The Life of Dorothy E. Drebitko

Dorothy Ellen Drebitko, 95, of West West Terrace, passed away Thursday, Feb. 15, at Geisinger St. Luke's Hospital after a sudden illness.

Born in Branchdale, Dorothy spent her early childhood years in Philadelphia, followed by a return to her coal roots in School Row, Branchdale, at the age of 8. She was an only child born to Margaret (Sykes) Klinger and Clint Klinger. After Margaret's divorce, she married Bernard Kraus, who spoiled Dorothy and created their wonderful life on School Row. Dorothy always thought of Bernie as her father and loved him from deep within her heart. Dorothy never had a bad word nor bad thought about anyone in this world.

Dorothy's fond memories of School Row were especially blessed with her meeting her mischievous young neighbor who grew into the love of her life. Dorothy married Andrew (Red) Drebitko on July 2, 1950, and their lifelong journey throughout the world began. Dorothy always said that Margaret loved Andy at least as much as her, if not maybe even more! Dorothy attended St. Mary's Star of the Sea school in Branchdale and the Reilly Twp. High School. The friendships that Dorothy created in those early years literally lasted a lifetime, with Geraldine Doyle and Dorothy remaining friends for over 80 years!

Dorothy was one of the oldest breast cancer survivors, having been treated in the early 1960s.

Dorothy was the founder and proprietor of the past Daisy Boutique in Minersville. She was proud to be a founding member of the Ladies Booster Club in Branchdale and the undefeated Sockettes women's softball team. She enjoyed bowling and traveling "anywhere at anytime," even if it was in one of Andy's small airplanes, but it was going somewhere fun!

Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren gave her the most joy in life.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by an infant daughter and her beloved grandson, AJ Drebitko, in 2006.

Dorothy is survived by her daughter, Sharon Kolenick (Leo), West West Terrace, and her son, Andrew "Drew" Jr. (Michele Leonard), Minersville. Her daughter in-law, Michele, was like her second daughter and her son-in-law, Leo, along with daughter, Sharon, welcomed her into their home and cared for her for the past few years. She is also survived by granddaughters, Laurie Marks (Harold), West West Terrace, Heather Diulio (Jon), Stockton, Calif., and her most prized grandson, Jonathan Drebitko (Jess Demcher), McKeansburg. She is also survived by the centers of her universe, her great-grandchildren, Harry Marks, Elliandra Marks, Nathan Marks, Andrew Marks, Annabelle Diulio, Evelyn Diulio and Jonathan G (J) Drebitko.

All are respectfully invited to attend a visitation from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, at Mahal-Ritzel Funeral Home Inc., Minersville. A funeral service will be officiated by the Rev. Mark Fesniak at 10 a.m. Interment services will follow in Schuylkill Memorial Park, Schuylkill Haven. In lieu of flowers, friends and relatives are asked to make a donation to the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia; Mahal-Ritzel Funeral Home is entrusted with arrangements.

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