Today's Obituaries and Guest Books
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BELL, JEAN* - Greenville  
GREENVILLE — Jean E. Bell, 87, of Greenville, Ohio, passed away on Friday, March 27, 2015, at 12:30 p.m. at Heartland of Greenville. She was born Sept. 16, 1927, in Greenville, Ohio, the daughter of the late Clarke and Nelle (Katzenberger) Burner. She was a homemaker, award-winning quilter and quilting teacher. Jean was a life-long member of the First United Methodist Church and a member of the Town Squares Quilt Club. Recognized nationally for her expertise in creating miniature quilts, Jean was featured in articles in such publications as Quilting International, Miniature Quilts, Better Homes & Garden Quilting, Ohio Magazine, and Early American Life. Her quilts are in the permanent collections of the Wyckoff House Museum in Brooklyn, New York, and the Garst Museum in Greenville. Private collectors from the U.S., Germany, Japan and Australia commissioned her to create quilts and wall hangings for their collections. For many years, Jean taught classes and gave programs for quilting clubs, in quilt shops, and privately. She won numerous awards in local and regional competitions in Ohio and Indiana. She is preceded in death by her parents; her husband: Robert E. Bell; son: David Bell, Sisters: Virginia Jessup, Margaret Kester. She is survived by her children and daughter-in-law: Jim Bell and Maureen Wimmer of Millburn, New Jersey; John Bell of Greenville; honorary daughter Susie Hyatt of Greenville; grandchildren: Melissa, Bobby and Maddy. Services will be held on Thursday at 1 p.m. at Zechar Bailey Funeral Home, Greenville, Ohio. Burial will follow in Greenville Cemetery. Family will receive friends from 5: to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and one hour prior to services on Thursday at the funeral home. Condolences for the family may be expressed through www.zecharbailey.com
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Published in Times Leader from Mar. 29 to Mar. 30, 2015
Betcher Jr., Henry T. - Sugar Notch  
SUGAR NOTCH — Henry T. Betcher Jr., 84, formerly of Sugar Notch, passed away on March 28, 2015, at the Birchwood Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Nanticoke. Funeral arrangements are pending from the George A. Strish Inc. Funeral Home, 105 N. Main St., Ashley.
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Published in Times Leader from Mar. 29 to Mar. 30, 2015

Yesterday's Obituaries

Brill, Harriet Lee Finkelstein "Mitzi"* - Fort Collins  
FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Harriet "Mitzi" Lee Finkelstein Brill completed her journey in this life on March 22, 2015. She was born in Wilkes-Barre on Sept. 5, 1935, to Florence and Bernard Finkelstein, and had a wonderful childhood there. Mitzi attended Syracuse University, earning a master's degree in music and, unbeknownst to many, was an opera singer with an angelic soprano voice. Mitzi was a Realtor with Coldwell Banker for many years both in Big Bear, California, and Fort Collins, and she loved everything about the real estate business. She was very sad when forced to retire in 2004 due to illness, and always spoke of her many clients and friends she made. Mitzi absolutely adored flowers and garage sales, both of which begin in spring, so her ending her journey at this time allows us all to celebrate her with nature as all of the new and beautiful flowers and trees begin to bloom and garage sales abound. Mitzi also loved animals dearly and if you would like to make a donation, monetary or otherwise, for the benefit of animals, that would make her smile. Mitzi is survived by her daughter, Karen; granddaughter, Elyse; son-in-law, Shane; extended family; and all who knew and loved her. Special love and thanks go to all who helped and cared for Mitzi, especially Angela Aldrich and her daughter, Lily Ann. There will be a celebration of Mitzi's life and all of the wonderful things about her at 1 p.m. on April 18 at Avogadro's Number in Fort Collins, and all are welcome to celebrate with us.
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Published in Times Leader from Mar. 28 to Mar. 29, 2015

Obituaries from Two Days Ago

Bagnato, Joseph John* - Exeter  
EXETER — Joseph John Bagnato, devoted son, husband, father, grandfather and friend to all, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Wednesday, March 25, 2015, following a courageous battle with multiple myeloma. Born in Pittston on Friday, May 8, 1942, to the late Peter and Jenny Musto Bagnato, Joe joined the U.S. Army after graduating from Pittston High School. He was trained as a military policeman, serving as a provost marshal investigator. He served overseas for two years at an army base near the picturesque village of Wildflecken, in the state of Bavaria, Germany. It was in Wildflecken that he met the love of his life, Erika Ziegler. The teenagers soon fell in love and on Nov. 23, 1961, they were wed — three times in one day to be exact. Due to regulations, they were wed first in the village's Catholic church, then at the town hall and finally on the American base itself. It was when the young couple was exiting the church that they were first introduced to a unique German custom. The top of the church steps were barricaded by a long rope tied between two wooden kegs of beer. Joe, being the groom, was not allowed to exit the church until he wrote on each barrel how many liters he would buy for the locals in celebration of their wedding. True to his generous nature, his pledge was so high that it elicited large cheers from the village and a good time was had by all. Joe was honorably discharged in June 1965 and returned to the United States. His young family, now numbering three with the birth of son, John, settled in New Jersey where he labored as a metal worker. He was 21 years old when he purchased his first home in Toms River. It was there they welcomed the birth of his second child, Elisabeth. Joe worked any and every job he could find that would not only support his family but also allow his wife to do the yeoman's share of the work as a full-time mom, eventually mastering the heating and air conditioning trade. In 1972, he returned to the Wyoming Valley and purchased a home in Exeter, being enamored with both the view of the mountains and the winding creek that ran through the property. Ultimately, it would be this home that Joe would spend the rest of his life tinkering with, building on, tearing down and remodeling. He put a second home near the lower end of the land for his father and mother to live in and built gardens, waterfalls, a terrace and even a picnic grove for the benefit of his family and friends. Four Point Service, an HVAC company, was the first company he founded, and its client list grew to include businesses varying from hotels to office buildings to supermarkets before his retirement. Joe was a man of great faith and he shared it with many churches and congregations throughout the area. He was the co-owner of the Christian Book Store in Wyoming and performed outreach programs at local nursing homes. A people's person, "Joe Bags," as he was known to many friends, loved the company of others, embracing new activities and engaging in various interests, including hosting weekly card games, antique collecting and trading, golf outings and attending a myriad of theatrical and musical productions. It was not just people that found him charming — he was an "animal whisperer" that attracted both wild and tame creatures of all types since they could recognize his genuine, gentle soul. He shared his home with dogs, cats, rabbits and even a pet squirrel, raised chickens and geese and owned a horse. His love of travel took him across the country and through the Caribbean and the capitals of Europe. Joe was a member of the American Legion, Post No. 466 in Swoyersville, where he served as sergeant of arms. A self-taught chef, Joe was known to prepare the most amazing multi-course meals from all types of cultures and exotic meats and fishes. It was during full-family meals that he found great joy. He loved being surrounded by his family, spending hours at the long dinner table, sharing good food and funny tales. Nothing, however, brought Joe more happiness than his grandchildren. He was a shamelessly doting grandfather. Certainly he presented them with everything from full model trains sets to their own golf cart with a course to drive it on, but more importantly he gave both love and a sense of purpose. It was taking them fishing, bike riding, sledding and other activities that they will cherish forever. Joseph was preceded in death by his parents, Peter and Jenny Musto Bagnato; brother, August Bagnato; and sister, Rosemary Bagnato. Surviving are his wife, Erika Ziegler Bagnato; brother, Peter and his wife, Mary Bagnato, Orlando, Florida; son, John Richard Sr. and his wife, Felicia Bagnato, Pittston; daughter, Elisabeth and her husband, Jim Harris, Dallas; grandsons, John Richard Bagnato Jr., Dickson City, Joseph John Bagnato, Pittston, and Jameson Joseph Harris, Dallas; and nieces and nephews. The family of Joseph Bagnato thanks the nurses' aides and staff members of Highland Manor Nursing Facility in Exeter for their kindness and professionalism shown to Joe while a resident there. They additionally express their gratitude for the wonderful care he received near the end from the staff members of the Celtic Hospice Care. The family desires to send their most sincere thank you to Dr. Charles Manganello for all he has done for Joseph and his family over these many years. He is both a trusted caretaker and a great friend. A memorial celebration of Joe's life, presided over by Father Joseph Sibilano from the Oblates of St. Joseph, will be held at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at Howell-Lussi Funeral Home, 500 Wyoming Ave., West Pittston. Family and friends are cordially invited to visit from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Mutiple Myeloma Research Foundation, 383 Main Ave., Fifth Floor, Norwalk, CT 06851; or donate online at www.themmrf.org .
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Published in Times Leader from Mar. 27 to Mar. 28, 2015
Behm Jr., Harold C.* - Mountain Top  
MOUNTAIN TOP — Harold C. Behm Jr., 76, of Mountain Top, passed away on Thursday morning, March 26, 2015, at the Mountain Top Senior Care Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Born in Wilkes-Barre, he was a son of the late Harold and Camilla (Phillips) Behm Sr. Harold served in the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in France for 3 1/2 years. He worked for the RCA Corp. for 38 years, was an avid Philadelphia Phillies fan and enjoyed hunting and fishing. Harold was a member of the St. Jude Parish in Mountain Top. Preceding him in death, in addition to his parents, were his son, Harold Behm III; his brother, James; and an uncle, Lt. Col. William Phillips. Surviving are his wife, the former Geraldine Kohol; daughters, Janice Cottrell and her husband, David, Endicott, New York, and Jo-Ann Lobger and her husband, William, Mountain Top; grandchildren, Alexandra and Nicholas Cottrell. Several cousins, nieces and nephews also survive. Friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday and 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesday at the McCune Funeral Home, 80 S. Mountain Blvd., Mountain Top. Interment will follow at Calvary Cemetery, Drums. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to either the Mountain Top Ambulance; or to the Springbrook School, Office of Marketing and Funding Development, 105 Campus Drive, Oneonta, NY 13820.
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Published in Times Leader from Mar. 27 to Mar. 28, 2015

Obituaries from the Past Three Days

Banul, Edward J. - Pittston  
PITTSTON — Edward J. Banul, 54, formerly of Pittston, passed away March 23, 2015. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 9:30 a.m. Saturday in St. John the Evangelist Church, 35 William St., Pittston. The family will receive friends from 8:15 a.m. to Mass. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the Peter J. Adonizio Funeral Home, 251 William St., Pittston.
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Published in Times Leader from Mar. 26 to Mar. 27, 2015
Bauer, Charles "Charlie" - Dallas  
DALLAS — Charles "Charlie" Bauer, 79, of Dallas, passed away on March 25, 2015, after a brief illness. Surviving is his wife of 59 years, Janice (Cook) Bauer. A private ceremony will be held for family. Friends are invited to a celebration of life from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Bill's Cafe, Harveys Lake. Arrangements have been entrusted to Kniffen O'Malley Funeral Home, Wilkes-Barre.
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Published in Times Leader from Mar. 26 to Mar. 27, 2015
Bodek, Helen E.* - Newport Township  
NEWPORT TWP. — Helen E. Bodek, 90, of Sheatown, Newport Township, passed away Wednesday, March 25, 2015, at Birchwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Nanticoke. She was born in Wanamie on June 5, 1924, and was a daughter of the late Bruno and Mary Rospierski Kozobowski. She was a 1942 graduate of Newport Township High School and a member of St. Faustina Parish Church (formerly Holy Trinity). Helen proudly served her country during World War II by her employment at Bell Aircraft in Wheatfield, New York, where she assembled P-39 Airacobra Fighter Planes for the war effort. Later, she took employment at Greenbaum Dress Factory, Nanticoke, and St. Stanislaus Medical Center, Sheatown, now known as Guardian Elder Care. She was a compassionate and caring person being a friend to all. She enjoyed cooking and sitting on her front porch. She was preceded in death by her husband, Walter F. Bodek; and sister, Felicia Slojkowski, Kenmore, New York. Presently surviving are her son, Norman W. Bodek, Sheatown, and his fiancee, Cindi Roback; daughter, Pamela Bodek Marcinkowski and her husband, David; grandson, Steven Marcinkowski; brother, Ben Kay, Wellesley, Massachusetts; several nieces and nephews. Funeral services for Helen will be held noon Saturday from the Grontkowski Funeral Home P.C., 51-53 W. Green St., Nanticoke, with Mass of Christian Burial at 12:30 p.m. in St. Faustina Parish Church, Nanticoke, with the Rev. James Nash officiating. Interment will be in St. Mary's Cemetery, Wanamie. Friends and relatives are invited to join the family for calling hours 5 to 9 p.m. Friday.
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Published in Times Leader from Mar. 26 to Mar. 27, 2015

Obituaries from the Past Week

Banul, Edward J. - Wilkes-Barre  
PITTSTON — Edward J. Banul, 54, formerly of Pittston, passed away March 23, 2015. Arrangements are pending from the Peter J. Adonizio, 251 William St., Pittston.
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Published in Times Leader from Mar. 24 to Mar. 25, 2015
Beck, Lawrence J.* - Scranton  
SCRANTON — Lawrence J. Beck, 91, a lifelong resident of South Scranton, died Tuesday morning, March 24, 2015, after a brief illness, in the VNA Hospice Unit at Geisinger Community Medical Center, Scranton. He and his wife, the former Rosemarie Sivatko, were married for 68 years. Born in Scranton, a son of the late Grover and Theresa Raedel Beck, he was educated in the Scranton schools. He was a veteran of World War II, serving in the U.S. Navy and was honorably discharged as a First Class Petty Officer. He worked at South Side Plating Works for 18 years and drove trucks for local trucking companies. Prior to his retirement, he was employed in the Motor Pool at Tobyhanna Army Depot. He was a member of St. John Neumann Parish and attended Nativity of Our Lord Church. He was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He could often be seen walking the neighborhood and did so almost every day up until two weeks ago. He was preceded in death by a brother, Gerard; and a daughter, Patricia Beck, in 2013. Also surviving are two daughters, Janette Beck, Scranton, and Amy McGuigan and her husband, Sean, Factoryville; two sons, Lawrence D. Beck and his wife, Janice, Pittston Township, and Brian Beck and his wife, Patsy, Scott Township; a sister, Theresa Skosko, McKinney, Texas; grandchildren, Conal McHugh, Mount Cobb, Megan and Walter Tompkins, Clarks Summit, Ashley and Colin Desmond, and Briana Beck, Scranton; and great-grandchildren, Kealan, Ian and Owen. A Memorial Mass will be held 9:30 a.m. Friday in the St. John Neumann Parish, Nativity of Our Lord Church, 633 Orchard St., Scranton, to be celebrated by the Rev. Michael Bryant, pastor. Arrangements and cremation have been entrusted to Brian Arthur Strauch Funeral Homes and Cremation Services LLC, 602 Birch St., Scranton, PA 18505. To leave an online condolence, please visit the funeral home's website.
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Published in Times Leader from Mar. 24 to Mar. 25, 2015
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