Schuylkill County Obituaries for June 15, 2024

Obituaries published from the Schuylkill County area.

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Bettye F. (Knox) ​​Bannan, 87, of The Villages, Florida and formerly of Tamaqua, passed away on Monday, June 10, 2024, surrounded by her loved ones at her daughter’s home in Florida. She was the wife of the late Robert E. Bannan, to whom she was married for 60 years when he passed away in 2016.

Bettye, daughter of the late Wesley and Maude (Morphus) Knox, graduated from Greenville High School in Mississippi in 1955. She has worked in various capacities throughout her life, most recently serving as activities director for the Mountain City Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Hazle Township. Bettye was a very devout Christian and all her activities and volunteer work were focused on her church. She was a member of Bethany Evangelical Church of Tamaqua and an avid baseball fan.

Bettye is survived by five daughters: Jayne Bass and her companion Wayne Kreisl of The Villages, Florida, Cynthia Weeks and her late husband William of Atlanta, Georgia, Susan Estevez and her husband Frank of Denver, Colorado, Maude Keich and her husband Allen of Tamaqua , and Angie Traupman and her husband Gene of The Villages, Florida; a son, Robert and his wife Lola of Barnesville; twelve grandchildren, Nicole, Ashley, Amanda, Laura, Shauna, Sarah, Emily, Amy, David, Jonathan, Michael and Wesley; many great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert; a daughter, Romana Croll; seven brothers and sisters, Robert, Byron, Shelby, John, Grace, Ruth and Dorothy.

Services will be held on Thursday, June 20, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. at Bethany Evangelical Church, 223 East Broad Street, Tamaqua, with Rev. Kevin Roberts officiating. Burial will be in Odd Fellows Cemetery, 503 West Broad Street, Tamaqua. Viewing day Thursday from 9:00 am to 11:00 am in the church. Memorials may be placed in Bettye’s name at the church.

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


Maria Ann Sokola80, of Minersville, died Wednesday at Geisinger St. Luke’s Hospital, Orwigsburg.

Born in Pottsville, she was the daughter of the late Stephen and Mary Kralick Fedeles.

Mary Ann worked at the former St. Stanislaus Kostka Church and St. Matthew’s Church, Minersville, worked in ROTC at Lafyette College and also spent time in Washington DC. She was a 1961 graduate of Nativity BVM High School and also belonged to the Minersville Quilters Club. She was a former member of Sts. Peter & Paul Byzantine Catholic Church, Minersville, the former St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, Minersville, and was a member of St. Matthew’s Church of Holy Family Parish, Minersville.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband John in 2014 and by a brother Stephen Fedeles in 2020.

Mary Ann is survived by two sons, Neil, Minersville and Brian with his wife Knar, New York City; two grandchildren, Lucine and Aleksander; two sisters, Paulette Murphy and her husband Vincent, and Jayne Hontz and her husband Robert, both of West West Terrace, and a sister-in-law, Pat Fedeles, Florida, as well as several nieces and nephews.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at St Matthew’s Church of Holy Family Parish, 139 Spruce St., Minersville. Relatives and friends may call Monday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. and Tuesday morning from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Donald J. Butler Funeral Home, 328 Sunbury St., Minersville. Burial will be in St. Stanislaus Cemetery #2, Minersville.

The family prefers memorials in the form of contributions in Mary Ann’s memory to the Hillside SPCA, PO Box 233, 51 SPCA Road, Pottsville, Pa. 17901. Contributions will be accepted at the funeral home.


Kelly Ann Gemmell52, of Minersville, died Wednesday, June 12, as a result of a car accident on Route 422 Berks County.

Kelly Ann was born on February 5, 1972 in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Rita C. (Brown) Gemmell and the late John W. “Jack” Gemmell, Sr. She was a member of the former St. Vincent De Paul Church and of St. Michael the Archangel Church of the Holy Family Parish.

Kelly Ann was a 1990 graduate of Nativity BVM High School, Pottsville and a 2011 graduate of Alvernia University, Reading, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She worked as a bookstore manager at Barnes and Noble Bookstores at Penn State University Hazleton and Penn State University Schuylkill Campus.

In addition to her father, she was preceded in death by her son, Colin J. Snyder.

Kelly is survived by her mother, Rita, a daughter, Abigail “Abbey” M. Snyder.

Kelly is also survived by two sisters, Colleen E., wife of Bill Kline, and Maureen M., wife of Steven Yoachim, brothers, John W. Gemmell Jr., James J., husband of Brenda Gemmell, and Shawn, husband of Kris Gemmel. Nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held at Mahal-Ritzel Funeral Home Inc. on Wednesday, June 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. in Minersville, PA. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. at St. Michael the Archangel of the Holy Family Parish with the Rev. Christopher M. Zelonis officiating. Burial in St. Vincent De Paul Cemetery No. 2. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made directly to the family for Abbey’s education fund.

Mahal-Ritzel Funeral Home Inc., Minersville in charge of arrangements

These obituaries are offered by Anthony Urban Law Offices. PC