Joseph J. Smolko, 84, a resident of Swoyersville, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday morning, May 4, 2013, at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Plains Township.
His loving wife is Pauline (Slipetz) Smolko. Together, Joe and Pauline shared 59 beautiful years of marriage.
Born on June 7, 1928 in Wilkes-Barre, Joseph was the son of the late Albert and Sophie (Piontek) Smolko.
Raised in Wilkes-Barre, Joe was a graduate of James M. Coughlin High School.
A U.S. Navy veteran, Joe honorably served his country during the Korean War. For the majority of his enlisted time, Joe served aboard the U.S.S. Cone as a culinary specialist and was awarded the Navy Occupation Service Medal. Joe received his honorable discharge on Dec. 18, 1952, after nearly four years of service.
Prior to his retirement, Joe was employed for more than 30 years as a delivery man for the former Purvin Dairy, Wilkes-Barre. After retirement, he worked part-time for A&A Auto, Wilkes-Barre, in its maintenance department.
A faithful Catholic, Joe was a longtime member of the former Holy Name/St. Mary's Parish Community, Swoyersville. Active within in church, he was a member of the parish's Holy Name Society and was instrumental in helping with the parish's annual bazaar.
After the consolidation of his parish last year, Joe became a member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Swoyersville.
An avid sports enthusiast, Joe always enjoyed watching various sporting events, especially football games.
Joe had a great love for his family and he cherished the time he had with all of his loved ones. His three grandchildren were the light of his life, and he had a special bond with each one of them. Joe and Pauline enjoyed taking their grandchildren on various trips throughout the years, especially their trips to Disney World and other amusement parks.
Though Joe's presence will be deeply missed, the lasting memory of him will continue to live on in the hearts of his family and friends.
In addition to his parents, Albert and Sophie Smolko, Joe was preceded in death by his sister Mary Griglock.
In addition to his loving wife, Pauline, Joe is survived by his son, Joseph A. Smolko, and his wife, Linda, of Pelham, New Hampshire; his three grandchildren, Matthew, Nicole and Kathryn Smolko; his sisters Sophie Konieczny, of Jenkins Township, and Emily DeAngelis, of Plains; his numerous nieces, nephews and friends.
Relatives and friends are invited to call on Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Wroblewski Funeral Home Inc., 1442 Wyoming Ave., Forty Fort. The Confraternity of Christian Women of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish will recite the Rosary on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
The funeral will be conducted on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. from the Wroblewski Funeral Home Inc., 1442 Wyoming Ave., Forty Fort, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated at 10 a.m. in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, 116 Hughes St., Swoyersville, with the Rev. Joseph J. Pisaneschi, his pastor, officiating.
Interment with the Rite of Committal will follow in Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Cemetery, Dallas, where military honors will be accorded by the U.S. Navy.
For additional information or to send the Smolko family an online message of condolence, you may visit the funeral home website www.wroblewskifuneralhome.com.
Joseph L Wroblewski Funeral Home
1442 Wyoming Ave
Forty Fort, PA 18704
Published in Times Leader on May 6, 2013