John "Jack" Schum
John L. (Jack) Schum, 91, of Shillington died on Sunday, February 11 in the Mifflin Center, where he had resided six days. Born October 2, 1926 in his family’s Millmont home, John was the son of the late Leroy F. and Rose M. (Distasio) Schum.
A US Navy veteran, John served during World War II on the USS Symbol ATM 123, a mine sweeper in the Pacific.
After leaving military service, John worked at the former Berkshire Knitting Mill for ten years. He then worked for Firestone Tire and Rubber and Occidental in Pottstown PA; the last ten of his 38 years as foreman. John retired on July 1, 1990.
John spent most of his life participating in church and community organizations. A member of the Knights of Columbus since 1944, John was a member of the Pius IX Assembly from 1963. A former Grand Knight two times of Council #793, John held all chair offices. He also was a former navigator, 4th Degree and District Deputy in charge of Berks County for six years.
John formed the Holy Name Council of Knights of Columbus #7179 (Shillington) in 1978 (where he was a member when he died) and the Light of Christ Council (Whitfield) in 1983. He and three other Sir Knights from Pius IX Assembly stood Honor Guard for Pope John Paul II in 1969 in Philadelphia. As a member of the Knights of Columbus, John also was a member of the exemplification team for Pennsylvania East District Calvert Province Archdiocese of Philadelphia for 25 years where he was the #1 speaker until 2005. John received the Sir Knight of the Year award in 1997 in the Pennsylvania East District Calvert Province. At the time of his death, John had been a member of the Knights of Columbus for over 73 years, and was the longest serving Knight in Berks County.
John played in local bands throughout the 1940s and 1950s. He also coached 18th Ward midget and mite football for 17 years in the city and county. John organized the Firestone and Occidental (Oxy) retirees’ group in 1987 and remained committed to pulling retirees together until his death. John also served for a time as President of the Firestone-Oxy salaried retirees’ group and as an officer in the Mifflin Park Condo Association. He was a lifetime member of Grill Fire Company.
John was a member of Saint John Baptist de LaSalle Church, Shillington, where he was a cantor for several years.
Throughout his life, John was an avid sports fan; he especially enjoyed following local high school teams and the Philadelphia Phillies.
John is survived by the person he called his “true love,” Josephine (Rose), whom he married on March 2, 1946. He and his wife would have been married 72 years on March 2.
John also is survived by his daughters Dr. Judith A. Schum, Shillington, and Jacquelyn M., wife of Robert J. Bruckart, Grill; grandchildren Robert J. Bruckart III, husband of Misty, Indianapolis, IN and Alicia A., wife of Paul Reilly, Bethlehem; and great-grandchildren Penelope Laine Reilly and Sydney Paige Reilly.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11:00 am on Friday, February 16, 2018 at St. John Baptist de la Salle, Shillington. Burial will follow at Gethsemane Cemetery. Friends may call Thursday, February 15 from 6:30-8:00 pm at Kuhn Funeral Home, Inc., 739 Penn Avenue, West Reading.
Edward J. Kuhn Funeral Home, Inc., 739 Penn Avenue, West Reading, PA, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be recorded at www.kuhnfuneralhomes.com.