Monday, December 27, 2021

Schuylkill County Obituaries for December 27th, 2021


Skook News Obituaries:  December 27th, 2021

Obituaries published from the Schuylkill County area.


Sally Lou Mateyak, 77, of Walker Township, PA died on Monday, December 27, 2021, in Bethlehem, PA. She was the wife of Charles J. Mateyak to whom she was married 52 years this past August. 

Born in Tamaqua, PA on December 5, 1944, Sally was a daughter of the late Walter and Erma (nee Frantz) Mantz. A 1962 graduate of Tamaqua High School, she earned an Associate Degree from McCanns School of Business. Sally was a secretary at the former Tamaqua Pine Street School; but spent most of her career employed by the Bowe Law office until her retirement in 2016. A woman of strong faith, she enjoyed reading the Bible and attending services at Trinity United Church of Christ, Tamaqua where she was a member. Sally’s biggest joy was spending time with friends and family. In her free time, she could also be found gardening. 

In addition to her husband, Charles, she is survived by children, Christine Zizelmann and her husband Eric, Paul Mateyak and his wife Sharon, Megan Frantz and her husband Aaron, and Matthew Mateyak and his wife Jennifer all of Tamaqua; son-in-law, Chris Griffith; 16 grandchildren; 6 great grandchildren with one on the way; sister, Joanne Mateyak and her husband Steve of Oakhurst, NJ; and numerous nephews and nieces. 

Sally was predeceased by a daughter, Kimberly Griffith; a son, Chad Mateyak; and two granddaughters, Brenna and Mikaela Griffith. Services will be private at the convenience of the family. Memorials in Sally’s name may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73123 ( or Trinity United Church of Christ, 22 Lafayette Street, Tamaqua, PA 18252. 

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


Dennis L. Sheipe, 72, of Schuylkill Haven, passed away Saturday, December 25th, at home.

Born in Pottsville on October 7, 1949, he was a son of the late Raymond & Anna (Morgan) Sheipe.

He was the husband of Nancy J. (Felker) Sheipe. The couple shared 47 years of marriage.

Dennis was a 1967 graduate of Nativity BVM High School.

He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1968-1972 and was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant.

Dennis was a member of St. Ambrose Roman Catholic Church, Schuylkill Haven.

He retired from PENN DOT. He had worked on the surveying crew.

He is preceded in death by his brother, Neal Sheipe, sister, Lois Meyer, aunts and uncles.

In addition to his wife, Dennis is survived by a daughter, Christine Marie, wife of Bryan Smith; a son, Kevin D., husband of Brenna Sheipe; and grandsons: Alex, Nick, & Matt Smith, and Ryan Sheipe.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at on Thursday, December 30th at St. Ambrose Roman Catholic Church in Schuylkill Haven, at 10:30 am with Rev. Msgr. Edward S. Zemanik officiating.

A viewing will be held prior from 9:15 am until the time of the Mass at the Church.

Interment will take place at Fort Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Annville, at the convenience of the family.

At the family's request, memorial donations may be forwarded to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, PO Box 1893 Memphis, TN 38101-9950 or a local animal shelter of your choice.


John “Jack” T. Edwards
, 69, of Pottsville, passed away unexpectedly Thursday December 23, 2021.

Born in Allentown on September 23, 1952, he was the son the late Ray Edwards and Ann Edwards-Horbal.

Jack was a graduate of Ohio University with a dual major in Business Administration and Psychology. Not only was Jack a Hall of fame wrestler at Allentown Central Catholic, he was also an award winning real estate agent. He loved to cook and entertain for family and friends. He enjoyed traveling and spending time with his grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by both parents and his loving in-laws Douglas and Margaret Shields.

Left to cherish his memory is his loving and dedicated wife of the past 44 years, Kathy “Dawn” Edwards; son, Graham Edwards and his wife Kelly; daughters, Brittany and her husband Zach, Ashley and her husband Jon Grey; and 7 grandchildren with one on the way.

A celebration of Jack’s life will be held in his honor on December 30th, 2021 from 4pm-6pm at Schlitzer Allen Pugh Funeral Home, 515 W. Market St. Pottsville. Online condolences may be made at

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Captain Jason Jones Memorial Foundation.


Jeffrey D. Rhen
, 57, of Cabin Lane, Pine Grove, passed away on Saturday, December 25, 2021 at home.

Born on July 8, 1964 in Pottsville, he was a son of the late Robert C. Rhen Sr. and Gloria Bolton.

Jeffrey worked at Siegel's sawmill, was a truck driver and co-owner of Rhen Trucking and also drove for various companies.

Preceding him in death were his brother Jon Rhen and a half brother Jeremy Rittenbaugh.

Surviving are his wife of 36 years, Brenda Rhen; a daughter, Chrystal Rhen; a son, Steven and wife Brittany Rhen; grandchildren, Austin Rhen, Phoebe Rhen and Brendon Rhen; a brother, Robert Jr. and wife Kathy Rhen; two half brothers, Kevin Rittenbaugh and Randy Rittenbaugh; an aunt Carol Ritzman; an uncle Clyde Rhen; nieces, nephews and cousins.

Funeral Services will be held on Friday, December 31, 2021 at 2:00 P.M. at the H. L. Snyder Funeral Home, Inc., Pine Grove with Pastor Barry Spatz officiating. There will be a viewing on Friday, December 31, 2021 from 12:30 P.M. until 2:00 P.M. at the Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer contributions be made to the H. L. Snyder Funeral Home, Inc., 139 S. Tulpehocken St., Pine Grove, Pa. 17963 in his memory.


Randy L. Purcell
, 55, Ringtown passed away on Saturday, December 25th at Lehigh Valley Hospital Cedar Crest, Allentown.

Born at the former Ashland State Hospital, he was the son of the late James and Theresa (Lipshaw) Purcell.

Randy enjoyed doing puzzles and fishing.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother-in-law, Steven Boehmer and a nephew Sean Powell Sr.

Randy is survived by his two sisters: Lori Ann Boehmer, Tremont and Victoria Cox, Florida; his nephews and nieces: Steven Boehmer Jr., Felicia Boehmer, Samantha Powell, Jeremy Cox and his wife Kersten; also survived by many great nieces and nephews.

Family and friends are invited to Randy’s visitation at the Thomas M. Sullivan Funeral Home, Frackville on Thursday, December 30th from 11 a.m. until 12 noon. Interment will follow at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery, Englewood, Frackville.

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


Harold Alan Furness, Jr.
, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret), of Pottsville, died Thursday at Luther Ridge, Pottsville.

He was born in Haddonfield, NJ, a son of the late Harold A., Sr., and Amy Olander. Furness.

He was a graduate of Haddonfield Memorial High School and attended Banks Business College, Philadelphia.

Mr. Furness was a retired insurance salesman and former Real Estate Associate.

A combat veteran of World War II, he completed over 28 years of combined active and reserve service in the Army. During World War II, he participated in four campaigns in the Pacific Theatre of Operations. While on active duty during the Vietnam conflict, as Lieutenant Colonel, he was advisor to the reserve units in this area, with additional duty as a survivor assistant officer. As survivor assistant officer Lieutenant Colonel Furness, along with Sergeant First Class Charles R. Sackman, were directed to parents or next of kin to verify KIAs by telegram. Verifications were made over dozens of times throughout the Vietnam Conflict. As Survivor Assistant Officer, both Lieutenant Colonel Furness and Sergeant First Class Sackman were awarded the Army Commendation Medal. Lieutenant Colonel Furness retired from Active Duty in 1970.

Mr. Furness was an active member of First United Methodist Church, Pottsville, serving in many capacities as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Chairman of the Board of the Administrative Board. He was also Past President of the Pottsville Kiwanis Club, Past President and life member of the Hazelton Chapter of Reserve Officer Association #25.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Myrtle Gibson Furness; a daughter, Gwen Alyce; 2 sisters, Ruth Voight and Patricia Benjamin.

Surviving is a son, James Furness and his wife Mazie, Pottstown; 3 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Graveside services with military honors will be held Wednesday, January 5, 2022 at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Annville, with Rev. John Wallace officiating. Family and friends are invited to gather for a funeral procession to the cemetery from 9-9:30AM at James E. Humphrey Funeral Home, Pottsville. The family would prefer remembrance in the form of contributions be made to the Pottsville Free Public Library, 217 W. Market St., Pottsville, PA 17901, Pottsville Kiwanis Foundation P.O Box 175 Pottsville, PA 17901 or the Schuylkill County Historical Society, P.O. Box 1356 Pottsville, PA 17901.

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


Kyle James Bishop
, 24 of Pottsville, died Friday, Dec 24, 2021.

He was born February 19, 1997 in Sellersville a son of David F. Bishop, Jr., East Greenville and Heather Clark Bishop, Pottsville.

He was employed by Lowes Distribution.

Kyle was a member of Frackville Gun Club.

He was an amazing sculptor and painter. He enjoyed collecting antiques and comic books and loved watching horror movies. He was also an animal lover. He will be missed by all who loved him.

In addition to his parents he is survived by a brother, Noah Bishop, Pottsville; 2 sisters, Abby Bishop, Pottsville and Emma Bishop, Sinking Spring; maternal grandparents, Jerry Clark, Bechtelsville; Kathy Gallagher, Long Mont, CO; parental grandparents, David F. Bishop, Sr. Hereford; Barbara Krogslund, Pennsburg; his fiancé Morgan Bruen, Pottsville; step-father, John McIver, Pottsville; aunts, uncles and cousins.

Services celebrating the life of Kyle will be held Tuesday, January 4th at James E. Humphrey Funeral Home, Pottsville. Family and friends are invited to a viewing from 9-11AM at the funeral home. The family would prefer remembrances in the form of contributions in memory of Kyle be made to Hillside SPCA PO Box 233, Pottsville, PA 17901.


Thomas Smith, 78, of New Boston, passed away Sunday, December 26th, at St. Luke’s Hospital, Coaldale.

Services will be private at the convenience of the family.


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