Dr. John S. Biernacki


Dr. John S. Biernacki, Mountain Top, died Friday, December 27, 2013, at his home surrounded by his family.

Born in Wilkes-Barre, in 1926, he was a son of the late Pauline and John Biernacki.

Dr. Biernacki graduated from Ashley High School and attended Columbia University. He received his doctor of optometry from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in 1950. John was a World War II Army veteran, having served in the Pacific Theater.

Upon completing his professional education, Dr. Biernacki established his optometric practice in Wilkes-Barre and provided professional visual care for more than 55 years. Next to his family, his profession was his passion. He was instrumental in starting the externship program at PCO and over the years mentored more than 30 student optometrists. In 2012, he received the prestigious Alumni of the Year award, and had the honor of hooding his granddaughter Julie into his beloved profession.

He was very active in the community and served in many capacities. He was a life member of the Lions International: served as chairperson of the Heart and United Way campaigns: industrial development campaigns; past council member of Ashley borough, Fairview Township supervisor, advisory board member of Penn State Wilkes-Barre campus; board member of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Association for the Blind; member of the Westmoreland Club, Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce, Knights of Columbus and Catholic War Veterans. He also served his profession in many capacities as an officer in the local and state organization.

Dr. Biernacki was an avid Penn State fan and loved baseball, he played third base at Columbia. He was a member of St. Jude’s Roman Catholic Church in Mountain Top.

Dr. Biernacki was preceded in death, in addition to his parents, by his son, John III, in 2005; brothers, Steve and Joe; and his sister, Dorothy Gabala.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Alice; son, David, Mountain Top; Dr. Donna B. McLaughlin and her husband, Dr. William McLaughlin, Mountain Top; son, Ronald and his wife, Elizabeth Biernacki, Nashville, Tenn.; grandchildren, Megan, Shaun, Dr. Julie, and William; sisters, Caroline Casterline, Manchester, Conn.; and Pauline Brow, Median, Conn.; brother, Edward, Kingston; and step-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held in St. Jude’s Church, Mountain Top.

McCune Funeral Home, 80 S. Mountain Blvd., Mountain Top.

Memorial contributions should be made to the St. Jude building fund, 420 S. Mountain Blvd., Mountain Top, PA 18707, or the Wilkes-Barre Association of the Blind, 1825 Wyoming Ave., Exeter, PA 18643.

John M. (Jack) Reilly

Established Reilly’s Garage

John M. (Jack) Reilly, a lifelong Mountain Top resident, died Friday, January 3, 2014, at home surrounded by his loving family.

Born in Wilkes-Barre, he was a son of the late Michael Reilly and Florence Klein Reilly. Jack attended Crestwood High School, where he played basketball and was voted MVP. He served in the U. S. Army as a diesel mechanic instructor during the Korean Conflict. Jack was a member of the Mountain Top Lions Club and organized Mountain Top area’s first ever sports banquet. He was an avid fisherman all of his life and spent many years fishing Lake Ontario. He also enjoyed golfing with his many friends. Jack established Reilly’s Garage in 1958, which is now owned and operated by his sons. He was a member of St. Jude’s Parish.

The void he leaves his family is without measure for he was a genuine man, loving husband, devoted father, grandfather, and great grandfather.

Preceding him in death, in addition to his parents, was his loving son Martin Reilly and a brother, Michael Reilly.

Surviving are his wife of 57 years, the former Kay Schwartz; four children, John and wife Terri; Michelle and husband Lou; Cheryl Scalzo and husband Tony, and Timothy and wife Christine; 11 grandchildren and four greatgrandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held in St. Jude Church, Mountain Top. Arrangements were by McCune Funeral Home, 80 S. Mountain Blvd., Mountain Top.

Donations in his memory may be

made to the following: Mountain Top Hose Co No. 1, Mountain Top Ambulance, St. Jude’s Parish Building Fund.

Savitri Jaiswal

Mountaintop Resident

Savitri Jaiswal, 92, Mountaintop, died December 29, 2013, in Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.

Born Dec. 25, 1921, in India, she was a daughter of the late Krishna and Parvati Devi Prasad.

Savitri dedicated her life to the care of her family.

Her husband, N. D. Jaiswal, preceded her in death.

She will be greatly missed by her sons, Niranjan D. Gupta, Mountain Top; Santosh Jaiswal, Blue Bell; and Peeyush Jaiswal, Boca Raton, Fla.; eight grandchildren; 10 greatgrandchildren; and other family, especially her daughter-in-law, Namita D. Gupta, who was a loving and devoted caregiver for many years.

A celebration of Savitri’s life was held at McLaughlin’s –The Family Funeral Service, Wilkes-Barre. A private cremation will follow.

Permanent messages and memories can be shared with Savitri’s family at

Gloria M. MacLaren

White Haven Resident

Gloria M. MacLaren, 71, of White Haven, died Saturday evening, January 4, 2014, in Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre.

Funeral arrangements were being being finalized at press time by the Lehman Family Funeral Service Inc., 403 Berwick St., White Haven. to