Friday, July 5, 2019

Schuylkill County Obituaries for 07/05/19

Schuylkill County Obituaries for 07/05/19


James J. Mizzer, 61 of Frackville, Pennsylvania died unexpectedly on Tuesday, July 2, 2019, at home.

Born Tuesday, August 6, 1957 in Shenandoah, the son of the late John, and Helen (Ambrose) Mizzer. He was also predeceased by his sister, Arlene Reichwein on June 26, 2018.

Surviving are; brother, John Mizzer and his wife Geraldine; sister, Jeanne Sherwood; brother-in-law, Harold F. Reichwein; nieces, Amie Neary, Lisa Green, Susan Boris.

A graduate of Shenandoah High School, he served honorably in the United States Army. James worked for Amazon. He was an Avid Hockey fan and player. James enjoyed the companionship of his cat and was a an avid collector of vinyl records. James use to DJ.

Private arrangements have been entrusted to the E. Franklin Griffiths Funeral Home & Cremation Services of 655 East Broad Street Tamaqua, Pennsylvania 18252. (570) 668-2550

Interment Ft. Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Annville, Pennsylvania.

Online condolences may be made to the family at
Melanie Danchak,  64,  of Akron OH. went home to the Lord, June 27, 2019 in her home in Akron. She was the daughter of the late Nicholas and Mildred (Molotzak) Danchak of Hometown Pa. Born in Coladale Pa. she was baptized in to the Russian Orthodox faith.

A 1973 graduate of the Tamaqua Area High School, Melanie enlisted in the U.S. Army and served during the cold war as a medic. She was also a graduate of Penn State University where she earned her bachelors degree and furthered her education at the Ashland University of Theology in Ashland OH. and pursued her masters. Melanie was most recently employed at Infocision Mgmt. of Akron until her death. Her career path also included working for the State of Ohio and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Melanie was affiliated with St. Luke's Anglican Church of Akron.

She is survived by four siblings. Sister, Janet Maruschak of Morris Plains NJ. Brothers, Nicholas Danchak Jr. of Lewisville TX. David Danchak and his wife Anne Marie of West Palm Beach FLA. Gregory Danchak and his wife Thelma of Lansford PA. many neices and nephews and very dear friends who were close to her in Ohio. She was preceded in death by her brother in law Joseph Maruschak and sister in law Virginia (Bortnik) Danchak.

Her contagious laughter and caring soul will be missed by all who knew her and loved her.

Private services will be at the convenience of the family. Interment will be in the hallowed grounds of Ft. Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, of Indiantown Gap Pa. with full military honors. Donations in her name can be made to St. Mary's Orthodox Church Building Fund, 217 1st St. Coaldale Pa. 18218, or the Wounded Warriors Project.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the E. Franklin Griffiths Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc. 655 East Broad Street Tamaqua, Pennsylvania 18252. (570) 668-2550

online condolences or a fond memory of Melanie may be shared by visiting,

Santina M. Benech, age 94, formerly of Tamaqua passed away peacefully on Wednesday July 3, 2019 in Slatington surrounded by her family.

The widow of Alfred F. Benech who passed away on May 23, 2011 she is survived by; daughters, Carol A. Sparks and her husband Bob of Slatington, Theresa L. Keefer and her husband Curtis Jr. of Lehighton, Allyn C. Benech of Allentown; grandchildren, Curtis III, Nicole, Nickolas, Zackary; great grandchildren, Curtis IV, Sierra, Jimmy, Bailey. Nieces and nephews also survive her.

Born in Tamaqua the daughter of the late Dominic and Caroline (Timideo) Jacobe. She was also predeceased by sisters, Antoinette Abel , Anselmina Basheda.

A graduate of Tamaqua Area High School. Santina was a member of St. John XXIII R.C.C. of Tamaqua. She worked in the Textile Industry for many years. A devoted wife, mother and grandmother Santina was a great cook and baker. She loved everyone and enjoyed spending time with her beloved family, friends and neighbors.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the E. Franklin Griffiths Funeral Home & Cremation Services of 655 East Broad Street Tamaqua, Pennsylvania 18252. (570) 668-2550

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday July 9, 2019 at 11 o'clock A.M. from St. John XXIII R.C.C. 301 Pine Street Tamaqua, Pennsylvania. The family will receive friends from 9:30 A.M. to 10:30 A.M in the Social Hall of St. John XXIII.

Interment St. Jerome R.C.C. Cemetery Tamaqua, Pennsylvania.

Memorials in Santina's name to:
St. Vincent DePaul Society
301 Pine Street
Tamaqua, Pennsylvania 18252
St. Luke's Hospice, to be used for the Lehighton Office
2455 Black River Road
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015

Expressions of sympathy or a fond memory of Santina may be made by visiting,

Helenann (Welker) Zelonis, 68 of St. Clair, died Wednesday July 3, 2019, at Genesis Health Schuylkill Center, Pottsville.

She was born at Locust Mountain Hospital, Shenandoah, on June 3, 1951, the first child of the late James Jr. and Helen R. (Verbosky) Welker.

Growing up in Hometown, she graduated from Tamaqua Area High School in 1969 and received her diploma in Practical Nursing from Schuylkill County AVTS, Pottsville, in 1971. From 1971 to 1976 and 1978 to 2012 she was a Licensed Practical Nurse at the Pottsville Hospital and Warne Clinic (now Lehigh Valley Hospital-Schuylkill, South Jackson Street). She also briefly worked at the former Rest Haven (now Rosewood) and as a private duty nurse. She said she would have stayed on longer, were it not for her difficulties with her health and computer documentation.

Helen was known to take younger nurses under her wing, to start difficult IVs by praying a Hail Mary, and to unleash her offbeat sense of humor. She was kind to many, including her old Saint Casimir friends in their declining years, hospital colleagues and their children, and her family. She had various pastimes: hunting, fishing, camping, bowling, playing Bingo, driving around with her husband or son, going on casino trips, vacationing or lounging in the pool with her brother and sister-in-law, and watching TV with family pets.

Helen had been a member of the former Saint Casimir Parish, Saint Clair, where she was a member and officer of the Rosary Confraternity, and a faithful pierogi maker. She continued faithful attendance and pierogi making at Saint Clare of Assisi, Saint Clair, up to the day she entered the hospital and eventually transitioned to Schuylkill Center, where she resided for the past 16 months. From her teenage years she loved her Catholic faith and was honored that her only child became a priest.

Helenann was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph R. Zelonis in 2004.

Surviving are her son, Father Christopher M. Zelonis of Lehighton; brother Joseph J. Welker and his wife Faith E. of Hamburg; brother William A. Welker of Summit Hill; nephew Bradley J. and his wife Stacey B. Welker of Hamburg.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 AM Tuesday July 9 from Saint Clare of Assisi Roman Catholic Church, 250 E Hancock St., St. Clair, PA 17970. Fr. Christopher M. Zelonis will be principal celebrant. Friends may call from 6:30-9:00 PM Monday and 9:00-11:00 AM Tuesday at the church. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to St. Clare of Assisi Memorial Fund at the above address. Burial will be held at St. Casimir Cemetery, Port Carbon. Bruce T. Hart Funeral Home, Saint Clair, is in charge of arrangements. Please visit for more information or to leave condolences.

Wilma Elanora Deibert, 68, of Orwigsburg, passed away Thursday, July 4th, at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Wilkes-Barre. Wilma was born in Philadelphia on November 15, 1950, a daughter of the late Elanora A. (Fritz) and Emil L. Rilling. She was the wife of Barry Edwin Deibert. They were married March 18th, 1972.

She enjoyed her life as a Homemaker.

Wilma is survived by two daughters, Wendy Cunningham, Companion of Keith A. Strouse, Jennifer, wife of Robert Dougherty and a son, Harry (Chuck) Cunningham, husband of Connie.

Wilma is also survived by two sisters, Jeanne, wife of Steve Logue and Jackie, wife of John Shollenberger; Grandchildren Justin German, Erik Hartranft, Dylan & Darren Dougherty, Hailee Cunningham and Carter Strouse. Great Grandson Damian German.

She was predeceased by her grandson Brad Hartranft.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 6 PM on Monday, July 8th at Hamilton-Breiner Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Orwigsburg with Rev. Robert Burkey officiating. The public is invited to call from 4:00 PM until the time of service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association.


Susan A. (Hughes) Schistle, 62, of Shenandoah Heights, passed away suddenly on Wednesday morning at her residence.

Born in Inchen, Korea, December 26, 1956, she was a daughter of Kyung (Yun) Hughes, of Ashland, and the late Donald Hughes.

She was a 1976 graduate of the former Cardinal Brennan High School, Fountain Springs.

Susan was last employed at Mrs. T’s Pierogies and Ateeco Inc., Shenandoah. Earlier she was a self-employed as a hairdresser in Ashland.

She was a member of the former St. George’s Church, Shenandoah. She was very talented with arts and crafts and was an avid Notre Dame fan. But above all else, she treasured the time spent with her family.

Surviving, in addition to her mother, are her husband of 35 years, Leonard J. Schistle; one son, Leonard W. Schistle and his wife, Ashley, of Hamburg; three grandchildren, Leonard, Landon and Bryce Schistle; two stepgrandchildren, Breanna and Harper; one sister-in-law, Sharon Kuropatsky, of Delano; and one brother-in-law, Mark Schistle, of Shenandoah; aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins; many friends.

Religious services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at Walukiewicz-Oravitz Fell Funeral Home, 132 S. Jardin St., Shenandoah, with Monsignor Ronald C. Bocian officiating. Interment will follow in Our Lady of Dawn Cemetery, Shenandoah Heights. A visitation will be held from 8 until 10 a.m. Monday at the funeral home.

Walukiewicz-Oravitz Fell Funeral Home, Shenandoah, is in charge of the arrangements.


Clyde R. Thompson, 89, of Williamstown, passed away Friday, July 5th at Heritage Mills Personal Care and Memory Assist Center, Tower City.

Born in Tower City, March, 24, 1930, a son of the late Roy and Margaret Houtz Thompson.

He was a retired supervisor from Western Electric Telephone Company.

Clyde was a proud nine year veteran of the United States Navy serving in the Korean War.

He was of the Methodist Faith. Clyde was a member of the Williamstown American Legion.

Clyde enjoyed going fishing. He took great pride in the appearance of his home and was a handyman who could fix anything.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Merl Boyer Thompson, July 21, 2018, three brothers; Lamar, Robert and Roy, three sisters; Marlene, Thelma and Mary Lou.

Surviving are his son, Ronald Thompson and his wife Kim, Fredericksburg; a grandson, Ronald Thompson, Colorado and a granddaughter, Tarsa Evans, Annville. One brother, Harold Thompson, Tower City.

Services with military honors will be held Friday, July 12th at 1:00 pm from Indiantown Gap National Cemetery with Pastor Amanda Bressler. In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to the Williamstown EMS, P.O. Box 74, Williamstown, PA 17098 or Williamstown American Legion, 123 W. Market St. Williamstown, PA 17098. The Dimon Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc., has been entrusted with the arrangements. To sign the guest book visit


George A. Hand, 90, of Muir, passed away Friday, July 5th at Broad Mountain Nursing Home, Frackville.

Born in Muir, September 8, 1928, a son of the late Harvey and Sadie Schnell Hand.

He was a graduate of Porter High School.

George was an Army Veteran of the Korean War.

He was retired from the maintenance department at the New Cumberland Army Depot.

George enjoyed woodworking and fishing along the river.

He was predeceased by his wife, Dolores Zelinsky Hand, July 7, 1981; a sister Betty Harman.

Surviving are his two sons, George Hand and his wife Shelly and Randy Hand and his wife Holly both of Tower City; one sister, June Romberger, Muir; two grandsons, Christopher Hand and his wife Kristin and Brandon Hand both of Tower City; two great grandchildren, Olivia and Grant Hand.

Private services will be held at the convenience of the family with Bill and Monica Romberger officiating. Burial with military honors will be in the Fairview Cemetery, Muir. In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to the Tower City American Legion, 2 Clarks Valley Road, Tower City, PA 17980. Dimon Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements. To sign the guest book visit


These Obituaries are brought to you by

Louis D. Truskowsky Funeral Home & Crematory INC.

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