Friday, November 11, 2022

Schuylkill County Obituaries for November 11th, 2022


Skook News Obituaries: November 11th, 2022

Obituaries published from the Schuylkill County area. 


Brian E. Shovlin, 56, Ashland, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, November 9th at Lehigh Valley Hospital Schuylkill East, Pottsville.

Born in Columbia, PA, he was a son of John and Lorraine (Hammer) Shovlin of Plains. He worked as a security guard at SCI Mahanoy Prison. Brian was a United States Army Veteran having served from 1985 to 1993.

Brian loved his family especially his two children. He enjoyed watching Eve play basketball and was so proud to see his son graduate high school last year. He loved spending time with family for dinner and holidays. He was an avid Miami Dolphins and New York Yankees fan.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by his two children Zachary Shovlin and Eve Shovlin of Ashland; his two brothers: Douglas Sarbaugh and his wife Debra, Bethlehem; Richard Sarbaugh and his wife Barbara, Forty Fort; his two sisters: Connie Taylor and her husband Robert, Jamestown, Ohio; Tamrya Shovlin of Plains; nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be private at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, trusts will be set up for his children and more information will be provided when completed.


Rita Ann Purcell
, 88, of Jonestown, Cass Township, passed away on Thursday, November 10, at her home in the presence of her loving family.

Born on January 31, 1934, in Heckscherville, she was a daughter of the late Louis and Anna (nee Ford) Stephen. She was a 1952 graduate of Pottsville Catholic High School, and she was employed in federal service at Indiantown Gap Military Reservation from 1952 to 1963.

She was a devoted member and long-time supporter of Holy Family Parish of Minersville.

She will be remembered for her loving devotion to her large family. She cherished cooking and baking for Sunday dinners, holiday gatherings, and get-togethers with her many friends.

Preceding her in death were her husband of 44 years, Joseph Purcell, in 2000; a son, Gary Purcell, in 2019; a great-grandson, Hudson Roehl; six siblings, Betty Burke and her husband, Thomas, Robert “Cobbs” Stephen, Joseph Stephen, Jim Stephen, Vincent Stephen and his wife, Carol, Mary Canfield and her husband, Joseph.

Rita is survived by her remaining children, Kathy Pytko (spouse, Bernard), Minersville, Theresa Michels (spouse, Nick), West West Terrace, Joseph Purcell (spouse, Nanette), Jonestown, Kenneth Purcell, Jonestown, Ed Purcell (spouse, Amy), Phoenix Park, and Anita Sternick (spouse, Jerry), Black Heath, daughter-in-law, Donna Purcell, Primrose; fourteen grandchildren, Jaclyn, Lauren, Kara, Alycia, Amy, Christopher, Ryan, Amanda, Joseph, Clare, Leah, Chad, Kayleigh and Caitlin; eight great-grandchildren, Isobel, Lincoln, Faith, Lydia, Dustin, Bryce, Cora and Ella. She is also survived by her last surviving sibling, Francis “Cisco” Stephen (spouse, Mary Ann), Pottsville, sisters-in-law, Joanne Stephen, Minersville and Peg Stephen, Heckscherville; nieces and nephews.

The family will accept visitors at Dutcavich Funeral Home, 200 Sunbury Street, Minersville, on Tuesday from 6:00 A.M. Procession will form promptly at 9:45 A.M. with Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 A.M. in St. Michael the Archangel Church, 539 Sunbury Street, Minersville. Interment will be in St. Kieran #2 Cemetery, Branch Township. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations to Holy Family Parish, 538 Sunbury Street, Minersville.


Michael F. Mislyan
, 19, of Wiconisco passed away tragically, Wednesday, November 9, 2022 as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident near Friedensburg.

Born in Pottsville, May 24, 2003, a beloved son of John and Jennifer Hufnagle Mislyan.

Mikey was a senior at Williams Valley High School, where he was attending the Career & Technology Center studying masonry. He participated in the co-op program and was working with On Deck Concrete, Schuylkill Haven, a job he truly loved. His job recently took him to West Virginia. He was very proud of his accomplishments on the trip and was looking forward to a career in masonry.

Mikey formerly played on the Williams Valley Soccer Team, Midget Football Team, Little League Baseball Team, and was a former Cub Scout.

He was of the Catholic Faith.

Mikey had a passion for dirt track racing, fishing, trains, and history. He loved to learn about local history, especially relating to coal mining. Mikey was a fan of the Phillies, Eagles, and the Flyers. He looked up to his older brother as his role model. He was looking forward to volunteering with the Williamstown EMS and Wiconisco Fire Company just like his brother.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Frank and Joyce Foster Mislyan, and Kenneth W. Hufnagle.

Mikey is survived by his parents, John and Jennifer Hufnagle Mislyan; a brother, Kenneth Hufnagle and his girlfriend Shyanne, Williamstown; his maternal grandmother, Joan Balulis Hufnagle, Seltzer; two aunts, Lisa Yanek and her husband Randy, Gordon, and Carol Miller and her husband Steve, Lykens; his beloved pets, Sadie and Chief; numerous cousins and dear friends.

A viewing will be held from 5-7 PM Monday, November 14, 2022, from the Chapel of the Dimon Funeral Home Inc. Services will be held at 7 PM with Pastor William Romberger officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Dimon Funeral Home & Cremation Services Inc., 644 E Grand Avenue, Tower City, PA 17980 to help with expenses.


Elizabeth A. Hepler, 96, of Gordon, passed away Thursday morning at Geisinger Medical Center, Shamokin.

She was born on June 20, 1926 in Gilberton and was the daughter of the late Elizabeth (Grafton) and Joseph Guditus.

Elizabeth graduated from Gilberton High School and went on to be a seamstress at several local garment factories.

She was of the Protestant faith and enjoyed crafts, drawing and spending time with her family.

In addition to her parents, Elizabeth is preceded in death by her first husband Franklin Paul Hepler Sr. who passed away in 1974, significant other Rodney Mallams who passed away in 2015, and a sister Josephine Burak.

She is survived by her son Franklin Paul Hepler Jr. husband of Karen, Ashland; daughter Edith Wehry wife of Carl, Ashland; brother Edmund Guditus husband of Pat, Delaware; six grandchildren: Lisa Wehry, Carl Wehry, Amy Snyder, Paula Dietrich, Paul Hepler, Heather Fetterolf; five great grandchildren: Matthew Kirk, Emily Wehry, Isabella Dietrich, Josalyn Dietrich, Gavin Fetterolf and many nieces and nephews.

Services will be private at the convenience of the family.

Kull-Heizenroth Funeral Home Inc. 901 Centre Street Ashland, PA 17921 has been entrusted with the arrangements.


James R. Lecher
, 71, of St. Clair passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Thursday.

Born May 30, 1951, in Pottsville, he was the son of the late James and Patricia Lecher.

James was a member of Holy Apostles Church in St. Clair. He was a graduate from Nativity B.V.M class of 1969.

James was a proud and active member of Alcoholics Anonymous. This community gave Jim peace and purpose with the help he gave to so many. He gained many true, loving, and lasting friends through the people he met and helped.

In addition to his work in this community he was a proud St. Clair crossing guard and loved greeting the kids every morning and hearing about each kids’ end of day. He was recently “awarded” the “Best Crossing Guard Ever” from the kids he sees each day.

Jim was married to the former Bonnie Davie who he was married 52 years. They had been together since sophomores in High School.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his sister Debbie Spontak.

In addition to his wife, James is survived by his children Sean Lecher husband to Melanie Key of Moorefield WV and Kristin Lecher of St. Clair. He is also survived by his grandchildren Cassidy, Nathan, and Nicholas and his brother Brian Lecher of Annville. He is also survived by his loving pet dog Tilly.

A private memorial service will be held at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in Jim’s name to North Parish Holy Apostles, Corner of Nicholas and Hancock Streets, St. Clair, PA 17970. Grabowski Funeral Home is entrusted with the services.


Cynthia Franklin
, 48, of New Ringgold, PA, passed away on Thursday, November 10, 2022, in Bethlehem, PA. She was the wife of Jeremy A. Franklin to whom she has been married 25 years this May. 

Born in Summit, NJ on January 16, 1974, Cynthia was a daughter of Nicholas and Ann (Dubrowsky) Pannullo of New Ringgold. A 1991 graduate of Pleasant Valley High School, in 1995 she earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing while minoring in logistics at Penn State University. In 2006, Cynthia earned her master's in business administration from the University of Phoenix. She was the purchasing director for Monroe County for over 20 years. Cynthia enjoyed going on cruises as well as trips to the Outer Banks, NC and Bermuda and was a Penn State Football fan. A very caring person, she brought joy to life and light to the world, lighting up any room she entered. Cynthia loved her children, grandchild, and dogs. 

In addition to her husband and parents, Cynthia is survived by her children, Melanie of New Ringgold and Matthew of State College, PA; grandchild, Bria Rose Christ; sister, Christine Pannullo of New Ringold; and many aunts and uncles. 

Services will be held at 3 PM on Saturday, November 19, 2022, at the Zizelmann-Gulla Funeral Home, 500 East Broad Street, Tamaqua with The Rev. Kevin Roberts officiating. Call 1-3 PM on Saturday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorials in her name may be made to the American Cancer Society, PO Box 30386, Philadelphia, PA 19103 or at 

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

These obituaries are being brought to by Anthony Urban Law Offices. P.C.