Second Front
Rice Supervisor Thomas Challenges Stella, Venesky On Unauthorized Advertising
Michael J. Makos

World War II Veteran

Michael J. Makos, 86, Mountaintop and formerly of Plymouth, died Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013, at Providence Place, Drums.

Born July 13, 1927, in Plymouth, he was a son of the late Michael J. Makos and Anna Mazur Makos.

Michael was an active member of All Saints Parish, Plymouth, and had been a president of the Holy Name Society at the former St. Mary’s Nativity Church, Plymouth.

He was a veteran of the U. S. Army Air Force in World War II, serving in the Pacific theatre and afterward. During the occupation of Japan, he was the radio operator on a PBY Catalina that set a worldwide endurance record for flying 25 hours and 10 minutes without refueling. More than 80 percent of the hazardous 3,000-mile journey occurred in thick fog.

Michael’s wartime service later inspired his grandchildren to publish the military history magazine Ghost Wings, devoted to “Honoring the Sacrifices of America’s Veterans,” and the recent New York Times bestselling book, “A Higher Call,” which was dedicated to him.

Prior to retirement, Michael was employed by Tobyhanna Army Depot, Department of Defense, in the electrical engineering department. While there he received awards from the U. S. Army for tools he invented that were subsequently patented by the Army. His expertise spanned a significant number of different areas. He was also a member of the VFW Shawnee Post 1425, Plymouth, and a member of the Blytheburn Lake Association.

Michael’s pastimes included restoring antique automobiles, ranging from a Model T Ford to a 1942 Willis Jeep, as well as building and flying radio-controlled airplanes. He was a member of various bowling leagues, wrote music for and played his beloved accordion and loved to dance the polka.

Michael was preceded in death by his wife, the former Marion R. Zabretsky, who passed away on March 12, 2001.

Surviving him are his sons and their wives, Michael J. Makos Jr. and his wife, Doreen, Media; Robert Makos and his wife, Karen, Thornton, Colo., and Bernard Makos and his wife, Lori, Mansfield. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren, Christopher, Russell, Adam, Bryan, Erica, Elizabeth, Andrew, Alexander, Lydia and Marion Makos; and one great-grandson, Zachary. Michael will also be missed by his seven siblings, especially Sophie Kmetz, Plymouth; Florence Shaw, Plymouth, and Chester Makos, Wilkes-Barre; sister-in-law, Imgard Zabretsky, Larksville; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to Catholic Social Services, 35 E. Northampton St.,Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701.

To submit online condolences to Michael Makos’ family, please visit

Joseph Krutz

World War II Veteran

Joseph Krutz, 87, a life resident of Mountaintop, died Friday evening, Oct. 11, 2013, at Smith Health Care.

Born in Mountain Top, he was the son of the late John and Anna Curie Krutz. He was educated in Mountain Top schools and was a graduate of Fairview High School.

A U. S. Army veteran of World War II, he served in the European African Middle Eastern Theater.

He was employed by M&T Chemical Co., Rahway, N. J., retiring after 35 years of service.

He was a member of American Legion Mountain Post 781, Mountain Top.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers, John and Nicholas, and sisters, Stella, Anne, Mary, Fay, Helen and Katherine.

Surviving are many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held from Desiderio Funeral Home Inc., 436 S. Mountain Blvd., Mountain Top. A Mass of Christian Burial was held in St. Jude’s Roman Catholic Church, Mountain Top.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Jude’s Building Fund.

Dorothy F. Gandzyk

Mountaintop Resident

Dorothy F. Gandzyk, 75, Mountaintop, died Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, in Commonwealth Hospice Inpatient Unit at St. Luke’s Villa, Wilkes-Barre.

She was born in Wilkes-Barre, daughter of the late Benjamin and Frances Kwiatkowski Armusik.

Dorothy is survived by son, Mark Gandzyk, Mountain Top; brother, Benjamin Armusik, Ashley; nieces, nephews and cousins.

Funeral services will be held Oct. 26 in St. Jude’s Church, Mountain Top. Franciscan prayers will be at 9 a. m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a. m.

At the end of the Rice Township Supervisors monthly meeting Tuesday October 8, Supervisor Marcia Thomas aired a complaint with Supervisors Miller Stella and George Venesky and Secretary-Treasurer Don Armstrong.

“My name appeared in an ad in the Mountain Peaks, a giveaway paper and I would like to know who prepared that ad,” began Thomas.

Venesky replied, “It’s not an ad, it’s a newsletter. You had your chance for input. Yes, we did. ”

“It says right across the top Paid Advertisement. I want to know who wrote it and who paid for it,” questioned Thomas. “I specifically told Don I wanted to see whatever you come up with for the Township Report for 2012 before it is distributed, published, printed or disseminated in any way. Do you remember that conversation, Don?”

Armstrong mumbled “Mm, Hmm. It was produced, and I was instructed what to do with it by the supervisors.”

Thomas returned, “By me?”

Armstrong said, “You didn’t participate.”

“Did you follow my request as

a supervisor to provide me with anything? You had my name in it and you never even showed it to me. Whose paying for that and how much?” asked Thomas.

Venesky replied, “$600. Do you have a problem with the content with that?”

“Its another election cycle. Surprise, surprise! Right before a major election there is Rice Township all over. Are you paying for that personally yourself, George?” asked Thomas.

Venesky replied, “No, we send a township newsletter out every year.”

Thomas, “No you don’t. You didn’t send one last year. You sent two out one year and you send one out in election year.”

“You’re just mad because it isn’t the newspaper you work for,” chided Venesky.

“I’m mad because it is an underhanded cowardly act on your part not to have the guts to show me something you wrote about me. You’re using my tax money to run it against me. And I don’t appreciate that. An officer and a gentleman does not exist in Rice Township any more. So it’s being paid out of township funds. Are there any other surprises coming along that I am going to be paying for? Is there any more news on the doorstep that is coming from Rice Township?” Thomas pressed

Venesky, Armstrong and Stella were mute. “Hello! Hello! Your public awaits you. Do you want to stand up and face your electorate?

Venesky said, “You sued me twice.”

“There was one suit and there were several defamations,” said Thomas.

“You using the township funds to distribute something that is so obviously self centered and self interested is really I think questionable practice. Is there something else that is going to come out?” pressed Thomas.

“There is nothing in that newsletter that is not fact,” retorted Venesky. “I’m not gonna answer you.”

“You’re not answering me?” Thomas returned.

“Bill (Higgs) did you review that and see if it was strictly speaking is the subject for a legal ad? Advertisements are supposed to be approved in advance. It’s not even on here. You never even approved it aftermath. What else are you doing? What else have you done? I want to know right now.

“Be careful what you say. We’ll get sued again,” continued Venesky.

‘The people have a right to know where their tax money is being spent. Now what else have you done?” Thomas addressed Venesky, Stella, Armstrong and Higgs.

Venesky said “No Comment” Joan Pipech called out, “Are you

mailing it to everybody again?” Stella warned, “Public comment’s


“All right, I’ll ask,” said Thomas,

“Are you mailing it to everybody again?”

“So what’s the answer, Yes? At least have the guts to answer it,” pressed Thomas.

Don, did you receive instructions from George and Miller to mail something? I can’t hear you, I can’t see you. Are you responding to my question, Don?”

Stella said, “Lets’ move on. I have a motion on the floor for adjournment.”

“Shame, shame, shame,” concluded Thomas.