Dr. Druffner Sr. honored 45 years ago

First Posted: 1/27/2013


West Pittston School District was looking toward 1958 in hopes of putting what school activity back in the black?

1958 – 55 years ago

Requests by the Pennsylvania State Education Association, if complied with, would cost the West Pittston School District approximately $3,300. The association requested that the school pay the cost of Blue Cross insurance for teachers, that a $50 increment be given for each additional 15 approved credits a teacher had beyond a master’s degree and that all teachers with 30 years or more with the district be given a $200 annual increase.

Bob Shimkoski, Danny Polorecki, Tonny Patte, John Czar, John Sudol, Joseph Shambe, James Pribula, Ronnie Timinski and Bob Barnak were members of the varsity basketball team at Dupont High School. The young men were coached by Guy Costello.

In 1930, August J. Lippi began his association with The First National Bank in Exeter while serving as president of the United Mine Workers of District 1. Eventually, he became chairman of the board of the bank. Upon the death of bank president William Clark, he was elected as the fourth succeeding president.

1968 – 45 years ago

The Avoca Lions held its 18th anniversary Charter Night dinner, paying special homage to Dr. Lewis C. Druffner Sr. in recognition of his 50 years of service in Avoca.

A poetic tribute written by Charles J. Golden was read at the event honoring the dedicated physician.

Druffner is the father of Dr. Lewis Druffner Jr. who is The Sunday Dispatch 2012 Joseph A. Saporito Lifetime of Service Award Winner.

Here is an excerpt from the poem published in the Sunday Dispatch in 1968.

We have often thought that as a doctor

In your make-up, you had an angelic strain

For regardless of weather, time of day

You came forth to relive our pain

Perhaps a broken arm up at Houston City,

Tougher’s Patch pneumonia, heavy cold

Lidy’s Road someone has been badly burned

Little York the ills, complaints of the old.

Remember the incident at Dupont

When a demented man met you with a gun

When you were on a mercy call

For your life you had to run

There are lots more incidents to write about

Some of sadness when death was near,

The joys, thrills of a new baby

Where you assist nature, the mother we revere.

Well today, we meet to do honor

Pay tribute to a life well spent

Today we say Thanks as we bow our heads,

Knowing that from Heaven to us, you were sent.

Charles J. Golden

Jan. 20, 1968

Making a presentation of a commemorative plaque were Lions Frank Hayden, Joseph Wroblewski Jr., Dr Lewis C. Druffner Jr., Austin O’Malley, Dr. Leonard Towlen, Harold Davies, John Coffee Jr. and Avoca Mayor James McLane.

The Hughestown Hose Company Auxiliary held their election of officers. Mrs. Francis Carey, vice president, installed new officers: Mrs. Donald Booth, president; Mrs. James Bell, vice president; Mrs. Martin Melvin, secretary; Mrs. Ronald Helreigel, treasurer; Mrs. Clarence Hensley Jr., publicity chairman.

Eleven properties were slated to be demolished by the Redevelopment Authority of Pittston. Some of the properties were on the right of way of the proposed new Kennedy Boulevard, which would extend from the Fort Jenkins Bridge to East Columbus Avenue while others were in the vicinity of and on Tompkins Street. Medico buildings, The Moran and Independent Beef Houses, Rucco’s Café and some Tompkins Street homes were among the properties due to be razed.

1978 – 35 years ago

The Excelsior Hose Company in Duryea suffered a devastating fire in January 1978. Firemen from Brookhaven Volunteer Fire Department outside of Philadelphia heard of the loss and quickly called Excelsior Fire Chief Ed Scoda to donate their 1956 Ward LaFrance Pumper to the stricken company. Chief Scoda and three assistants Dave Scoda, Ron Wolcott and Bill Yedesko drove to Brookhaven to accept their generous offer. The four men took turns driving the open cab vehicle in extremely cold weather back to Duryea and an automotive garage owned by Walter Naylor, who donated one of his stalls to house the pumper.

The Pittston Library asked fifth-grade students of St. John the Baptist School if they would like to write a letter to President Jimmy Carter. The youngsters were excited about the idea. Some unedited letters follow:

Dear Mr. President:

I am glad you are the president, it must be hard to be President. But I hope you make the wright decision for everyone. Keep on Trying.

Your admiring citizen,

Stephen Girman

Dear Mr. Carter:

I would like to congratulate you for winning and beginning in the white house. I wish someday I could be the president and live in the white house to have the country do what you say. If I was I would lower taxes and look for jobs for people who need them.

Your friend,

Michael Valenti

Dear Mr. President:

I admire you for keeping the country in such good order. I can’t even keep my homework in good order.

Yours truly,

Mike McHugh

James Earl Carter Jr. served as 39th president of the United States from 1977 to 1981. He lost his bid for a second term to Ronald Reagan. Minutes after Carter’s term in office ended, 52 U.S. captives held at the U.S. embassy in Iran were released, ending the 444-day Iran hostage crisis.

After the Agnes flood of 1972, Helene Wohlgemuth, Secretary of the Department of Public Welfare, recognized that Wyoming Valley needed a social delivery system to aid in recovery in case of disaster as well as to provide a one-stop shop for residents in need. Through her efforts, the Pennsylvania’s United Services Agency was officially established to integrate services provided by Child Welfare, day care, Bureau for the Aging, adult welfare and a list of other services. Pittston Agency Manager Nello Augustine, along with Patricia Mentis, Joe Richie and Robert McDonnell worked to eliminate the bureaucracy of governmental agencies in the center and provide services to residents of Greater Pittston in need of assistance on many levels.

1988 – 25 years ago

Michelle Eifert, of West Pittston, was 10 years old when she joined Girl Scouts. She worked her way up to a Junior Girl Scout then on to a Cadet. Michelle though, had a goal – to receive the coveted Gold Award, the highest award one can attain in Girl Scouts. In 1988 after many years of hard work, Michelle received the award that was considered so rare that only 11 others in Northeastern Pennsylvania had attained the goal. Eifert’s final project on her journey to win the award was implementing a Fun Day at the Pittston YMCA. It included races and activities for handicapped children. She credited her parents Barbara and Donald Eifert. They’ve helped me quite a bit over the years, she said.

Cindy Butcofski, of West Wyoming and a student at Wyoming Area, had been involved with swimming for 10 years. She was a three-time district champion for the Lady Warriors and had broken District II records for the 200 IM and 100 backstroke for three consecutive years and finished sixth in the state in 1987. In 1988, Butcofski hoped to place in the states and continue her swimming career in college.


Although the West Pittston High school football coaching staff was turning out winning squads, the sport wasn’t proving popular with the public. The figures showed that football went into the red by over $2,000 during the 1957 season. While income amounted to $5,153, expenditures totaled $7,356. Board members hoped the school’s move to the Eastern Conference would produce a tougher grid schedule and general more interest in the games.

Judge me all you want, just keep the verdict to yourself.

From a Winston cigarette advertisement

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