John E. Firmstone
John E. Firmstone, 96, of White Mills, died of old age on Oct. 13, 2016, at his home with his family. He was preceded in death by his wife, the former Marjorie DeRemaer, on Oct. 5, 2014. He was born on Jan. 19, 1920, in White Mills, the son of the late Arthur and Florence (Whiteman) Firmstone. Jack, as he was known, grew up in White Mills with his nine siblings, George, Florence, Mabel, Gladys, Dorothy, Elsie, Ben, Ada and Bertha. His life was filled with happy memories of growing up in White Mills. His stories of hunting, playing baseball, sledding and skiing down the Elizabeth Street hill will be remembered by those who knew him. As a young teen growing up in the Prohibition Era, he got the nickname "Jug" that he is known by to this day. Then came the life changer for his generation, World War II. He was one of many White Mills young men to join the military. As a Marine, he served in the Pacific Theatre. Once again, his great story telling made the war and the soldier shenanigans feel real to his nieces, nephews and hunting pals. While still serving, he sent money home to buy land that would become the Riverdale Rod and Gun Club. Upon returning to the United States, he worked in New Jersey for Otis Elevator, and then made his way back to White Mills and a career at Farview State Mental Hospital. His love of gardening led him to a position of leader and teacher of gardening to the groups of patients at Farview, where the food was grown for the hospital. He also had his own farm in Cherry Ridge where his family raised chickens and heifers. Jack was an active member of the White Mills Fire Department, and enjoyed many good times socializing with the tight community at the White Mills Hotel. He also had the opportunity to play baseball in an era when the stands would be full of fans from all over the area. Membership to the Wayne County Sports Hall of Fame came later. After he retired, he and his wife, Margie, would spend winters in Florida, where his friends from Wayne County would gather for fishing, spring training baseball and socializing at the local American Legion. Hunting and gardening kept him busy. Traveling to Texas with his brother and sister-in-law, Bernie and Norma Rickert, to visit his brother and sister-in-law, Don and Cindy James (all close friends), were part of his fortunate retirement. He is survived by his daughters, Nancy Firmstone and Joan Alexander and husband, Larry; his dog, Lilly; a sister, Bertha Dickerman; sister-in-law, Norma Rickert; brother-in-law, Donald James. As well as many nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at Hessling Funeral Home Inc., 428 Main St., Honesdale, at 1 p.m. Interment with military honors will follow in Indian Orchard Cemetery. The family will receive friends Tuesday from noon until service time. Memorial contributions may be made to the White Mills Fire Department, P.O. Box 273, White Mills, PA 18473.
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