Sheldon - Kukuchka Funeral Home - Tunkhannock
73 West Tioga Street
Tunkhannock, PA 18657
More Obituaries for JAMES SHERBURNE
Looking for an obituary for a different person with this name?


1927 - 2020

James Frederic Sherburne, 92, of Tunkhannock, was peacefully called home on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, at the Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre.

Born in the parsonage of the Methodist Episcopal Church in North Braddock on Oct. 30, 1927, he was the only child of Rev. Charles Morton Sherburne and Nettie Laura Margaret Hoover, an elementary school teacher.

The family soon moved to Rural Valley in 1935, and Charles later ministered in the United Methodist Church.

Fred called Rural Valley home until moving to Tunkhannock in 1972.

Fred was a Boy Scout, a good swimmer, a high school basketball player and he played clarinet and saxophone in the school band.

He served in the Air Force, stationed in Japan, during the Allied occupation in 1946.

He then attended Wesleyan University in Connecticut and graduated in 1950 as an English major.

His career in sales of optical glass began at PPG in Pittsburgh, and continued with Schott Optical Glass in Pittston in 1970.

He married his lifelong love, Elsie Florence Sefton, on Sept. 12, 1951, and they went to see the Ice Capades in Pittsburgh for their honeymoon.

Fred and Elsie celebrated their 65th anniversary shortly before her death on Oct 23, 2016.

They were devoted to their three children (the three P's), two grandchildren, and four beloved great-grandchildren, happily attended three generations of band concerts, dance and piano recitals, athletic events, and school graduations.

Fred always found time for service while working and raising his family. He was a volunteer fireman, an Armstrong County school board president who presented high school diplomas to all three of his children, and a faithful member of the United Methodist Church his entire life, serving variously as lay leader, Sunday school teacher and church trustee. He sang in the choir, helped with church dinners, drove members and friends to doctors appointments, visited residents of the Methodist manor and really enjoyed attending the Sunday "lunch bunch' outings and Wednesday morning Methodist men's breakfasts.

In his later years, Fred worked for the Endless Mountains Water Company and then for his son's snack food distribution business as a part-time route salesman, finally retiring, reluctantly, at the age of 87.

He loved Elsie's cooking, staying active, music, fireworks, family gatherings and vacations (Joe's Pond Vt., Nova Scotia, Florida, Cape May, Yellowstone, Eagles Mere, and Strawberry Bank, N.H. which is home to the Sherburne House, built in 1695 by Captain John Sherburne).

He will be fondly remembered for his perseverance, kindness, gentle spirit, big heart, great smile, and sense of humor. When anyone asked "how are you doing Fred?" his standard reply was "there's room for improvement!"

Fred is survived by his children: Patrick and wife Evelyn of Towanda, Pam Sherburne (Bob Palmer) of Live Oak, Fla., Piper Sherburne (Richard Weinsteiger) of Landis Store; grandchildren: Aaron Sherburne and wife Lauren of Pequannock, N.J., and Abby Stroud of Towanda; great-grandchildren: Jocelyn Stroud and Jason, Matthew, and Nicolas Sherburne.

Family and friends are invited to attend Fred's graveside service which will be held on Friday Oct. 30 at 11:30 a.m. at Sunnyside Cemetery, Tunkhannock with Pastor Jon Buxton presiding.

A viewing will be held 10–11 a.m. at the Sheldon-Kukuchka Funeral Home, 73 W. Tioga St., Tunkhannock. Masks and social distancing will be required at both locations.

Those of you who may wish to attend Fred's funeral service but are unable can join the family online for a livestreamed service at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 30, at www.sheldonkukuchkafuneralhome.com under James F. Sherburne's tribute page.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Fred's name to the Tunkhannock United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 447, Tunkhannock, PA 18657.

Please visit the funeral home website to share memories or extend condolences.

Read More
Give others a chance to express condolences. Not right now.
Inform family & friends of JAMES's passing.
Planning Guide
Planning ahead makes a big difference. Get Legacy's free funeral guide and know your advance options.