Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Schuylkill County Obituaries for 12/04/19

Schuylkill County Obituaries for 12/04/19


Howard R. Rutman, 77, formerly of Coaldale, PA, died on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 in Hometown, PA.

He was the husband of Cathy (nee Bonawitz) Rutman to whom he was married 39 years.

Born in Allentown, PA on October 16, 1942, Howard was the son of Matilda (nee Transue) Rutman of South Carolina and the late Howard R. Rutman. He worked in the construction industry as a roofer.

In addition to his wife, Cathy, Howard is survived by his children, Howard R. Rutman, III and his wife Tracy of Tamaqua, PA, Natasha Bugdanavage and her husband Todd of New Ringgold, PA, Michelle Ferrey of New Hampshire, Lisa Rodriguez and her husband Angelo of Schuylkill Haven, PA, Tonya Farber of Tamaqua, Shannon Thomas and her husband Will of Allentown, PA, and Brent Eck of Mertztown, PA; 12 grandchildren; sister, Anita Rutman of Allentown; and numerous nephews and nieces.

Online condolences may be made at Arrangements are being handled by the Zizelmann-Gulla Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc., Tamaqua.


John William Heffner, Jr., 64 of Minersville, passed away on Monday, December 2, 2019 in the Tremont Health & Rehab Center.

Born on September 19, 1955 in Pottsville, he was a son of the late John W. Sr. and Erma Ketner Heffner.

He was a 1973 graduate of Pine Grove High School and a member of Hetzel's Lutheran Church, Pine Grove.

John was an Army veteran having served in Germany.

He was a Finance Officer at Indiantown Gap Military Reservation and a Truck Driver.

He enjoyed watching sports on TV and Penn State.

Preceding him in death was a sister, Barbara Sheesley.

Surviving are two sisters, Susan Heffner of Pine Grove, Donna and husband Stephen Witmer of Ludowici, GA; a brother, Dale and wife Kendra Heffner of Pine Grove; nieces and nephews.

Graveside Services will be held at a later date at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery.

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


Erica “EJ”Jade McCullough, 31, was always on the side of angels, and joined them permanently on Monday, December 2, 2019. She passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family. She was raised in the Catholic Faith. Erica was both fearless warrior and sweet little lovebug. She was born with cerebral palsy and battled extreme physical limitations and medical problems all her life. At the same time, she was a happy girl. Although she could not speak, she communicated happiness with her radiant smile. Her musical tastes ranged from Kiss and AC-DC to Liberace and Irish traditional music. She loved texture, and soft fuzzy blankets and pillows would make her grin. For a reason none of her family ever understood, she loved Judge Judy. She loved to eat, and since she couldn’t feed herself, this provided several hours a day of close, personal attention with her family. She was especially fond of pudding. When she attended school at the Avenues and IU #29, she made numerous craft projects, which her family still love and display every year. She made a smiling pumpkin that takes place of honor in her Nana’s house every autumn for the past 25 years. Erica has a big family, who loved her immensely. She is survived by her parents, Patrick and Erin (Stewart) McCullough, her maternal grandmother, Rose Solt, her aunts and uncles and their families: Tim, Brenda, Corissa and Dylan Stewart; Tami Stewart-Haffey and Damien and Emily Freed; Jerilynne Stewart; and Merijo, Harrison & Michelle & Sophie Grace Dietrich, Sami Dietrich, and Amanda Dietrich; Bill Flail; Becca, Mark, Michelle and Marky Barton; Connie, Ashley, Kyle, Dana, Devon, Renee & Austin McCullough. She was predeceased by maternal grandfather Thomas E Stewart and all her paternal grandparents: Maurice McCullough and William and Georgine Flail; uncles and aunts including Jim Haffey, Harry Dietrich, and Michael, Maury, Wilmer, Michelle, Renee McCullough and cousin Carlie Solt.

Someone once asked, how do I know when I have achieved my purpose in life? The answer was “if you are still alive, then you haven’t.” Erica has achieved her purpose. She taught her family the meaning of patience and love. There will be a Memorial Gathering from 10 to 11 on Saturday December 7th at Hamilton-Breiner Funeral Home, & Cremation, Services, Inc. A Funeral Service will begin at 11:00 with Msgr. Edward S. Zemanik officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Hamilton-Breiner Funeral Home, Inc. 116 South Liberty Street Orwigsburg, PA 17961.


AMT, Petty Officer Second Class Sean Michael Carroll, 24, of Davie, Florida, passed away Saturday, November 30th in Florida. Sean was born in Pottsville, PA. on April 28, 1995, a son of Malinda Mae (Aston) Carroll and John Thomas Carroll, Jr. He is survived by his wife Alasha Carroll (Lightcap).

He graduated from Blue Mountain High School in 2013, where he became a member of the 1000-Point Club for the high school swim team.

He served in the U.S. Coast Guard for 5 1/2 years as an Aviation Maintenance Technician achieving the rank of Petty Officer Second Class. He formerly worked at the Blue Mountain Recreation Commission as a lifeguard and at Schaeffer’s Harley Davidson as a detailer.

He was a Cub Scout and Boy Scout with troop 651 where he earned the rank of Eagle Scout. He was a member of Deer Lake H.O.G. from 2006-2014 serving as safety officer in 2012.

He is also survived by grandparents John Thomas Sr. and Jane Carroll. Frederick Charles Aston and his late wife Yvonne. He had two pet cats Simon and Garfunkel.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 3 PM on Saturday, December 14 at Hamilton-Breiner Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc., 116 South Liberty Street, Orwigsburg, PA 17961. A memorial gathering will be from 12 until the time of service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Coast Guard Mutual Assistance, 1005 N. Glebe Road, Suite 220, Arlington, VA 22201 or through their website at


Michael S. Kopey, a lifelong resident of Frackville, passed away Sunday, December 1, at Broad Mountain Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Frackville.

Mike was a loving husband to his wife Kitty, married in 1958, they celebrated 61 years together. He was always a happy person; a kind father to his three sons, a loving presence to his three grandchildren and a very gentle man that will be missed by many. He enjoyed gardening all his life and enjoyed traveling with his wife to many FTD Flower Shows throughout the country; they also enjoyed traveling on many bus trips with the Frackville Senior Citizens.

Born in Frackville, November 19, 1924, he was the son of the late Nicholas and Mary Warianka Kopey.

He was a graduate of the former Frackville High School, and was Treasurer of the Class of 1942; he received an Accounting Degree from the former McCann School of Business, Mahanoy City.

Mike loved his church, the Holy Ascension Orthodox Church, Frackville; he served as past Trustee and was active with many Church functions.Active in the community, he was a past treasurer of the ASUR Club of Schuylkill County; a life-member of the B.P.O.E. Elks Lodge #384, Ashland; member of the former Fountain Springs County Club, the Happy 20 Investment Club and the Frackville Senior Citizens.

He was a former manager at Cleveland Brothers Caterpillar Equipment Company, Frackville, for 40 years. He was also actively involved in the family business, the Kitty and Dotty Flower Shops in Ashland and Frackville.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a sister Olga Christopher.

Mike is survived by his wife Kitty Kopey; three sons; Michael; Bill and his wife, Paul and his wife Annmarie; three grandchildren; two sisters; Pauline Searles Zimmerman, Frackville; and Ann Ackerly, Tennessee; nieces and nephews.

Religious Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, December 7, at the Holy Ascension Orthodox Church, Frackville, with the Very Rev. James Jadick, as celebrant. Relatives and friends are invited to a visitation Friday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. with Parastas at 7:30 p.m. at the Albert L. Gricoski Funeral Home, Frackville; and again Saturday morning from 9 to 10 a.m. Interment will be in Holy Ascension Orthodox Cemetery, Englewood /Frackville.

Paul F. Pekarik, aged 54, of Pine Grove, Pa passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, December 1, 2019.

He was born in Pottsville, Pa on June 26, 1965. Paul is survived by his parents, Paul F. and Diane L. (Shollenberger) Pekarik of Palo Alto, PA.

Paul leaves behind his brothers; John (Jack) Pekarik and his wife Virginia (Ginny) of Vermont and three nieces, Molly (and her husband Luke Fry), Audrey and Claire; his brother Christopher (Chris) Pekarik and his wife Kimberly (Kim) of Pottsville, Pa and his nephew Christopher and niece Kaitlyn; and a special brother David Bobowski and his wife Kimberly (Kim) Louisiana.

Many special people have shared in Paul's life. He cherished his longtime companion Jodi Palsgrove and her daughters Ashley and Cassie whom he loved deeply and together they created a family and a happy home.

Paul will be missed by his aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. He was a steady companion and always offered unconditional support, love and his very unique sense of humor.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church in New Philadelphia on Tuesday December 10th at 1PM, with Rev. Ronald Minner officiating.

Relatives and Friends are invited to visit with the family on Tuesday from 12 noon till time of Mass at the church. Interment will be held private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Holy Cross Church Memorial Fund 99 Valley Street, New Philadelphia, PA 17959. The Robert A Evans Jr Funeral Home Port Carbon is in charge of arrangements. Please send condolences to


Jennifer Lynn Gilliam, 43, of Ringtown, passed away peacefully while in the company of her family on Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019 at her residence.

Jennifer was born in Hazleton, on August 11, 1976, a daughter of Rosemarie (O'Brien) Gilliam, of Ringtown and the late Edgar F. Gilliam.

Jennifer was a participant and the first graduate of the Gateway Program with North Schuylkill High School. She was affiliated with the Avenues Program in Mahanoy City and enjoyed the therapeutic horseback riding program in Ringtown. She was also a member of the Heads-Up group in Schuylkill Haven and loved to go out to eat as well as to shop. She enjoyed bowling and spending time at the beach.

She was a member of St. Mary's Church in Ringtown.

Jennifer was preceded in death by her father Edgar in 2017 and by her brother, Edward "Binky" Gilliam in 2012.

In addition to her mother Rosemarie, she is survived by two sisters, Denise Caddy, of Ringtown and Sharon, wife of Robert Long ,of Morea.

An aunt, Carol Puorro of New Jersey survives, as does a niece, Taylar Long and two nephews, Perry Long and Joshua Caddy. Many cousins also survive, in addition to her caregiver Peg Etherington of Pottsville.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 AM on Saturday, December 7th, 2019 at St. Mary's Church, 82 North Center Street, Ringtown, with Father Dominic Pham officiating.

Visitation will be held from 10-11 AM prior to the mass at the church.


Anna C. Milefsky, 99, of Ridgeview Health and Rehabilitation, Shenandoah and formerly of Ringtown passed away on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at the facility.

Born in Shenandoah on March 23rd, 1920 to the late Simon and Christine Melnick, she was the last remaining member of her immediate family.

She worked in the local garment industry for many years and was a member of the ILGWU.

Besides her parents, Anna was preceded in death by her husband Walter S. Milefsky in 2004, 1 daughter, Patricia Milewski in 1996, 2 brothers, John & Joseph Melnick, and 4 sisters, Dorothy Evanousky, Olga Boyuka, Pauline Roman, and Mildred Chowansky.

Surviving are 1 son, Daniel Milefsky with his wife Kathleen, Ringtown, 1 daughter, Joann Farber with her husband John, Frackville, 5 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren, and nieces and nephews.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, December 6th at 9am in Divine Mercy Parish, 218 W. Cherry St, Shenandoah by Msgr. Ronald Bocian. A visitation for family and friends will be held on Friday morning from 7:30 to 8:45am at the Oravitz Home for Funerals Inc, 40 N. Jardin St, Shenandoah. Burial will follow Mass in St. Stanislaus Cemetery, Shenandoah Heights.

Contributions in Anna’s memory may be made to Divine Mercy Parish - Office, 108 W. Cherry St, Shenandoah, Pa 17976.


Nick W. Evely, 23, of Danville R.D. passed away Tuesday, December 3, 2019 in Mt. Carmel.

Born June 30, 1996 in Pottsville the son of Robert Evely and Georgeann Lally.

Nick was a 2014 graduate of North Schuylkill High School.

Preceding him in death was a brother: Bobby, 2015.

Surviving are his mother: Georgeann, father Robert and fiance Sharon, brothers & sister: Michael,

Jesse, Kevin, and Shannon. Aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews also survive.

Funeral services will be held at the convenience of the family.

Rothermel-Heizenroth Funeral & Cremation Service, Elysburg is in charge of the arrangements.
Charles Heizenroth III, FD Joe Murray, Supervisor.


Seth Leigh Jerome, age 50, of Pitman, passed away at his home surrounded by his family on Tuesday, December 3, 2019.

Seth was born in Camp Hill, PA on July 22, 1969, a son of Sharon (Richardson) and Larry Lee Jerome, of Middletown.

Cherished by his loving wife of 15 years Andrea (Heim) Jerome, married May 15, 2004. Loving father of two daughters, Kiersten Jerome and Kayleigh Jerome, and a son, Kaydin Jerome, all at home.

He was a 1987 graduate of Middletown Area High School and served in the U.S. Air Force, stationed at Great Falls, Montana .

Seth was employed as a Senior Infrastructure Engineer at Highmark Health Solutions for the past 11 years.

He was a member of Ebenezer United Methodist Church Middletown, PA .

Seth will be remembered as a gifted musician. He was a member of the praise team at Ebenezer United Methodist Church and played with local bands Frayed Nott and Override.

Seth is further survived by his parents, a sister, JoElla Jerome, of Linglestown; a brother, Darius Jerome husband of Teresea, of Middletown; his grandmother JoElla Knight as well as aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.

Visitation will be held on Monday, December 9, 2019 at Ebenezer United Methodist Church 890 Ebenezer Rd, Middletown, PA 17057 from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM with the funeral service following at 10:30 AM. Private interment will follow at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Annville.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions maybe made to the Jerome Family Fund, C/O Gratz Bank Tri-Valley Branch, 1625 West Main St., P.O. Box 816, Valley View, PA 17983.

The Stephen R. Rothermel Funeral Home, Klingerstown has charge of the arrangements. To sign the online guest book please visit


Kenneth L. Steigerwalt, 77 of West Penn Township, Clamtown Pennsylvania passed away Tuesday, December 3, 2019, at St. Luke's Hospice in Bethlehem after a brief illness..

Born Thursday, July 23, 1942, he was the son of the late Herman Steigerwalt and the late Rachel (Arner) Steigerwalt. Kenneth was also predeceased by his brother, Robert M. Steigerwalt.

Surviving; brother, Rene Steigerwalt and his wife, Rita of Charlotte, NC; nieces and nephew, Eric, Laura, and Julie; great nieces and nephew, Mae, Beatrice, Kyle, Clare, Ellen and Maya.

A graduate of Tamaqua High School, Kenneth earned his Bachelor's degree from New Jersey Institute of Technology in Electrical Engineering. He retired from Bell Labs of Whippany, New Jersey.

Kenneth, cared for the family farm and enjoyed walks on the property. He was a member of Zion Stone Church of West Penn Township.

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

Funeral Services will be held on Thursday December 12, 2019 at 11 o'clock A.M. from the funeral home, Rev. Russell Campbell to officiate. Friends may call from 10:00 A.M. until time of services.

Interment will be in Zion Stone Church Cemetery of New Ringgold, Pennsylvania.

Memorials in his name to:
Zion Stone Church
45 Cemetery Road
New Ringgold, Pennsylvania 17960

Online condolences may be made to the family at


These Obituaries are brought to you by

Louis D. Truskowsky Funeral Home & Crematory INC.

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