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Retired Carbon commissioner Getz dies

Carbon County mourns the loss of a former commissioner and community activist who died last week.

Charles W. Getz of Albrightsville, died on Feb. 10 at his home. He was 84.

Getz had served as a Carbon County Commissioner for 16 years, resigning from the post in 2012.

Former Carbon County Commissioner William O’Gurek, who was Getz’s running mate, said he was saddened by the news.

“Charlie was much more than a great county commissioner who really cared for the residents he represented and served extremely well,” O’Gurek said. “I had the pleasure of working alongside him for eight years, and was fortunate to learn a lot from him about county government and about people, as he was my mentor.

“But I think that more than his public service, the thing I will always remember about Charlie was the kind and generous man he was. He knew the meaning of humanitarianism and friendship and lived by those qualities unassumingly. I know of no one more altruistic than Charlie.

“Siobhan and I offer our deepest condolences to Carol on her loss.”

During his time as commissioner, Getz also used his desire for building the community to create the annual Carbon County Government Day, held annually since April 2001. The event allows high school students from each school district to learn about various aspects of county government.

“It was a pleasure serving with Commissioner Getz for 12 years,” Commissioners’ Chairman Wayne Nothstein said Monday. “We always collaborated when making the tough decisions, such as selling Weatherwood. Although we didn’t always agree on issues, we always did what we felt was in the best interest of Carbon County.

“My thoughts and prayers to wife Carol and other family members and friends.”

“I will always have fond memories of former Commissioner Getz, his devotion to ensuring a better quality of life for all, children and senior citizens alike,” Eloise Ahner, county administrator, said. “One program that he helped institute was the Government Day Program in the County. It focused on teaching our children about local government. He will truly be missed, especially on Government Day.”

Getz was married to his wife, Carol, for 55 years and built a life together that was rooted deeply in the community.

He was a proud farmer and owned and operated Getz Transportation busing company. The couple also opened their farm up annually for a horse show that benefited the Albrightsville Fire Company.

Getz also served as a past Master in Carbon Lodge No. 242, Free and Accepted Masons of Jim Thorpe.

Mason Jason R. Robbins posted on the lodge’s Facebook page that Getz had been a member for 60 years and was the second oldest living past master, serving in 1965 and 1968.

A Masonic service will take place at 7 o’clock this evening at the Edward F. Melber Funeral Home in Jim Thorpe.

Getz served as a former Kidder Township supervisor for 18 years and a Kidder Township Planning Commission member for three years; was a member of the Jim Thorpe Neighborhood Bank board of directors for 33 years, as well as the Jim Thorpe Hall of Fame Committee, Wilkes-Barre Shriners Organization; and Carbon County Special Olympics and was the last remaining charter member of the Albrightsville Fire Company.

“He was a wonderful person,” Craig Zurn, president and CEO of Jim Thorpe Neighborhood Bank, said. “It was an honor and a privilege to have Charles serve on our board. He really exemplified what it was to be a community bank director here. One of his priorities was making sure that being a community bank that we gave back to the community.

“You can see a lot of that in his previous history in the things he was involved in. He has always been a community-minded type of person. It’s a tough loss. We’re going to sorely miss Mr. Getz here and it’s going to be hard to replace him.”

Getz was also named the grand marshal of the 11th annual Carbon County St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2008.

A complete obituary and service information can be found on Page 4.