Joseph "Chuck" Drouse, 78, of the Austin Heights section of Old Forge, died Sunday at Moses Taylor Hospital. He and his wife, Rita Nayavich Drouse, observed their 51st wedding anniversary on Aug. 12.
He was born in Avoca, son of the late Joseph Drouse and Mary Vols Drouse Matechak. Born July 5, 1934, the day his father was buried, he was raised by his mother and stepfather, William Matechak. A graduate of Avoca High School, he worked at Hy-Grade Pants, Economy Warehouse, Owens-Illinois and Topps Chewing Gum. He was a member of Teamsters Union Local 229. A former parishioner of St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church, Old Forge, and member of its Holy Name Society until its closing, he was recently a parishioner of Prince of Peace Parish.
Chuck was a very calm and quiet-natured person. He enjoyed gardening, the outdoors and watching sports on TV. He was an avid Penn State football, Philadelphia Phillies and Eagles fan. His greatest joy in life was his grandson, Brian, of whom he was so very proud.
He is also survived by two sons, Michael and wife, Jennifer, with their son, Brian, all of Dallas; and David, Columbus, Ohio; a sister, Florence Pucilowski and husband, Joseph, Avoca; an aunt, Helen Drouse, Pittston; sisters-in-law, Bernardine Matechak, Old Forge; Hedy Matechak, Bradenton, Fla.; Dorothy Kishel, Dupont; and Elaine Merieski and husband, Gerald, Old Forge; several nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was also preceded in death by his stepfather, William Matechak; and brothers, William Jr. and Charles Matechak.
The funeral will be Thursday with Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in Prince of Peace Parish at St. Mary of the Assumption Church, West Grace and Lawrence streets, Old Forge. Those planning to attend are asked to proceed directly to the church. Interment, St. Stanislaus Cemetery, Old Forge.
Friends may call Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Victor M. Ferri Funeral Home, 522 Fallon St., Old Forge.
Condolences may be posted to www.ferrifuneralhome.com