented singer, even though he never had any training. He frequently sang at church events and weddings. He may not have always known all the words, but he gave it his all by frequently practicing his vocals by singing in the shower. Joe who fondly spoke of his younger years and classmates, was a 1963 graduate of Ringtown High School and he was forever reminding us that his graduating class had only 17 students. Joe was known around town as the Gallagher Oil Man, a title which he loved. Joe followed in his father’s footsteps and joined his sister and brother-in-law in running a family home-heating and plumbing business, from which he retired in 2016. Joe was an avid fan of race cars and sponsored local drivers. He was such a fan, that he talked about them until his very last days. Joe was known for his love of Lionel trains, which was instilled in him by his father, and he was an active member of the train show circuit. He was a connoisseur of foods thanks to his mother. He became a lover of Chinese food back in the 1980s, thanks to his daughter Natalie. During his days raising a family, Sundays were spent at the Oasis restaurant in Hazleton until it closed; however, even until his last days, he was known to never turn down Chinese food. Joe greatly enjoyed his wife’s cooking but was a sharp critic and might have even thought of himself as a Michelin restaurant rater. He often provided his three-tiered rating scale, which included “not for me,” “it’s different,” and “excellent,” the latter was hard to come by. He enjoyed sitting on the porch and watching Ringtown’s residents pass by. He easily gained the affection of children because he was still a kid at heart. In his later years, Joe often tuned into the television. He loved watching General Hospital, although he would never admit to knowing the plot since it was a soap opera. He also enjoyed watching Clint Eastwood movies, the Godfather series, and reruns of the Titanic. Joe’s love of singing extends to his appreciation of ‘good music’ to include Frank Sinatra, Eric Clapton, The Beatles, Elvis, and many more – he even subscribed to Sirius radio! He enjoyed meeting his friends for a morning coffee at the local gas station and shooting the breeze.
While he was a simple and no frills-kind of man, he leaves behind a devoted and loving family who will miss him dearly. Joe was married to his loving wife of 40 years, Beverly Gallagher. Her fondest memories of Joe were when he met his two little girls for the first time, whom he cherished and who had him wrapped around their little fingers. His daughter Natalie Zuber (Ringtown), wife of Craig Zuber, will always remember his sweet tooth, his love of her baked goods, and when she had the ‘excellent’ rating bestowed upon her. His daughter Aimee Gallagher (Alexandria, Virginia) and her partner, Christopher Cheung, will always remember her dad’s gratitude of when they were able to tour the D-Day beaches and WWII historical sites, in Normandy, France. Joe was a GrandPaw to three gentle, Pit Bull rescue mixes, Eva, Ricky, and Amel.

Joe is also survived by his sister and business partner, Eileen Bergman and her husband, Bob Bergman (Zion Grove) and their two children, Katie Rentschler (Downingtown) and David Bergman (Orwigsburg). Joe also leaves behind numerous cousins, brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and godchildren.
Joe will join his parents, Mary and Joseph F. Gallagher, Sr., his sister, Mary Gallagher, his niece, Bridget Bergman, and many friends in heaven. Joe is now at peace and we look forward to the day when we can meet him again.

Our family will hold a Celebration of Life Ceremony later this summer, and it will most likely include swiss chocolate almond ice cream, his favorite! In lieu of flowers, our family asks for donations to the Ringtown Area Senior Citizens or St. Paul’s United Church of Christ (Ringtown). And next time you eat Chinese food, watch the Godfather, or hear Eric Clapton, please think of him and smile.

A committal service will he held privately at a later date.


John A. "Jack" Wargo Jr., age 71, of Grier City, passed away Wednesday at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes Barre after losing his battle with on-going health issues. 

Born at the former Locust Mountain Hospital he was the son of Jennie Kaminsky Wargo and the late John A. Wargo Sr. He was a graduate of the former St. Fidelis Catholic School and was a 1965 graduate of Mahanoy Area High School. Jack served his country in the Army during the Vietnam era from 1969 to 1971. He was a cook, baker and expert marksman. Jack also served in the Army National Guard of Pennsylvania. He was employed by the Atlas Powder Company for over 25 years until its closing and then held various other jobs until his retirement. Jack enjoyed hunting, fishing, mushrooming, baking, metal detecting and all outdoor activities. He was also a fine "Pysanky" artist and a great cook. 

In addition to his father he was preceded in death by his son Justin John. In addition to his mother Jack is survived by one sister Michele Denny and her husband Jonathan of North Myrtle Beach, SC, one brother Jamie "Ernie" Wargo and his wife Patricia "Patti" of Barnesville, a niece Kelly Lucas and a nephew Patrick Wargo and his best friend and neighbor Dave Schaller. 

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a religious service on Monday morning at 11 AM from David D. Jarrett Funeral Home of Mahanoy City. The Rev. Kevin P. Gallagher will officiate. Interment will be in St. Joseph Cemetery in Mahanoy Township. Friends may call and visit with the family Monday morning beginning at 10 AM. Please visit www.jarrettfuneral for more information.


Robert C. Ney, 88, of Donaldson, passed away Wednesday, June 12th at the Tremont Health and Rehabilitation Center.

Born in Donaldson, June 24, 1930, a son of the late Earl and Minnie Athey Ney.

He was a retired coal miner.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by brothers Tommy and Donald Ney; sisters, Mary Bressler, Jean Schwartz and Marge Schwalm

Surviving are numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorial services will be held Sunday June 23rd at 1:00 pm from the Donaldson United Methodist Church, with Rev. Dr. Ira Lydic. Burial will be in the Donaldson Cemetery. Memorial donations in Bob's name can be made to the Donaldson United Methodist Church, c/o Jim Luckenbill 319 Sweet Arrow Lake Road, Pine Grove, PA 17963. Dimon Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc., Tower City has been entrusted with the arrangements. To sign the guest book visit

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