Today's Obituaries and Guest Books
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O'Lone, Janet M. Ziegler  
Janet M. Ziegler O'Lone, age 69, died Wednesday, March 4, 2015, at her home in Erie. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Scott Funeral Home, 2104 Myrtle Street, and will be announced Sunday.
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Published in the Erie Times-News on Mar. 6, 2015
Palkovic, William T. Bill  
William T. "Bill" Palkovic, age 81, of Erie, passed away unexpectedly, on Wednesday, March 4, 2015, at UPMC Hamot. He was born on August 9, 1933, in Erie, Pa., the son of the late John and Mary Kollar Palkovic. Bill could build or fix anything or create it if it didn't exist: a "jack of all trades." Friends and family always knew he'd come up with a solution to whatever problem they encountered on their projects, and he was always willing to help. He greatly enjoyed classical and ethnic music, the "polka program," cooking, woodworking, and keeping up with political events. He was a hard worker, good provider and wonderful, dedicated father and grandfather, who will be deeply missed more than words can say. Bill started his career in the building trades, until his employment at Amsco/Steris as a toolmaker, where he retired after 40 years. He attended Holy Family Elementary and graduated from Erie Technical School in 1951. He was a lifelong resident/member of Erie's lower east side, Holy Family Roman Catholic Church and The Slovak National Club. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Pamela Ann Palkovic; and brothers, Francis "Frank" Palkovic, John Palkovic and wife, DeSales "Dee" Palkovic, and Edward Palkovic of Woodland Hills, Calif. He is survived by his wife, Delphine Ropiecki Palkovic of 54 years; three children: Daniel Palkovic of Erie, Monica Palkovic of Cincinnati, Ohio and Candace Palkovic of Erie.; two grandchildren, Kohler Wm. Palkovic and Eden R. Palkovic, both of Erie; his sister, Maryanne "Mae" Palkovic of Erie and sisters-in-law, Dorothy Palkovic of Erie and Phyllis Palkovic of Woodland Hills, Calif.; and many nieces and nephews. Relatives and friends may call Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., at the Edward J. Garr Funeral Home, Inc., 459 East 12th Street, Erie, PA 16503. Services will be at the funeral home Saturday at 10:30 a.m., followed by a Funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m. at Our Mother of Sorrows Holy Family Parish, 913 Fulton St., Erie, PA 16503. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery. Memorials may be made to St. Jude's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Pl., Memphis, TN 38105. Sign the Guestbook at www.GoErie.com/obits
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Published in the Erie Times-News on Mar. 6, 2015
Rapela, Norbert  
Norbert Rapela, 72, of Erie, passed away Tuesday, March 3, 2015, at St. Mary's Home East, following a lengthy illness. He was born in Erie, on February 27, 1943, a son of the late Joseph and Jennie Kwiatowski Rapela. Norbert graduated from Tech Memorial High School, and went on to earn an Associate's Degree in Marketing and Business from Penn State Behrend in 1972. He served in the United States Army National Guard, and worked for many years as a Contract Administrator with American Sterilizer Co. He retired as Sales Manager from Great Lakes Metal Finishing. He was an active member of St. Peter Cathedral, where he served on Parish Council and was past President of the Cathedral Association of Parents and Educators. He was a Eucharistic Minister at St. Peter Cathedral and St. Vincent Health Center, and was awarded the Papal Cross, "Pro Ecclessia et Pontifice," by Pope John Paul II. It was with great joy that he skillfully decorated the Cathedral for holidays, his favorite being Christmas. Friends and family will always remember his sense of humor, generosity and willingness to lend a helping hand. He was proud of his Polish heritage, loved Polish food and Polka music. He enjoyed the outdoors, gardening, running and biking. He was a member of the Siebenbuerger Club and a life member of the Erie Maennerchor Club. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Joseph Rapela, Jr. Survivors include his wife of 42 years, Jeanette Stasenko Rapela; one son, Daniel Rapela of Alexandria, Va.; one daughter, Sarah Rapela Sampsel of Brooklyn, N.Y.; an aunt; and many cousins, nieces, nephews and dear friends. Friends may call at the Russell C. Schmidt & Son Funeral Home Inc., 5000 Wattsburg Rd., on Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m., and are invited to a prayer service there on Saturday at 12:45 p.m., followed by a Funeral Mass at St. Peter Cathedral at 1:30 p.m. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery. The family would like to thank the entire staff at St. Mary's Home East for laughing with Norbert, their excellent care, and their kindness and compassion as his illness progressed. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to St. Mary's Home East, 607 E. 26th St., Erie, PA 16504, or to St. Peter Cathedral, 230 W. 10th St., Erie, PA 16501. Please visit www.SchmidtFuneralHomeErie.com to sign the Book of Memories. Sign the Guestbook at www.GoErie.com/obits
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Published in the Erie Times-News from Mar. 5 to Mar. 6, 2015
Riesdorph, David R.  
David R. Riesdorph, 73, of Erie, passed away Tuesday, March 3, 2015, at Millcreek Community Hospital. He was born in Erie on July 19, 1941, a son of the late Roy and Winifred Powell Riesdorph. David was very loving and enjoyed the attention given to him by his caregivers. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Linda Miller. Survivors include one sister, Rebecca Goehring and her husband Bill of Erie; one brother, Thomas Riesdorph and his wife Lynn of Erie; six nieces, Ann Patterson, Amy Wilson, Yolanda Miller, Dawn Ann Lehman (Mark), Chancey Miller, and Jenny Lynn Gaskell (Steve); two nephews, Jared and George Riesdorph; and many great-nieces and great-nephews. Friends may call at the Russell C. Schmidt & Son Funeral Home Inc., 5000 Wattsburg Rd., on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services there at 12:00 noon. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery. The family would like to thank his many dear friends and family at Lakeshore Community Services including, Kelli Smith, Megan Bardo and Sue James, for their love and friendship to David. Memorial contributions can be made to Lakeshore Community Services, 1350 W. 26th St., Erie, PA 16508. Please visit www.SchmidtFuneralHomeErie.com to sign the Book of Memories. Sign the Guestbook at www.GoErie.com/obits
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Published in the Erie Times-News on Mar. 6, 2015
Rihel, Edward E.  
Edward E. Rihel, age 87, passed away Tuesday, March 3, 2015, at UPMC Hamot Hospital. He was born in Enterprise, Pa., son of the late Rachel Cookson and Samuel Milton Rihel. Ed was a veteran of the U.S. Navy, serving during World War II, and was stationed on the USS Midway as an Aviation Machinist Mate 1st Class. Ed served until July 29th, 1948, when he was Honorably Discharged. He had been employed with General Electric for 24 years prior to his retirement in 1987. He transferred to GE from Cooper-Bessemer in 1962 and assisted in building the first diesel locomotive produced in Erie. He was a member of the Moose Club for 38 years, the American Legion Post 0571 for 30 years, and a lifetime member of the Slovak Club. He and his wife retired to Florida for 25 years, residing in Bartow, returning to Erie in May of 2014. He enjoyed golfing, photography and spending time with family and friends. In addition to his parents, Ed was preceded in death by his brother Robert Rihel; his first wife of 25 years Astra Eglitis-Rihel; and three of their children Raymond and David Rihel and Sherry Rihel-Gregory. Ed is survived by his loving wife of 37 years Lena Mae Wells-Rihel; their children Kenneth Rihel (Deborah), Edward H. Rihel (Pamela), James Rihel, Astra Veronica Rihel, Robert Beardsley, Linda Beardsley-Heliker (Sonny), Barbara Beardsley, David Asel (Jennifer), William Asel (Charidy); 24 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. Friends may call at the Burton Wintergreen Funeral Home, 2532 Norcross Road, on Saturday, March 7th from 1 p.m. until the time of service there at 3 p.m. Burial will be in Wintergreen Gorge Cemetery with full Military Honors. Memorials may be made to the Regional Cancer Center, 2500 West 12th Street, Erie, PA 16505. Send condolences at www.Burtonfuneralhome.com . Sign the Guestbook at www.GoErie.com/obits
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Published in the Erie Times-News from Mar. 6 to Mar. 7, 2015
Sahlmann, Kurt Louis  
Kurt Louis Sahlmann, age 54, of Erie, passed away Wednesday, March 4, 2015, at his residence. Kurt was born in Erie, July 8, 1960, son of Louis H. and the late Marion Johnston Sahlmann. He was a 1978 graduate of McDowell High School and a 1982 graduate of Purdue University, with a B.S. in Marketing. Kurt started his career with American Sterilizer in Louisville, Ky. and Cleveland, Ohio, followed by several years as a sales representative for Hoechst-Roussel Pharmaceuticals. In 1994, he earned a master's degree in Health Services Administration from Gannon University. In 1996, following his dream of being an entrepreneur, he purchased Cup-a-ccino's Coffeehouse on North Park Row, followed by 1000 French Restaurant in 1998. He loved cooking for people and sharing his love for food and coffee. In recent years, he had worked with Community Access Television as a producer, board member and very active volunteer. He was involved in many video and music projects, including Parabolis and "The Kurt's Purples," in which he played keyboards and sang. Kurt was active in the local arts scene, supporting many musicians and actors at PACA performing arts center and producing video content for many local artists. As a coffeehouse and restaurant owner, he gave many local musicians and artists a venue for performance and display of their work. Kurt was a member of many organizations, including Presque Isle Rotary Club, Beta Sigma Psi Fraternity, Destination Erie, the Jefferson Society, Erie Ski Club, Northwest PA Outdoor Adventure Group and the Innovation Collaborative. He was an avid antique collector and had exhibited his collection of axes and implements at the Erie Art Museum. Recently, he had been involved with the Pittsburgh Film Office, with the hope of bringing projects to Erie. He was a member of Luther Memorial Church for 20 years, where he sang in the choir and participated in the Luther Memorial Concert Series. He recorded events on video and edited the productions for the church website. He loved camping, skiing, hiking and spent many days with family and friends, enjoying the great outdoors. In addition to his mother, he was preceded in death by his great-niece Hope Gilroy. In addition to his father, he is survived by his wife of 30 years Kathy Kraus Sahlmann, a brother Matthew (Beth) of Erie; three sisters, Leslie (John) Finkbeiner of Mercer, Patty (Ray) Venture of Florida, and Nancy (Christopher) Tower of Illinois. He is further survived by several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews and his mother-in-law Marilyn Way Kraus. Friends may call at the Burton Westlake Funeral Home, 3801 West 26th Street (at Powell Ave.), on Saturday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m., and are invited to attend the funeral service at Luther Memorial Church, 225 West 10th Street, Erie, PA 16501, on Sunday at 1 p.m. with Rev. William Coleman officiating. Memorials may be made to Luther Memorial Church or the Luther Memorial Concert Series (see address above). To send condolences, please visit www.Burtonfuneralhome.com . Sign the Guestbook at www.GoErie.com/obits
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Published in the Erie Times-News from Mar. 6 to Mar. 7, 2015
Sam, Joanne M.  
Joanne M. Sam, age 83, of Erie, passed away on Wednesday, March 4, 2015. Arrangements will be announced by the Dusckas Funeral Home, Inc., 2607 Buffalo Road.
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Published in the Erie Times-News from Mar. 5 to Mar. 6, 2015
Thomas, Donald E.  
Donald Earl Thomas, 80, of McKean, died peacefully, at his home, on Monday, February 23, 2015. He was born in Erie on October 16, 1934, the son of the late Earl and Freida Thomas. Donald graduated from Academy High School and worked as a Product Manager at Bucyrus-Erie. He enjoyed gardening, traveling, reading and feeding birds. He was a member of the McKean United Methodist Church. Survivors include his loving wife of 38 years, Linda (Henson) Thomas; a sister-in-law, Phyllis Sturtevant; also six nieces and nephews; and many great-nieces and great-nephews. No calling hours will be observed. There will be a gathering for family and friends at 10:00 a.m. until the time of a memorial service at 11:00 a.m., at the McKean United Methodist Church, 5041 North Main St., McKean, Pa., with Rev. Barb English officiating. The Glunt Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., Edinboro, is in charge of funeral arrangements. Burial will be at a later date. Memorials may be made to the McKean United Methodist Church, 5041 North Main Street, McKean, PA 16426. To send condolences, please visit www.gluntfuneralhome.com . Sign the Guestbook at www.GoErie.com/obits
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Published in the Erie Times-News on Mar. 6, 2015
Wright, Ruth Geddis  
Ruth Geddis Wright, age 92, of Erie, passed away on Thursday, March 5, 2015, the same day as her husband 12 years ago, at Forestview Skilled Nursing Center. She was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., on April 15, 1922, a daughter of the late Robert H. and Agnes Brown Geddis. She graduated from Strong Vincent High School and from the University of Pittsburgh after receiving a Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry. She worked as a Chemist at various industries in Erie during World War II. She later in life worked at Spiegel Realtors as a Real Estate Agent. She was a Charter and founding member of the First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant, where she had served as a Deacon. Ruth also enjoyed playing Bridge and was a wonderful homemaker. She was also a member of the Delta Sigma Sorority. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Donald E. Wright, Sr., in 2003 and two brothers, her twin, Lt. Col. Robert Geddis, Jr., and his wife Jean and Layton P. Geddis and his wife Ceil. She is survived by a son, Donald E. Wright, Jr., and his wife Gayle of Erie, a daughter Anne Hamilton Wright, two grandchildren, Jeffrey Wright (Allysen O'Conner) and Casey Wright (Lynette Burkhart), one great-grandson, Roark Wright and six nieces, Jenny, Vicki, Chris, Gail, Sue and Amy. Arrangements are entrusted to the Burton Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., 602 West Tenth Street. Services will be held at the convenience of the family. Burial will be in Erie Cemetery. The family wishes to give a very special thanks to Jenny and Rick Traut for their care, concern and love over the years. Memorials may be made to the First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant, 250 West 7th Street, Erie, PA 16501. Sign the Guestbook at www.GoErie.com/obits
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Published in the Erie Times-News on Mar. 6, 2015

Yesterday's Obituaries

Altman, Elsie Eileen  
Elsie Eileen Altman, age 90, was called home on Sunday, March 1, 2015, at Golden Living Center Western Reserve. She was born in Erie on January 4, 1925, daughter of the late Harold and Elsie Goodenow. Eileen attended Strong Vincent High School. She had formerly worked as a home health aide and as a nurse's aide in various nursing homes in Erie. Eileen, as she preferred to be called, was a God-fearing woman who deeply loved the Lord. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church, and she enjoyed reading her Bible daily. Eileen loved animals, especially cats, and enjoyed playing Pinochle and reading mystery novels. Eileen is survived by three daughters, Yvonne "Bonnie" Decker (Fred), Sue Estok (James), all of Erie, and Vickie Witherow (Robert) of Harborcreek. Four grandchildren, one niece and one nephew also survive. She was preceded in death by her previous husband, Rollyn Altman, who passed away in January 2015, a sister, Bettie Kurylek, and an infant brother. Services will be private and at the convenience of the family. The Dusckas Funeral Home, Inc., 2607 Buffalo Rd., is in charge of arrangements. The family would like to thank the staff of the Golden Living Center Western Reserve for their gentle and compassionate care, especially nurses, Abbey, Linda and her CNA, Teresa, as well as Asera Care Hospice of Erie. Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Association of NW PA, 1128 State Street, Suite 301, Erie, PA 16501, or the ANNA Shelter, 1555 East 10th Street, Erie, PA 16511. To send condolences, visit www.dusckasfuneralhome.com . Sign the Guestbook at www.GoErie.com/obits
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Published in the Erie Times-News on Mar. 5, 2015
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