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1932 Richard 2023

Richard F. Jatkowski

June 18, 1932 — September 24, 2023

Richard Felix Jatkowski, 91, of Carverton, passed away September 24th at the Meadows Nursing Center, Dallas.

He was born June 18, 1932, in West Wyoming, PA, the son of the late Joseph and Anna Jatkowski (Gashi). Rich was a graduate of West Wyoming High School, class of 1950.

Richard had a multitude of jobs over the course of 60 years. As a teenage boy, he helped local farmers in the fields near present-day Moonlight Drive-in, Frances Slocum State Park, and on Bodle Road for farmer Andrew Germick (his future father-in-law!) He was also employed by Santarelli Blocks, worked in Irvington NJ at a television tube factory, and partner in a construction company with his cousin (and #1 fishing buddy) Frank Yatsko. He aided an uncle in making wooden props for the local coal mines and was later employed by the Blue Coal mine for roughly 5 years, before and after his time in the United States Army.

Rich was drafted during the Korean War, serving for 2 years. During his enlistment he spent time in both the prestigious 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions. After returning home from the military, he continued to work at the mines while moonlighting making plant boxes for local cemeteries, both endeavors ceasing when the Knox Mine Disaster ended coal mining in the Wyoming Valley. Rich then did oil deliveries for Safford Oil followed by time at Emanuel’s Bus Lines as both a mechanic and a school bus driver for the Dallas School District, where he lovingly earned the nickname “Tex” for his choice of hat. During his time as a bus driver/mechanic, he also served on the now-defunct Franklin Township Police Department and was the Assistant Fire Chief for the Frankling Township Volunteer Fire Company, helping to organize their annual bazaars.

Richard then worked for the U. S. Postal Service as a rural mail carrier for nearly 30 years. Many people remember him from their childhood, fondly, as the mailman who would always throw them a handful of candy (mostly Bazooka bubble gum).

During this time, he and his wife Bardie also owned and operated the pet shop Bunny Bonanza for 20 years. Between Bazookas and Bunnies, Richard was known by many! He retired both from the post office and pet shop around 2000.

Richard – jack of all trades, mastered enough.

Early in Rich’s employment journey, while working on a farm on Bodle Road, he met the love of his life: Bardie Germick. They courted for several years and were married in February 1957. They were married for 63 years until Bardie’s passing in November 2020. Their only child, Adam, was born in 1975. Richard was a loving father and good friend to his “Addie,” often providing support, guidance, and reminders of common-sense solutions to problems. His grandchildren Isaac and Irie Jatkowski were his pride and joy. Jaju, as he was known to them, was blessed with years of quality time with them both.

Richard was also an avid sportsman, having fished, trapped, and hunted for many decades. He loved talking about such things and helped cultivate that love in his brother-in-law’s Andrew and Edward.

Rich was a captivating storyteller. He was happy to share his stories with anyone who would listen. Topics would vary, and quite often a tale would start as seemingly boring, only to suddenly turn into something spectacular and unexpected.

He is preceded in death by his wife Bardie, and brothers James and Joseph.

Surviving are his son Adam, his wife Kristy Rice, and their children Isaac and Irie; brother Edward Germick and his wife Margaret; sister-in-law Susan Germick; as well as various nieces and nephews.

A funeral service will be held Saturday September 30, 2023, at 10:30am in the Back Mountain Harvest Church 340 Carverton Road, Trucksville, Pa 18708 with the Rev Jack Rehill officiating.

Family and friends are asked to go directly to the church the morning of services.

Entombment will be in the Memorial Shrine Cemetery, Carverton.

Friends may call Friday September 29, 2023, 5-8pm in the Metcalfe Shaver Kopcza Funeral Home Inc 504 Wyoming Avenue Wyoming and Saturday from 10-10:30am in the Back Mountain Harvest Church.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Arrangements are by the Metcalfe Shaver Kopcza Funeral Home Inc 504 Wyoming Avenue Wyoming, Pa 18644

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard F. Jatkowski, please visit our flower store.


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