The Online Edition

In Memoriam


Helen Matalonis of Hanover Twp., Pa., died on Feb. 1, 2018.

Thomas E. Wahl of Wilkes-Barre, died on Oct. 23, 2017. He was an U.S. Army Air Force veteran of World War II, serving as a navigator with the 446th Bomb Group of the 8th Air Force, and was the recipient of the Air Medal, five European campaign ribbons and the World War II Victory Medal. He was employed by the National Weather Service for 38 years, assisting in the establishment and instrumentation of the weather station at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport. He served as official in charge from 1971 to 1986.

Leo Wojcikiewicz of New Cumberland, Pa., died on July 19, 2017. He was a decorated World War II veteran serving in France in F. Company, 134th Infantry Regiment, 35th Infantry Division, under General Patton, where he was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and Combat Infantry Badge. He retired from the United States Postal Service after 40 years of service.


Shirley Fleet of Coudersport, Pa., died on Nov. 22, 2017. She was a biology and chemistry teacher in Matawan, N.J. and also in Sayre, Pa. She was also a real estate broker in Flemington, N.J. She was an accomplished writer having published poetry and family cookbooks.

Clemence A. Scott of Sheatown, Pa., died on July 14, 2017. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps and was a tail gunner on a B17, the Flying Fortress. Later in his career, he served as an Internal Revenue Service agent for more than 36 years.


William Perlmuth of New York, N.Y., died on Nov. 24, 2017. He attended Columbia Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review and a Harlan Fiske Stone scholar. When he finished law school he served in the U.S. Army as a member of the 1st Division, the Big Red One. He went on to work at Cravath, Swaine & Moore and then joined Stroock & Stroock & Lavan as a partner, focusing on corporate financing law. He served on the firm’s executive committee for nearly 20 years, including two terms as chairman. He served as chairman of the board of the Hospital for Joint Diseases (HJD) from 1996-2007. He also established the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries at HJD where he served as president and trustee of the Harkness Foundation for Dance, and trustee of the New York City Center, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the School of American Ballet (Emeritus), Wilkes University (Emeritus) and the Aeroflex and Weininger Foundations. He was awarded the Doctorate of Humane Letters from Wilkes in Sept. 2017.

Daniel Ungvarsky of Lansdale, Pa., died on Oct. 30, 2017. He retired from General Electric Co.’s Space Systems Division in 1992 after a 35-year career as an aerospace engineer.


Donald Kistler of Ft. Wayne, Ind., died on Aug. 5, 2017. He retired as the general sales manager for Bucyrus Erie.


Florence (Kistler) Reynolds of Portland, Ore., died on Nov. 13, 2017. She was an elementary school teacher in Wilmington, Del., for thirty-five years.


Phyllis Prater of Thomaston, Maine, died on July 30, 2016. She earned her master of arts degree in English literature from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, in 1982. She served as an adjunct professor at Franklin University and Columbus State Community College in Columbus, Ohio.


John Morris of Dallas, Pa., died on Dec. 11, 2017. He served in the U.S. Army from 1958-1960. He was employed as the business manager of Wyoming Seminary Preparatory School beginning in 1967. John retired from Wyoming Seminary in 2010 and continued to work for the school as a Special Projects Manager until his death.


Edward “Ed” Ralph Dubin of Lillian, Ala., died on May 1, 2017. He served in the US Army during the Korean War. After a post doctorial fellowship at Jefferson medical School in Philadelphia, he then established and conducted his clinical practice, for 35 years, in Philadelphia and Bethlehem, Pa., as well as the Pocono Mountains.

Richard Jones of Easton, Pa., died on Jan. 30, 2014. He served in the United States Air Force for 5 years as a member of the Air Training Command in Tyndall Air Force Base, Panama City, Fla. He taught English at Lawrence High School in Lawrence, N.Y., for 4 years. He then taught English at North Hunterdon High School for 34 years. Jones served as the director of adult education for North Hunterdon High School for 30 years, assisting in the development of the Hunterdon County Adult Education program. He also founded the Future Teachers of America at North Hunterdon. He continued his college studies at Hofstra University, receiving his masters in secondary education. He attended Rutgers University, receiving his masters in secondary administration and then receiving a masters in adult education. Jones was associated with educational testing services of Princeton, N.J., as well as a member of the tutoring staff of college skills center of Mendham, N.J. Additionally, he taught part-time at Northampton Community College.

Nancy E. (Batcheler) Juris of Swatara Township, Pa., died on Aug. 29, 2017. Early in her career, she worked as a statistician with DuPont before earning her teaching certification from Elizabethtown College. She then taught business education as a substitute teacher at Central Dauphin and Middletown School Districts, for several years, until she assumed a full-time position in the business education department at Central Dauphin East in 1980. In 1981, she joined the faculty of Harrisburg Area Community College, where she taught accounting and introduction to business courses until 1991. During her working years, she was a member of the American Business Women’s Association. Juris also volunteered at the Hershey Butterfly House and the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art in the Operation Owl Net program and was an active member of the Wilkes Alumni Association.

Raymond Michael Sillup of Murrells Inlet, S. C., died on Oct. 20, 2017. He graduated from the Mount Vernon School of Law. Prior to his retirement, he had been employed by the University of Pittsburgh where he was the director of contract and reimbursement services at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and was the chairman of the Council of Psychiatric Service Providers at The Hospital Association of Pennsylvania. He was also employed by the US Department of Health, Education and Welfare Social Security Administration as director of recovery where he received the Commissioner’s Citation for his outstanding contributions to the Medicare program.


John L. Coates of Berwick, Pa., died on Nov. 30, 2017. He served in the Naval Reserve from 1953 until 1962. He worked for Okanite Cable Company as a financial controller and later for Bercon Plastics. He next served as president of LaBar Trucking. In 1989 he became owner of Tri-County Hardware, and in 1992 of TriCounty Lumber until 2016.

Robert Drexinger of Orefield, Pa., died on Nov. 19, 2017. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean Conflict. He retired as a senior engineer after 28 years at Western Electric/Lucent.

Vincent Herron of Lancaster, Pa., died on Nov. 15, 2017. He was drafted in 1953, during the Korean War, and did his basic training at Camp Polk in Louisiana. Because of the Armistice, he was honorably discharged two months before shipping out from Fort Riley, Kansas in 1955. He worked for Armstrong World Industries from 1966 until his retirement in 1999 as a project engineer.

Max Salsburg of Kingston, Pa., died on Feb. 16, 2018. He owned and operated Goldstein’s Deli, in Kingston, Pa., prior to retiring.

Joseph “Joe” Simoson Jr. of Northampton, Pa., died on Aug. 22, 2017.


Philip Johnson of Lebanon, Pa., died on June 15, 2017. He was a chemical engineer for the Henkel Corporation.


LeRoy “Gene” James Sult of Harveys Lake, Pa., died on Aug. 22, 2017. He owned and operated VIP Coffee Shop, located in the Sterling Hotel, Wilkes-Barre, and worked in the family’s Mark II Restaurants.

Gregory H. Szeyko died on Sept. 11, 2012. He earned his master’s degree in microbiology from West Virginia University and joined the school of medicine in 1967, earning his doctor of medicine in 1971. In 1976 he took a position as an assistant professor of medicine at Texas Tech University School of Medicine. In 1978 he entered into private practice. He served on a number of medical committees at Sierra Medical Center and Providence Hospital, and served for several years as medical director of home health care at each hospital. In 1998 he was awarded professional certification in chronic wound management and became the medical director of the Providence Wound Institute where he devoted the remainder of his career until his death. In 2011 he was appointed adjunct professor for the biomedical research department at University of Texas at El Paso and was working to help advance research into novel wound therapies.

Joseph Douglas Yeager of Forty Fort, Pa., died Oct. 11, 2017.


Theresa Ann Mond of Drexel Hill, Pa., died on Aug. 22, 2017. She earned her master’s degree in nursing from Hunter College, New York City and worked in the nursing field for several hospitals and educational institutions until her retirement.

Peter Stchur of Hanover Twp., Pa., died on Feb. 27, 2018. Stchur retired as a chemistry teacher in the Hanover Area School District after serving more than 35 years. He also was employed as an adjunct professor for Penn State, Lehman Campus; College Misericordia; Luzerne County Community College; and Wilkes University as the director of Science in Motion.


Robert Cardillo of Swoyersville, Pa., died on Feb. 6, 2018. He worked in advertising until he started his photo finishing business, Custom Color Lab. Prior to retiring, he worked in radio advertising and as a salesman for Certified Laboratories.

John Kleynowski of Dyton, Ohio, died on May 2, 2016. He was a United States Army veteran and was a sales and marketing manager with Exxon Oil Company.

Neil Milar of Landenberg, Pa., died on Aug. 15, 2017. After high school he joined the Army Tank Corps and served on the German East/West border patrol for 32 months. He was employed by General Motors Assembly Plant in Wilmington, Del., as an accountant and retired in 1998. He worked in University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center following retirement.


Roger Beatty of Exeter, Pa., Jan. 31, 2018. He was a member of the legendary Wilkes Golden Hoard football team. He taught at Plains Twp. junior high school, where he coached football and baseball. He was a PIAA referee and was inducted into the Plains Twp. Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. He was a coal mine foreman for the Mountain Coal Co., Wyoming, and a tour guide at the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour in Scranton for 25 years.

Alicia (Ramsey) Burton of Philadelphia, Pa., died on Jan. 20, 2017. She was a teacher at the Overbrook School for the Blind.

Keith Russin of Plains, Pa., died on Oct. 26, 2017. He earned a master of library science degree from Pratt Institute. He also attended St. Vladimir’s Seminary from 1968 to 1971, and graduated with the master of divinity degree. For many years, he was the librarian at the Meriden Public Library in Meriden, Conn., and also sang in the choir of the Ss. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church before being ordained deacon by Bishop Job at the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Church in Cumberland, R.I., in 1987. In 1987, he graduated from the American Academy of Mortuary Science, New York, and returned to Plains, Pa., to join the Simon S. Russin Funeral Home. He served as deacon then protodeacon to the Holy Resurrection Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre for many years. He owned and operated the Simon S. Russin Funeral Home in Plains, and Edwards and Russin Funeral Home in Edwardsville for nearly three decades.


Robert Jay Holliday of Lake Grove, N.Y., died on Jan. 3, 2018. During his time at Wilkes, he played football. He was the assistant football coach at East Islip High School from 1969-1979. He went on to become the head football coach at Kings Park High School from 1981-1984 and returned to East Islip, to coach the 1985 and 1986 season. He retired in 2002 after serving as the Islip Schools athletic director. Holliday is survived by his wife Sharon (Going) Holliday ’69.


Joel Fierman of Exeter, Pa., died on Feb. 4, 2018. He was employed as an ironworker.

David Kutz of Sicklerville, N.J., died on Aug. 7, 2017. He spent many years as an Eagle’s Scout assistant and master.

Frances (Salgado) Cavanaugh of Edgewood, Ky., died on Feb. 10, 2016. She was a teacher for 40 years and she spent the last 18 years at St. Pius X School, in Edgewood.


Thomas J. Morris of Hanover Township, Pa., died on Sept. 15, 2017. He founded and served as president of Professional Developmental Services Inc., one of the largest mental and behavioral health service companies for geriatrics in Northeast Pennsylvania. He practiced as a psychologist and social worker for 44 years. He is survived by his wife, Felicia Z. Morris ’72.


Leonardia (Marusak) Karpowicz of Nanticoke, Pa., died on Dec. 1, 2017. She was employed as a chemist in the food industry and served in several other positions prior to her retirement, including the position of office coordinator for S.A.F.E. (Supporting Autism and Families Everywhere, Inc.).


George C. Comerosky of Shavertown, Pa., died on Sept. 18, 2017. He was an insurance claims adjuster with CNA and Traveler’s Insurance companies. Prior to working in the Insurance industry, he was employed by Air Products in Hanover Twp. and worked as a wedding photographer in the 1990s. Comerosky was very active and held a strong commitment to Fidelity Lodge 655 Free and Accepted Masons, Wilkes-Barre. He was awarded his 25th anniversary pin earlier this year.

Raymond Gustave of West Wyoming, Pa., died on Jan. 23, 2018. He served in the U.S. Air Force as an air traffic controller, receiving the U.S. Air Force Commendation Medal for his service in Vietnam. He became chief of the financial management branch of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research. While there, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Award in Administrative Excellence as well as numerous other awards. After moving to West Wyoming, he served as borough manager for two years.

Harold Hoover of Dallas, Pa., died on Feb. 14, 2018. He earned his master’s degree from Marywood University and went on to teach music at Dallas Elementary School for 35 years. He was a former member of the AGO Oratorio Society.

Gary Sitkowski of Jonestown, Pa., died on Oct. 28, 2017. He received his Master of Divinity from Bob Jones University and served as an evangelist with the Baptist Church. Prior to his death, he was employed by D.B. Fisher, where he transported school students.


Oliver James Behm of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., died on Jan. 21, 2018. He was named “Patriot of the Year” in 2001 and 2002 from the Hospitalized Veterans Organization and was awarded a certificate of appreciation from the Disabled Veterans Association.


Susan (Harrison) Jenkins of Colorado Springs, Colo., died on Nov. 17, 2015. She was a physician recruiter for Centura Health Physician Group. Also a talented musician, she was a proud member of the alto section of the Colorado Vocal Arts Ensemble and the Colorado Springs Chorale for many years.


Suzanne O’Hara Leseberg of Plains, Pa., died on Nov. 12, 2017. She was a U.S. Navy veteran, serving from 1983 to 1987, attaining the rank of seaman apprentice. She was formerly employed by Turkey Hill and lastly by the Social Security Administration in Plains Twp. as a record specialist.


Barbara A. Negvesky of Dallas, Pa., died on Sept. 1, 2017. She was the co-chairwoman of the Fresh Air Fund, for 10 years where she escorted inner city children from New York City to families in Lancaster for a summer vacation. She was employed by Baron Strassman Zneimer and Co. CPA, Wilkes-Barre, and in the audit and finance departments of the Geisinger Healthcare System in Danville and Wilkes-Barre.


Wayne Brokenshire of Mount Carmel, Pa., died on Sept. 26, 2017. He was employed as a math teacher at Shamokin Area High School with 34 years of service. Prior, he was employed in the Cardinal Brennan School District. He was the voice of WKMC Red Tornado football for 33 years. He was a football coach for Cardinal Brennan, track and field coach for Shamokin, basketball coach for Holy Spirit and the Mount Carmel Junior Baseball League.


James Hanson of Yulan, N.Y., died on Dec. 30, 2017. He served in the United States Marine Corps and was accepted into the Officer Candidate School. As an infantry officer, he was assigned to Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines. He deployed twice during his four years of service. He completed his service with the United States Marine Corps in 2007, having achieved the rank of Captain. Following his service, we worked at the New York State Governor’s Office working for Governors Elliot Spitzer and David Paterson. During that time he received his master’s degree in public administration from Rockefeller College at SUNY Albany. After his time in the Governor’s Office, he joined the administration of Ulster County Executive Michael P. Hein. In 2013, he left public service he began working for Avesta Communities, based in Tampa, Fla. He became president of the Patients’ Rights Action Fund, an organization that he joined in September of 2015.

Eric Zuber of Lansford, Pa., died on Jan. 15, 2018. He was employed by Amazon.

Friends of Wilkes

Virginia “Jennie” (Pittman) Sikes of Lexington, Va., died on Jan. 13, 2018. She attended UNC-Chapel Hill and earned an M.Ed. She then attended Columbia School of Law where she was a Stone Scholar, editor-in-chief of The Journal of Law and Social Problems and winner of the E.B. Convers Prize for the best original essay on a legal subject. Following graduation, she clerked for the Hon. Max Rosenn, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Moving to Philadelphia, Pa., she became a partner in the law firm of Montgomery, McCracken, Walker, & Rhoads where she served many years on the management committee of Montgomery, McCracken. She was the first woman ever to be named managing partner of the firm. Sikes had served on the board of trustees at Wilkes since 2006.