Remembering John Michael Yando

John Michael Yando
January 7, 2021

John Michael Yando, 74, Dunmore, died Thursday night at Geisinger-Community Medical Center, Scranton.  He and his beloved wife, the former Julie Ann Kobar, would have celebrated 50 years of marriage on September 25, 2021.

Born in Toledo, Ohio, son of the late Frank P. and Edith Stevens Yando, John was a 1966 graduate of Pocono Mountain High School where he was a standout athlete participating in track and field, football, and wrestling, being named outstanding wrestler in 1966. John was also a member of the Slovak Gymnastic Union in Rossford, Ohio and competed as an amateur gymnast while training at East Stroudsburg University, winning many awards. 

Upon graduation he joined the United States Air Force, proudly serving his country for four years, including a 1-year tour of duty in Vietnam. After being honorably discharged, he worked as a claims manager for M&G Convoy Co. In July of 1976, John joined the United States Army Reserves where he enjoyed a long and respected career. He achieved twenty-five years maximum amount of service and upon his military retirement held the rank of Staff Sergeant. As a civilian, he continued working for the Army Reserves in his previous role as Unit Administrator for the 828th Quartermaster Co. until his mandated retirement at the age of 60. John then accepted a position at the Tobyhanna Army Depot in the procurement division where he worked until his retirement in July of 2016. Among his many achievements throughout his military career, he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with Two Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, US Army Reserve Achievement Medal with Silver Oak Cluster, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, US Vietnam Service Medal with Two Bronze Stars, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal. 

John was a man of many talents. He had a gifted sense of humor (whether you found him funny or not) that was only made better by that sly grin on his face and the twinkle in his eye. John had a bountiful knowledge of trees, plants, grass, and insects that allowed him to cultivate a beautiful yard and garden that was admired by all who saw it. He was an excellent cook who loved nothing more than making delicious meals for his family, especially eggplant parmigiana and chicken paprikash. If anything was broken, everybody knew that ‘Daddy’s gotta fix-it’. John knew that if something was worth doing, it was worth doing right. That strong work ethic served him well throughout his athletic career, military career, and his life at home. He was a dedicated husband, father, and grandfather who would do anything and everything for his family, and he certainly did. He was so proud of his three daughters, and he was grateful that he saw them grow up into the beautiful women that they have become. John was also proud of his grandson, Will, and all of his accomplishments. He always loved to hear him play his clarinet and spending time together in the yard and garden. He adored his granddaughter, Elizabeth, and looked forward to her visits, wanting to know if his ‘heart medicine’ was here. He especially loved when she learned how to say ‘I Love You’ using sign language, and it quickly became their special sign when saying goodbye. The one thing that everyone knew about John was that he was a fighter. Throughout the many years of health struggles that he endured, he never gave up the fight to get well. He fought until the very end, and we could not be any prouder of our hero. 

In addition to his wife, he is survived by their daughters, or as he called them ‘his three treasures’ Stefanie Ann Trygar and husband Paul, Moscow; Amy Melissa Yando, Moosic; and Ashley Yando DeFlice and husband Peter, Clarks Green; grandchildren William Michael Trygar and Elizabeth Cecelia DeFlice; his sister Mary Yando, Oak Hill, FL; a sister-in-law, Marlene Stowell and husband, John, Loveland, OH; as well as nieces and nephews. 

He was also preceded in death by his brothers, Frank A. and Jerry Yando.  

The funeral will be Monday with Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. in St. Anthony of Padua Church, Smith St., Dunmore.  Interment with military honors will follow at Dunmore Cemetery.

All those attending are asked to wear a mask and follow all social distancing guidelines.  

In lieu of flowers, contributions in John’s memory may be made to SS. Anthony and Rocco Parish, 303 Smith St., Dunmore; or to St. Francis Commons, 504 Penn Ave., Scranton, PA 18509.

Arrangements and care entrusted to the Carlucci-Golden-DeSantis Funeral Home, Inc., Dunmore.

To offer the family a condolence, please visit

Remembering Sylvia Nicholas

Sylvia M. Nicholas
January 5, 2021

Sylvia M. Nicholas, 82, Dunmore, went to be with the Lord on Tuesday evening while a resident at St. Mary’s Villa Nursing Home in Elmhurst. She was the wife of her loving and devoted husband of 60 years, Paul S. Nicholas, Jr., who died in 2018, and her sister, Barbara Dolinsky, also preceded her in death.  

Born in Mount Carmel, PA, Sylvia was the daughter of the late Henry and Helen Vaivada Bieksza. She was a graduate of Dunmore High School, a member of St. Paul’s Parish in Scranton and prior to retirement worked as a clerk at the former Mercy Hospital.

Sylvia treasured the time being a devoted and loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.  She enjoyed playing bingo and card games as well as traveling to Atlantic City Casinos. She also treasured the time spent tending to her garden and her love of flowers and enjoyed gathering on Monday night dinners with her beloved family.

Also surviving are her children, Reyne Luongo and husband Tom, Holly Springs, NC; Paul Nicholas III and wife Debbie, Olyphant; and Leslie Henion and husband Joe, Dunmore; five grandchildren, Britney Lemons and her husband Brandon, Chris Luongo and his wife Jordan, Matthew Luongo, Mackenzie Pawelzik, and Joey Henion, Jr.; a great grandson Finn Lemons; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Her family wishes to thank nurses and staff at St. Mary Villa’s for all the care and compassion provided to their Mom during her stay with them.

The funeral will be Saturday with Mass of Christian Burial at 11 AM in St. Paul’s Church, Penn Ave., Scranton. Interment to follow in Fairview Memorial Park, Elmhurst Township.

Friends may call on Saturday at the church from 10AM until the time of mass. All those entering the church for the viewing or mass are asked to follow current safety guidelines by social distancing and wearing a mask. 

Contributions in Sylvia’s memory may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014, Attention: Donation Processing.

Arrangements entrusted to the Carlucci-Golden-DeSantis Funeral Home, Inc in Dunmore. To offer the family a condolence or for further information, please visit

Remembering Margaret Bistran

Margaret M. “Rhea” Bistran
December 8, 2020

Margaret M. “Rhea” Bistran, 76, Scranton, died early Tuesday morning in the Dunmore Health Care Center. She and her husband Edward Bistran had celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary on August 22nd.

Born in New Jersey, she was the daughter of the late Michael and Margaret VonAhon Banks. A graduate of Cathedral High School in Scranton and worked a career as a bank teller at the Scranton Times Federal Credit Union. Rhea was a member of St. Michael’s Byzantine Catholic Church in Dunmore. She will be remembered by all who knew and loved her as a very kind and giving person, always helping those in need. She was extremely proud of her Irish heritage, Rhea collected butterflies, enjoyed playing with her dog Dilias, and celebrating Christmas with her family.

Rhea was a loving and caring wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and sister who cherished her family and will be greatly missed by them.

Her family wishes to to thank the nurses and staff at Dunmore Health Care Center for the care and compassion given to Rhea during her stay with them, especially Sierra, Jackie, and Penny who were with her at the end.

Also surviving are a daughter Theresa Naro and her husband Sal, Clarks Summit, two sons, Paul Bistran and Greg Bistran and his wife Gina, all of Scranton, a daughter in law, Beverly Bistran, Blakely, a sister, Geraldine Hughes, Georgia, a brother, John Banks, Clarks Summit, five grandchildren, Jeffery Naro and his wife Sarah, Stephanie Pasqualichio and her husband Nick, James Bistran, Katie Walsh, and Liliya Bistran, three great grandchildren, Mason, Calli, and Giovanni Naro, as well as several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Christine Bistran and a son Edward Bistran, Jr.  

The funeral will be held Friday at 12PM in the Carlucci-Golden-DeSantis Funeral Home, Inc. 318 East Drinker Street in Dunmore with services by Rev. Robert Lozinski. Interment to follow in St. Michael’s Byzantine Cemetery in Dunmore. All those attending are required to wear a mask upon entrance into the funeral home, adhere to social distancing guidance, as well as refraining from physical contact. There is no public visitation.

To send the family an online condolence, visit