Thursday, December 31, 2009

Holiday Greetings!

A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

Friday, December 25, 2009

BOR 77 Christmas Gatherings - Sat 12/26/09

It looks like there will be two gatherings of our class members tomorrow, Saturday, December 26th. Starting at 6:30 p.m., a group will meet at Grotto Pizza in Edwardsville and another will be meeting at 7:30 p.m. at at Pinnack's 199 Division St. in Pringle, which used to be Cleary's, which of course used to be Pileggi's. If you schedule your time right, you can probably make it to both of them.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More from Karen...

Here is another posting from Karen (I liked your greeting, Karen!) :-)

Thanks Lee, You're The Best!!! I just think we needed something new on there and it worked, 2 more additional postings. I didn't know that Jay now has 3 grandchildren and they all are beautiful children, wow, Aidan grew up a little there. I guess I keep thinking of him the same as the photo of Christian, nonetheless, it was nice seeing something new and good for a change.

Thanks again, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and Terri.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

All right, Karen. Here you go. These are pictures of our three grandchildren.
Aidan,Lily, and Christian.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanksgiving Gathering - Novemer 28, 2009

Wow, 2 messages for the blog in one day! Karen must have started something. This one is from Michael Kinney.

It's Holiday Season 2009! Anyone interested in getting together at Grotto Pizza on Saturday November 28th from 6:30 or so onward? Let's go to the Edwardsville Grotto where we held our Icebreaker a few months ago. Let me know if you're interested. Hopefully, Lee will post this on the Class of 1977 website. Happy Thanksgiving.

Email me at


Happy Thanksgiving from Karen

This is a message from Karen Leonardi.

Hello Everyone,

Recently I had the opportunity to visit our website and noticed that there has been no postings on our website blog lately, so in an attempt to keep our website (that Lee has worked so very long hours to create and maintain) I am posting a blog and for me this is long overdue. For those that have sent , called or offered condolences regarding my mom, I thank you. I also thank Lee for adding the recent obituaries to the website as I did not know of a few that appeared there. It appears that I’m not alone with a great loss and sadness this year, especially with the Thanksgiving Holiday being next week and the Christmas Holidays right around the corner, there have been many losses of parents, but there is a good part, we are all still here to pass on what our parents and teachers taught us, it’s called Traditions.

I am most saddened by not seeing any recent pics of Jay’s grandson Aidan, there’s an oldie from one of our old blogs, who knows, maybe he’s in grade school, or possibly high school by now, but it won’t be Bishop O’Reilly, now did I say that, who knows, maybe he’s in preschool and has a little girlfriend by now, It would be nice to see new pictures of Aidan and any other grandchildren he may have increased in the Tobias household, even recent Halloween pictures would be nice. I would really like to see some happy and uplifting stuff by now, It would be nice for a change. Aidan if you see this, please tell Grandpa Jay we need to see some new pictures of the first grandchild of the Class of 1977, maybe some others would post and we can all pass on our Traditions to Aidan. Jay, Aidan is soooo cute, how could you not add newer pics, bad grandpa.

For all others that have not posted, I know there’s facebook out there too, I recently added my name, but I still come back to this website, it’s like going back home and you never get bored of it. Even though it sounds like I’m singling Jay out, but I'm not, no one is free of this, Bruce & Beverly, c’mon, get with the program, I’m sure everyone would love to hear and see pictures of Adam, he’s doing great, but I’ll let them tell us more, our 1977 Class is so great, we could have a good little soap opera going on here, I’m sure Mark Hession could tell a lot, anyway, I’m waiting to hear from all of you and Aidan, I’m waiting for a new picture!!!!

Hmmmm, maybe I should have written all of this to Sister Heloise??????

PS: Happy Thanksgiving Everyone…Cluck, Cluck!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Helen M. Klecha

Jay just informed me that Sue Klecha O'Donnell's mom passed away last Thursday. Below is the obituary from the Times Leader.

Helen M. Klecha

Helen M. Klecha, 86, formerly of Kingston, passed away on Thursday at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, surrounded by her family.

Born in Philadelphia, she was a daughter of the late Adolph and Nellie Valevas Kadish. The majority of her life, she resided in Kingston. Helen was a graduate of Kingston High School, Class of 1941. She was a member of St. Ignatius Church, Kingston.

In her younger years, she belonged to the Susquehanna Trailers hiking club, enjoyed playing cards with friends, traveled throughout the United States, loved watching her children play sports, and dedicated herself to family and community.

In her most recent years, she enjoyed watching ballroom dancing and the Pennsylvania polka on WVIA-TV, as well as game shows. Throughout her life, she remained an avid reader and faithful viewer of “All My Children.”
Her favorite pastime was spending time with family and friends. She could never pass up a good laugh or a Milky Way bar.

She was preceded in death by her husbands, Michael Kraftician and John Klecha; brothers, Albert, Joseph and Edward Kadish; as well as a sister, Genevieve Katoski.

Surviving are children, Connie Butler of West Wyoming; Diane Piekanski and husband, Stanley, of Larksville; John Klecha and wife, Mary Ann, of Fairfield, Conn.; Paul Klecha and wife, Jan, of Kingston; Susan O’Donnell and husband, Tim, of North Kingstown, R.I.; 10 grandchildren; three great-grandsons; sister, Agnes Alson, of Wyandotte, Mich.; brother, Adolph Kadish of Swoyersville; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral will be held on Monday at 9:30 a.m. from the Betz-Jastremski Funeral Home Inc., 568 Bennett St., Luzerne, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in St. Ignatius Church, Kingston. Interment will be in St. Mary’s Annunciation Cemetery, Pringle. Friends may call on Sunday, from 4 to 7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial donation can be made to the Kingston Ambulance, 600 Wyoming Ave., Kingston, PA 18704.
Condolences can be sent to

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

50th Birthday Party Pics!

Pat Balester sent me a DVD with a lot of digital images of the 50th Birthday Party from last month. There are over 270 photos! I was going to go through the process of figuring out which ones to upload to the website but thought that I'd just upload them all in two separate sets, one that came from Mike's camera and the other that came from Pat's camera. They are in the password protected section of the website. Please email me for the username/password if you've forgotten it.

Mike's Pictures

Pat's Pictures

I also got about 6 videos from Mike, but they are too big to host, and I don't want to upload them to YouTube or anywhere that would make them available to the rest of the world because they involve dancing, singing, and other antics ;-). I may also need to get rights clearances from various sources, since some of these folks have amazing talent, and may have already enlisted the services of a Hollywood agent to represent them. So check back later and perhaps I'll be able to figure out how to share them.

The party went off very well and the setting and weather look absolutely beautiful. I'm sorry to have missed it, as I'm sure are many others who could not make it so I'm thankful for this set of photos to give us a taste of what it must have been like, at least in a virtual sense.

The pictures are arranged in thumbnail sizes and you can click on any one to get a larger size image. If you want to get a full resolution version, you can email me and let me know which ones you want and I'll figure out how to get you full resolution images.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Facebook comes of age

I feel like I just spent a virtual weekend with Beverly and Bruce Cottle at their vacation getaway at the shore in Delaware. I wasn't there in person, but the numerous pictures that Beverly posted to Facebook today were amazing, and it gave me a sense of what it must be like to vacation with them at their home in Lewes, DE.

I also got to attend a pig roast with my long lost friend, Wink, again in a virtual sense, because she invited me to join her on Facebook a few days ago. I haven't seen Wink for more than 20 years, but hopefully if a few more of you connect to her on Facebook, we'll see her at our 2012 (35th) reunion. It sure felt good to reconnect with her after all these years.

I've been really enjoying the ease-of-use of Facebook and I appreciate the periodic invitations I've gotten to join some of your inner circles and getting to see your pictures and status updates.

If you haven't used Facebook yet, I highly recommend it. At one time, I thought Facebook was just for the kids, but now I'm finding more, ahem, 'mature', people are joining it.

Sure, we were all blogging here back in 2002 when Facebook was still a gleam in the eye of some Harvard nerd, but Facebook really seems to have come into its own in the past year or two with nearly everyone getting on board. Please feel free to invite me to your inner circle (if you feel I'm worthy of that honor :) and take a look into my connections for any familiar BOR77 names. At last count, I had over a 17 of them, and it seems to grow each week.

I think it would be great to stay connected with as many classmates as possible on Facebook. If you've been a hold out, please join now and I can guarantee you won't be without quite a few friends from way back (but do let us know you've joined so we'll know to connect with you!)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

50th Birthday Party

Chuck Brennan sent along this photo of the 50th Birthday Party held at the Castle Inn in Dallas last weekend. I'll be getting a DVD soon with more pictures and perhaps a few videos of the event.

I was unable to make it this time, but got several updates from Michael during the event and it sounded like everyone was having a great time. When I get more pictures, I'll post them either here in the blog, or provide a link to the password-protected part of the site.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Bishop O’Reilly Class of 1977 50th Birthday Party Update

From Michael Kinney: (Please note that the attendee status of this post will be updated regularly --- Last update: July 11th)

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the location of our 50th Birthday Party has been changed. It will be held at The Castle Inn on Route 415, the Memorial Highway in Dallas, a few miles before Harvey’s Lake. The date is still July 18th. I’m sorry for the late change and the late notice.

The party will begin at 1:00 PM and end at 6:00 PM. Food (dinner) will be served from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM. We will have a birthday cake, desserts, pretzels and chips from 1:00 PM on.

“Just Us”, our class band will be playing live just for us!! If you haven’t heard them recently, you’ve missed out. They are still wonderful after all these years. (Two of our three classmates won’t be 50 by the 18th; it’s up to you to guess who they are!)

The menu will be a picnic menu complete with Yogi Bear. Ok, maybe not Yogi, but I got you reminiscing. It includes: Bar-B-Que Chicken; Sausage and Peppers; Hamburgers, Hotdogs, Macaroni Salad, Potato Salad and Cole Slaw. There will also be lettuce, tomatoes and onions. Beverages include unlimited soda, beer and wine. The facility has volleyball, horseshoes and basketball available for us youngins to play. If you feel young that day, bring some foot wear to join in the games. Some of us might want to bring some Ben Gay or your muscle rub of choice.

I need some help choosing the ˝ of beer we should have on tap. Please email me and let me know your choice. Majority rules. I already have two votes from our meeting tonight for Yuengling Lager. Please let me know your choice email me at .

Since the party ends at 6:00 PM. Chuck Brennen suggests everyone join him at St. Nick’s Bazaar next to Bishop Hoban afterwards. I’m serious about that and so is Chuck.

The cost is still $35.00. Make the check payable to Michael Kinney. Mail it to Michael Kinney 150 Andover St. Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702. Please note: I have to give them a final count on July 11th. If you have already paid and do not want to attend please call me at (570) 821-0464 and I will send you a refund.

We will still be holding the Yankee Present swap. So being a present not more than $25.00 and please no gag gifts. Just something from where you currently live. Kathy Hannon Blaum is probably bringing New Jersey blueberries and cranberries, but Robin Lonsdale wants her to bring passes to Atlantic City! See the possibilities are endless!

The Icebreaker will still be held at Grotto Pizza on Route 11 in Edwardsville on Friday the 17th beginning at 6:30ish, ending when they decide to toss us!

Check our class website for those who have paid and are attending. I will be trying to keep Lee updated daily.

This is a list as of July 11th of those who have paid and are attending our 50th Birthday Party.

Mark Dushok
Maryellen Finley-Cusma
Deborah Sadusky-Casey
Michael Laton
Joseph Petrasek
Paul McAndrew
Denise and Sandy Scalzo
Michele Chakon-Garen
Kathy Blaum-Hannon
Michael and Sally Kinney
Paul Reinert
Debbie Cannon-Cramer (2)
Bee Harris-Darrow
Robin Lonsdale
Patrick Balester
Dave Kotarski
Chuck Brennan
Sabrina Baynes
Jay Tobias
Mary Helen Carey-Little
Jolayne Kalac-Pinchak
Mark Hession
AJ Kopicki
Mark Kopicki

IceBreaker Attendees:

Mary Pappas-Kosin
Michael Kinney
Deborah Sadusky-Casey
Mark Dushok
Maryellen Finley-Cusma
Chuck Brennan
Patrick Balester
Robin Lonsdale
David Kotarski
Mary Helen Carey-Little
Bee Harris-Darrow
AJ Kopicki
Mark Kopicki


Michael Laton
Joseph Petrasek
Denise and Sandy Scalzo
Kathy Blaum-Hannon (if she gets into town early enough)
Paul Reinert
Joseph Lynch
Mark Hession

Those Indicating Interest in the Yankee Present Swap:

Joseph Lynch (PA)
Mary Helen Carey-Little (PA)
Debbie Cannon-Kramer (OH)
Kathy Blaum-Hannon (NJ)
Denise & Sandy Scalzo (PA)
Paul McAndrew (PA)
Deborah Sadusky-Casey (Germany)
Michael Kinney (PA)
Bee Harris-Darrow (VA)
Patrick Balestar (MO)

Beer Choices:

Yuengling Lager 4
Miller Lite 2
Coors Lite 2

Class of 1979

Bob and Kim Lonsdale
Ron Petrasek and wife
Tony Kalinosky and wife
Patrice Martinsky
Bridgid Piffer
Noreen and Danny Diaco

P.S. my apologies to Deborah Sadusky-Casey for spelling her name wrong the other day. I only had in front of me and still managed to screw it up.

Also Congrats go out to Grammy Beverly Yakus-Cottle and her husband, Grampy Bruce on the birth of Lily this past Sunday.

Don’t forget the deadline is July 11th.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Re: My Mom

I want to take this opportunity on behalf of my Dad, my brother and myself to thank all of you for your thoughts and prayers in reference to my Mom's recent passing. Thanks to everyone for your online condolences, those who came to the viewing and funeral, and who had us in your thoughts and prayers. We are very grateful.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Albert V. Yakus

I got this notification from Chuck Brennan and Karen Leonardi:

Albert Yakus, 75, of Forty Fort, returned to the Lord Friday afternoon at Hospice Community Care Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre surrounded by his loving family. He was born and raised in Luzerne. He was the son of the late Charles and Martha (Mazietis) Yakus.

He was a graduate of Luzerne High School, Class of 1951. He also attended the University of Maryland. He graduated from the NCO, Luke AFB, in Glendale Arizona with the highest grade ever attained at the Academy. He attained the rank of Sergeant while serving with the Air Force during the Korean Conflict.

He was employed as a master plumber and worked as a guard at S.C.I. Dallas, retiring in 1999. He was a member of Holy Family Parish in Luzerne and a former member of the American Legion Post # 525, Luzerne. He was also a former Forty Fort Council member. He enjoyed taking his wife and family out for dinner and to plays. “Poppy” loved fishing with his grandchildren and treating them to the circus every year. Preceded him in death were sisters, Irene Yakus, Florence Kamus, Nellie Lukesh, Mary Adamchick, Ann Baltruchitis and Jule Drakas and brothers, Charles, Edward, Frank, Anthony, Joseph, and Raymond Yakus.

Surviving is his wife of 56 years of marriage, the former Dolores Blassic, at home. Daughters, Deborah Dudeck and her husband, Roy, Kingston. Susan Hoover and husband, Kenneth, Dallas. Beverly Cottle and husband, Bruce, Forty Fort. Marta Saneholtz and husband Paul, Forty Fort. Son, Albert R. Yakus and his wife Elaine, Shavertown. 13 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. Sister, Helen Repshas, Kingston. Brother, Leonard Yakus, Omaha, NE. Numerous nieces and nephews also survive.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday at 10:15am from the Lehman and Gregory Funeral Home Inc., 281 Chapel Street, Swoyersville with a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 AM in Holy Family Parish, Bennett Street, Luzerne. Interment will be held in St. Ann’s Cemetery, Lehman Township. Family and friends may call on Tuesday from 5 to 8 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Holy Family Parish, PO Box 125, Luzerne, PA 18709.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mary Lou Tobias

I just got this news from Joe Ziller. Jay's mom passed away on Friday. Here is the obituary from the Times Leader:

Mary L. “Mary Lou” Tobias, 73, of Swoyersville, passed away Friday evening, May 8, 2009, at Hospice Care of the VNA, Inpatient Unit, Heritage House, Wilkes-Barre, surrounded by her loving family.

Mary is survived by her husband, John H. Tobias. Mary and John would have celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary on June 21, 2009.
Born in Swoyersville, on Dec. 27, 1935, Mary was a daughter of the late Maurice J. and Amelia (Reese) Monahan. She was a graduate of the former Swoyersville High School, Class of 1954.

A homemaker most of her life, Mary dedicated herself to caring for her loving family. In her earlier years, Mary was employed by the Okonite Company, New Brunswick, N.J.; Goodbody and Company, Wilkes-Barre; United Penn Bank, Wilkes-Barre, and French Steak, Swoyersville.

Mary was a member of Holy Trinity Church, Swoyersville. An active member of her church, Mary greatly enjoyed volunteering at the church’s annual bazaar. She previously volunteered at the former Bishop O’Reilly High School, Kingston, in their cafeteria and was also a past member of the Swoyersville Kiwanis Club.

An accomplished and dedicated pianist, Mary took great pleasure in sharing her beautiful talent with others. She enjoyed playing the piano in various school productions and also for entertainment at various dinner functions. Also, Mary participated in various piano competitions throughout her life.

Mary took great pleasure in cooking for her beloved family and watching various cooking shows. Also, Mary enjoyed reading various books.

Mary had a deep and devoted love for her family and greatly enjoyed spending time with each and every one of them. She will forever be remembered as a loving, generous and kind wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt and friend. All those who knew and loved Mary will deeply miss her beautiful presence.
In addition to her parents, Mary was preceded in death by her sister, Jeanne Vanderhoof; brothers, Nicky Lockman, Raymond Monahan and Robert Monahan.

In addition to her loving and devoted husband, John, Mary is survived by her sons, John and his wife, Margaret Tobias, Binghamton, N.Y.; Michael and his wife, Joyce Tobias, Swoyersville; grandchildren, Lydia Mahoney and her husband, Bryan, North Carolina; Rory, Andrew, Emily and Leigh Tobias, all of Binghamton, N.Y.; Katie and Maria Tobias, Swoyersville; great-grandchildren, Aidan, Lily and Christian; brothers, Maurice J. Monahan Jr., Swoyersville; and Lawrence D. Monahan, Wyoming; numerous nieces; nephews; and friends.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend the funeral which will be conducted on Monday at 9 a.m. from the Wroblewski Funeral Home Inc., 1442 Wyoming Ave., Forty Fort, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. in Holy Trinity Church, 116 Hughes St., Swoyersville, with the Rev. Richard J. Cirba, her pastor, officiating.

Interment with the Rite of Committal will follow in Holy Trinity Cemetery, Swoyersville. Family and friends may call today, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Mary’s memory to the charity of one’s choice. For additional information or to send the Tobias family an online message of condolence, visit

Monday, May 04, 2009

Molly Hanlon Mirabito running for Luzerne County Judge

Karen Leonardi called me tonight and asked if I'd mention on the blog that Molly Hanlon Mirabito, a fellow BOR graduate (class of 1980), is running for Luzerne County Judge and needs your vote in the primary and election. We hope that she can count on votes from fellow BOR alumni. Molly has a website that lists her experience and qualifications along with her campaign theme - Embrace Our Future. I encourage you to check it out.

Here's the announcement from the Citizen's Voice:

Hanlon Mirabito declares she’s in judicial race

Published: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 4:07 AM EST
FORTY FORT — On the front porch of her childhood home, surrounded by her family, friends and neighbors, Molly Hanlon Mirabito announced Monday she is seeking one of the three open Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas judicial seats.

What better place to make the declaration, she said, than the site of some of her most beloved memories, the place where she learned her values from her parents, Tom and Norita Hanlon.

“I can think of no one who’s more loyal or compassionate or honorable than Molly,” Kathy Hanlon said in introducing her sister.

Due to the cold, Hanlon Mirabito cut short the speech she delivered to approximately 80 people. She said there is a serious war on crime and residents need a voice.

“I am unabashedly confident in my ability to be that voice,” she said.

Hanlon Mirabito, 46, graduated from Bishop O’Reilly High School and King’s College, and received her law degree from the University of Notre Dame. She started practicing in 1987 and specializes in family law.

She served as an assistant district attorney under five of Luzerne County’s DAs; she is a member of the special victims unit. The Luzerne County Court appointed her as a per diem law clerk to visiting senior judges, and she has served as a special master in divorce and real estate equity cases.

Hanlon Mirabito has volunteered on several boards, including that of the Forty Fort Ambulance Association, VISION and the Family Service Association. The Forty Fort native lives in the borough with her husband, Michael, a professor at Marywood University.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Regina Lanczak

I was just notified by Maryellen that Karen's mother passed away on Monday. Here is the obituary from the Times Leader.

Regina Lanczak, of Luzerne Borough, entered into eternal rest surrounded by her family on Monday, April 20, 2009, at Hospice Community Care at Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre, formerly Mercy Hospital.

Regina was born April 1, 1927, in Bronx, New York, to the late Harry and Frances Glassberg Rutenberg and attended George Washington High School, New York City, where she was a member of the Swim Team. Due to Regina’s academic excellence, she was honored to advance a grade level and graduated in 1944.

In 1952, Regina was married to the love of her life, John, and relocated to Luzerne County, first residing in Wyoming, and a few years later to Luzerne Borough until her passing.
For many years, Regina was employed by Meyer & Saba as an office secretary until her retirement. During the time her children were in elementary school, Regina was a member and past Secretary of the Saint Monica’s Mothers’ Club of the former Sacred Heart School, Luzerne. Regina was also a faithful member of Sacred Heart Church, Luzerne, until its closing.
In addition to her parents, Regina was preceded into death by her husband, John, who passed away in May of 1995; sister Bernice Rutenberg; and a granddaughter, Angela (Angel) Lanczak D’Andrea.

Regina is survived by her two children, son John “Chris” Lanczak Jr., at home; daughter Karen Leonardi; and son-in-law Robert, Pringle, Pa.

Regina’s extended family includes Renee’ Traeger Lutecki and her husband, John, with their children, Katrina and Tyler; Donna Knell Bowen and her husband, Bill, with their three children, Justin, Emily, and Abby who cared for Regina in times of need.

Regina’s many joys were first and foremost her family, but she also enjoyed her Saturdays with the ladies having her hair done by Rita Herman and breakfast at Mary’s Place, Luzerne, and lest we forget her most favorite pastimes, crossword puzzles and Winston cigarettes.
Regina will be dearly missed, loved and remembered by all who knew her.

Funeral will be held on Thursday at 9 a.m. from the Betz-Jastremski Funeral Home, 568 Bennett St., Luzerne, with A Mass of Christian Burial at 9:30 a.m. in Holy Family Parish with the Rev. Richard Fox officiating. Interment will be in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Carverton. Friends may call on Wednesday, from 5 until 8 p.m. Rosary will be recited on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Easter tidings

I hope that you all have a happy and blessed Easter.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

James Balester

James W. Balester of Chestnut Avenue, Kingston, died Wednesday, April 1, 2009, at home.

Born Dec. 12, 1925, in Wilkes-Barre, he was the son of the late Fred J., Sr., and Ruth Watrous Balester. He attended local grade schools and Elmer L. Meyers High School.

In 1942, he joined his father and brother in the family business, Balester Optical Co., located on North River Street, Wilkes-Barre. He retired having served as vice president and secretary.

He resided on Chestnut Avenue since 1959 and most recently his granddaughter, Tami Snow, resided with him. Jim was an avid photographer, responsible for taking family wedding photos. He and his family enjoyed spending time at the family farmhouse in Dorrance Township.

His wife, the former Kathleen J. Shea, died Dec. 28, 1999. Also preceding him in death were his son, James W., on May 15, 1972; and brother, Fred J. Balester, on Jan. 13, 2009.

Surviving are his children, William F. Balester and his wife, Marcia, Dorrance Township; Jacqueline A. Pekar and her husband, Mark, Sierra Vista, Ariz.; Dorothy B. Hodle, Kingston; Frederick P. Balester and his wife, Nancy, Hanover Township; Patrick J. Balester and his wife, Virginia, Gladstone, Mo.; Susan B. Dennis, Riverview, Fla.; 14 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held Monday at 10 a.m. from Hugh P. Boyle & Son Funeral Home Inc., 416 Wyoming Ave., Kingston, with the Rev. Brian J. Clarke, chaplain of Holy Redeemer High School, Wilkes-Barre, officiating. Entombment will be in St. Mary's Mausoleum, Hanover Township.

Friends may call Sunday, 5 to 8 p.m.

Memorial donations may be made to the Epilepsy Foundation, 919 Walnut St., Suite 700, Philadelphia, PA 19107, or a charity of the donor's choice.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Prayer Request

I got this from Arlene yesterday:

"I received news today that my brother-in-law, Rick, has a tumor on his liver. This man has been my "Brother" for 40 years, and I don't understand why this has to happen to someone who gives his all to his family, church, friends, etc. I trust my sister's instincts when she says "this does not look good", as he has not been feeling well for some time now. They are waiting for the biopsy to be scheduled, so I am asking for your help. I have never asked anything of my classmates before, but I am asking now. Please take a few minutes out of your day when you get this to say a prayer for Rick and our family. We desperately need good news. Thank you and God Bless you and yours."

Arlene Galanda Kuharchik

Friday, March 20, 2009

6 Months old! Ain't he cute?


Monday, March 16, 2009

James C. Cannon

I just got this notification from Joe Ziller just after I sent out the mass email. I am sorry to report that Debbie (Cannon) Cramer's father passed away this weekend.

James C. Cannon, 71, of Shavertown, passed away on Saturday at his home.
He was born May 17, 1937, in Larksville, a son of the late James J. and Mildred Flynn Cannon. He was a 1955 graduate of Kingston High School and was employed for many years by Acme Food Markets. Most recently, he worked for Penn Fern Gas in Trucksville. Mr. Cannon was a member of St. Ignatius Church, Kingston, and enjoyed bowling and golf.

Surviving are his wife, the former Lorraine Gavlick, with whom he celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in October 2008; children, Debra Cramer and her husband, John, Ohio; Linda Sharpe and her husband, William, Bartonsville; James Cannon, Coopersburg; Lori Mrochko and her husband, Edward, Sweet Valley; grandchildren, Allison, Ashley, Brian Cramer; William, Daniel, Christopher Sharpe; Nicholas Mrochko.

The funeral service will be held Monday at 7 p.m. at the Maher-Collins Funeral Home, 360 N. Maple Ave., Kingston. Friends may call Monday, from 4 to 7 p.m.

Condolences can be sent to the family at
Published in the Times Leader on 3/15/2009

News updates...

Michael Kinney will be getting married this Saturday, March 21st, 2009. Please wish him well if you see him or if you want to email him or call him you can find his contact information linked to the 'email addresses' section main reunion page. Email me for the user/password if you've forgotten it. I apologize if anyone has tried to reach those pages in the past month or so. I've made some changes to my website which resulted in breaking the password protected sections but they are working now.

I've changed the way that the headliners work so that now the two images at the top of the main page load randomly. If you're like me, you'll sit there loading that page over and over to see if you can find yourself ;-). Actually, I had a good excuse, because I needed to test it to make sure all the links worked.

Corinne Kotch Musto has a new address. She's living in North Platte, NE which is the first town east of me in Nebraska, just 240 miles away... You can find her new address in the list on the main page.

I hope all of you have marked your calendars for the next reunion. Can you believe it's only 4 months away? That's right, on July 18th, 2009 at the Checkerboard Inn in Trucksville. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

This is the latest picture of Christian. He will be 5mos old on Valentine's Day. He weighs 19lb, 3oz and is 28 inches tall! He's quite an armload! He's quite a happy little guy...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Swiss pics

Here are some awesome pictures from Jean (Dalley) DeCesaris's latest adventure in Switzerland!

Click on either photo for a higher resolution version.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hi everyone! I hope that you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I won't be able to make the December gathering, as my new grandson is being baptized on the 27th, and the feast day for our new parish, the Church of The Holy Family is on the 28th. It wouldn't be a good thing for the music director to not show up on THAT day. I'm looking forward to seeing you all in July when we celebrate our birthdays. After all, isn't 50 the "new 35"? Peace!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Frank J. Krakosky

I got this from Maryellen today. Jayne's dad passed away on Friday. If you want to reach her, the email address I have is hruger (at)

Frank J. Krakosky, 80, of Maltby Avenue, Swoyersville, passed away Friday, November 21, 2008, in the Hospice Inpatient Unit of the Heritage House, Wilkes-Barre.
He was born Feb. 22, 1928, in Swoyersville, a son of the late Frank and Cecilia Centka Krakosky Sr. He was a member of Holy Trinity Church, Swoyersville, where he was a member of the choir and past member of the Holy Name Society. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army. Frank was one of the founders of the Kiwanis Club of Swoyersville and helped start the Swoyersville Little League. Prior to his retirement, he was employed at Ertley MotorWorld.
He was preceded in death by a brother, Bernard, and a sister, Carole Jean Cassata.
Surviving is his wife, the former Mildred Charney. The couple would have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in June 2009. Also surviving are a son, Ronald Krakosky, and his wife, Ruthie, Shavertown; daughter, Karen Mae Krakosky, Swoyersville; son, Kenneth Krakosky, and his wife, Alison, Forty Fort; daughter, Jayne Ann Ruger, and her husband, Hugh, Swoyersville; daughter, Nancy Brown, and her husband, Edward, West Pittston; grandchildren, Jena, Norah, Jillian, Jessica, Patrick, Laura, Andrea, Erica, Matthew, Macawley and Victoria; sister, Bernadine Klem Campisano, Swoyersville; Marcia Fostock, Shavertown; Kathy Costello, Swoyersville; brother, Robert Krakosky, Hazleton; numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral will be Monday with a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:30 a.m. in Holy Trinity Church Swoyersville. Interment will be in Holy Trinity Cemetery, Swoyersville. Friends may call Monday at 10:30 a.m. at the church until the time of Mass.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Holy Trinity Church, 116 Hughes St., Swoyersville, PA 18704.
Arrangements are by the Bednarski Funeral Home, Wyoming.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bishop O’Reilly Class of 1977 Holiday Get Togethers

Fellow classmates,

Sue Klecha O’Donnell suggested we get together over the Christmas Holiday. We’re taking it a step further.

This is for anyone in town over Thanksgiving and / or Christmas. If you are interested, join me and whoever shows up at Grotto Pizza at the Wyoming Valley Mall on the Saturdays after the holidays. The dates are November 29th and December 27th. We’ll meet between 6:30 and 7:00 PM.

Last year, we met after Christmas. We had a fun time. If you are interested in attend, please email me at fishfishr (at) or call me at (570) 262-5463. This way I have an idea of how many seats we need. However, we can always add on.

I hope many of you can attend. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Michael Kinney

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Don't know if I'll get back to the site beforehand, so "HAPPY THANKSGIVING" everyone!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

World Series 2008

Here we go, Phillies, here we go! Bang! Bang!
Here we go, Phillies, here we go! Bang! Bang!
1 down and 3 to go. Bang! Bang!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

A message from Jim Lynch

I'm writing this to thank all those wonderful people from the class of '77 who took the time to send stories/notes, etc. to my wife for inclusion in my surprise retirement gift. I'm hoping that you can post this on your website. I have never been so surprised or gratified in all my adult life (Christmas mornings as a kid were always special). Now that I'm retired (it's still hard to come to terms with that concept), I often look back on my career and wonder whether anything I tried to accomplish was worth the effort. Needless to say, you guys made my day (week, month, year, decade).

Along with many other students from others years, you literally gave meaning to my chosen profession. Any of you who may be teachers know that the job does not always involve validation, so it is difficult to know whether or not you're achieving what you set out to accomplish. I must say that I chose the right profession (or rather that it chose me - but that's another story) because I always enjoyed getting up in the morning and going to work. Not too many people in other professions can say that. No two days were ever alike, and I enjoyed the greatest bunch of students I could imagine. On top of that, I got to share my passion for literature with a captive audience.

My retirement allows me to indulge my love of reading - something that always took a back seat to correcting tests/essays in the evenings and on weekends. Because I most often taught college courses in the evenings/weekends/summers as well, I acquired a ton of fiction and non-fiction that I now am enjoying - along with current stuff. I' currently enjoying the Swedish novel "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson. I recommend it enthusiastically to anyone looking for a good read. I also have an extensive film collection on DVD that keeps me busy. That, coupled with being a "house husband," signifies that retirement means never having to say you're bored (apologies to that awful '70's novel).

At this point in my life, Ada and I are proud grandparents of two granddaughters - Maureen and Ada (my son and daughter-in law's children). They are eight and six respectively, and I can't wait until they are teenagers when Karma kicks in for my son (that's another story as well). Jim is just about finished with a double PhD in Spanish and Medieval Literature. Amy is at the same point with a PhD in rhetoric. She is a professor at Kutztown University, and Jim teaches at Indiana University in Bloomington where he will receive his degrees. Both will "walk" in May of next year to receive their PhD's. Both kids with advanced degrees in English - go figure!

Well, I've babbled too much - and I need to get back to Stieg Larsson, so I'll close with a thank you and a big hug to all those from my favorite class (no kidding).

With gratitude and affection,

Jim Lynch