Carl H. Kretchmer, 80, a resident of Ashley and of Harveys Lake, a well-known painting contractor, died Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, at his home following a lengthy illness.
Mr. Kretchmer was born in Wilkes-Barre, son of the late Paul H. and Margaret Bergstrasser Kretchmer, and was a graduate of the Class of 1950, GAR High School, Wilkes-Barre. He also received a bachelor's degree from Pennsylvania State University.
Carl proudly served as a corporal with the Headquarters Battery, 78th Field Artillery Battalion, U.S. Army, during the Korean War
as a member of the occupation forces in Germany. He received the Good Conduct Medal, the German Occupation Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.
Mr. Kretchmer had worked for the Schrader Home Builders, Ashley, for several years and, later, had been with W.W. Davis Co. Painting Contractors, Wilkes-Barre, for more than 30 years, retiring in 1992.
Carl was very active in First Welsh Presbyterian Church, Wilkes-Barre, serving as a deacon, elder and member of the Session of the church for many years. He was a devoted Mason and was a 50-year-plus member of Coalville Lodge 474, Free and Accepted Masons, Sugar Notch; the Caldwell Consistory, Ancient Accept Scottish Rite Masons, Bloomsburg; and the Irem Shriners, Dallas. In his "Synopsis of My Being A Shriner," Mr. Kretchmer wrote, "36 years ago, I became a Shriner after receiving 32 degrees in Masonry, a requirement. Shortly after, I took a singing test and became a member the Irem Chanters, an all-male chorus at Irem Shrine. Being a Shriner meant that I took part in parades, raised money for my unit, for uniforms, transportation and to support the 22 hospitals which the Shriners own and treat crippled and burned children without charge.
Each year, the Uniformed Units of Irem hold a circus, the money from which supports not only the local Shrine but also various Shrine charities. As a Chanter, I was involved in the circus, attended Chanters rehearsals and sang at rest homes, church functions and many more. I also served as a representative for the Chanters at meetings of the executive board, which makes decisions regarding the Shrine. I also participated in several Shrine Conventions where the Chanters competed with other Shriners. We brought many trophies back to Irem, I was also able to enjoy my wife's company in the Order of the Eastern Star; the Shrine Auxiliary and the Chanters Ladies."
In addition to his Masonic work, he was an avid Philadelphia Phillies and Penn State fan.
He was recently preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Dorcas Bray Kretchmer, in December 2012; a brother, Paul Kretchmer and his wife, Fran; sisters, Florence Miller and Gertrude; and brother-in-law, Joseph Kushner.
The family would also like to extend their sincere thanks to Celtic Community Care and the Visiting Angels for the kindness extended to Carl during his illness.
Surviving are daughters, Linda D. Cook and her husband, Christopher, Auburn, Ala.; and Pamela D. Palmer, Kingston; grandchildren, Jonathan Fritzges, Kimberly Dushane, Kevin Fritzges, Caitlyn Cook, Jeffrey Palmer, Nicholas Cook and Tyler Palmer; great-grandchildren, Brody, Taylor, Conrad, Avery, Ella and Destin; a sister, Mrs. Doris Kushner, Port Allegheny; and several nieces and nephews.
A military funeral will be held Monday, with service at 11 a.m. at H. Merritt Hughes Funeral Home Inc., a Golden Rule Funeral Home, 451 N. Main St., Wilkes-Barre. The Rev. Anne M. Emery, pastor, Wyoming Valley Presbyterian Church, Wilkes-Barre, and Greg J. Emery, pastoral associate, will officiate and interment will be in Fern Knoll Burial Park, Dallas. Friends may call from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday. Coalville Lodge will conduct Masonic services Sunday and the Irem Chanters will attend Sunday in a group.
The Kretchmer family has a great love for flowers and would appreciate having them at his service. Also, memorial donations in his name may be made to Shriner's Hospitals or to the Irem Transportation Unit, both c/o Irem Shrine Center, Box 307, Dallas, PA 18612.