Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Schuylkill County Obituaries - March 22, 2023


Skook News Obituaries: March 22, 2023

Obituaries published from the Schuylkill County area. 


Robert “Bob” C. Kropp
, 85, of Tamaqua, passed away unexpectedly of a sudden illness on Sunday, March 19 at St. Luke’s Hospital - Carbon Campus. He was the husband of the late Doris U. Kropp, who passed on August 19, 2020. They had shared 55 years of marriage at the time of her passing. 

Born in Coaldale on April 8, 1937, he was the son of the late Russell and Ruth (Lewis) Kropp. Bob was a 1955 graduate of Tamaqua High School. He later attended Drexel University for mechanical engineering. He began work at Atlas Powder Company in Tamaqua. He spent time working in the Valley Forge area before returning to Tamaqua where he became plant manager of pyrotechnics operations for Atlas. Bob continued his work as manager, overseeing the purchase of Atlas by ICI Americas. After 42 years of service, Bob retired and served as a consultant for Thoren Industries in Hazleton. Bob was a devout member of Saint John's United Church of Christ and was keenly involved in his church community. He served as an Elder Emeritus of the Consistory, participated with the Investment Committee, and fulfilled many other weekly duties. Bob was a member and past president of the Tamaqua Rotary Club, assistant secretary of the Tamaqua Water Authority, and a member of the Tamaqua Lodge No.238 of the Free and Accepted Masons. 

Family was of the utmost importance to Bob, and he put the needs of his family above anything else. He adored his grandchildren and loved to attend their performances, athletic events, and other activities. Bob was an avid supporter of the Tamaqua Raider Band as both a father and grandfather and he appreciated all kinds of music. Bob loved taking yearly trips to Ocean City, NJ with the whole family. In his free time, he enjoyed gardening, fly fishing, golfing, walking his dog, and attending Penn State football games with friends and family. 

Bob was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He is survived by two daughters, Kristine K. Betz of Mantzville and Doctor Kathryn E. Kropp (wife of Michael McGinley) of Andreas; grandchildren, Molly Betz of Allentown, Hannah Betz of Carlisle, and Peter McGinley of Andreas; brother, David Kropp and his wife Leslie of Pittsburgh; several nieces and nephews; and his beloved dog and constant companion, Mango. 

In addition to his wife and parents, Bob was predeceased by brother Russell P. Kropp and sister Kathryn E. Kropp. Bob was adored by his family and everyone he met. He was extremely proud of the strong family he built. He will be sorely missed. 

Services will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, April 8, 2023, in St. John United Church of Christ, 150 Pine Street, Tamaqua with The Rev. Kevin Duffy-Guy officiating. 

Interment in Odd Fellows Cemetery, Tamaqua will follow the services. Call 9 – 11 AM on Saturday, April 8, in the church. Memorials in Bob’s name may be made to St. John United Church of Christ Memorial Fund, 150 Pine Street, Tamaqua, PA 18252. 

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


Ruth Jean Serra
, 92, affectionately known as "Binky" to her family and friends, of Long Stretch Rd., Pine Grove, formerly of Asbury Park, NJ, Spring Lake, NJ, and San Diego, CA, passed away on Thursday, March 16, 2023 at home.

Born on February 28, 1931 in Long Branch, N.J., she was a daughter of the late James and Ruth Matthews Britton.

She was a graduate of Asbury Park High School, Asbury Park, N.J.

Ruth had worked in Real Estate and alongside her husband, "Cappy", in his College Athletic Placement Service business. She was an avid Golfer who won her club's 9-hole women's championship 3 times.

Preceding her in death were her husband, William E. Serra, Sr.; a sister Theresa Tweel and a brother James Britton.

Surviving are two sons, Bruce and wife Kimberly Serra of Beverly Hills, CA, William Jr. and wife Sharon Serra of San Diego, CA; a daughter, Patricia and husband Douglas Black of Pine Grove; three grandchildren, Nathan, Shea and Anabel; four great grandchildren, Rocco, Lucy Jean, Tristan, and Aiden.

Services will be held at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer contributions be made to either the ASPCA, or St. Joseph's Indian School, P.O. Box 100 Chamberlain, S.D. 57325 or online at

The H. L. Snyder Funeral Home, Inc., Pine Grove, is in charge of arrangements


Michele Teresa Reed, 67, of Pine Grove, passed away on Saturday, March 18, 2023 at her home.

Born on November 11, 1955 in Pottsville, she was a daughter of the late Matthew J. Sr. and Vesta I. Witmer MacDuff.

Michele was a 1973 graduate of Pine Grove Area High School.

She was known as Shelly to all her friends and family. She was the love of a lifetime to her husband Gary. They were married nearly 48 years and she loved her husband, sons and grandkids with all her heart.

For 40 years, she suffered from a neurological disorder which left her unable to walk for the past 20 years. It was this disorder which finally led to her passing.

Preceding her in death were her grandfather, Newton Witmer, who she was very close to when she was young, a sister Mary Ann Crochunis, and most recently her brother Kenneth MacDuff. Also preceding her in death was her dog Toby, a bishon, who we lost last June. Losing Toby was very difficult for Shelly.

Surviving, in addition to her husband Gary are two sons, Christopher and wife Chrissy Reed of Pine Grove, Nicholas and wife Amy of Boca Raton, FL.; two grandchildren, Berkeley, and Lochlyn Reed; a step grandchild, Kolden Smeltz, all of Pine Grove; a sister, Kathy and husband Gary Stump; a brother, Matthew MacDuff Jr.; two sisters-in-law Audrey Anspach and Cindy MacDuff; nieces Lana MacDuff and her children, Justin Burke and Caitlyn Burke, Krista Smith and her son Blake Smith; nephews Robert Crochunis, Brad Stump, Scott MacDuff and Shawn MacDuff.

Memorial Services will be held on Thursday, April 6, 2023 at 3:00 P.M. at the H. L. Snyder Funeral Home with Pastor Brian Beissel officiating. There will be a visitation on Thursday, April 6, 2023 from 2:00 P.M. until 3:00 P.M. at the Funeral Home.


Alden Holme Andersen (Andy) passed away at age 93. Andy was born in Irvington, New Jersey on April 19, 1929, the child of the late John and Lillian Andersen. 

 Andy graduated from Oceanside Senior High School, New York, in 1947, serving in the United States Naval Reserve during his junior and senior years. He then attended Pennsylvania Military College, Chester, Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 1951 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and a commission in the Army of the United States. Lieutenant Andersen served stateside at Fort Gordon, Georgia, at the Signal Corps Basic Training Group. After receiving an honorable discharge from the Army in 1953, Andy married his sweetheart, Roberta G. Hart, and took employment with the Sperry Gyroscope Company in Great Neck, New York, as an engineer. During the early years on Long Island, the family was blessed with four children who were raised in the Roman Catholic faith. The boys played football and ice hockey and Andy soon found himself volunteering as an ice hockey referee for the kids' games. This led to a 15-year career as an amateur ice hockey official, officiating at all levels through high school and community college.

Andy retired after 35 years in business and moved to Deer Park, Maryland, where he served for 17 years in the Deer Park Community Volunteer Fire Department. He also served for 6 years in the county EMS unit as an EMT. Andy joined the local Knights of Columbus Council and, over a period of years, achieved 3rd degree knighthood. And so, after 17 years in Maryland, it seemed time to downsize from their five-bedroom, 10-acre estate.

After several days of house hunting in Pennsylvania, Roberta and Alden were shown a very nice story and a half new home with approximately 0.6 acres of land. And so, they moved from Maryland in 2005 into their new home in Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania. Andy joined the Friendship Hose Company #1, Orwigsburg, and served as Treasurer of the Relief Association for seven years. Roberta and Alden were members of St. Ambrose Roman Catholic Church in Schuylkill Haven. Andy continued his membership in the Knights of Columbus, joining the council in Pottsville, PA. He was also a member of the Orwigsburg American Legion Post and the Orwigsburg Lions Club.
Andy's wife, Roberta and his first son, Mark, have predeceased him. He is survived by his three other children, Jane Ann, John and Matthew, seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren, and by a cousin, Louis Larsen who lives with his wife Nancy in Painted Port, New York.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Wednesday March 29th at 10:30 AM in St. Ambrose Roman catholic Church. Interment at Holy Cross Cemetery Brooklyn, NY will be private.
In lieu of Flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to St. Ambrose Roman Catholic Church 201 Randel Street Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972.
Hamilton-Breiner Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc. is honored to be serving the family.


Dolores M. Minarick
, 81 of Pottsville, died peacefully Tuesday morning at home.

She was born August 8, 1941 in Pottsville a daughter of the late Thomas and Martha DeLozier McGovern

She attended Pottsville High School.

Prior to retiring Dolores worked at York Terrace Nursing Home, Pottsville.

She was a member of St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church and the former Mary Queen of Peace Roman Catholic Church, Pottsville.

She was preceded in death by her husband John F. Minarick, 2017; a sister Kathleen McGovern; her loyal border collie Charlie.

Surviving are her daughters, Jacqueline Minarick, Pottsville; Kathleen Salam, and her husband Nate, Wilmington, Del; a granddaughter, Lucy Salam; nieces and nephews.

A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10:30AM, Monday at St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church, Pottsville. The family would prefer remembrances in the form of contributions in memory of Dolores be made to Hillside SPCA, PO Box 233, Pottsville, PA 17901. Interment will follow in Calvary Cemetery, Pottsville.

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


John J. Bielen
, 94, a resident of Heritage Hill Senior Community, Weatherly, and a former resident of McAdoo, passed away Sunday, March 19. He was the loving husband of Gertrude (Giner) Bielen, and they recently celebrated 73 years of marriage on February 18.

John was born in Tresckow, PA on November 25, 1928, the son of the late George and Anastasia (Pina) Bielen.

John attended St. Kunegunda Parochial School and graduated from McAdoo High School in 1946, where he excelled in sports, playing baseball, basketball, and football. He was a member of the McAdoo High School 1945 Class B Basketball State Champion team.

John enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1946 and served with the U.S. Army of Occupation in Japan.

Upon returning home from his service overseas, John played for both the McAdoo Comets baseball and basketball teams.

John had a very strong work ethic, which he passed on to his two sons, always doing his best to provide for his family. He worked from an early age, starting with Cara’s Ice House, Jere Woodring, Hazleton Brick Co., McAdoo Manufacturing, Kleen Dairy, Dairylea, Genetti’s Supermarkets, and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, retiring from there in 1989. In his retirement, he worked part-time for Campbell’s Soup, before starting a second career with the U.S. Post Office in Hazleton, PA.

John was a member of All Saints Church, McAdoo, and a former member of St. Kunegunda R.C. Church, McAdoo, where he was a member and officer of the Holy Name Society and served as an usher for many years. John was also a member of McAdoo VFW Post 6708, the McAdoo Prime Timers, the Greater Hazleton Area Polonaise Society, as well as being a Third Degree Knight of Columbus.

John was a die-hard sports fan, loving his Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia Phillies, and Penn State Nittany Lions Football, never missing a game on TV. He was a Penn State Football season ticketholder for many years and enjoyed going to games at Beaver Stadium.

In addition to his wife, John is survived by two sons, David Bielen and wife Mary Ann of Hometown, and Gregg Bielen and wife Cheryl of Centreville, VA; grandchildren, Angela Meiss, Matthew Bielen and wife Caitlin, Ashleigh Aviles and husband Haziel, and Emily Bielen; great-granddaughter Julia Meiss; also surviving is sister Mary Ann Mallets and husband Andrew of McAdoo, as well as sisters-in-law, nieces, and nephews.

John was preceded in death by brothers Joseph and Edward Bielen.

A special thanks from the family to the staff at Heritage Hill, as well as Family Pillars Hospice, for their wonderful care of John.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in John’s name can be made to either All Saints Catholic Church, McAdoo, PA, or Marian Catholic High School, Tamaqua, PA.

His funeral will be held Saturday, March 25. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. in All Saints Church, McAdoo. Burial will follow in St. Kunegunda R.C. Cemetery, McAdoo.

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

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.