Joseph H. Summers Jr., 66, of Sunshine Road, Shickshinny, died Sunday morning, April 28, 2013, in the emergency room at Berwick Hospital Center.
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Joseph was born Nov. 24, 1946, in Union, S.C., a son of Joseph H. Summers, Chester, N.J., and the late Helen Cash Summers.
Joe graduated from Edison High School, Edison, N.J., and attended Rutgers University.
He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War as an airman first class (AFC1) stationed in Thailand.
He was an active member with Sylvania Lodge 354 F&AM of Shickshinny for 13 years. He had served on the Committee on Youth, and as a senior master of ceremonies and more recently he was appointed as the lodge's representative for The Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation.
Early in his career, Joe started and owned Paul Bunyon's Tree Service. He went on to become a member of the Ironworkers Union Local 11 and later the Carpenters Union Local 645. Throughout his life, Joe oversaw and contributed to the construction of many prominent local sites, including the Susquehanna Nuclear Power Plant, the Mohegan Sun Casino and most recently the historic restoration of Eckley Miners' Village. He also played a primary role in the Wyoming Valley Levee Raising Project. Joe loved adventure and culture, which inspired him to work as head foreman on a project building bridges and roads in the African Congo.
Joe was an avid outdoorsman and an active member of United Sportsman Camp 271 of Huntington Mills and the Wilkes-Barre Rifle and Pistol Club. In addition, he was a member of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and served as an NRA range safety officer, a coach for the local Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) and a hunter-trapper education instructor.
As a gifted craftsman, Joe spent much of his time doing carpentry and woodworking and took great pride in building his family's new home. Other hobbies included fishing, hunting, cooking and working on his Plymouth hot rod. However, Joe's most important lifework was his dedication to mentoring and teaching his son, Ryan.
Joe made friends everywhere he went. He was a joy to be around and was loved by all. He was a speaker, an educator and a mentor to countless people. Many say he was a like a father, a brother and a best friend. Joe was an active volunteer, helping many individuals and organizations in the community. He recently completed his training as a Pennsylvania state constable and was to be sworn in this coming week.
In addition to his mother, he was preceded in death by a brother, James Summers.
Surviving, in addition to his father, are his wife, the former Paula Martini, whom he married on Jan. 12, 1985; two daughters, Amber Summers, Kingston; and Alison Stauffer and her husband, Brian, Julian; a son, Ryan, at home; and three sisters, Terry McShane and husband, Thomas, Somerset, N.J.; Cindy Tafuni and husband, Michael, Long Valley, N.J.; and Jill Summers, Flemington, N.J.
A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held at noon Saturday in Holy Spirit Parish/St. Mary's Church, Mocanaqua, with the Rev. James Rafferty as celebrant. Burial will be at the convenience of the family.
The family will then receive friends at Mayo Funeral Home Inc., 77 N. Main St., Shickshinny, from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday. Masonic services will be conducted by Sylvania Lodge 354 at 2 p.m. American Legion Post 495 will conduct military services at 5 p.m.
For additional information, or to send condolences, please visit www.mayofh.com.
Published in Citizens' Voice on May 1, 2013