The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

August 21, 2013

John J. Backes, 83, Coal Township


The Daily Item

— COAL TOWNSHIP — John James Backes, 83, of 100 S. Jackson St., passed away on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013, at his home with his family by his side.

He was born June 1, 1930, in Shamokin, the son of the late August and Lillian (Chapman) Backes. On Aug. 9, 1952, he married Ann Louise Buggy, who survives. Recently, they celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary and he referred to Ann as his “angel.”

He was a 1948 graduate of Shamokin Area High School and a veteran of the Air Force.

He was employed by the Sunshine Biscuit Co. and then the Prudential Insurance Co., where he was an agent for 29 years, retiring in 1991.

Jack was a lifelong member of Seventh Street Primitive Methodist Church, Shamokin, where he served as the treasurer and secretary of the Sunday school.

An avid outdoorsman, he liked to go fly fishing, small game hunting and fishing for flounder in Ocean City, Md. As a member of the Fairview Gun Club, he spent many afternoons playing cards with the guys after his retirement. He continued his morning “meetings” at the coffee shop with the other retired insurance agents and friends. His family was the most important thing in his life, and he took a special interest in whatever was happening in their lives.

In addition to his wife,  he is survived by three sons and three daughters and their spouses, John, of Lanexa, Va., Dave and Joyce, of Shamokin, Michelle and Mike Schlenker, of Selinsgrove, Jim and Christine, of Coal Township, Marianne and Paul Heffernan, of New Hope, and Eileen and Bryan Childs, of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; grandchildren, Jessie, Becky, Nicole, Heather, Amber, Melissa, Sarah, Laura, Stephen, Anne, Tim, Owen and Claire; great-grandchildren, Wyatt, Addison and Audrey; one sister and brother-in-law, Mary Lou and Bill Nye, of Elysburg, and their three daughters, Cheryl, Sharon and Sandra; and one brother-in-law, James “Mickey” Buggy and his wife, Loretta, and their sons, Joe and Steve.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in Seventh Street Primitive Methodist Church, 30 N. Seventh St., Shamokin, with the Rev. Dave  Wildoner as celebrant.

Burial will be private in Northumberland Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jack’s memory to Seventh Street Primitive Methodist Church or the American Cancer Society.