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PHISTER - James E.
Age 78, of Loretto, PA, June 25, 2011. Born April 14, 1933, in Syracuse, NY, son of the late Joseph R. and Mary (Kelley) Plante. He was adopted in August of 1936 by his mother's sister, Margaret Kelley Phister. His adoptive parents were also his godparents, and aunt and uncle. Jim was raised in Buffalo, NY, and lost his sight in his left eye and was legally blind at age 16. Preceded in death by first wife, the former Betty Charlton, on December 5, 1990; son-in-law, Chris Hamilton; and grandson, Thomas "T.J." Phister II. Survived by wife, the former Helen (Long) Lieb, whom he married February 14, 1992 in Loretto; children: Karol (Rose Marie), Tom, Marjorie Whitlock (Gary), Jim (Cathy), Tim (Jeannie), Amy Forsythe (J.R.), Ed (Renee), Diana Salzman (Bernard), George Lieb (Jeanne), James Lieb, Patricia Lieb and Greg Lieb; 25 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. Last member of his immediate family. Also surviving are numerous nieces and nephews, including special nephew, Girard Plante, who was an inspiration to Jim and his sisters-in-law, Edith Pfohl, Dorothy Lieb, Marion Long, Rosemary Long and Jean Staines. Owned and operated Spanky's Tavern in Loretto from 1985-1996, Jim retired on January 1, 2000 from St. Francis College, where he was the Food Service Director from 1967. In a personal handwritten note, Jim's words will remain with us: It was a great life and a lot of fun. He was a member of the K of C Our Lady of Loretto Council 11196, Loretto American Legion, and served as an advisor for APO Service Fraternity at St. Francis College. He was a member of Basilica of St. Michael, Loretto, where he served as a Eucharistic Minister and where a Funeral Mass will be celebrated Wednesday at 11 AM. Rev. Malachi Van Tassell, Celebrant. Committal St. Michael Cemetery. Friends will be received Tuesday 2-4 and 6-9 PM at the Gibbons Funeral Home, Ashville, PA, where a Vigil Service will be held. In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to St. Michael's School, Loretto, in Jim's memory.

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