Joseph Gerek, of Pittston and formerly of West Scranton, died Monday afternoon in the Hospice Community Care Center, Dunmore. He and his wife, the former Peggy Edwards, observed their 58th wedding anniversary on June 7, 2013.
Born in Peckville, a son of the late Steven and Anna Haway Gerek, he was a graduate of Blakely High School. He was also a veteran of the Korean War, serving as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. Throughout his military career, he was stationed in Goose Bay, Labrador, and Saudi Arabia.
He was employed as a plant supervisor at Chesapeake Box Co. for 35 years.
He was a member of the Jackson Street Baptist Church, West Scranton, Shopa Davey VFW Post 6082, where he served as officer of the home association, Tall Cedars No. 137, Consistory of Scranton, Acacia Lodge No. 579, Gas Hollow Hunting Club and the Irem Shrine of Scranton, where he served two years as president. He also served as chairman of the Shriners' paper drive and chairman of the Scranton Shrine Club Irem Circus for seven years, where he chaperoned two buses of children from the region representing the Boys and Girls Club and Friendship House.
He was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle whose family was the center of his life.
He was an avid fisherman and, for many, many years, loved to take his family camping. He was a huge supporter of high school football.
He will be sadly missed by his family and friends.
He was preceded in death by nine brothers, George, John, Pete, Thomas, Ted, Edward, Andy, Gene and Stephen; and two sisters, Anna Dearson and Josephine Nagurney.
Also surviving are son, Joseph and his wife, Jodi, Lake Winola; daughter, Debbie Lombardo and her husband, Joseph, Pittston, with whom he resided; granddaughter, Alex Gerek; sister, Mary Gasper and her husband, Joseph, Jessup; brother, Albert and his wife, Helene, California; and nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
The funeral services will be 10 a.m. Friday in the Carl J. Savino Funeral Home, 157 S. Main Ave., West Scranton, with Pastor Sue Hartman Zimmerman of the Pittston United Methodist Church, Pittston, as officiant. Friends may call 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday with a masonic funeral service at 6 p.m. Interment will be in the Abington Hills Cemetery, South Abington Township.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to West Scranton Football Fund, 1201 Luzerne St., West Scranton, PA 18504; or to the Celtic Hospice Community Care, 100 William St., Dunmore, PA 18510.
Carl J Savino Funeral Home
157 S Main Ave
Scranton, PA 18504
Published in Times Leader on Aug. 28, 2013