Virginia ‘Jean’ M. Dwornick

Virginia ‘Jean’ M. Dwornick, 94, formerly of Forward Twp., went to be with the Lord on Monday, May 16, 2022.  A daughter of the late Michael and Mary Madak Balog, she was born in McKeesport on December 8, 1927.  Formerly of Forward Twp., Jean had been a resident of North Belle Vernon for the past seven years.  She enjoyed cooking and baking; no one ever left her house hungry.  Jean was known for crocheting afghans, scarves, and baby hats, and made sure she taught her daughters and granddaughters to do the same.  She enjoyed crossword puzzles and reading books weekly that she borrowed from the Belle Vernon Public Library, but most of all, she enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren.  She is survived by three daughters and two sons in-law, Susan and Shelby D. Ferguson of Belle Vernon, Teresa and Mike Dunaway of Gulf Shores, AL, and Nancy Chesson of Lincoln Boro; a son and daughter in-law, Paul and Barbara Dwornick of Washington; nine grandchildren including Laura Gilchrist and her husband Thomas of Pleasant Hills, Adam Ferguson (Amber Kirschner) and Karlee Ferguson (Thomas Cole), both of Belle Vernon, Michael Boczkowski of Birmingham, AL, Joseph Boczkowski of Charleston, SC, Alison Morris and her husband Darren of Morgantown, WV, and Rachael Dwornick and David Dwornick; and four great grandchildren: Ray and Rosie Gilchrist, Ellie Ruggiero, and Drew Morris and his sister ‘on the way.’  In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Raphael J. Dwornick, on April 22, 2011, and a sister, Mitzie Jost.  Friends will be received on Wednesday from 2 to 4 P.M. and 7 to 9 P.M. in the Ferguson Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., 700 Broad Avenue, Belle Vernon.  724-929-5300.  A blessing service will be held on Thursday at 10 A.M. in the funeral home with Rev. Michael Crookston officiating.  Interment will follow in Belle Vernon Cemetery.  The family would like to thank Viaquest Hospice, especially Mallory and Nikki, for their excellent care.  If friends wish, memorial donations may be made to the Belle Vernon Public Library. 

Gregory Paul Shanko

Gregory Paul Shanko, Funeral Director, 65, a resident of the Hudson section of Plains Township, fell asleep in the Lord on Wednesday evening, May 25, 2022, in the comfort of his home.

 Born on January 28, 1957, in Kingston, Gregory was one of three sons born to the late Nicholas J. Shanko and Anastasia “Stella” Dasheski Shanko.

 Greg spent his early years in Wilkes-Barre and Chester. He attended Chester High School, for his first three years of high school. Returning to Wilkes-Barre with his family in 1973, Gregory went on to graduate from the former James M. Coughlin High School, Class of 1974. Following high school, he attended Kings College and Luzerne County Community College.

Eventually being called to the vocation of funeral service, he enrolled at the former Simmons Institute of Mortuary Science, Syracuse, New York, graduating with the Class of 1985, and being awarded with the prestigious Mu Sigma Alpha Award from the National Association of Colleges of Mortuary Sciences. A strong believer in continued education, he studied post-mortem facial reconstruction at the Fountain National Academy in Missouri.

 A licensed funeral director for 36 years, Greg was a great asset to the funeral industry, working as a director and trade embalmer for various local funeral homes. In 2020, he joined the staff of the Wroblewski Funeral Home, Inc., Forty Fort.

 Greg was a certified EMT-Paramedic for the City of Wilkes-Barre through the CETA Program and also for the Plains Volunteer Ambulance Association for many years, with whom he held life-membership and served as its past president and past chief administrative officer. In his earlier years, he also worked as a Paramedic in the Emergency Room of the former Mercy Hospital, Wilkes-Barre.

 Professionally, Greg was a member of the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association, and the Luzerne County Funeral Directors Association, serving as its Vice President for the past five years and sitting on its Board of Directors for decades. Over the years, he served as a Luzerne County Deputy Coroner; as a certified eye enucleator for the NEPA Lions Eye Bank; and as an emergency responder for the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team, Region 3.

 Greg was involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s former Wilkes-Barre Regional Office, serving at one time as a committeeman, co-chairman, and chairman of its annual Crystal Ball. Through his charitable endeavors with the Crystal Ball, he was received a citation from the Governor of Kentucky bestowing upon him the title of Kentucky Colonel. Additionally, he held membership with the Polish Club and Russian Club, both of Plains Township.

 Greg had many passions in life. He loved traveling with his friends, and was blessed to travel all around the world. He looked forward to gatherings with family and friends, most especially family gatherings at the holidays. Although a skilled cook, he loved dining out, always enjoying a well-prepared meal paired with a perfectly made Manhattan.

 In addition to his parents, Nicholas and Anastasia Shanko, Gregory was preceded in death by his 4-year-old brother, Nicholas J. Shanko Jr., who passed away on October 24, 1951.

 Gregory is survived by his life-partner of 42 years, Basil S. Kaczmarczyk; his brother, David S. Shanko, Elizabethtown; his two nieces, Lisa Moore and her husband, Colonel Christopher Moore Esq., Manheim; and Lori Shanko, Lebanon; his great-nephew and great-nieces, Thomas, Emma, Jane, and Astrid Helen; Basil’s family including his brother, Vladimir D. Kaczmarczyk and his wife, Kimberly, Tamaqua, and their children, Nicholas, Alex, Christian, and John Mark Kaczmarczyk; and Karen Roberts; his dear cousins, Cathy Colella and her husband, Dr. Frank Colella; Stephen Pelak; Tina Koerber and her husband, Barry; Myles Dellarte and his wife, Samantha; and Spencer Pelak; as well as his other cousins; countless friends; and fellow colleagues.

 Relatives and Friends are respectfully invited to attend Gregory’s viewing which will be held on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, from 3:00 to 7:00 PM, at the Wroblewski Funeral Home, Inc., 1442 Wyoming Avenue, Forty Fort. Panachida services will be celebrated at 7:00 PM by the Reverend Father Andrii Dumnych.

 Gregory’s Funeral Service will begin with a viewing on Wednesday, June 01, 2022, from 10:00 to 11:00 AM in Saint Michael the Archangel Byzantine Catholic Church, 205 North Main Street, Pittston, followed by an Office of Christian Burial with Divine Liturgy to be celebrated 11:00 AM by the Reverend Father Andrii Dumnych, Pastor.

 Interment with the Rite of Committal will follow in Oak Lawn Cemetery, Wilkes-Barre.

 The members of the Luzerne County Funeral Directors Association are to assemble as a body on Tuesday evening at 6:00 PM to pay their final respects to Vice President Shanko.

 For additional information or to send Gregory’s family an online message of condolence, you may visit the funeral home's website,, or Facebook page.

“Christos voskrese iz mertvych! Smertiju smert’ poprav, I suscym vo hrob'ich zivot daravav!” Christ is risen from the dead! By death He conquered death, and to those in the tombs He granted life! “Blazennyj pokoj; vicnaja pamjat” Blessed repose and eternal memory.