Eric Joseph Speicher Jr., 14, passed away Monday evening, Dec. 23, 2013, surrounded by his loving family at his home after a valiant 2½-year fight with brain cancer.
Eric was born July 30, 1999, in Kingston, to Eric and Jessica (Stella) Speicher. He attended Cookie Corner Pre-School and Wyoming Area School District. He was involved in Wyoming Area Youth Basketball, manager of the Wyoming Area Freshman boys basketball team and a member of the Wyoming Area Student Council. He was also a West Pittston Little League athlete and a West Pittston Rams B-Team Super Bowl champion. As a member of Corpus Christi Parish, he participated in the Youth Group and was an altar server.
We will remember Eric as having the kindest heart and being very gentle and loving. He battled his illness as he did in life with the strength, courage and bravery that few possess. Eric loved being on a baseball field in his catcher's gear, playing street hockey with his friends, going to the deli and having many adventures in New York City, especially Times Square.
Eric was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather, Alfred Speicher Sr., great-grandparents, great-aunts and uncles.
He is survived by his parents, Eric and Jessica; brother, Chase; grandparents, Denis and Rosalie Cullagh, Donald and Dorothy Stella and Pat and Anne Cawley; Aunt Jennifer, Uncle Mike, Tyler Marie, Michael, Caden, and Krea Bonita; Aunt Cristina and Uncle Rich Praefke; and Uncle AJ, Aunt Deanna, Jacob, and Nicholas Speicher; and his furry companions, Papi and Rufus.
Many heartfelt thanks to our families, friends, extended West Pittston families and all of Eric's many friends who were with him every step of the way. Special gratitude is extended to all of his doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers at the Pediatric Day Hospital at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, especially Dr. Michael LaQuaglia for his friendship, concern and support. Our sincere appreciation to Dr. Ralph DeMario, Marissa, Cindy and staff at Hospice of the Sacred Heart. Monsignor Sempa held our hearts and our hands on every step of Eric's journey. We are forever grateful for his endless kindness. Eric will forever be remembered in the hearts of his loving parents, brother, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, many friends and especially his best friend and first cousin, Mikey.
Family and friends are invited to attend a Memorial Mass for Eric at 10 a.m. Friday in Corpus Christi Parish, Immaculate Conception Church, Luzerne Avenue, West Pittston. There will be no calling hours.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the MSKCC Department of Pediatrics, 1275 York Ave., New York, NY 10065, and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
Arrangements are by Corcoran Funeral Home Inc., 20 S. Main St., Plains Township.
Condolences may be made at www.corcoranfuneralhome.com