Lorraine A. Stanton, local historian, author, and lifelong resident of Frackville, passed away unexpectedly on January 8, 2019, at the age of 92. She was born on April 20, 1926, to Anna Wasielewski and Joseph Gibowicz.
A 1944 graduate of Frackville High School and a member of St. Joseph’s Parish, she worked as Library Assistant at Penn State University, Schuylkill Campus, for 22 years until her retirement on June 30, 1991.
When her children were young, she was a Den Mother for Pack 92 of St. Joseph’s Church (frequently organizing the sometimes-rowdy boys into skits for pack meetings), a Little League Mom (often running the concession stand with other dedicated baseball mothers), and a member of the church choir. She was an avid dancer all her life -- her feet rarely stayed still with music playing. She thoroughly enjoyed traveling not only to the states where her children lived, but also to foreign countries.
However, Lorraine will be remembered most as Frackville’s historian. In 1975-76, leading up to the town’s centennial celebration in August 1976, she wrote a biweekly column about her hometown and its residents entitled “Old Frackville Tales” for the Shenandoah Evening Herald. A special 32-page Centennial Edition concluded the series and revealed many unknown facts about Frackville. She then wrote the history of the Frackville Elks, as well chronicles of Ashland, Girardville, Mahanoy City and Shenandoah. In 1989, Lorraine compiled the names of all county residents listed in the county biographical books into an “Index to Schuylkill County and its Residents.” She coordinated a photographic exhibit, “Profiles of Schuylkill County,” permanently on display in the Conference Room at PSU Schuylkill Campus. In 1990, she located a 1939 silent film made of Frackville, then composed and recorded a narration for this film.
She furthered her desire to preserve the past by publishing two pictorial books of Frackville in 1997 and 1999, entitled Images of America – Frackville Vol. I and Vol. II.
In 2011, she was instrumental in organizing her vast collection of memorabilia together with items donated by residents to create “The Frackville Museum” in the former Washington School building. On September 5th, 2011, Senator Dave Argall presented a certificate to her for opening the Museum.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her sisters Dorothy Wabo and Eugenia Scanlon.
She is survived by three children: Dr. Robert J. Stanton (Elizabeth), Columbus, Ohio; Dennis D. Stanton, Fallbrook, California; and Deborah A. (Stanton) Janov (Barry), San Diego, California; four grandchildren: Marc Janov, Jessica Janov Rice, Jonathan Stanton, and James Stanton; and seven great grandchildren
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday morning in St. Ann’s R.C. Church, Frackville, with Rev. Brian M. Miller, as celebrant. Relatives and friends are invited to a visitation from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday evening at the Albert L. Gricoski Funeral Home, Frackville, and again from 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesday morning at the funeral home. Interment will be in St. Stanislaus Cemetery, Shenandoah Heights.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations be made in Lorraine’s name to The Frackville Museum or the Frackville Downtown Economic Development, 42 S. Center St., Frackville PA 17931.