Saturday, December 12, 2020

Skook News Obituaries: December 12th, 2020


Skook News Obituaries: December 12th, 2020

Obituaries published from the Schuylkill County area.


Joseph Richard (Blackie) Kufrovich
, 68, died Friday December 11 at the St. Luke’s Anderson Campus Easton from complications due to lung and heart failure. He fought and had successfully survived four previous cancer occurrences over his lifetime.

Joseph was the son of Joseph A. Kufrovich and Margaret S. (Van Blargan) Kufrovich Grier City Barnesville. He was born October 18, 1952 at the former Locust Mountain Hospital. Joe was preceded in death by his dad. He was a member of St. Richard’s Roman Catholic Church, Barnesville.

Joe was a 1970 graduate of Mahanoy Area School District. He studied Diesel Mechanics and was a former Heavy equipment mechanic at Bethlehem Steel as well as a Mechanic at KME fire apparatus. He held numerous certifications in fire operations and safety.

Joe was one of the first Emergency Medical Technicians in Northern Schuylkill County. He was one of four founding members who secured the Ryan Township Emergency Rescue Squad Charter and for many years served as an American Heart Association CPR and Red Cross First Aid instructor.

He was former Emergency Management coordinator for Ryan Township where he was instrumental in securing a $106,501 FEMA AFG Grant in 2004.

Joe’s affiliation with the Ryan Township Fire Company included his appointments as Foreman from 1975-1981; Assistant Fire Chief from 1981-1985; and Chief from 1986-2011. He was instrumental in the fundraising for and dedication of a new $100,000 firehouse in 1976.

In 2002 Joe received an award from the American Hose Company, Mahanoy Plane for assistance in acquiring an updated Pumper in conjunction with the State Bureau of Forestry. In 2003 He participated in the Schuylkill County Fire School "Scout Day".

Joe was a member of the Schuylkill County Volunteer Firefighters’ Association where he served as Trustee from 2007-2011. Beginning in 2012 he served as 2nd vice-president, in 2013 Vice-President, and in 2014 President.

From 1998 to present Blackie held a Trustee seat in the Schuylkill Historical Fire Society. He dedicated unlimited hours as Chief Engineer at what was affectionately known as "the Zoo".

From 1978 he taught for the Schuylkill County Fire School and from 1989 to present was a Pennsylvania State Fire Academy instructor. He taught Fire Safety and Operations through both Lehigh County and Bucks County Community Colleges and conducted certification courses in Industrial Fire training. Joe also continued to currently perform his duties as one of the Fire Wardens for Weiser Forest District.

Blackie is survived by his mother Margaret, at home; a sister Reverend Bernadette M. Meck Schuylkill Haven, a brother Mark Kufrovich and wife Mary Gale, Barnesville, long-time companion Jane Chubb, Ashland; Nephews Mark P. Kufrovich and girlfriend Alyssa Rauenzahn, Frackville; Matthew J. Kufrovich and wife Jenna, Frackville; Great Nephew Jordan Matthew and Great Niece Kaelyn June, beloved cousins and friends, and a special Angel of Mercy cousin Kathy Sweeney, also of Barnesville.

A heartfelt thank you to the dedicated and caring staff of St. Luke’s Miners and Anderson Hospital campuses with special gratitude to Dr. Craig Krause long time family physician and friend.

The family requests donations be made in Joe’s name to the Schuylkill Historical Fire Society 105 South Jardin Street Shenandoah, PA 17976

A private Mass for Christian Burial will be celebrated at the convenience of the family.

Due to the current Pennsylvania Covid 19 orders, a community tribute and memorial event will be scheduled and announced in the future. David D. Jarrett Funeral Home of Mahanoy City is in charge of arrangements. Please sign the guest book at


With grief-stricken hearts we announce the peaceful passing of Ray Soto, of Mahanoy City,  on Dec. 5, at St. Luke’s Hospice House, Bethlehem, at the age of 76.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, he was a 1963 graduate of Tilden High School, and proudly joined the U.S. Navy, (USS Bristol DD-857), following graduation. Upon moving to PA in the late 60s, Ray worked predominantly as a welder and retired from Goyne Pump in Ashland.

A lifetime member of the Good American Hose Company #3, he was an active member for many years and enjoyed handling the bleenie making for the yearly block party. Ray took great pleasure in spreading kindness, being of service and helping others, both people and animals. Over the years he volunteered in various capacities, incl., but not limited to: helping to serve Thanksgiving meals at a church in Frackville; the Mahanoy City Historical Society and the Hillside SPCA in Pottsville. He applied his resourcefulness and creativity to any job he took on.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Emma Petrillo Soto; father, Jose Soto; and brother, Eugene Soto.

Ray is survived by his loving daughter, Heather; son-in-law, Claudio; and grandchildren, Sebastian and Leona, (Benicia, CA) and his beloved cat, Baby, all of whom will miss him dearly.

The family asks that donations be made in Ramon’s name to the Hillside SPCA, Pottsville.

Services to be announced in the future.

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


Robert Clarence Seltzer, 78, of Tamaqua, PA, died on Friday, December 11, 2020 in Bethlehem, PA. He was the husband of Mary Ann (nee Zatoris) Seltzer to whom he was married 55 years. 

Born in Barnesville, PA on January 15, 1942, Robert was a son of the late Clarence Robert and Elizabeth (nee Burcin) Seltzer. In 1959 he was a member of the last class to graduate from the former Mahanoy Township School. After graduation, he worked as a carpenter and handyman for various local contractors, retiring in 2004. Robert enjoyed working on classic cars and watching Western movies. He especially enjoyed spending time with his granddaughters. 

In addition to his wife Mary Ann, he is survived by sons, Robert C. Seltzer of Lehighton, PA and Joseph A. Seltzer of Tamaqua; granddaughters, Lindsey Seltzer and Zoe Seltzer; sisters, Betty Ann Rick of Quakake, PA and Louise Berger of Mohrsville, PA; brother, William Seltzer of Deer Lake, PA; and many nieces and nephews. 

Robert was predeceased by a sister, Katherine Seltzer. 

No services are planned. 

Memorials in Robert’s name may be made to the American Cancer Society, 712 South Keyser Avenue, Taylor, PA 18517. Online condolences may be made at 

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


Richard S. Bell
, 84 of Marlin, formerly Dieners Hill, died Thursday December 10, 2020, at Lehigh Valley Health Network – Schuylkill – East, Pottsville.

Born in Pottsville, July 27, 1936, He was a son of the late Stephen and Elizabeth (Fitz) Bell.

He served in the Air Force during the Korean War.

Richard retired as the Head of Maintenance from Exxon Chemical, Pottsville after 30 years of service and was a member of St. Clare of Assisi Roman Catholic Church, St. Clair.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his wife Elizabeth (Strencosky) Bell in 1993 and a brother Daniel Bell.

Surviving are a daughter Darlene Meyers and her husband Gary of Harrisburg, son Richard Bell and his wife Laurie of Womelsdorf; 5 grandchildren, Christopher Bell, Joshua Bell, Kyle Meyers, Ryan Meyers, Kaitlyn Meyers, 2 great grandchildren Chase Bell, and Emma Bell; niece Bonnie Stoppie.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 AM Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020 from St. Clare of Assisi Roman Catholic Church, 250 E. Hancock St. St. Clair. The Rev. Msgr. William F. Glosser will be officiating. Friends may call from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM Wednesday at the Church. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 11454, Alexandria, VA 22312. Burial with military honors will be in Schuylkill Memorial Park, North Manheim Twp.

Bruce T. Hart Funeral Home, St. Clair, is in charge of arrangements. Condolences can be sent to


Patrick J. Sharako
, 51, of Shenandoah, passed away in his home on December 11 of COVID-19.

Patrick was born on June 18, 1969 in Ashland, PA to Catherine and Joseph Sharako. He worked on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic at Ridgeview Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Shenandoah Heights, where he cared for patients for the past 13 years. He is a 1987 graduate of Shenandoah Valley High School.

Patrick was preceded in death by his father and mother. He is survived by a sister, Susan Butler, and brother-in-law, Jack Butler, of Shenandoah, and two nieces, Cathy and Elle. He is also survived by two aunts, Virginia Sharako Fain, of Arizona, and Bernadette Shatalsky Sullivan, of Maryland, and several cousins.

Patrick had a heart of gold and could often be found purchasing gifts for patients of Ridgeview– from their favorite lollipops to sports team gear such as Phillies and Eagles shirts. A youthful spirit, Patrick loved cartoons, collectible matchbox cars, sci-fi, and the Park Restaurant.

Funeral services will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers or donations, the family asks that you wear a mask, get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as you are able, and thank healthcare workers.

Sign the guestbook, leave personal condolences and for further information, please visit


David A. Stein
, 75, of Orwigsburg, passed away Friday, December 11th, at Geisinger St. Luke's Orwigsburg, with family by his side.

David was born in Pottsville, on March 24, 1945, a son of the late Pearl Katherine (Hoffman) and Daniel Raymond Stein.

He was the husband of Jean A. (Harnish) Stein. They were married August 27th, 1994. David was a Blue Mountain High School Graduate, Class of 1964 and he served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War.

During his life he worked as an Aircraft Mechanic for United Airlines in California before retiring and coming back to Orwigsburg in 2000.

He was a member of Deer Lake HOG and enjoyed riding his Can-Am Spyder. He and his wife enjoyed traveling and were able to visit all fifty states and in some states traveled extensively.

In addition to Jean, his wife of 26 years, David is survived by his son, Dean A. Stein, husband of Shannon, and their children Ethan, Gabrielle and Mason; daughter, Tonya A. Stein, wife of Christen Moore; Also surviving are stepchildren Keith C. Shellhamer husband of Michelle and their children Caitlin, Keely, Sarah and Abigail; Dawn Leibold, wife of Curt and their daughter Crawford; Kirk E. Shellhamer, husband of Lark, of Alaska and their children Cruz and Blaze. He has a great grandson Maddox.

Surviving siblings include his sister, Sandra J., wife of James H. Freeman, Jr.; Four brothers, Richard L.Stein, husband of Lynn; Lowell Stein, husband of Barbara; Darrel R. Stein and Curt D.Stein, companion of Melissa.

A Celebration of Life Service, for David, will be announced early next year. He was employed by the Hamilton-Breiner Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc., since his return to Orwigsburg in 2000. They are honored to be serving David’s family.

The family would like to thank all the frontline workers at St. Luke's Geisinger, Orwigsburg, for the wonderful care they provided to Dave. Therefore, in lieu of flowers, the family would ask that you contribute an act of kindness to a frontline worker.


Edwin H. Boltz
, 96, of Auburn, passed away peacefully in the company of family members Thursday, December 10th, at his residence. 

Edwin was born in Upper Bern Township, PA on March 3, 1924, a son of the late Pearl (Wagner) Boltz and Walter Boltz, Sr. He was the widower of Florence A. (Long) Boltz. He was a member of St. John's Church, Auburn, the Auburn Volunteer Fire Department and the Auburn Game and Fish. He was the Owner & Operator of Boltz Brothers Construction & Heating in Shoemakersville. Edwin started and operated the company with his brother Walter Boltz. 

Edwin is survived by his daughter, Donna , wife of Michael Brown ; son, Carl Boltz, husband of Rebecca; two sisters, Arlene Smith and Miriam, wife of Ronald Haas; two brothers, Kenneth Boltz , husband of Judy and Leon Boltz, husband of Chris. 

He is also survived by Granddaughter Karen Shelak; Grandson Brandon Brown; Great Grandchildren Kyle & Ashley Ulsh; Great Great Grandchildren Natalie Wagner and Jack Bubbenmoyer, numerous nieces and nephews. 

He was predeceased by siblings Florence, Helen, Grace, Mable, Walter & LeRoy. 

Services are private at the convenience of family and entrusted to the Hamilton-Breiner Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc. in Orwigsburg. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Compassus, 1001 James Drive, Leesport, PA 19533 or St. John's Church, PO Box 103, Auburn, PA 17922. 

Please visit for online condolences.


Kimberly J. Stidham
, 59 years of age, of Clay Street Tamaqua, Pennsylvania passed away on Thursday, December 10, 2020, at St. Luke's University Hospital in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Born Friday, September 8, 1961 in Coaldale, Pennsylvania the daughter of Joan M. (Stahler) Haldeman of Tamaqua, and the late Clinton D. Haldeman. Kim is also survived by; her beloved husband of 33 years, Donald J. Stidham; son, Robert J. Stidham and his fiancé Tina Sullivan of Lansford; sisters, Pam McCarroll wife of Clem, Dana Valentine wife of Paul, Susan Henritzy wife of Ernie all of Tamaqua; grandchild, Rhyla Stidham. Many nieces and nephews also survive Kim.

A 1979 graduate of Tamaqua Area High School, Kim was a talented basketball player and member of the 1978 Tamaqua Girls State Championship team. She was active in Tamaqua Youth Soccer and a member of St. John U.C.C. of Tamaqua. A longtime Banker, Kim worked in loan / lending services for Jim Thorpe Neighborhood Bank for many years. She will be missed by many.

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

Memorials in her name to:
Ruth Steinert S.P.C.A.
18 Wertz Drive Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963
Tamaqua / Carbon American Cancer Society
P.O. Box 33 Lansford, Pennsylvania 18232

Expressions of sympathy or a fond memory of Kim can be sent by visiting


Linda Ann Scheipe
, 72, of Schuylkill Haven, passed away Friday, December 11th, at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville. 

Linda was born in Pottsville, Pa. on September 18, 1948, a daughter of the late Anna (Bruso) and John Filiash. She was the wife of Brian Lee Scheipe. Linda was a member of the final graduating class of Cass Township High School 1966. A member of the former Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Minersville. She worked as a seamstress in the local garment industry. Linda adored her granddaughter Kate and her dog Brilee. Ever since her teenage years she had a fascination with automobiles. She always enjoyed chatting with her friends and neighbors. 

In addition to her parents she was preceded in by a brother, John Paul Filiash. 

Linda is survived by her husband, Brian, a daughter, Lynnette, wife of Robert Clinton. A son, Peter Jr., husband of Jennifer Klotunowitch . a step daughter, Virginia Scheipe. She is also survived by granddaughter Kate Clinton and a niece & nephews. 

Interment at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery. Due to the current COVID restrictions. 

All Services are private at the convenience of family. Mahal-Ritzel Funeral Home Inc. Minersville, entrusted with the arrangements.


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