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Joseph Bernatowicz

Joseph "Murph" Bernatowicz died Thursday, Nov. 14, at Regional Hospital of Scranton after a brief and brave struggle with cancer. He was 75 years old. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, the former Theresa Olshefski.

Born Aug. 14, 1938, to the late Joseph and Anna Chmielewski Bernatowicz, he was a 1956 graduate of Dickson City High School and served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War as an armament machinist specializing in turret maintenance. He was a member of St. Mary's Visitation Church, Dickson City, and American Legion Post 665, and spent his career at Specialty Records/WEA Manufacturing for more than 40 years.

Murph is truly one-of-a-kind. He was selfless, loyal and humble beyond compare. Always dignified, always smiling and perpetually positive, even in his last days. He dearly loved spending time with his family, especially his nephews, whom he treated as his own sons, and his beloved daughter. Along with his great-nephews and nieces, they were the lights of his life, as he spoke of them daily. There are no words to express how deeply he will be missed by his family, friends and all whose lives he touched.

A lifelong Boston Red Sox fan, he traveled frequently to Boston for games at Fenway Park. He loved planting and tending his garden every year but especially loved when his border collie, Nelson, accompanied him, keeping watch along the fence.

Surviving are his daughter, Kara; brothers and sisters-in-law, John Jr. and Edna Olshefski and Nicholas and Josephine DeRoma; his nephew, John Olshefski III and his wife, Jennifer, and his nephew and godson, Gregory De-Roma and his wife, Tara; his great-niece, Olivia Olshefski; and great-nephews and great-niece Kyle, Gina and Jake DeRoma.

A brother, Stanley, also preceded him in death.

The funeral with military honors will be Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 9 a.m. from the Frank T. Mazur Funeral Home, 601 Dundaff St., Dickson City, followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 9:30 at the Church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 1090 Carmalt St., Dickson City. Interment, St. Mary's Visitation Parish Cemetery, Dickson City.

Family and friends may call Monday, Nov. 18, between the hours of 4 and 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Murph's name to Liv with Autism Foundation, P.O. Box 436, Mountain Top, PA 18707, or livwithau tismfoundation.com.

For directions or to leave an online condolence, visit www.mazurfuneralhome.com.

Published in Scranton Times on Nov. 17, 2013
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