God welcomed his beloved son, Joseph Michael McAndrew of Laflin, PA, into his loving arms on Thursday, April 27, 2023.
Born in Pittston, he was a son of the late Vincent and Ruth Gallagher McAndrew. He was a graduate of Scranton Preparatory School and the University of Scranton, where he earned his Bachelor's degree in business administration.
Joe began working as a stock boy for Sun Ray Drug store and wanted to learn everything about the business. He worked his way up to manager. After college, he went on to serve as secretary, treasurer and a member of the board of directors of the former Pennsylvania Wholesale Drug Company. He later worked as a credit manager for Kay Wholesale Drug Company, Wilkes-Barre, until his retirement. He was a member of the National Credit Manager's Association and had served as chairman and vice chairman of the Delaware Valley Division.
He met the love of his life, Helen Wayda McAndrew, in 1951 on a class trip to Harvey's Lake, which he was attending as a guest with a friend. The couple was married in 1958 at SS Peter and Paul Church in Scranton. He and Helen resided in Tripps Park, Scranton until 1971 when they bought a house in Laflin. The two were married for 63 years before her passing on November 23, 2021. They remained as much in love as on the day they met throughout their union. Though they never had children of their own, Joe and Helen loved their 17 nieces and nephews and his grandnieces and grandnephews as their own. They cared for them in all ways a parent or grandparent would, and their love was returned in kind. Joe, "Unk", was the best big brother uncle and best friend to all his siblings, their spouses, children and grandchildren. His greatest love was his wife and family to whom he was all things- provider, protector, and patriarch. His loss is deeply felt by all.
Joe was a cherished pillar of his community, as he had served on the Laflin Borough Planning Commission; member of the Townhouse Association; was a former member of the Laflin Volunteer Fire Department, where he served as president, treasurer, fire prevention officer and earned many certifications along the way and retired as line officer with the rank of Lieutenant. He was a member of the Donegal Society and had served as treasurer and chairman of its By-Laws committee. He was also past treasurer and chairman of Project Children. He was a frequent contributor to the Red Cross blood drives and had given in excess of four gallons.
Joe was a member of St. Maria Goretti Parish, Laflin, over the years he had served as a lector, minister of hospitality, member and officer of the parish council and finance committee. He was devoted to his parish and continued to volunteer and serve until his final days. Joe was a member of the Greater Pittston Friendly Sons of St. Patrick.
He is survived by his sisters, Diane Wilhelm and husband, Donald, Springfield, VA; Susan Armbruster and husband, Thomas, Avoca; many nephews and nieces, grand nephews and grand nieces.
In addition to his wife and parents, Joe was preceded in death by brothers, Fr. Roy McAndrew, C.P., Paul McAndrew and sister, Mary Neary.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 A.M. on Tuesday, May 2, 2023 in St. Maria Goretti Church, 42 Redwood Drive., Laflin, to be celebrated by Fr. Alex Roche, Pastor. Interment will be in SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Taylor.
The Parish Rosary Group will recite the rosary at 9:30 A.M. in the church.
Relatives and friends may pay their respects on Monday from 5:00 to 8:00 PM at Baloga Funeral Home, Inc. 1201 Main Street, Pittston (Port Griffith) and Tuesday morning at the church from 9:00AM until the time of the mass.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Maria Goretti Church, 42 Redwood Drive Laflin, PA 18702 or to St. Vincent DePaul Kitchen P.O. Box 1088 Wilkes-Barre, PA 18703.