E. Franklin Griffiths III, Owner/Funeral Director/Supervisor
E. Franklin "Sank" Griffiths III is the owner of Griffiths Family Funeral Services. Sank is a 1977 graduate of Tamaqua High School and a 1978 graduate of The Blair Academy in Blairstown, New Jersey. He is a 1982 graduate of Susquehanna University with a B.S. in Business with an emphasis in Finance and Economics. He is a 1983 graduate of New England Institute of Mortuary Science obtaining a Mortuary Degree and graduating Magna Cum Lade. Sank is married to the former Susan (Steigerwalt) who also was born, raised, and graduated for Tamaqua Area High School. Suzy, has worked as a nurse at Lankenau Hospital in Philadelphia for over thirty years. They share six children.
Philip Jeffries, Funeral Director/Supervisor
Philip Jeffries was born in Ohio in 1944 and came to Weatherly 1959 as a sophomore. The same year he began helping his father at the Funeral Home.
He played baritone WHS Band; Sr. class play; Debating team; yearbook; Initiation Committee.
Phil was a member of the class of 1962 from WHS. He attended Penn State University - Hazleton and graduated in 1966 from the American Academy McAllister Institute Funeral Service NY, NY.
He interned at the Trexler Funeral Home in Allentown from 1966-1967. In 1967 he joined the United States Army. He was a member of the U.S. Army Graves Registration in Vietnam, Embalmer at Danang Mortuary 1968. Phil was an instructor at the Ft. Lee, Virginia School for Memorial Activities.
He returned to Weatherly in 1970 and joined his father in the Funeral Business. His parents retired to Lancaster, PA.
On December 20, 1970, Phil married the former Margaret Wiessner of Coaldale. They have two daughters: Lisa, wife of Jeff Winheld of Weatherly and Amy, wife of Dr. Scott Lintz of Palmyra, PA. Phil was the commencement speaker at Amy's 1972 graduation from WHS. Margaret and Phil are the proud grandparents of Olivia Winheld of Weatherly and Kreider and Katie Lintz of Palmyra.
Phil was the Assistant Coach WHS cross country team from 1987 to 2004; Member: Weatherly Schools Wellness Committee; Hazle Azalea Fellowship Lodge F&AM Hazleton and Lehigh Consistory Allentown; American Legion Post 360 - Weatherly; VFW; WHS Alumni Association; Silver Ridge Hunting Club; Weatherly Tree Commission and the Carbon County Chamber of Commerce.
He served as Carbon County Coroner from 1988 to 1996. He is still a deputy coroner. He gave many presentations to students about drinking and driving with Fire Companies in the county and also a presentation at PA State Police Camp Cadet.
Since 1988 he has been a field study preceptor in embalming for Northampton Community College. He recently gave a special presentation with pictures to Funeral Service at NCCC class about the Danang Mortuary and is currently working with Aurora Films of Lancaster, PA on a documentary about the Vietnam Mortuary system. He has given many presentations to Mrs. Hill’s family living classes at WHS about Funeral Service.
Sandy Kleckner, Office Manager
Sandra D. (Roberts) Kleckner was born in 1958 at the former Coaldale State Hospital and is the daughter of the late David J. Roberts, Jr. and Eleanor M. "Dutch" (Heisler) Roberts. Sandy was a graduate of the Tamaqua High School Class of 1976 where she was a member of the National Honor Society and the French National Honor Society. Always a Tamaqua resident, Sandy lived in the Middle Ward until her family lost their home to a devastating fire in 1972 (along with Wood Brothers Candy Store, Gerhard's Furniture Store, Jack James' Tavern, and many other families lost their apartments and possessions). She then lived in the South Ward until her marriage to Tim Kleckner, at which point they started their family on Dutch Hill and later moved to Pine Street. Tim and Sandy are now enjoying their quiet, secluded home in Walker Township.
You may recognize Sandy from several Tamaqua businesses where she worked part time over the years....Faust Pet Shop, Donut World, the Napoli, J.E. Morgan Knitting Mills, White Shield/Rite Aid and Miners/Heritage/Sovereign Bank. Once her children were in school full time, she began a 27 year career in the health insurance industry, attached to the AARP Health Insurance Program. Under that contract she worked for Prudential, the Hartford and United Health Care. She was a licensed insurance agent in 13 states for 25 years. Starting in Customer Service, she advanced into positions in Training, Operations Support and Quality Review and Analysis, finally managing teams of agents in locations across the country. During her career she received Top Performer Awards, completed courses in Mature Market Excellence and earned an Associate, Customer Service designation through LOMA/FLMI.
Upon her retirement in 2016, Sandy joined Sank and his team. Her position as office manager gives her an opportunity to use her years of experience to help local families through the arduous tasks of filing claims, completing notifications, updating insurance and sometimes just lending an empathetic ear.
Sandy is the proud mother of two sons, Joshua D. Kleckner, a Corrections Officer at SCI Mahanoy and Jamie E. Kleckner, husband of Debbie (Foringer), a Firefighter/EMT/Diver with the city of Harrisburg. She is blessed with grandchildren Austin, Haley, Sydnee and Kendall. Sandy volunteers at Horses and Horizons' Therapeutic Learning Center assisting differently- abled children with their lessons, loves a good workout/class at the gym and enjoys riding their Harley Davidson with Tim on short trips or week long adventures - yes, you can pack for a week in a saddle bag!
Paul G. Corinchock, Funeral Attendant
Paul Corinchock was born in 1956 at the former Coaldale State Hospital. Raised in Hometown, he graduated in 1974 from Tamaqua Area High School, where he had enrolled in the North Schuylkill Vocational School program. Paul and his wife, Liz (O'Malley) live in Tamaqua.
At the age of 14 he joined the workforce at the Beacon Diner in Hometown. In September 1974, after graduating form high school, he was hired by the L.V. Railroad as a freight brakeman. Furloughed in 1982 and with no sign of returning to work in the near future, Paul requested a leave of absence. The following year was exciting for him: in 1983, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in June, married Liz in August and left for active duty in September!
He entered boot camp of the naval Station Great Lakes Training in Illinois. He was then assigned to Aircraft Carrier USN Carl Vinson. The following year the Navy trained Paul as an aviation structural mechanic after which he transferred to Moffett Federal Airfield in California as a member of VP46 as a cryptologist handling TOP SECRET information until 1988 with five years of active duty. Returning to Pennsylvania, Paul served in VP46 of the Naval Air Station Joint Base Willow Grove, Horsham. In 1989 he transferred to the U.S. Navy Reserve and rejoined the L.V. Railroad, retiring after 37 years. Paul served 17 years with the Navy Reserve and retired in 2006, with 22.5 years.
After retiring from the Naval Reserve, Paul returned home and became active in community organizations. He joined the East End Fire Company. As a member of the Schuylkill Carbon Marine Corps League, Detachment 626, he volunteers each year with Toys for Tots. He is sergeant -at-arms for Tamaqua's American Legion, C.H. Berry Post 173. Both he and his wife are supporters of the Tamaqua Community Arts Center, where Paul is also an instructor in the art of pysanky.
Paul and Liz participate in Wreaths Across America, an initiative during which volunteers lay wreaths at grave sites to honor deceased American veterans. In addition to taking part in wreath-laying ceremonies at Fort Indiantown National Cemetery, the Corinchocks traveled to France in 2018 to help honor 9,000 U.S. soldiers who lost their lives during World War II and who are buried in the Normandy American Cemetery.
In retirement, the Corinchocks enjoy traveling to foreign countries to experience firsthand the customs, cuisines and ways of life. To date they have visited 36 countries - with 159 more on their bucket list!
Paul and Liz are the proud and happy parents of Nicole who lives in Allentown with her husband, Neil Lipinsky, a firefighter, formerly of the Tamaqua area.