Thursday, February 3, 2022

Schuylkill County Obituaries for February 3rd, 2022


Skook News Obituaries: February 3rd, 2022

Obituaries published from the Schuylkill County area.


Eleanor A. Bluge, 88, Frackville passed away peacefully on Monday, January 31st at Shenandoah Senior Living Community.

Born in Coal Township, she was a daughter of the late Andrew and Magdaline Guzick Egick. She worked as a factory folder for the former Arrow Shirt and City Shirt Factories before retiring.

Eleanor was a member of St. Joseph the Worker Parish, the Knights of Columbus Ladies Auxiliary and the Catholic Daughters, Court St. James, all of Frackville.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her sisters: Bertha Peek, Anna Mezynski and Emily Wegiel; her brothers: John, Walter and Joseph Egick.

Eleanor is survived by her loving husband of ­­­­67 years, Joseph B. Bluge, Frackville; her son, Joseph A. Bluge and his wife Linda, Frackville; her daughter, Kathleen Lett and her husband William, Frackville; her grandchildren: Andrew Lett (Gretchen), Matthew Lett (Anna), Joseph and Kyle Bluge; great-grandchildren Erika, Jakob, Alex, Justin and Adelynn ; Sister Pat Willis (Frank); Sister in law Theresa Egick; numerous nieces and nephews.

She will always be remembered by her family for always having a lasagna in the freezer for the impromptu occasions and always an apple pie for the ready. She enjoyed making fudge for the church picnic, peanut brittle and cookies.

A funeral service will be held on Friday, February 11th at 12 noon from the Thomas M. Sullivan Funeral Home, Frackville with Msgr. William Glosser officiating. Friends are invited to her visitation on Friday morning at the funeral home from 10 a.m. until the time of service. Interment will be private.

Expressions of sympathy can be made in Eleanor’s memory to Saint Joseph the Worker, 7 S Broad Mountain Ave, Frackville 17931.

The family would like to thank the Staff of the Shenandoah Senior Living for the excellent care and compassion they provided to Eleanor.


Richard Joseph “Mac” McNamara
, 75, was taken home to be with the Lord on January 20, 2022. Richard lost his battle with cancer during treatment at Trident Hospital; North Charleston, SC. He had love in his heart for the Lord and for all that he knew.

Born on March 2, 1946 in Pottsville, he was the son of the late Kathryn Tarantino Brennan and stepson of the late Robert “Beep” Brennan. He was also raised by his maternal grandparents, the late Generoso and Maria Caputo Tarantino in Minersville. Rich was a 1964 graduate of Minersville High School and entered the Air Force that July, becoming an Airman. He served for six years during the Vietnam Conflict. After discharge from the Air Force, Rich first worked as a surveyor with Merlyn J Jenkins & Associates. He was later employed as an Electrical Engineer for Pennsylvania Power and Light Company (PPL), retiring at the age of 62.

Rich is survived by his wife of 47 beautiful years, the former Diane Onushko. Together, they lived the majority of their lives in Forestville, Cass Township. Eight years ago, Rich and Diane took up residence in Summerville, SC. Rich is also survived by his daughter, Karissa McNamara (companion, Ken Fernald), Summerville, SC. He worked on his own vehicles and passed this skill onto his daughter. He idolized his wife and his daughter and would do anything for them. He was a dedicated and hard­-working man. He made sure that his loved ones were always provided for.

Also surviving are five siblings, Virginia “Ginny” Davis (spouse, Ben), Charleston, SC, Robert Brennan, Jr. (spouse, Shirley), Lebanon, Kathleen Staller (companion, Walter Sponhouse), Schuylkill Haven, Norman Brennan (spouse, Laura), Woodland Hills, CA; and Cheryl Winch (spouse, Ryan), Saint Clair. He had eleven nieces and nephews.

Rich served as an altar boy at the former St Vincent de Paul Church, Minersville. He also attended a couple of different churches in Summerville, SC. Rich and Diane volunteered as Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, entertaining folks in both Minersville and Summerville. They distributed candy and small gifts to children in schools, churches, homes, Christmas parties, restaurants…wherever the need arose.

For all who knew Rich, know that he was a wonderful husband, father, brother, neighborhood “brother” and role model. He was very intelligent and was the master of many talents. He shared stories of how he grew up learning different skills from his cousins and uncles. From carpentry to plumbing to electrical work, he would tackle it all. There wasn’t anything that he couldn’t do. Rich’s mind was always steps ahead as he would plan the next best project. He made sure he passed his wisdom onto anyone that would be along side of him.

He helped many people at Christmas Pines Campground, Auburn. He was the bicycle chain fixer, the golfcart and camper repairman, the craft maker, the ear for the kids that needed to vent, and the storyteller at evening campfires. Rich enjoyed the outdoors and spent as much time as he could outside. He liked to share stories about his fishing trips with his friends and siblings. He talked about the cabin that he built back in the day out in the woods with his friends and some of his siblings. It would have taken a natural disaster to knock it down.

Richard has left a very big lasting imprint on everyone’s hearts. This amazing man was taken to soon, but his legacy will live on.

Please donate to your local church in Richard’s name or to Covenant House to help homeless youth.

Services will be announced at a later date.


Christine Celest Neiswender, 59, of Minersville, formerly of Branchdale, died Tuesday at home.

Born on October 12, 1962 in Pottsville, she was a daughter of the late Nelson and Geraldine Smith Pauly. She attended Minersville schools and operated an independent cleaning service.

Preceding her in death was a brother, Richard J. Pauly, in 2019.

Christine is survived by her husband of 30 years, Joseph Neiswender; nine remaining siblings, Marie Weikel (spouse, James), Pottsville, Gregory Pauly, Branchdale, Francis Pauly, Branchdale, Edward Pauly, Branchdale, Edwin Pauly, Minersville, Christopher Pauly (spouse, Mandy), Branchdale, Eloise Hinkle, Minersville, Frederick Pauly, Minersville, and Philip Pauly, Branchdale; nieces and nephews.

Services are private.


Arva M. McElvaney, 84, of Silver Creek, Blythe Township, passed away on Monday at Pottsville Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.

Born on January 5, 1938 in Helena, MT, she was a daughter of the late Roy and Vara Lytle Armstrong. She had worked as a seamstress in the local garment industry.

Preceding her in death was her husband, Thomas A. McElvaney, in 2006.

Arva is survived by four siblings, Audrey Witthuhn, Covington, WA, Bruce Armstrong Spokane, WA, Glen Armstrong, Spokane, WA, and Alden Armstrong, Great Falls, MT; nieces and nephews.

Services are private.


Judith A. Kostecky
, beloved mother, adored grandmother, of Tamaqua, Pennsylvania passed away on Wednesday February 2, 2022 at St. Luke's University Hospital Bethlehem, Pennsylvania at 78 years of age.

Born Tuesday, June 8, 1943 in West Reading, Pennsylvania the daughter of the late John P., and Mary (Eshelman) Mast. Judy was also predeceased by her husband Michael J. Kostecky, Sr. in 1996; sister, Janet Spece.

Surviving are; daughter, Sharon M. Pisanchyn and her husband, David of Fort Myers, Fl.; son, Michael J. Kostecky, Jr. and his wife, Christine of Tuscarora, grandchildren, Zak, Melanie Zucatti and her husband Zachary, Michael III, Steven, Adam; great grandchild, Remy.

Catholic by faith, Judy graduated from Umatilla High School in Florida, and retired from I,C.I. Industries of Reynolds. An adoring, devoted mother, and grandmother, Judy enjoyed family trips to the beach. She never hesitated to jump on board a shopping excursion.

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

A Celebration of Judy's Life will be announced at a later time.

Tamaqua / Carbon American Cancer Society
P.O. Box 33
Lansford, Pennsylvania 18232


Mary Kriesher, 98, of Shenandoah, and formerly of Lost Creek, passed away on Thursday, February 3rd, 2022, at the Shenandoah Senior Living Community.

Born in Raven Run on September 2nd, 1923, she was the daughter of the late Adam and Lucy Hollis.

Mary worked in the local garment industry until her retirement. She was a member of the ILGWU. She was a devoted member of the former St. Stephen’s Church in Shenandoah for many years. Mary also belonged to the Polka Belles.

Besides her parents, she was preceded by her husband Joseph Kriesher in 2009, and 2 brothers, Joseph and John Hollis.

She leaves behind 2 sons, Joseph Kriesher with his wife Denise – Sheppton and Marty Kriesher with his wife Michele – Langhorne, also 3 grandchildren, JC Kriesher with Amanda, Jamie Kriesher with Renee, and Alison Kriesher with Aaron Levine.

Visitation and services will be private at the request of the family.

Contributions in Mary’s memory may be made to: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital –

Oravitz Home for Funerals Inc, Shenandoah are entrusted with her arrangements.


Joseph P. (Scooter) Chowanes
, 87, of Shenandoah, passed away peacefully on February 1, 2022 with his family by his side.

He was born in Shenandoah on July 23rd, 1934, son of the late Joseph and Anna (Macieunas) Chowanes.

He attended St. George's Parochial Grade School and went to J.W. Cooper High School graduating in 1952. He started working at Purolator Products in Pattersonville, Pa. In 1955, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Security Agency as a Radio Intercept Operator during the Cold War in Germany. While in Germany, he took a leave and went to Rome, Italy. While there, he attended Mass on Christmas Day at St. Peter's Basilica. The next day while touring St. Peter's Basilica, he was in the general audience and had the privilege of attending a Mass said by Pope Pius XII, which was a great experience for him.

After returning home, he began working again at Purolator Products and was employed there for 32 years until they closed. While at Purolator Products, he was elected Pennsylvania State Constable and served for 20 years. He was a life member of Fraternal Order of Police North Schuylkill Lodge #25. He was a member of the Shenandoah Auxiliary Police Department until they dissolved. After working at Purolator Products, he went to work at the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institute in Frackville, Pa. as a State Corrections Officer until he retired.

He enjoyed hunting and fishing with his family, especially picking mushrooms with his dad. He loved going on trips with his children. He loved fishing in Canada, Lake Oneida, N.Y., Fishing Creek, and the Pumpy. He was a member of the South End Field & Stream Association Whippoorwill Dam in Frackville. Joe was Post Commander twice and Service Officer of Anthony P. Damato Medal of Honor American Legion Post #792. He was a life member, Post Commander twice, and Treasurer and Adjutant of Walter H. Wardigo Amvets Post Pa #07. He was a life member, Post Commander twice, and Adjutant of Shenandoah Catholic War Veterans Post #1107, which was formerly Saint George's Catholic War Veterans. Joe was a member of Saint George's Lithuanian Catholic Church and a member of Knights of Lithuania in Frackville. He was proud of his Lithuanian heritage. When Saint George's Church was demolished, he joined Divine Mercy Catholic Church. After a few years, he joined Saint Michael's Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church where his father and paternal grandfather were members.

He leaves behind his wife, RoseAnn (Walukiewicz), which he would have celebrated 60 years of marriage in May. He leaves behind 3 children, daughter, JoAnn and her husband, Wayne Davidson of Hummelstown, Pa., daughter, Diane Chowanes of Lansdale, Pa., and his son, Joseph J. and his wife, Jill of Lake Wynonah, Auburn, Pa. He also leaves behind his 2 grandchildren, Ashley Davidson and her husband, Todd Hughes of Alexandria, Va., and Christopher Davidson of Encino, Ca., as well as his sister, Anna Marie Babinsky of Mahanoy City, Pa., and his brother, Edward and wife, Diane Chowanes of Shenandoah, Pa. Also, many nephews, nieces, cousins, his friends at Burger King, and his dog, Daisy.

A visitation for family and friends will take place on Tuesday, February 8th from 8 to 9:30am at the Oravitz Home for Funerals Inc, 40 N. Jardin St, Shenandoah. Liturgy will be held at 10am in St. Michael’s Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, 114 S. Chestnut St, Shenandoah and will be officiated by Msgr. Myron Grabowky. Burial will follow in the Our Lady of Dawn Cemetery, Shenandoah Heights.

In lieu of flowers, contributions to or Mater Dei Catholic School, 493 East Main Street, Lansdale, PA 19446 would be appreciated.


Maureen “Molly” Cesario
, 91, of Kelayres, passed away peacefully Tuesday surrounded by her loving family at the home of her daughter, Karen Wallace.

Born in Kelayres, she was the daughter of the late Francesco and Nicolina (Mazzulla) Cesario.

Molly was a member of Church of All Saints, McAdoo, and also the former Immaculate Conception Church, Kelayres, where she served as Vice-President of the Christian Mother’s Society, and a member of the church choir. For many years, she was a dedicated ravioli maker and helped at every church dinner.

Molly attended McAdoo High School and was unable to complete her education due to her visual impairment. She was legally blind since birth; however, it did not prevent her from being successful while working in factories, cleaning houses, and helping at various restaurants.

Molly enjoyed knitting and crocheting, and as her grandchildren always said, “Nana is the best baker and cooker.”

Preceding her in death, were her sisters, infant Angelina, Lucy DeJulius, Angeline Perna, Evelyn Guarino, and Frances Genetti; and brothers Emil, Joseph and William Cesario.

Surviving, are her son Dominic Kozel, Sr. and his wife Mary Beth, of McAdoo; her daughter and loving caregiver, Karen Wallace of Kelayres; grandchildren Robbie Kozel, Alexandria Marolo, Kristen Schults, and Scott, Todd and Chad Wallace, and her youngest granddaughter, whom she raised since 18 months of age, Kassy Kozel; also, 8 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews survive.

Her funeral will be held Saturday. Rev. Msgr. William Baker will celebrate the Mass of Christian Burial in Church of All Saints, McAdoo, at 11 a.m. Interment will follow in Immaculate Conception R.C. Cemetery, McAdoo.

Calling hours are Saturday from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in the church.

Memorial donations may be to the Hazleton Blind Association @

The family would like to extend a special thank you to Maylath Hospice, especially Nurse Aleshia and Aide Crystal, and also nieces Dolly Marchalk and Mary Frances Kalinoski for providing comfort and care through this difficult time.

The Damiano Funeral Home, Inc., McAdoo, is assisting the family with arrangements.


These obituaries are being  brought to by

Anthony Urban Law Offices. P.C.