Joseph Richard (Blackie) Kufrovich, 68, died Friday December 11 at the St. Luke’s Anderson Campus Easton from complications due to lung and heart failure. He fought and had successfully survived four previous cancer occurrences over his lifetime.
Joseph was the son of Joseph A. Kufrovich and Margaret S. (Van Blargan) Kufrovich Grier City Barnesville. He was born October 18, 1952 at the former Locust Mountain Hospital. Joe was preceded in death by his dad. He was a member of St. Richard’s Roman Catholic Church, Barnesville.
Joe was a 1970 graduate of Mahanoy Area School District. He studied Diesel Mechanics and was a former Heavy equipment mechanic at Bethlehem Steel as well as a Mechanic at KME fire apparatus. He held numerous certifications in fire operations and safety.
Joe was one of the first Emergency Medical Technicians in Northern Schuylkill County. He was one of four founding members who secured the Ryan Township Emergency Rescue Squad Charter and for many years served as an American Heart Association CPR and Red Cross First Aid instructor.
He was former Emergency Management coordinator for Ryan Township where he was instrumental in securing a $106,501 FEMA AFG Grant in 2004.
Joe’s affiliation with the Ryan Township Fire Company included his appointments as Foreman from 1975-1981; Assistant Fire Chief from 1981-1985; and Chief from 1986-2011. He was instrumental in the fundraising for and dedication of a new $100,000 firehouse in 1976.
In 2002 Joe received an award from the American Hose Company, Mahanoy Plane for assistance in acquiring an updated Pumper in conjunction with the State Bureau of Forestry. In 2003 He participated in the Schuylkill County Fire School "Scout Day".
Joe was a member of the Schuylkill County Volunteer Firefighters’ Association where he served as Trustee from 2007-2011. Beginning in 2012 he served as 2nd vice-president, in 2013 Vice-President, and in 2014 President.
From 1998 to present Blackie held a Trustee seat in the Schuylkill Historical Fire Society. He dedicated unlimited hours as Chief Engineer at what was affectionately known as "the Zoo".
From 1978 he taught for the Schuylkill County Fire School and from 1989 to present was a Pennsylvania State Fire Academy instructor. He taught Fire Safety and Operations through both Lehigh County and Bucks County Community Colleges and conducted certification courses in Industrial Fire training. Joe also continued to currently perform his duties as one of the Fire Wardens for Weiser Forest District.
Blackie is survived by his mother Margaret, at home; a sister Reverend Bernadette M. Meck Schuylkill Haven, a brother Mark Kufrovich and wife Mary Gale, Barnesville, long-time companion Jane Chubb, Ashland; Nephews Mark P. Kufrovich and girlfriend Alyssa Rauenzahn, Frackville; Matthew J. Kufrovich and wife Jenna, Frackville; Great Nephew Jordan Matthew and Great Niece Kaelyn June, beloved cousins and friends, and a special Angel of Mercy cousin Kathy Sweeney, also of Barnesville.
A heartfelt thank you to the dedicated and caring staff of St. Luke’s Miners and Anderson Hospital campuses with special gratitude to Dr. Craig Krause long time family physician and friend.
The family requests donations be made in Joe’s name to the Schuylkill Historical Fire Society 105 South Jardin Street Shenandoah, PA 17976
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a memorial service and community tribute on Saturday morning August 14, 2021 at 11 AM on the grounds of the Schuylkill County Fire School, 100 Fireman's Road, Frackville, PA 17931. Gates to the grounds will open to guests at 10:30 AM.