First Posted: 3/25/2012

BAKAYSA – Michael Jr., of Dallas, died Monday, March 12, 2012, in the Hospice Unit, Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre.

He was born in Taylor and was a U.S. Navy veteran, serving from July 1943 to March 1946, having served in World War II and in Okinawa. He received Pacific Theater Ribbon, one Star, American Theater Ribbon and Victory Medal.

Prior to his retirement, he worked in the construction industry.

He was a member of the VFW, American Legion, Civilian Construction Corps and of Construction Local 168.

Surviving are his son, Michael III; brothers, John, Taylor; and Andrew, Florida; a niece and a great-granddaughter.

Memorial donations to the True Friends Animal Welfare Center, Routes 706 and 29, Montrose, PA 18801.

BARBER – James, 50, of Sweet Valley, formerly of Albrightsville, died Friday, March 9, 2012, in Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Plains Township, following a long illness.

He was born December 31, 1961, in Kansas City, Mo.

Surviving are his wife, Susan Barber, whom he married three months prior to being stricken by Whipples Disease; his ex-wife, Maryann Barber; a son, Jon; step-daughter, Melissa Mitchell; sisters, Alice Logan and Gayla Gonzales.

Memorial donations by contacting

BUTLER – Charles Edward, formerly of Shavertown and recently a resident of Punta Gorda, Fla., died on Saturday, March 10, 2012, at Tidewell Hospice.

He had a long career in food service.

He served in the naval submarine service on board USS Becuna (SS-319) in the Pacific and Asiatic theaters.

He was a member of the Submarine Veterans, American Legion as well as a life member of the Elks. He served as president of the Northeastern Restaurant Association and was recognized numerous times by the ARC for his various contributions.

Surviving are his wife, Martha; his children, Krys, Matt, Jay and Courtney; 10 grandchildren; siblings, Sally Davis, Susan O’Brien, Mildred Pierre and Milton James Butler.

Memorial donations to Tidewell Hospice, 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34238.

CHELLIS – Mary Chellis, 91, of Keelersburg Road, Tunkhannock, died on Monday, March 12, 2012, in Baltimore, Md.

She was employed for many years at Rowker Manufacturing Company. She spent time in her youth working at a war manufacturing factory during World War II.

She was a member of the Church of the Nativity BVM in Tunkhannock, and St. Alphonsus Rodriguez in Woodstock, Md. She received an award for voting 50 years in a row.

Surviving are her sons, Charles, of Baltimore, Md.; James; Esther, of Tunkhannock; siblings five grandchildren; two great-grandsons.

GRITMAN – Paul J., 72, of Dallas, died Wednesday, March 14, at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia following a brief illness.

He was born in Wilkes-Barre, October 2, 1939, and was a graduate of Coughlin High School, class of 1957, where he ran track. He was later inducted into the North East Regional Sports Hall of Fame, where he was honored for his outstanding achievement in track and field.

He was a graduate of King’s College and earned his Master of Science Degree from The University of Scranton. He began his professional career at Retreat State Hospital in Hunlock Creek, where he worked for several years before taking a position at United Rehabilitation Services in Wilkes-Barre.

In 1986, he became assistant superintendent of Clarks Summit State Hospital in Clarks Summit. He was later selected and served as the superintendent of Danville State Hospital, in Danville, from where he retired in 2004.

He continued working seasonally at H&R Block and also worked part-time for many years in his family’s business, Grotto Pizza.

He was a longtime member of the Wyoming Valley AIDS Council and Children’s Service Center Adoption Board. He also served as former Advisory Board chair of Luzerne/Wyoming County MH/MR, as well as vice chair of the board of Step by Step Inc., Wilkes-Barre. He was currently serving as treasurer of The Arc of Luzerne County.

Surviving are his wife of 47 years, the former Jane Pulieri; daughter, Kimberly Teufel, Royersford; sons, Paul, Exeter; and Matthew, Wilkes-Barre; four grandchildren; a sister, Carole O’Malia, Calabasas, California; and four nieces.

Memorial donations to Step by Step Foundation, Cross Valley Commons, 744 Kidder St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702.

STOLARICK – Dr. George Alan, 59, of Dallas, died Friday, March 16, 2012, at his residence.

He was born in Wilkes-Barre, was a graduate of Dallas High School and College Misericordia, and also of The Pennsylvania College of Podiatric Medicine.

He had operated his podiatry practice in Dallas for the past several years.

He was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, George M. Dallas Masonic Lodge #531 and Irem Temple Shriners.

Surviving are his father, George Stolarick; his wife, Sharon Branco, Dallas; son, Richard Branco, Charlotte, N.C.; daughter, Jennifer Freeden; one grandson; brothers, Gary, Dallas; Eric, Franklin Township; Kent, Dallas; sisters, Marie Frey, Shickshinny; Pauline Bump, Franklin Township; nieces and nephews.

SUSANIN – Andre G., 78, of Wynnewood and Harveys Lake, died on March 9, 2012.

He was born September 12, 1933 in Palmerton and received his B.S. Degree from Yale University. He began his career in the water treatment division of Rohm & Haas and later founded The Susanin Equipment Company, selling and distributing industrial water treatment equipment.

He was a longtime member of The Church of the Redeemer in Bryn Mawr. He was a volunteer driver for Wheels of Wellness and a builder for Habitat for Humanity.

He was a member of the Merion Cricket Club and Huntsville Golf Club. He was a 32nd degree Mason and a member of the Irem Temple Shrine.

Surviving are his wife of 48 years, Catherine “Kitten’; two children, John H., Wayne; and Betsy Stein, of Philadelphia; four grandchildren; one sister, Marguerite Kelley, of Newtown Square; brothers, Edward, of Des Moines, Iowa; John, of Philadelphia; Francis, of Palmerton; and Roger, of Newtown Square; nieces and nephews.

Memorial donations to Habitat for Humanity, 533 Foundry Rd., W. Norriton, PA 19403.

WASIAKOWSKI – Ralph E., 80, of Sweet Valley, died Friday, March 16, 2012, at the Gino J. Merli Veterans Center, Scranton.

He was born October 24, 1931, in Nanticoke, attended Nanticoke High School and enlisted in the Army in 1948, serving in Korea, where he was wounded and awarded the Purple Heart in 1950.

Upon returning to Nanticoke, he was employed as a printer in a box factory. He later became a member of the I.B.E.W. Local 1319 and worked locally and out of state until his retirement in 1993.

He was a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Lake Silkworth, and the American Legion Post 350, Nanticoke.

Surviving are his wife of 36 years, the former Patricia Piontkowski; children, Helen, at home; and Ralph; one grandson; brothers, Bernard, of Nanticoke; Joseph, of Yardley; nieces and nephews.

Memorial donations to the Alzheimer’s Association, 57 N. Franklin St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701.

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