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Joseph A. Frank

September 5, 2014

U.S. Veteran


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Joseph A. Frank, 88 of Laflin, PA, Chairman/CEO of Centralia Coal Sales Company, passed away Friday evening, September 5, 2014, at his home.

Born in Newtown, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, he was the son of the late Herman and Philomena (Megann) Frank, Sr.

Joe graduated from Minersville High School in 1944 and began active duty in the U.S. Navy the very next day.  He served aboard the Battleship USS New York (BB34), which took part in the invasion of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.  The USS New York was awarded a commendation for being the only ship ever to stay in the battle area for 56 consecutive days.  The USS New York later took part in the first atomic bomb test off Eniwetok Atoll.  After the war, he served in the Naval Reserves at Willow Grove Naval Air Station as a weekend warrior.

Joe began working for Pagnotti Coal Company as a clerk and held various supervisory positions within the many operations.  He later joined the sales department of the Mid-Atlantic States and in 1957 became Manager of the Philadelphia Office of Lehigh Valley Coal Sales Company.  In 1968, he was appointed Vice President in charge of sales where he remained until 1975 when he left to become partner and Vice President of Centralia Coal Sales Company, Wilkes-Barre, PA.  In 1977, he became sole owner and President of the Company, which today is the largest sales agent in the industry.

He was the founder of Valley Chevrolet and was one of the founders of Penn State Mechanical Contractors.

In addition to his business interests, Joe was active in many civic and charitable organizations.  He was involved in the Boy Scouts of America, both in Warminster and Laflin, PA; he was a Little League coach and a member of the Plains American Legion, Joseph E. Conlon, Post 558.

Joe was a member of St. Maria Goretti Church, Laflin, where he attended daily mass for over forty years.  He was the parish’s first lector and served on the church building and finance committees.  He was appointed to U.S. Coal Council by President Ronald Regan.  Little Flower Manor and St. Therese Residence presented Joe with their Crystal Rose Award for his valuable contribution of time, talent, and treasures to organizations that provide basic welfare, social, educational, and spiritual needs to their community.  He was one of the founders of St. Vincent DePaul Soup Kitchen which celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in September, 2013.

He was active in the Catholic Youth Center of Wyoming Valley and served as a board member and president of the board for several years.  He served on the board of directors of Wyoming National Bank, The American Red Cross, the Earth Conservancy, Mercy Health Care, and King’s College, where he received an honorary Doctorate Degree and remained Board Member Emeritus.  He served as president of the board of Catholic Social Services and was a member of the board of directors of Volunteers of America.  He was on the board of directors of the United Way of Wyoming Valley, where he was the Campaign Chairman of the United Way 1992 Campaign.  He was a member of the Laflin Zoning Board for many years.

He was married for 62 years to the former Patricia Barrett of Pottsville, Pennsylvania who preceded him in death on June 8, 2011.  Joe was the last remaining member of his family.  Preceding him in death are his parents Herman and Philomena Frank, brothers John, Herman, Paul, James, and Raymond; sisters Mary Maley and Elizabeth Smith; son-in-law Michael Costanza; and granddaughter Grace Dobson.

Joe is survived by his son Joseph A. Frank, Jr. and his wife Gail, Kingston, daughters Jane Costanza, Laflin, Judith Crouse and her husband Carl, Allentown, Jill Dobson and her husband Mark, Merrimac, MA, and son Jeffrey Frank, Long Beach, NJ.  He is also survived by 10 granddaughters, 3 grandsons, 1 great-granddaughter and many nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 10:00 am in St. Maria Goretti Church, 42 Redwood Drive, Laflin, PA  18702, with Monsignor Neil Van Loon, Pastor, officiating.  The Parish Rosary Group will recite the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Rosary in the Church 30 minutes before the Funeral Mass. All are invited to attend.  Entombment with military honors will be held in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Hanover Twp., PA.  Friends may call Tuesday evening, September 9, from 4:00 to 8:00 pm at St. Maria Goretti Church, Laflin.

Arrangements by the Corcoran Funeral Home, Inc., 20 South Main Street  Plains, PA  18705.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Vincent DePaul Kitchen, King’s College, the Wilkes-Barre CYC, or a charity of one’s choice.