The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

May 6, 2006

Obituaries 05/07/2006


ARMSTRONG - Joanne P., 69, formerly of Grove Avenue, Johnstown, died May 4, 2006. Friends received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Francis G. Ozog Funeral Home Inc., Broad Street. Funeral Service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Monday at Grove Avenue United Methodist Church, Ohio Street and Grove Avenue, the Rev. William Lavelle. Family requests friends and relatives go directly to the church for the service. Private inurnment at Richland Cemetery at the convenience of the family.

BAER - Gordon R. Jr.

BAER - Gordon R. Jr., 80, of Easton, Md., died at his home on Saturday, April 29, 2006. Born in Johnstown, Pa., on July 14, 1925, he was the son of the late Gordon R. and Anna Brown Baer. After his graduation from high school, he attended Lehigh University, where he was a member of Psi Upsilon Fraternity. He then entered the U.S. Army, where he served during WWII. Following his release from active duty, he returned to Lehigh to receive his degree. He then began a career as a manufacturer's representative in the refractory industry. In 1992, he and his wife, Elisabeth, moved from Fort Washington, Pa., to Easton. Mr. Baer was a member of the All Faith Chapel in Tunis Mills. He was also a member of the Catboat Association; the Ocean City, N.J. Yacht Club, where he was the past Commodore; and a member of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels. In addition to his wife, he is survived by three children, the Rev. R. Reed Baer, and his wife, Christine, of East Sandwich, Mass.; G. Brown Baer, and his wife, Judy, of Ambler, Pa.; and Ellen (Baer) Lukens, and her husband, Peter, of Perkiomenville, Pa.; three stepchildren, John W. Nancarrow, and his wife, Christie, of Ellicott City, Md.; Heather N. Sutor, and her husband, Fritz, of Fort Washington, Pa.; and Melissa N. Blanch, and her husband, David, of Andover, Mass.; and 16 grandchildren. Mr. Baer was predeceased by his first wife, Virginia K. Baer. A celebration of life will be held on Friday, May 12, 2006, at 4 p.m. at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Fort Washington, Pa. Inurnment will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Talbot Hospice Foundation, 586 Cynwood Drive, Easton, Md. 21601 or to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, P.O. Box 636, St. Michaels, Md. 21663. Arrangements are by Fellows, Helfenbein and Newnam Funeral Home, P.A., Easton, Md.. (

FRANK - Dr. Joseph

FRANK - Dr. Joseph, DDS, 83, Cambria City, died May 5, 2006, at home. Born Feb. 4, 1923, in Hagevo, Pa., son of Joseph Frank and Antonia (Fink) Frank. Preceded in death by parents; son, Gary J. Frank; and sisters, Helen Deblock, Ann Barach and Mary M. Gelles. Survived by wife, the former Anna C. Baich; and these children: JoAnn, wife of James Glassford, Clymer; Joseph F., married to the former Debbie Hrivnak, Carnegie; Christine, wife of Larry Blalock, and Karen, wife of Scott Geisel, both of Johnstown; and six grandchildren. A brother of Josephine Smolnik, Florida, and Mollie Munko, Harrisburg. A dentist for a number of years with his office in Cambria City. A graduate of St. Francis College in Loretto. Attended Penn State University and graduated from Georgetown University School of Dentistry in Washington, D.C. Upon graduation, he received to Clinical Diligence Award in Dentistry. Army veteran of World War II, played the saxophone in the Army headquarters band in Tokyo, Japan. Former owner of the former This Is It Lounge. He was organizer of Johnstown Button Box Club and Joey Frank and his Tempo Knights. He played in the "Swing City Senior Citizens Orchestra," also played with "Chick Denk Country Band." Joey was featured on the award-winning Grammy polka album by Walter Ostenick. A member of Lodge #3 SNPJ, AFU Dunlo, Rodolubj Singing Society. At the request of the deceased, private funeral service held by the Very Rev. Father George Johnson. Committal, Grandview Mausoleum. Arrangements by Francis G. Ozog Funeral Home Inc., Broad Street.

HARRIS - Delores J.

HARRIS - Delores J., 80, Laurel View Village, Davidsville, formerly of Ebensburg, died May 4, 2006. Family will receive friends from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the George E. Mason Funeral Home Inc., Davidsville, where a vigil of the deceased will be held at 5:45 p.m. Sunday. Funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Andrew's Catholic Church, the Rev. Sean Code officiating. Interment, St. Mary's Cemetery, New Germany.

HART - Helen M.

HART - Helen M., 100, of Geistown, died May 5, 2006, at Memorial Medial Center, Downtown Campus. Born Oct. 21, 1905, in Krayn, Pa., daughter of John and Martha Kavolish. Preceded in death by her parents; husband, Joseph E. Hart; and sisters, Katherine, Mary, Ann and Sue. Survived by her daughters, Joanne, wife of Ed Graffte, Johnstown; Catherine, wife of Lew Shumaker, Newark, Del.; and Clarette, wife of Paul Shelton, Springfield, Va.; grandchildren, Karl, Dan and Kerry Graffte; Tammy and Jason Shumaker; and Adrienne, Chris and Elizabeth Shelton. She is also survived by seven great-grandchildren. Helen was a longtime member of St. Benedict Catholic Church, Geistown. She was a graduate of Cambria-Rowe Business College and then employed by Equitable Life Assurance Society. Helen enjoyed travel, gardening and family gatherings. Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the Harris Funeral Home, 500 Cherry Lane, Richland, where vigil for the deceased will be held. Funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Benedict Catholic Church. Committal will be held at SS. Peter -- Paul Byzantine Catholic Cemetery, Dunlo. The family suggests memorial contributions can be directed to Bishop McCort High School Scholarship Fund, 25 Osborne St., Johnstown, Pa. 15905-4195.

HOCKYCKO - Bernadine

HOCKYCKO - Bernadine, 77, Johnstown, died May 5, 2006, at Conemaugh Medical Center, Main Campus. Born May 15, 1928, in Johnstown, daughter of Michael and Veronica (Krznaric) Ivicic. Preceded in death by parents; husband, John J. Hockycko; brothers, John and Michael Ivicic; sister, Mildred Gregorich; infant brother, Janko; and infant sister, Anna. Survived by these children: John, married to the former Marian Smedo, Johnstown; Denice, wife of Eric Dreikorn, Vinco; and Mark Hockycko, Johnstown; grandsons, Mitchell J. and Paige M. Hockycko and Aaron J., Ian and Erika Dreikorn. A sister of Velma Peskuric, Johnstown, and Joseph Ivicic, Michigan. Former member of Rodolubj Singing Society. A 50-year member of CFU Lodge 5, Christian Mothers Club and St. Therese Catholic Church, where funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Tuesday, the Rev. Bernard Karmanocky, OFM. Committal, Grandview Cemetery. Friends received from 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday and from 2 to 8 p.m. Monday at Francis G. Ozog Funeral Home Inc., Broad Street, where vigil for the deceased will be held Monday.

JESKE - William C.

JESKE - William C., 79, of Johnstown, died May 6, 2006, at home. Born Oct. 5, 1926, in Johnstown, son of William and Emilie (Haier) Jeske. Preceded in death by parents; sisters, Rose and Helen Jeske; Martha Oaks; and Lydia Glanding; and granddaughter, Melissa L. Jeske. Survived by wife, the former Cora Wisner; sons, William H., married to former Claire L. Howarth, and Carl H., married to former Sherry L. Reed, both of Johnstown; grandchildren, Florence E. Schlosser, William R. Jeske, Renee Bailey, Carl T. Jeske and Betty E. Beaner; and 15 great-grandchildren. Member of Windber Church of the Nazarene. Retired employee from Bethlehem Steel Corp. Friends received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at John Henderson Co. Funeral Home, 215 Central Ave., where service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Pastor Don Eller. Interment, Berkeley Hills Cemetery.

KIFER - Kevin Karl

KIFER - Kevin Karl, son of Burton L. and the late Elaine Allen Kifer, former Johnstown residents, died April 4, 2006, in Cheyenne, Wyo. He is survived by his father in Arlington, Texas; brother, Alan C. (and wife, Nory), Kansas City, Kan.; sister, Kandace Ann Hartwick (and husband, John), Allen, Texas; niece, Skye Kifer; nephews, Aaron Kifer and Mark Hartwick; and the many friends he made on his journey.

PALUMBO - Virgil G.

PALUMBO - Virgil G., 87, of Windber, died May 6, 2006. Friends received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at Meek -- Dalla Valle Funeral Home Inc., Windber. Complete obituary in Monday's paper.

RAGER - Richard H. "Dick"

RAGER - Richard H. "Dick," 73, Windber, passed away suddenly of an aneurysm May 5, 2006. Friends will be received from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday and 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Harris Funeral Home, 500 Cherry Lane, Richland, where funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, the Rev. Don Seese. Johnstown Elks Lodge 175 will hold a ritual service at 7 p.m. Sunday. Interment will take place at Richland Cemetery with military rites conducted by Menoher Post #155 VFW Ritual Team.

STRAW - Jack H.

STRAW - Jack H. Straw departed on his heavenly journey on Thursday, May 4, 2006, leaving behind his loving wife, Eddis "Jean" Adams Straw, Panama City, Fla.; daughter, Wanda Straw, Carmel, Calif.; daughter, Debra Straw, Phoenix, Ariz.; and son, Michael Scott Straw, Los Angeles, Calif. He is survived by brothers, Ed Straw, and wife, Mary Ann, and Ken Straw, and wife Betty, all of Ebensburg, Pa.; and D. Wayne Straw, and wife, Betty, Brooksville, Fla.; as well as brother and sister-in-law, David and Donnis Rocher, Lynn Haven, Fla.; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Gertrude Straw, Ebensburg, Pa.; a brother, Leslie E. Straw, Harrisburg, Pa.; and a son, Mark H. Straw, Fort Branch, Ind. Jack retired from the position of ground safety manager, Tyndall AFB, Fla., in March 2000. He had accepted that position after serving as GSM at Castle AFB, Merced, Calif. He had also served in safety at Grissom AFB, Ind. He also belonged to the Association of Former Office of Special Investigations Special Agents (AFOSISA) based on his Vietnam era service in the USAF OSI for eight years. He earned a BS degree in secondary education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master of science degree in safety management from West Virginia University, Morganton, W.Va. Jack tried to make the world a safer place and a better place for all he encountered. Jack was a member of Emerald Coast Fellowship Church, Lynn Haven, Fla., which he loved and enjoyed so very much. A graveside service will be conducted Monday at 10 a.m. at the Adams Plot, Greenwood Cemetery, with Dr. Bill Montgomery officiating.

THOMAS - Kathleen P.

THOMAS - Kathleen P., 78, Westmont, died May 4, 2006. Longtime member of Our Mother of Sorrows Church, where family and friends will meet for a funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Monday, the Very Rev. Paul E. Turnbull, V.F., and the Rev. Francis Balestino, concelebrants. Friends received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Frank Duca Funeral Home, Westmont Chapel, 1622 Menoher Blvd. Committal Grandview Cemetery.

ULAND - Mary Louise

ULAND - Mary Louise, San Francisco, died Feb. 11, 2006. Born Mary Louise McAchren on Sept. 16, 1919, in the Pennsylvania steel mill town of Johnstown. Mary's father, Frank, was of Scottish descent and was a cigar store manager and longtime bar manager of one of Johnstown's most famous steel town pubs. Mary's mother, Vera, was of Irish descent and was a dedicated wife and mother all of her life. After graduating from Johnstown Central High School in 1937, Mary moved to Pittsburgh to live with her aunt and began working at Union Switch and Signal. Mary had attended high school with dancer and movie star Gene Kelly's sister. As a result of this friendship, Mary befriended Mr. Kelly and on various occasions had the opportunity of dancing with Mr. Kelly at the Kelly family dance studios in both Johnstown and Pittsburgh. After the outbreak of World War II, Mary enlisted in the U.S. Army and served with the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps and later with the Women's Army Corps. Mary was assigned to the Army Air Corps, where she was a cartographer (mapmaker) and a course plotter for B-17 bomber flight routes. Mary also worked with Army Special Services, appearing in various song and dance shows performed with the USO. Mary was extremely proud of her military service. The time Mary spent serving her country in time of war were memories that she cherished her entire life and spoke of often. Mary met her husband, Arthur Uland, while serving in the Army Air Corps, where Arthur was a flight engineer on B-17 and B-29 bombers. After World War II, Mary and Art moved to Art's hometown of San Francisco in 1946 and settled in Noe Valley. Mary became a very active member of the community working in various volunteer and political activities. During the Korean War, Mary volunteered at the Letterman Army Hospital at the Presidio of San Francisco and at the Fort Miley Veteran's Hospital, where she spent many hours reading to combat wounded soldiers and writing letters home for them. Mary became very active in local, state and national politics in the early 1950s and remained involved in various campaigns for over 50 years. Mary, along with Art, performed volunteer services at St. Anthony's Dining Room, Glide Memorial Church and other charitable organizations in San Francisco. Mary was a longtime supporter of the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic and various shelters for battered and homeless women. Mary was a strong supporter of both the San Francisco police and fire departments and it was not uncommon for the Uland household to resemble a police station house or a fire station dayroom. Mary was active in St. Philip's Parish and School and at Riordan High School for over 30 years, during which Mary's sons, Michael and Richard, attended both schools. Mary had also served as president of the San Francisco Motion Picture and Television Council and as vice commander of American Legion Post #1. Mary loved her sons, her daughter-in-law, Connie, and her "one and only" grandchild, Patrick, who she loved and enjoyed so much spending time with. Mary was a sweet and dedicated wife to Arthur for 50 years until Art's untimely death in 1993. Mary is survived by her sons, Michael and Richard; daughter-in-law, Connie; grandson, Patrick; and brothers, John McAchren of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Richard McAchren of Johnstown, Pa. Donations may be made in Mary's name to St. Philip School or Archbishop Riordan High School of San Francisco.

WIRFEL - Joel J.

WIRFEL - Joel J., 20, of Ebensburg, died May 6, 2006, at Memorial Medical Center. Born April 5, 1986, in Johnstown, son of Jack and Lisa (Radebach) Wirfel. Preceded in death by paternal grandfather, Leroy J. Wirfel. Survived by parents of Ebensburg; sister, Courtney; twin sister, Jamie; brothers, Jon and Heath; maternal grandparents, Bill and Ann Radebach of Ebensburg; and paternal grandmother, Leona Wirfel of New Germany. Also survived by numerous aunts, uncles and cousins, and his close friends at the cabin. Member of Holy Name Roman Catholic Church, Ebensburg. Joel enjoyed hunting, fishing, quad riding, snowmobiling, volleyball and spending time customizing his truck. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him. Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at the Askew-Houser Funeral Homes Inc., Ebensburg, where vigil prayer service will be held. Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Holy Name Church, the Rev. Monsignor Arnold L. Gaus, celebrant.

Today's Funerals

BARNOSKY - Peter, 3 p.m., Moriconi Funeral Home Inc., Northern Cambria.

GEISWEIDT - Andrea J. (Kindya), 1:30 p.m., Seventh Day Adventist Church. Moskal Funeral Home, West End.

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