Monday, January 11, 2021

Skook News Obituaries: January 11th, 2021

Skook News Obituaries: January 11th, 2021

Obituaries published from the Schuylkill County area.


John Pytko
, 85, of Gilberton, Pa., passed away Thursday, Jan. 7, at St Luke’s Hospice House Bethlehem.

John was born in Buck Run on Feb. 18, 1935, a son of the late Helen (Gucwa) and Anthony Pytko. He was a member of St. Richard’s Church, Barnesville.

John graduated from Cass Township High School (class of 1953) and West Chester University (class of 1957) with a degree in civil engineering. John worked as a civil engineer for more than 40 years, mostly with Erdman Anthony Consulting Engineers, Rochester, N.Y.

John loved spending time with his grandchildren and would often boast about them to anyone to whom he would speak. John was also a big sports fan and could be seen cheering for his favorite teams (New York Yankees, Philadelphia Eagles, Penn State, Philadelphia 76ers and the Philadelphia Flyers. John also loved his Polish heritage and would often listen to polkas. John also claimed to dislike his sons’ dogs but would often sneak lunch meat to them when no one was looking.

John was a star athlete in high school and college, playing basketball, football and baseball. In 1952, John played second base for the Cass Township Condors high school baseball team, where he beat out Allen Weind, who later played for the St. Louis Cardinals. In 1953, he was the South Schuylkill basketball league’s leading scorer. John played basketball and football at West Chester University, where he became a letterman. John was a staff member on the 1957 undefeated, unscored upon Cass Township football team. He was inducted to the Allen-Rogowicz Chapter Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1992. John umpired baseball and softball for more than 40 years and also officiated football and basketball.

John served the public in multiple capacities throughout his life, including serving as a justice of the peace, Foster Township supervisor from the late 1970s until 1982, and Gilberton borough council from 1988-2002, where he served as council president from 1995-2002.

He was preceded in death by his wife, the late Diane L. (Israel) Pytko. John is survived by four sons Anthony, of Pottsville; John, husband of Jenny, of Barnesville; Christian, of Gilberton; Richard, husband of Heather Billus, of Mahanoy City; and two daughters, Deborah Pytko Walker, of Jacksonville, N.C.; and Cindy Schoenauer. John is also survived by brothers and sisters Rosalie (Pytko) Gelches, wife of the late Lawrence “Tex” Gelches, and Dolores (Pytko) Leister, wife of the late Francis “Butchie” Leister. John is also survived by grandchildren Mason, Olivia, and Addison of Mahanoy City and Christian, Cole, and Caylee of Gilberton. John is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.

John was also preceded in death by brothers George Pytko and his wife Stella, Anthony Pytko and his wife Millie, Bernie Pytko and his wife Irene, and Stanley, who lost his life as a fighter pilot in World War II. Additionally, he was preceded in death by four sisters: Lillian (Pytko) Reiff and her husband Victor Reiff, Sophie (Pytko) Kaczmar and her husband Stephen “Tichon” Kaczmar, Mary “Mamie” (Pytko) Burns and her husband Jimmy Burns, and Helen (Pytko) Carr and her husband John Francis Carr IV.

Due to the covid 19 pandemic, services are planned to take place in the future.

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


John (Jack) Rauenzahn
, 83, of Schuylkill Haven, passed away on Monday, January 4, 2021. Born June 30th, 1937, he was the son of the late Milton and Arlene Rauenzahn.Preceding him in death was his brother Richard and sister Arlene.

He leaves behind his loving and devoted wife of 61 years, Carolyn (Quinn), two daughters, Lisa (Christopher) Panus and Karen (George) Bennethum, and three grandchildren, Andrew Panus, John Panus, and Samantha (Chandler) Liero.Also surviving is a sister, Robin Swank and her partner Bill Woodward.

John graduated from Schuylkill Haven High School, attended Wyoming Seminary and the United States Naval Academy, and graduated from Millersville University with degrees in education.

For over 30 years, John was an enthusiastic 5th grade teacher in the Blue Mountain School District.His love for and dedication to his students is remembered in the many beloved stories his former students share of him.

In addition to his teaching, John loved to serve his churches, formerly St. John’s UCC and currently, St. Paul’s Summer Hill UCC and contributed to his community through the Schuylkill Haven Lion’s Club.

John was blessed with wonderful and lasting friendships throughout his lifetime.He was known among friends and family for his keen sense of humor, ability to tell a story, and his warm, compassionate manner.John was an avid reader, woodworker, and photographer.

In addition to his love of life, John is remembered by his daughters as a loving and fun “girl dad” and for his swanky tie collection.

A Memorial Service will be held at a later date with Pastor Kenneth McDowell officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul’s SummerHill UCC, 1235 Summer Hill Road, Auburn, PA 17972, Schuylkill Haven Lion’s Club, C/O Atty. Harry Rubright, P.O. Box 706, Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972 or the Schuylkill Haven Public Library, St. John Street, Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972.


Melvin M. Gilbert Sr.
, 83, of Schuylkill Haven, passed away Friday, Jan. 8, at home.

Born Dec. 31, 1937, in Schuylkill Haven, he was a son of the late Ceylon Sr. and Alice (Moyer) Gilbert.

He was the husband of Mary E. (Schwartz) Gilbert. The couple celebrated 57 years of marriage Oct. 19.

Melvin attended Schuylkill Haven schools.

He served in the National Guard, and was an aircraft gunner and a cook.

Melvin was a member of Zion's Red Church, Orwigsburg.

He was a life member of Friedensburg Fish & Game, and he was a social member of Landingville Fire Company. Melvin and his wife enjoyed camping at Christmas Pines for 50 years.

Melvin had been employed by Sol Enterprises as plant manager, and Peek-a-Boo textile factories, both in Schuylkill Haven, as a sewing machine mechanic. He retired from United Metal, Pottsville, as a dye setter.

In addition to his parents, Melvin was preceded in death by his brothers, Carlson Gilbert, Ceylon Gilbert Jr., Nelson Gilbert and James Gilbert; his sister, Betty Moyer.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Marlo, wife of Mike Kershner, of Pine Grove, and Melissa, wife of John Strauch, of Schuylkill Haven; two sons, Melvin M. Gilbert Jr., of Schuylkill Haven, and Martin, husband of Becki Gilbert, of Schuylkill Haven. He is also survived by grandchildren, Melvin M. Gilbert III, Jonah Gilbert, Cassie Deaven, wife of Dakota, Casey Kershner, Hunter Strauch, Jacob Gilbert and Aaron Gilbert; a great-granddaughter, Mya Gilbert; a sister, Suzanne, wife of Harold Schrader, of Schuylkill Haven; a brother, Dale Gilbert Sr., of Auburn; nieces and nephews.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, memorial services will be held at a later date. At the family's request, donations in Melvin's memory may be forwarded to Landingville Fire Company, 1 Firehouse Road, Landingville, PA 17972.


Cecilia M. Kamieniecki
, 92, a resident of Providence Place of Pottsville, PA passed from this life to her Heavenly home with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Friday January 8, while a patient at the Lehigh Valley Hospital, Pottsville.

Born at home in Frackville, PA, December 9, 1928, Cecilia was the fifth of seven children of the late Andrew and Josephine Demczak Czebieniak.

Cecilia was a 1946 graduate of Frackville High School and a 1955 graduate of Prairie Bible Institute, Three Hills, Alberta Canada with a 4 year Diploma in Bible and Missionary Training and a Teacher’s Diploma. Her desire was to go into Mission work in Europe but was rejected due to health reasons and the fact that she was an unmarried woman. Cecilia stayed on at Prairie Bible another 5 years working as a Bookkeeper.

Cecilia moved to Brooklyn N.Y. and worked as a Bookkeeper for about 16 years at the Africa Inland Mission and later as a receptionist for Dr. Arnold Forster Chiropractic. She lived and worked in N.Y. until 1980 when she met and married the love of her life, Steve Kamieniecki and shortly thereafter moved to Chicago, IL. She continued to work in the office at her husband’s welding business, until his retirement. She even became a Crossing Guard where she continued loving the children in her community. No matter where she lived, Cecilia taught children’s Sunday School and played the piano in her church for many years.

Cecilia was preceded in death by her parents, her beloved husband, Steve, of nearly 35 years, brothers Terry, Adolph, Henry and Walter Czebieniak and sisters Jeannie Stoltz and Florence Walton.
She is survived by her loving niece and care-taker Diane (Glen) Ebert, Cressona, brother-in-law Charles Walton, Cressona, step-daughter Diane Mazmanian, Chicago, 8 step-grandchildren and many many nieces and nephews, friends and those that she treated as family.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held Saturday, January 16th at 10:30am at Nice-Hart Funeral Home 9 North Lehigh Ave in Frackville, PA 17931, with Pastor Randy Ott officiating. A time of Visitation and Viewing will begin at 9:30am. Interment will be in the Odd Fellows Cemetery, Frackville.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association 225 N. Michigan Ave, Floor 17 Chicago, IL 60601 or to Child Evangelism Fellowship 711 Deep Creek Rd, Hegins, PA 17938.


Joseph R. “Ronnie” Phillips
, of Pottsville, died Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Schuylkill E. Norwegian Street, Pottsville, one day after his 72nd birthday.

Born Jan. 7, 1949, in Pottsville, he was a son of the late John and Irma (Campion) Phillips.

He was a member of St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church, Pottsville, and served in the Army during the Vietnam War.

Joe liked golf and was a diehard Eagles fan, as well as an avid Phillies, Flyers and Sixers fan.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Maureen Johnson.

Surviving are his wife, Kathleen (Garrity) Phillips; two daughters, Janell Phillips, of Orwigsburg, and Lori Phillips, of Pottsville; granddaughter, Zoie; sisters, Patricia Phillips, of Blandon, Joan Steidle and her husband, Kurt of Ephrata, Elaine Yondura and her husband, Ron, of Schoentown, and Kathy O’Neill and her husband, Steve, of Enola; nieces and nephews.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13, at St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church, 319 Mahantongo St. Pottsville, PA 17901. Monsignor Edward O’Connor will officiate. Friends may call from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Wednesday at Bruce T. Hart Funeral Home, 110 N. Second St., Saint Clair, PA 17970. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Nativity Preservation Support Foundation, 1 Lawton Hill, Pottsville, PA 17901. Burial with military honors will be in Calvary Cemetery, Pottsville.


Bernadette L. Moran
, 65, Ashland passed away peacefully Sunday, January 10th at her home surrounded by her loving family.

Born in Ashland, she was a daughter of the late William and Regina SpeilesBlase. She worked in customer service for RCN in Wilkes-Barre until her retirement.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her sister Rosanne Dutton and her grandson David McKinney.

She enjoyed traveling, including camping and going to the beach. She was very close with her family. She and her sisters enjoyed each other’s company every Tuesday at their “Ashland Tea Party”, and her grandchildren were her biggest pride and joy.

Bernadette is survived by her husband of 12 years, Edward P. Moran Jr., Ashland; her three daughters: Sheila Rutko and her companion John Davis, Pottsville; Denise and her husband Stephen Ulceski, Ashland; Amy and her husband Joseph Sluzevich, Mt. Top; her three step-sons: Edward B. Moran, Conshohocken; Eric Moran, Pittston; Michael Moran, Trumansburg, NY; her siblings: Jeannie Reiner and her husband Barry of Cicero, NY; Patricia Medlinsky and her husband Joseph (Buddy) of Orwigsburg; Maryanne Balcavage and her husband Frank of Ashland; William Blase and his wife Donna of Ashland; Ruthanne Weikel and her husband Tom of Gowen City; her five grandchildren: Justin, Christopher, Andrew, Paisley and Mason; several nieces and nephews.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, January 14th at St. Charles Borromeo Church, Ashland with Rev. Brian Miller, pastor, as the celebrant. Friends and family are invited to her visitation at the church on Thursday morning from 9 a.m. until the time of mass. Interment will be held in St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery, Ashland.


Lee A. Augustine Sr., 70, Gilberton passed away Monday, January 11th at Broad Mountain Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Frackville.

Funeral services will be private.

Thomas M. Sullivan Funeral Home Inc., Frackville is in charge of the arrangements.


Henry Cazonie, 89, of Minersville, passed away on Saturday at Lehigh Valley Hospital, Schuylkill -- East.

Born on May 11, 1931 in Minersville, he was a son of the late Henry and Margaret Krisnitski Cazonie. He was a 1949 graduate of Minersville Area High School. He had been employed by the former Artz Meats, Minersville, later working for the former Dixon Wearever, Inc., Deer Lake.

He was a member of the former Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church and the parish Holy Name Society. He was a current member of Holy Family Parish, Minersville. He was also a life member of the New Minersville Fire Company and had served as a steward for the Minersville Senior Citizens Group.

He enjoyed Atlantic City bus trips and was always happy playing cards with friends at the former Henry’s Tavern, Minersville.

Henry was predeceased by two siblings, John Cazonie and Norma Olenick; a niece, Suzanne Olenick; three nephews, Nicholas Olenick, Scott Olenick and David Cazonie; a great nephew, Michael Trubilla.

Surviving are a three nieces, Sherry Trubilla, Reading, Mary Ann Cazonie, Pottsville, and Linda Spotts (spouse, William), Wayne Township; a nephew, Joseph Cazonie (spouse, Marcella), Minersville; two great nieces, Jody Nazarian (spouse, Dr. David), Philadelphia and Angela Cazonie, Minersville; seven great nephews, Timothy Olenick, Nottingham, England, Nathan Trubilla (spouse, Chantel), Texas, Robert Trubilla, Philadelphia, Christopher Trubilla, Reading, Steven Spotts, Wayne Township, Robert and Gino Cazonie, Minersville.

Arrangements are incomplete.


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