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Member Obituaries

Wilbert L. Shannon Sr.

83, of Wheatland, died unexpectedly Sunday, March 11, 2018, at Sharon Regional Medical Center after a brief illness.

He was born Aug. 20, 1934, in Cheraw, S.C., the son of the late Jeff and Alice M. Lee Shannon.

He was raised in Wheatland and Farrell, and was a 1953 graduate of Farrell High School.

Mr. Shannon attended Grambling University in Louisiana; Cheyney (Pa.) State; and was a graduate of the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science in Pittsburgh.

He became a licensed funeral director and embalmer in January 1957, and had licenses in Pennsylvania and Ohio. He also was formerly licensed in New York and West Virginia.

A U.S. Army veteran, he established the Wilbert L. Shannon Funeral Home in June 1959.

Mr. Shannon is survived by his wife, Bernice Laverne Morgan Shannon, whom he married in 1959.

Some of Mr. Shannon's associations included Mercer County Funeral Directors (past president, secretary-treasurer and executive committee); National Funeral Directors Association; and Ohio Embalmers Association.

He was appointed by Pennsylvania Gov. Raymond Shafer in 1968 to the State Board of Funeral Directors and was elected board chairman in 1972. This made him the first African American and Mercer County resident to be a member of the Pennsylvania Board of Funeral Directors licensing board and member of the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association.

He served as interim manager of the Myron N. Howard Funeral Home in Youngstown, Ohio, in 2001, and was licensed in Pennsylvania and Ohio to sell insurance for Christian Benefit Association.

Mr. Shannon was a founder of the Shenango Valley Urban League; a member of the Mercer County Frontiers; past president of the Mercer County NAACP (life member); and was made an Elk on Sight by Hobson Reynolds, Grand Exalter Ruler of Elks and a funeral director.

He was a member of Twin City Elks Lodge 187 in Farrell; past Senior Worthy Patron, Miriam Chapter 47, Order of the Eastern Star PHA, Farrell; president of the Shenango Valley Services Inc.; board member of Parents of Murdered Children; and a member and former trustee of Greater Morris Chapel AME Church, Farrell

Mr. Shannon was Mason of the Year for Calumet Lodge 25 F&AM (PHA) of Farrell in 2005, where he also was past master and a 50-year member.

He was a member of Whitney M. Young Jr. Consistory 88 of Erie and was honored by the Hon. Robert E. Wyatt Sr., most worshipful grand master, in 2004 for long and faithful service as senior worthy patron to Miriam Chapter 47 OES PHA.
Mr. Shannon was elevated to the 33rd and last degree in Masonry in the Class of 2008 in Cincinnati and was named Grand Inspector General of the United Supreme Council A&ASR of Free Masonry PHA Northern Jurisdiction. He also was named to Penna Commanders of the Rite.

He received awards from Shenango Valley Urban League; Mercer County Funeral Directors Association, Pennsylvania State Board of Funeral Directors, Parents of Murdered Children, Calumet Lodge 25 F&AM (PHA), Everlife AIG Church of Youngstown, Southwest Gardens Economic Development Corp., Pennsylvania Council of Deliberation AASR-PHA Scottish Rite Mason of the Year 2006 and was recognized by the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association for 50 years of service to the profession (2007). His funeral home was also honored on its 50th anniversary by the PFDA and the NFDA.
He received a certificate of excellence for commendable service from Farrell Mayor Olive McKeithan.

Mr. Shannon was a former board member of First National Bank of Pennsylvania, Mercer County Community Action Agency, Boy Scouts of America, United Way, American Red Cross, Mercer County Blind Association, Crash Inc. (now known as MCAA), and the borough of Wheatland Planning Committee.

Mr. Shannon chaired the Julius L. McCoy Memorial Committee to honor the late Mr. McCoy with a monument in front of the E.J. McCluskey Gym, planting of Japanese cherry trees outside the gym and the naming of the drive, which runs from Roemer Boulevard around the school campus to Sharon-New Castle Road, Julius L. McCoy Drive.

Other survivors, in addition to his wife, include two children, Mavis Celeste Shannon-Odem (Timothy) of Farrell and Morgan L. Shannon (Sherri) of Charleston, S.C.; three grandchildren, Arthur H., Brittni L. and Theresa M.; three great-grandchildren, Arthur J., Noah A., Brielle M. and Isabelle; his godbrother, Kenneth Smith; and goddaughter, Funder (Norman) Blue; and a godson, Lawrence Crossley.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Wilbert L. Shannon Jr., on June 10, 2010.

Calling hours: 4-7 p.m. Friday (3-16-18) at Valley Baptist Church in Farrell, with Masonic rites. Family will receive visitors at 1400 and 1520 Farrell Terrace, Farrell.
Funeral: 10 a.m. Saturday (3-17-18) at Greater Morris Chapel AME Church, 926 Darr Ave., Farrell, with his son, Morgan L. Shannon, as eulogist, and Bishop Alvin J. McCoy, pastor of New and Living Way Apostolic Church in Sharon, officiating.
Burial: Oakwood Cemetery, with full military honors.

All flowers should be delivered on Saturday only to Morris Chapel.

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Ruth D. Humbert

101, Confluence, passed away Friday, March 16, 2018 at Meadow View Nursing Center, Berlin. She was born November 23, 1916 in Listonburg, a daughter of John and Maude (Matthews) Dridy. Her parents, husband, Norton, sister, Louise Frazee, brother, Harold Dridy and nephews, William Frazee and Peter Beggs preceded her in death. She is survived by a son, Max and wife, Barbara, granddaughters, Diana Humbert and husband, William Hinzy and Leslie Humbert; step granddaughters, Lindsay and Amy Shaffer; great grandson, William Humbert Hinzy; step great grandsons, Caidyn Schwartz and Jaxson Hurst; sister-in-law, Patricia (Humbert) Beggs and husband, Richard; nieces, Carol Blubaugh, Marlene Tissue and Tracey Kelly, nephews, Dean Frazee, C. Gregory and Gary Frantz and a number of great and great great nieces and nephews. She was a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church and a former member for as long as her health would allow of the Confluence Womens Civic Club, Ursina American Legion Auxiliary and Trinity Chapter 138 O.E. S., Somerset. Friends will be received from 2-4 and 6-8 PM Tuesday at the Humbert Funeral Home in Confluence, where a service will be held at 1 PM Wednesday with Rev. Arthur J. Gotjen officiating. Viewing one hour prior to the service on Wednesday. Interment in Addison Cemetery.

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Joseph W. Lopez

74, of Belle Vernon, passed away Tuesday, March 20, 2018.

He was born November 9, 1943, a son of the late Frank and Grace Weir Lopez.

Deceased, in addition to his parents, are a baby brother, Joey, who died in 1942, and an older brother, Tony, who died in 2004.

In 1970, he married Marjorie Demko, and they were blessed with three children, Joe (Kat) of Charleroi, Laura (Sean) of Belle Vernon and Frank (Kristy) of Belle Vernon. They had four grandchildren, Gianna and Antonio Lorenzo and Grace and Vincenzo Lopez. Also surviving are three sisters-in-law, Maryann Demko of Florida, Joni (Gordon) Pavtis of Arizona and Sharon Brunetti of Detroit, Mich.

Mr. Lopez was a 1961 graduate of Bellmar High School, where he excelled in football, basketball and baseball. He was inducted into the Belle Vernon Area Football Hall of Fame in 2003. After graduation, Mr. Lopez attended California University and West Virginia University, from where he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in education.

He coached Little League and Bronco League in the Belle Vernon area, winning many championships. He took his 1976 Bronco All Star team to the Bronco World Series in New Bedford, Mass., losing to the best team in the World Series finals.

Mr. Lopez served as a member of Belle Vernon Area school board and on the Recreation Boards of Community.

He was a PIAA official in football, basketball, baseball and softball. For 35 years, he worked many WPIAL tournament games and altogether officiated nearly 5,000 games in his career.

Mr. Lopez was a Democratic Committee member in North Belle Vernon and Belle Vernon for many years. He belonged to the EBVAA and Naomi A.C. lifetime organizations. Mr. Lopez was also a part-time volunteer for Meals on Wheels.

He was a lifelong member of St. Sebastian Church, Belle Vernon, where he belonged to Catholic Youth Organization and Holy Name Society. He served as an usher at St. Sebastian's for 54 years. He was elected to the very first parish council in St. Sebastian's, where he served in the finance committee.

Mr. Lopez taught in Ringgold School District for 35 years and taught at Caster School, Donora and Finley Junior High Schools and Carroll Junior High School. His discipline was reading and literature. He was also very active as a coach in Ringgold. He coached football, basketball and track in both the junior high and high schools. He coached boys and girls in basketball and track, where he was the first girls coach at Ringgold High School in the 1970s. His boys basketball teams were renowned, as they won 18 section championships in 32 years. He was often given credit for molding Ringgold's powerful, section-winning teams of the '60s, '70s, '80s and '90s. He finished his athletic career retiring with 414 wins. Many of his former players went on to play ball in college, some reaching great heights in life. His former athletes, both boys and girls, always hugged "coach" when they would run into him in later years.

In retirement, Mr. Lopez enjoyed reading, gardening and traveling. He loved to grow beautiful vegetables in his garden, which he gave most of to his close friends and family. Mr. Lopez also loved Pittsburgh sports teams. He loved to sit on his "veranda" at night and watch his favorite team play. He and his beloved wife of 47 years, Marjorie, traveled extensively and their favorite destination was Aruba, where they traveled many times.

Friends will be received from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday in his son's funeral home, Carl J. Spallino Funeral Home, 819 Fallowfield Avenue, Charleroi, Joseph A. Lopez, funeral director. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, March 26, in St. Sebastian Roman Catholic Church, Belle Vernon. Interment will follow in Belle Vernon Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, Mr. Lopez requested donations be given to Meals on Wheels programs.

Condolences may be expressed at www.spallinofuneralhome.com.

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Anthony E. Perry

Age 91, of Oakland, on Holy Saturday, March 31, 2018. He was the owner and Funeral Director of the Anthony E. Perry Funeral Home-Oakland since January 18, 1949. Brother of the late John F. and Francis E. Perry; brother-in-law of Gloria Perry; uncle of Jean Marie, David, the late Nancy Anne and Emanuel F. (Manny) Perry; son of the late Emanuel F., Sr. and Vincenza Maria (Bonaccorsi) Perry. Friends received Friday 2-8 p.m. at the READSHAW FUNERAL HOME, INC., 1503 Brownsville Road, Pittsburgh 15210. Mass of Christian Burial 10 a.m. Saturday in St. Sylvester Parish, 3754 Brownsville Rd., Brentwood 15227. In lieu of flowers, memorials to EWTN, 5817 Old Leeds Rd., Irondale, AL 35210-9948. Arrangements by the ELMER L. HERMAN FUNERAL HOME, Pittsburgh.

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