Raymond R. Wasko, Sr., of Jenkins Township, passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 23, 2023, at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland.
Born in Pittston on December 2, 1948, he was a son of the late Edward J. and Mary (Brek) Wasko. Ray was a graduate of St. John The Evangelist High School and King’s College. He turned his love of history into a teaching profession that spanned over 35 years within the Wyoming Area School District. Ray retired in 2008 after a full career of mentoring countless future educators, and was a strong supporter of, and volunteer in, the Junior Achievement organization.
Ray counted himself lucky to have a dedicated group of family, friends, and neighbors over the course of his life. He was a humble and unassuming man, who led his family by setting a quiet example, and always sought to find the good in people and to remain positive even amidst the most trying times in his life. Ray was immensely proud of his family, and found joy in seeing the lives his sons, brothers, sister, nieces, and nephews built. He found comfort in his family, friends, and faith after the untimely loss of his wife of 42 years, and the profound impact that grief had on him. Although he fought tirelessly over the course of the past year to live despite his illness, he is undoubtedly at peace having now been reunited with the love of his life.
Around town Ray was an avid golfer, bowler, and antique firearms enthusiast. He couldn’t walk into a local establishment without running into someone he knew, always greeting them with a genuine smile, kind word, and a story. Ray spent some of the finest years of his retirement on the golf course at the Emanon Country Club with his best friends and foursome, Mr. Joseph Argenio, Mr. Jack Egan, and Mr. Frank Poter, and enjoyed his traveling league with so many fellow golfers. He also enjoyed bowling with his brothers at Elko’s and with his teammates at Modern Lanes. Ray had an uncanny knack of bringing good luck to every poker player at the table except himself. Although gone too soon his memory will live on in his family and the importance he placed on maintaining traditions, and in the lives and careers of the students and fellow educators he influenced.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Anne. Surviving are his sons, Raymond Jr. (Shannon), Gaithersburg, MD and Michael (Stephanie Ortiz), East Greenbush, NY; brothers Edward Wasko, Wyoming and Eugene Wasko (Christine), Old Forge; sister Karen Umbra (Joseph), Wilkes-Barre; brother in-law Santo Agolino (Ann Rose), Wyoming; sister in-law Mary Agolino, West Pittston, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
The family would like to thank the dedicated physicians, nurses, and staff of Johns Hopkins Medicine, Sibley Memorial Hospital, and Sterling Care Bethesda for their compassion, tireless dedication, and unwavering efforts to give Ray a chance to persevere over pancreatic cancer.
A visitation will be held on Sunday, April 30, 2023, from 5pm to 8pm in Adonizio Funeral Home, LLC, 251 William Street, Pittston.A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday, May 1, 2023, at 10am in Corpus Christi Parish, 605 Luzerne Avenue, West Pittston, with interment to follow in St. John the Baptist Cemetery, Schooley Avenue, Exeter. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in Ray’s name to The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center