Obituaries posted in the Schuylkill County area.

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Brian E. Shovlin56-year-old Ashland died suddenly on Wednesday November 9 at Lehigh Valley Schuylkill East Hospital, Pottsville.

Born in Columbia, Pennsylvania, he was the son of John and Lorraine (Hammer) Shovlin of Plains. He worked as a security guard at the SCI prison in Mahanoy. Brian was a U.S. Army veteran who served from 1985 to 1993.

Brian loved his family, especially his two children. He loved watching Eve play basketball and was so proud to see his son graduate from high school last year. He enjoyed spending time with his family for dinner and vacations. He was a huge Miami Dolphins and New York Yankees fan.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by his two children Zachary Shovlin and Eve Shovlin of Ashland; his two brothers: Douglas Sarbaugh and his wife Debra, Bethlehem; Richard Sarbaugh and his wife Barbara, Forty Fort; his two sisters: Connie Taylor and her husband Robert, Jamestown, Ohio; Tamrya Shovlin of the Plains; nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be private at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, trusts will be set up for her children and more information will be provided once completed.

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Rita Ann Purcell88, of Jonestown, Cass Township, passed away Thursday, November 10 at her home with her loving family present.

Born January 31, 1934 in Heckscherville, she was the daughter of the late Louis and Anna (née Ford) Stephen. She was a 1952 graduate of Pottsville Catholic High School and was employed in federal service at the Indiantown Gap Army Reserve from 1952 to 1963.

She was a dedicated member and longtime supporter of Holy Family Parish in Minersville.

She will be remembered for her loving devotion to her large family. She treasured cooking and baking for Sunday dinners, parties, and gatherings with her many friends.

She was predeceased by her husband of 44 years, Joseph Purcell, in 2000; a son, Gary Purcell, in 2019; a great-grandson, Hudson Roehl; six siblings, Betty Burke and her husband, Thomas, Robert “Cobbs” Stephen, Joseph Stephen, Jim Stephen, Vincent Stephen and his wife, Carol, Mary Canfield and her husband, Joseph.

Rita is survived by her other children, Kathy Pytko (spouse, Bernard), Minersville, Theresa Michels (spouse, Nick), West West Terrace, Joseph Purcell (spouse, Nanette), Jonestown, Kenneth Purcell, Jonestown, Ed Purcell (spouse , Amy), Phoenix Park, and Anita Sternick (wife, Jerry), Black Heath, daughter-in-law, Donna Purcell, Primrose; fourteen grandchildren, Jaclyn, Lauren, Kara, Alycia, Amy, Christopher, Ryan, Amanda, Joseph, Clare, Leah, Chad, Kayleigh and Caitlin; eight great-grandchildren, Isobel, Lincoln, Faith, Lydia, Dustin, Bryce, Cora and Ella. She is also survived by her last surviving brother, Francis “Cisco” Stephen (husband, Mary Ann), Pottsville, sisters-in-law, Joanne Stephen, Minersville and Peg Stephen, Heckscherville; nieces and nephews.

The family will accept visitors at Dutcavich Funeral Home, 200 Sunbury Street, Minersville, on Tuesday from 6:00 a.m. The procession will form quickly at 9:45 a.m. with the Christian burial mass at 10:30 a.m. in St. Michael the Archangel Church, 539 Sunbury Street, Minersville. Interment will be in St. Kieran Cemetery #2, Branch Township. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations to Holy Family Parish, 538 Sunbury Street, Minersville.

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Michael F. Mislyan19, of Wiconisco tragically passed away on Wednesday, November 9, 2022 from injuries sustained in a car accident near Friedensburg.

Born in Pottsville, May 24, 2003, beloved son of John and Jennifer Hufnagle Mislyan.

Mikey was a senior at Williams Valley High School, where he attended the Career & Technology Center to study masonry. He participated in the co-op program and worked with On Deck Concrete, Schuylkill Haven, a job he really loved. His work recently took him to West Virginia. He was very proud of his accomplishments on the trip and looked forward to a career in Masonry.

Mikey formerly played on the Williams Valley Soccer Team, Midget Football Team, Little League Baseball Team and was a former Cub Scout.

He was of the Catholic faith.

Mikey had a passion for track racing, fishing, trains and history. He loved learning about local history, especially as it related to coal mining. Mikey was a Phillies, Eagles and Flyers fan. He considered his older brother as his role model. He looked forward to volunteering with the Williamstown EMS and the Wiconisco Fire Company, as did his brother.

He was predeceased by his grandparents, Frank and Joyce Foster Mislyan, and Kenneth W. Hufnagle.

Mikey is survived by his parents, John and Jennifer Hufnagle Mislyan; one brother, Kenneth Hufnagle and his girlfriend Shyanne, Williamstown; his maternal grandmother, Joan Balulis Hufnagle, Seltzer; two aunts, Lisa Yanek and her husband Randy, Gordon, and Carol Miller and her husband Steve, Lykens; his beloved pets, Sadie and Chief; many cousins ​​and dear friends.

A visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Monday, November 14, 2022 at the Chapel of Dimon Funeral Home Inc. Services will be held at 7 p.m. with Pastor William Romberger officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Dimon Funeral Home & Cremation Services Inc., 644 E Grand Avenue, Tower City, PA 17980 to help with expenses.

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Elizabeth A. Hepler96, from Gordon, died Thursday morning at Geisinger Medical Centre, Shamokin.

She was born June 20, 1926 in Gilberton and was the daughter of the late Elizabeth (Grafton) and the late Joseph Guditus.

Elizabeth graduated from Gilberton High School and later worked as a seamstress in several local garment factories.

She was Protestant and enjoyed crafts, drawing and spending time with her family.

In addition to her parents, Elizabeth is predeceased by her first husband Franklin Paul Hepler Sr. who died in 1974, a significant other Rodney Mallams who died in 2015 and a sister Josephine Burak.

She is survived by her son Franklin Paul Hepler Jr., husband of Karen, Ashland; daughter Edith Wehry wife of Carl, Ashland; brother Edmund Guditus husband of Pat, Delaware; six grandchildren: Lisa Wehry, Carl Wehry, Amy Snyder, Paula Dietrich, Paul Hepler, Heather Fetterolf; five great-grandchildren: Matthew Kirk, Emily Wehry, Isabella Dietrich, Josalyn Dietrich, Gavin Fetterolf and several nieces and nephews.

Services will be private at the convenience of the family.

Kull-Heizenroth Funeral Home Inc. 901 Center Street Ashland, PA 17921 has made arrangements.

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James R. Lecher71, of St. Clair passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Thursday.

Born May 30, 1951 in Pottsville, he was the son of the late James and Patricia Lecher.

James was a member of Holy Apostles Church in St. Clair. He graduated from the BVM Nativity class of 1969.

James was a proud and active member of Alcoholics Anonymous. This community gave Jim peace and purpose through helping so many people. He made many loyal, loving and lasting friends through the people he met and helped.

In addition to his work in this community, he was a proud St. Clair Patroller and enjoyed greeting the children every morning and hearing about the end of each day. He was recently awarded the “best crossing guard ever” award by the children he sees every day.

Jim was married to the former Bonnie Davie who he had been married to for 52 years. They had been together since second year in high school.

Besides his parents, he is predeceased by his sister Debbie Spontak.

In addition to his wife, James is survived by his children Sean Lecher, husband of Melanie Key of Moorefield WV and Kristin Lecher of St. Clair. He is also survived by his grandchildren Cassidy, Nathan and Nicholas and his brother Brian Lecher d’Annville. He is also survived by his adorable pet dog Tilly.

A private memorial service will be held at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Jim’s name to North Parish Holy Apostles, Corner of Nicholas and Hancock Streets, St. Clair, PA 17970. Grabowski Funeral Home is performing services.

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Cynthia Franklin, 48, of New Ringgold, PA, died Thursday, November 10, 2022 in Bethlehem, PA. She was the wife of Jeremy A. Franklin who she has been married to for 25 years last May.

Born in Summit, NJ on January 16, 1974, Cynthia was the daughter of Nicholas and Ann (Dubrowsky) Pannullo of New Ringgold. A 1991 graduate of Pleasant Valley High School, she earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing in 1995 while studying logistics at Penn State University. In 2006, Cynthia received her Masters in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. She was the Purchasing Manager for Monroe County for over 20 years. Cynthia enjoyed taking cruises as well as trips to the Outer Banks, North Carolina and Bermuda and was a fan of Penn State Football. A very caring person, she brought joy to life and light to the world, illuminating every room she entered. Cynthia loved her children, her grandchildren and her dogs.

In addition to her husband and parents, Cynthia is survived by her children, Melanie of New Ringgold and Matthew of State College, PA; granddaughter, Bria Rose Christ; sister, Christine Pannullo of New Ringold; and many aunts and uncles.

Services will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 19, 2022 at Zizelmann-Gulla Funeral Home, 500 East Broad Street, Tamaqua with the Reverend Kevin Roberts officiating. Call 1-3 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorials in her name may be made to the American Cancer Society, PO Box 30386, Philadelphia, PA 19103 or at

Arrangements are made by Zizelmann-Gulla Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc., Tamaqua.

These obituaries are provided by Anthony Urban Law Offices. computer


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