Ray A. Nearhood Sr., 61, of South Scranton, died Wednesday at Regional Hospital of Scranton from injuries suffered in an automobile accident Aug. 13, 2012. His wife of 17 years is the former Renee M. Vaslavek.
Born in Philipsburg, Pa., son of Janet Densham Nearhood, Morrisdale, Pa., and the late Russell Nearhood, he was a founding member of St. Thomas More Parish at St. Joseph's Church, North Scranton. Ray was a graduate of West Branch High School, Morrisville, and Williamsport Area Community College, where he received an associate degree in social work. He continued his education at Penn State University
in Middletown, Pa., where he achieved a bachelor of humanities and a master's degree in public administration. He was previously employed as the city manager of Altoona, followed by interim city administrator of Nanticoke and as general municipal authority administrator for Nanticoke. He also served as township manager for Falls Twp. in Fairless Hills, Pa., and as business administrator for Easton, Pa. Ray also conducted research and provided advisory services for the Pennsylvania Economy League for municipal, county, school district and state governments. He was also the Bensalem Twp. manager in Bucks County and was CEO of planning and zoning officer for Lower Paxton Twp. in Dauphin County. Throughout his career in public administration, Ray assisted many municipalities in implementing numerous programs that resulted in improved fiscal stability and strong foundations for future success. A city under his guidance was awarded the 1999 Governor's Award for local government excellence in intergovernmental cooperation. Ray also served on the board for Pennsylvanians for Human Life and before his accident, Ray was a candidate for state representative in the 112th Legislative District due to his love for his country as a fiscal conservative and as a constitutional originalist.
Ray's concern for humankind extends beyond his life since he donated his eyes so others may see.
Also surviving are a daughter, Tara Favata and husband, Peter; three sons, Justin, Gregory and Ray Nearhood Jr.; a granddaughter, Alexis Favata; four brothers, Russell Neil, William, David and Mark; a sister, Linda; aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
The funeral will be Saturday with Mass at 11 a.m. in St. Thomas More Parish at St. Joseph's Church, 1625 N. Main Ave., Scranton, to be celebrated by the Rev. Eric Bergman, pastor. Interment wlll be Monday at 1 p.m. at Allport Cemetery, Clearfield County, Pa.
Friends may call Saturday, 10 to 11, at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Thomas More Parish, 116 Theodore St., Scranton, PA 18508.
Arrangmements, Neil W. Regan Funeral Home Inc., 1900 Pittston Ave., Scranton.