Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Schuylkill County Obituaries for March 22nd, 202


Skook News Obituaries: March 22nd, 2022

Obituaries published from the Schuylkill County area. 


Diane Matrician
, 78, of Barnesville, PA, died on Monday, March 21, 2022, at home. She was the wife of Ted Matrician to whom she would have been married 55 years this year. 

Born in Shelby, North Carolina on December 29, 1943, Diane was a daughter of the late Richard C. and Violet N. (Seagle) Kehl. A 1961 graduate of Tamaqua High School, she had been an employee of the former Atlas Powder Company, Reynolds, PA. An avid reader and history buff, Diane would use the knowledge learned while reading to watch Jeopardy. She also enjoyed following Penn State football and dancing. Outdoors, Diane grew flowers in her garden and bird watched. Her favorite pastime, however, was spending time with her grandchildren. She was Lutheran. 

In addition to her husband Ted, Diane is survived by children, Theodore, Steven, Zachary and his wife Cilla, Jeremy and his wife Justine, Natalie and her husband Shawn Haggerty, Valarie and her husband Noel Koch, Mary and her husband Justin Veron, Amanda, and Miriah and her husband Michael Wascavage; 13 grandchildren; siblings, Richard, Gary, Ronnie, Thomas, Debbie, and Melissa; and many nephews and nieces. 

She was predeceased by son, Gregory who died in 2003; 2 brothers; and a sister. Services will be held at 11 AM on Thursday, March 24, 2022, at the Zizelmann-Gulla Funeral Home, 500 East Broad Street, Tamaqua with The Rev. Fred T. Crawford officiating. 

Interment in Sky View Memorial Park, Hometown will follow services. Call 10-11 AM at the funeral home. Memorials in Diane’s name may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73123 (https://www.cancer.org). 

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


Mark Anthony Pearson
, 62, of Coaldale, PA died on Monday, March 14, 2022, in Danville, PA. He was the husband of Lucy Marie (Saylor) Pearson to whom he has been married 17 years. 

Born in Lancaster, PA on October 18, 1959, Mark was the son of the late Mercie (Coover) Pritchett who died in 2003 and Joseph Pearson of Colorado. A roofer by trade, he was a Steelers fan, liked motorcycles, and enjoyed doing puzzles. 

In addition to his wife Lucy, he is survived by sisters, Shirlyn Scott of Florida, Cindy Francis of Red Lion, PA, and Vicki Runk of Mt. Joy, PA; children, Crystal Pearson of Florida, Hayley Will of Ohio, and all at home, Shannon Pearson, David Pearson, and Marc Pearson; and several grandchildren. 

In addition to his mother, he was predeceased by an uncle, Robert Pearson. Calling hours will be held 11 AM – 1 PM on Saturday, March 26, 2022, at the Zizelmann-Gulla Funeral Home, 500 East Broad Street, Tamaqua. Memorials in his name may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Memorials Processing, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-9959 (https:www.stjude.org – to download mail in donation form or donate online) or the Ronald McDonald House of Danville, Inc., P.O. Box 300, Danville, PA 17821 (https://rmhdanville.org – to download mail in donation form or donate online). 

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


Joseph Kieran O’Brien
, 93, of Pottsville, a true Irishman, passed away on Saint Patrick's Day morning.

To his friends and family he was known as Red, born with red hair on Saint Valentines Day in Heckscherville.

Joseph was the son of the late John S. and Catherine (Delaney) O’Brien.

He was a graduate of Pottsville Catholic High School, and proudly served his country in the U.S. Air Force as a Staff Sergeant during the Korea War from 1950-1954.

He was a life long Penn State football fan, sometimes watching the game more than once. Every summer his garden was flush with vegetables, and he enjoyed relaxing with his wife on an outdoor porch, feeding the local squirrels, chipmunks, and birds who relied heavily on his treats year round.

Joseph worked as a parts manager for Klitzner Ford in Shenandoah, a foreman at Chilly Willy in Schuylkill Haven, and lastly a deliveryman for Schoeneman Beauty Supply of Pottsville.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Ann Marie Barbur; brothers: Patrick, John, Francis, Leo, William, and James; and sister, Marie Reed.

Joseph is survived by his wife, Victoria Ann (Lipinsky), to whom he was married 64 years; son, William, husband of Madalin, of Reading; daughter, Janet O’Brien, of Long Island, NY; grandchildren: Eric Kehl, Diamond Barbur, and Callista O’Brien; sisters: Rose Horan and Catherine Warfield.

A Memorial service will be held at a future date through the Lord-Bixler Funeral Home, Inc., 1818 Mahantongo St., Pottsville.

Lord-Bixler Funeral Home, Inc. is in charge of arrangements.


Dr. William R. Davidson
, 85, of Pottsville passed away Monday evening at Lehigh Valley Hospital with his children by his side. He has joined his beloved wife Ruth in the arms of the Lord.

Born on September 17, 1936 in Clementon, NJ. He was the son of the late William R. and Eleanor Nora (Kelly) Davidson.

He obtained a Doctorate and Masters of Education from Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. and a Bachelor degree from the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA.

Through the years, Bill had a very extensive list of accomplishments and positions. He was a Spanish teacher in Woodbury, NJ; Assistant Principal in Pitman, NJ and also president of its teacher association. He was a graduate teaching associate at Temple University; Principal of Pottsville Area high school for 3 years; Superintendent of Pottsville Area School District for over 20 years; Interim Superintendent at Shenandoah School District for 1 year; Interim Superintendent at Pine Grove Area School District for 2 years; Supervisor of student teachers at Penn State – Harrisburg; Coordinator of M.Ed. program for teachers at Penn State – Schuylkill and taught graduate courses for Temple, Widener and Penn State.

Bill was also a very dedicated and active part of the Pottsville Community. He was a Director on the Pottsville Area school board for 12 years; President of the Schuylkill Intermediate Unit #29 school board for 1 year; Board of trustees for Alvernia University; Board of directors for First Federal Bank; President of the board of trustees of Pottsville Free Public Library; Chairman and member of the Pottsville Salvation Army; Past President of the Pottsville Rotary Club; President and campaign chairman of the Schuylkill United Way; Steering committee member of the Schuylkill County Comprehensive Plan; Vice-chairman of the Pottsville Bicentennial Committee; Board member of the Schuylkill YMCA; Board member of the Benevolent Association (former children’s home); Chairman of Pottsville City Civil Service Commission; Pottsville City Fair Hiring board; Hearing officer for the Schuylkill County Housing Authority; National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame Committee; Allen-Rogowicz PA Sports Hall of Fame board member. and an adult Sunday school teacher and Elder at the United Presbyterian Church, Pottsville.

Bill was a member of the United Presbyterian Church, Pottsville, where he served as an Elder and adult Sunday school teacher for many years. He also proudly served as Captain in the US Army Reserves.

Bill’s greatest joys were attending his grandchildren’s school and sporting events and spending time at the family cabin in Leraysville, PA. He was also a very avid fan of the Philadelphia Eagles, Phillies and also Stanford University football.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife Ruth (Younger) Davidson who passed away in 2017 and to whom he was married for 56 years.

Bill is survived by daughters Mary Ella, wife of Brian Hallick of Pottsville; Deborah Ruth wife of William Orlowsky of Pottsville; and a son James Kelly Davidson, husband of Linda of Zionsville, PA. Grandchildren Bradley Davidson Hallick, husband of Kate; Meghan Ruth Hallick; Alyssa Brianna Davidson and Aaron James Davidson. Great grandchildren William Carter Hallick and Gabriel Alexander Mohl.

Funeral Services will be held Friday, March 25 at 11 am at the United Presbyterian Church, 214 Mahantongo St., Pottsville with Pastor Jim Shields, officiating. A viewing will be held on Thursday evening from 6-8 pm at the Lord-Bixler Funeral Home, Inc., 1818 Mahantongo St., Pottsville and on Friday morning from 10 am until time of service in the church. Interment will take place on Saturday March 26 at 12 noon in Neath Cemetery, Neath, PA. The procession will leave Lord-Bixler Funeral Home, Inc. promptly at 9:15 am, the public is welcome.

The family requests memorial contributions, in Bills’ memory, be sent to Pottsville Salvation Army, 400 Sanderson St. Pottsville, PA. 17901 or to the Dr. William R. Davidson Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Pottsville Rotary Charities, PO Box 1313, Pottsville, PA 17901 (make checks payable to “Pottsville Rotary Charities” and note Dr. William R. Davidson Scholarship Fund in the memo line).

Lord-Bixler Funeral Home, Inc. is in charge of arrangements.


Debra A. Smith McGhee, 60, Kulpmont and former Ashland resident, passed away unexpectedly Monday, March 21st at her home.

Born in Ashland, she was the daughter of Florence A. (Rooney) Smith and her late husband, Robert J. Smith.

Debra was a 1980 graduate of North Schuylkill High School. After high school, she attended LCCC and got her associates degree as a dental assistant.

Debra was an avid Notre Dame fan.

In addition to her father, she was preceded in death by her brother, Robert P. Smith.

Debra is survived by her mother Florence A. Smith, Ashland and by aunts, uncles and cousins.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, March 25th at 12:30 p.m. from St. Charles Borromeo Church, Ashland with Fr. Brian Miller, pastor, as the celebrant. Friends are invited to her viewing at the church on Friday from 11:30 a.m. until the time of mass. Interment will be held in St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery, Fountain Springs.


Mary Elizabeth Smulktis
, 71, Zerbe, Tremont, passed away peacefully Saturday at Hershey Medical Center, Hershey.

Born in Pottsville, she was a daughter of the late Joseph and Rita Karman Haley. She had been employed as a pharmacist technician for Rite Aid in Minersville until her retirement.

She was a member of St. Michael the Archangel Parish, Minersville.

She was preceded in death by her husband Clarence “Clem” Smulktis and by her brother George Haley.

Mary is survived by her son Scott Smulktis and his companion Shannon, Tremont; her sister Judy Swartz, Frackville; her grandchildren; Steven and Carson and by nieces and nephews.

Friends may call at the Thomas M. Sullivan Funeral Home, 501 W. Washington St., Frackville on Friday evening from 6 until 8 p.m. with religious services at 7 p.m. Interment will be private at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Annville.

In lieu of flowers the family requests contributions towards an educational fund for Steven and Carson in care of of Judy Swartz, 136 S. Spencer Street, Frackville, Pa 17931


Gertrude T. Jenkins
, 93, of Forestville, formerly of Mechanicsville, passed away on Friday, at home, with her family by her side.

Born on June 20, 1928 in England, Felling-Upon Tyne and Wear. She was a daughter of Charles and Annie (nee White) Wise. Gertrude was the eldest of nine children, helping her Mother with the other children. She attended Felling High School. She worked several jobs while in Britain, but the work of which she was most proud was as a Quality Inspectress for Ingersol Rand.

She enjoyed traveling and seeing new places, having frequented the coasts, Isle of White where she married her husband MSGT Herbert C. Jenkins on June 8, 1956. Together, they came to the United States and had two beautiful children.

They first resided in Browns Mills, NJ, then moved to Mechanicsville where she would raise her children. She was a member of the former Christ Evangelical Congregational Church, Pottsville, where she taught Sunday and Vacation Bible school. She was also past President of the Women’s Bible Study.

She was both ladylike and sassy, and very efficient in her ways. She loved attending church teas with her friends. She enjoyed spending time with family, going for long car rides with her daughter, and visiting with her son at her home and his. Her true passions were gardening, knitting and reading.

She was a beloved daughter, sister, Mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and aunt.

Gertrude was preceded in death by her husband, Retired Air Force Master Sergeant , Herbert C. Jenkins in 1971; five siblings, Rosemary Burrell, Lily Mullen, Doreen McAndrew, Peter Wise, and Ronald Wise; her son-in-law Ronald L. DePuka, and a great-granddaughter, Layla.

She is survived by two children, David H. Jenkins, Shenandoah, and Ruth Ann DePuka, Forestville; five granddaughters, Danata N. Jenkins, Auburn, Carissa L. Underwood (Spouse- Daniel), Orwigsburg, Shawna L Jenkins, Pottsville, Kelsey A DePuka and Hannah M. DePuka, Forestville; five great grandchildren, Veda Anne, Danny, Trent, Michael and Aurora. She is also survived by three siblings, Shirley Bell, Charles Wise, Alan Wise (spouse, Yvonne); nieces and nephews.

The family will accept visitors at Dutcavich Funeral Home, 200 Sunbury Street, Minersville, on Friday evening from 7:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. with services at 7:30 P.M. Interment will be private.


Dolores Dean, 84 years of age, of Tamaqua, Pennsylvania passed away on Monday, March 21, 2022, at Hometown Nursing & Rehabilitation Ctr. in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania where she had been a guest.

Born Thursday, August 26, 1937 in New York the daughter of the late Michael, and Olga (Skripnek) Ruboken.

Dolores worked as a waitress at the Beacon Diner in Hometown for many years. She is survived by cousins.

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

Private Interment will be in Odd Fellows Cemetery, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania.


Albert A. Discavage
, 90 of Shenandoah Heights passed away on Monday night, March 21, 2022 with his family and caregivers by his side at his residence.

Born in Ringtown on March 28, 1931, he was a son of the late Albert V. and Anna (Bernotsky) Discavage.

He was a graduate of the former West Mahanoy Township High School, Shenandoah Heights.

Mr. Discavage was a decorated Korean War Navy veteran. He received the National Defense Medal, the China Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.

Prior to his retirement, he was employed as a machinist for Precision Tube Company in North Wales.

Albert was a member of Divine Mercy Parish, Shenandoah and the former St. George’s Church. He was an avid sports fan, the Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies were his favorite teams.

Preceding him in death in addition to his parents was his brother, George Discavage.

Surviving are two brothers, Joseph T. Discavage with whom he resided with in Shenandoah Heights and Thomas Discavage of Hazle Township; one sister, Irene A. Discavage of Pottsville; one nephew, George Discavage; two great nephews, cousins and many friends.

A private Mass of Christian Burial and interment with military honors will be held at the convenience of the family.

The family extends a heartfelt thank you to his special caregivers for the compassion, kindness and care they showed for Albert.

Walukiewicz-Oravitz Fell Funeral Home, 132 S. Jardin St., Shenandoah is in care of the arrangements.


Cory D. Henn
58, of Hegins Pa. passed away peacefully March 21,2022 at his home surrounded by
his loving family.

He was the son of Daniel S. Henn Sr. and Nancy L. (Reichardt) Henn.  He was a graduate of Schuylkill Valley High School, Leesport Pa.

Cory succumbed to cancer after a five year battle that he fought with courage and dignity.
His son Clayton was by his side day and night caring for him. It was a testament to the love they
shared for each other as father and son.  Cory worked in construction with his father at
Henn and Son for many years, last working for M I Windows and Doors.  He had a life long love of the outdoors. He was an avid hunter and fisherman, sharing his love of the outdoors with his sons.  Cory loved riding motorcycle. He was proud of his Harley and rode on many trips with his faithful beagle Gus, riding in the side car.

He is survived by his sons Clayton D. at home, Christopher D. (Schuylkill Haven), Cody D. (Bernville) and Cory D. Henn Jr. (New Mexico). He has one Grandson, Aiden (New Mexico).
He is also survived by three brothers, Ralph Shappell and wife Heidi, Randy Shappell and wife
Sharon, and Daniel Henn Jr. and by four sisters, Sharon Babiarz, Vicki Myers and husband Dennis, Elaine Deitrich and husband Carl, Joann Garman and husband Bernard. He is also survived by nine nieces and nephews.

Buffington Reed Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

According to Cory's wishes a celebration of his life will be held at a later date with a last motorcycle
ride.  He will always be remembered and forever in the hearts of those who loved him.
Ride Free.

Buffington-Reed Funeral Home, Valley View, is in charge of arrangements.


Nancy J. Neiswender, 76, of Woodland Acres, Pottsville, passed away March 18, 2022, at the Gardens at York Terrace, Pottsville. Born in Pottsville, March 30, 1945, she was the daughter of the late Russell and Dorothy Hoffman Krobert. She attended South Cass Township schools and was employed 20 years as a Kitchen Aid at the former Pottsville Hospital and Warne Clinic, Pottsville. Nancy was a former member of the Zion Lutheran Church, Minersville, and she is now a member of Friedens Lutheran Church, Llewellyn. She enjoyed shopping, playing Bingo, and being a member of the Tremont Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary. Preceding her in death was her husband, Samuel Neiswender, a sister, Gloria Krobert, and a brother Joseph Krobert.


Sister: Shirley Haluska, Pottsville

Sister: Mary Snyder, Tremont

Brother: Russell “Buddy” Neiswender, Schuylkill Haven

Daughter-In Law: Marie wife of Barry Blocker, Pottsville

Best Friends: Rosie Dullard, Pottsville, and Beatrice Thur, Auburn

Nieces and Nephews

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Celebration of Life Graveside Funeral Service, April 23, 2022, at 11 AM, in Mount Peace Cemetery, Minersville. Officiating will be Rev. Robert Reier. Memorials in Nancy’s name may be made to Friedens Lutheran Church, Llewellyn, PA., 17944.


Eldora M. Rex
, 91, of Mantzville, passed away peacefully and went to her Lord on March 21, 2022, in the Heritage Hill Senior Community in Weatherly. 

Eldora was born on June 11, 1930, to the late Daniel M. Miller and Verna (Mantz) Miller in Mantzville. She was the wife of the late Robert E. Rex. 

Eldora and Robert were married for over 60 years and had two children, a son Dennis Rex, and his wife Paulette (Hoppes); and a daughter, Charlene (Rex) Miller, and her husband Albert; all of Andreas. Eldora adored her five grandchildren: Allen Miller, and his significant other Sharon Main, of Andreas, Jennifer Miller, and her husband Kent, of Tamaqua, Neil Rex, and his wife Christine (Hoffman), Amy (Rex) Zeigenfuss, and her husband Craig, of Andreas, and Shelly (Rex) Belanchik, and her husband Kyle, of Wapwallopen. 

Eldora is survived by eleven great-grandchildren who were the joy of her life: Travis Miller, and his wife Taylor (Gerber), and Mitchell Miller, both of Tamaqua, Allison and Marissa Miller, Riley, Chase and Zane Zeigenfuss, Abbey and Jayden Rex, all of Andreas, Jaxson and Kinsley Belanchik, of Wapwallopen. She was blessed to meet her great-great-grandson, Tripp Miller, of Tamaqua. 

Eldora is also survived by a sister, Helene (Miller) Frey and a sister-in-law Pauline (Rex) Frey, both of Lehighton, nieces and nephews. 

Throughout Eldora’s entire life, she held an unwavering faith in God, which she shared with those who surrounded her. She was a lifelong member of St. Peter’s Church West Penn. She was baptized, confirmed, married, and her two children were baptized at St. Peter’s. Eldora was a Sunday School teacher and flower fund coordinator. She was also a member of the choir, women’s group, prayer group, and kitchen krew. Eldora and Robert owned and operated Miller and Rex Dairy Farm with her brother Berlyn and his wife Evelyn for 28 years after which the farm was handed down to her children. She was the best Mom and Nana anyone could have asked for. She was a sweet, gentle, kind, and caring woman to everyone. She was a wonderful cook and baker. She made the best desserts. 

Eldora was also preceded in death by a sister Marion, and her husband, Dr. Wayne Weaver, three brothers, Willard and Berlyn and his wife Evelyn (Miller), and an infant brother, and three brothers-in-law, Ralph Frey, Chester Frey, Wellace Fritz and sister-in-law, Irene Fritz. 

 Services will be held at 11am on Saturday, March 26, at St. Peter’s Church West Penn, 184 St Peter’s Rd. Tamaqua, PA 18252, with Rev. Virginia M. Heimer officiating. Calling 9-11am. Interment in the church cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the church. 

Arrangements are being handled by the Hartman Funeral Home, 1791 West Penn Pike, Rte. 309, New Ringgold.


These obituaries are being  brought to by

Anthony Urban Law Offices. P.C.