Obituary of Dorothy Colbenson

We are sad to report the death of one of our greatest supporters. Dorothy helped so many people over the years with their family history and she was invaluable in shining light on the past of Tunkhannock. The staff and members of the historical society miss her very much.

Dorothy Graham Colbenson, 103, of the United Methodist Manor, Tunkhannock,
formerly of Maple Ave., Tunkhannock, passed away Tuesday morning, Nov. 20,

Born in Tunkhannock on Sept. 9, 1909, she was a daughter of the late Robert
and Ida (Shales) Graham. Dorothy was a lifelong resident of Tunkhannock,
working for 20 years at Fassetts/Ben Franklin Department store as a
clerk/manager in the toy and dry goods departments.

She also volunteered as a math tutor for five years at the former St.
Michael’s school for boys, Falls, Pa. She was a lifetime member of the
Wyoming County Historical Society and enjoyed assisting families from all
over the country research their genealogy.

Family and friends was the most important thing to Dorothy; she was always
available to help and encourage them in any way possible. She took pride in
all of their accomplishments. Among her many hobbies, along with genealogy,
she loved to study the history of her beloved Tunkhannock.

Dorothy served on the Wyoming County election board for many years. Dorothy
was celebrated as the Tunkhannock Business and Professional Women’s Woman of
the Year in 1999.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Bright “William” Colbenson, Jan.
25, 1971; sister, Josephine Marbaker; sons, Robert Colbenson and Keith
Colbenson; great-granddaughter, Laura Puza and sons-in-law, Ronald Cokely
and Benjamin Puza.

Surviving are daughters, Elsie Puza, Tunkhannock, and Shirley Cokely,
Springville; daughter-in-law, Doris Colbenson, Tunkhannock; grandchildren,
Robert Colbenson and wife, Blanche, Tunkhannock, Linda Herman and husband,
Elwin, Tunkhannock, Barbara Jamison, Clarks Summit, Beverly Traver and
husband, Herbert, Tunkhannock, David Puza and wife, Paula, Tunkhannock,
Dennis Puza, Tunkhannock, Donald Puza and wife, Sharon, Tunkhannock, Connie
Swackhammer, Springville, Dorothy States and husband, Richard, Springville,
Bruce Cokely and wife, Angie, Springville; 20 great-grandchildren; 24
great-great-grandchildren; and one great-great-great-grandchild.

Funeral services will be held Friday Nov. 23, 2 p.m. at the Harding-Litwin
Funeral Home, 123 W. Tioga St., Tunkhannock, with the Rev. Lori Robinson of
the Factoryville United Methodist Church officiating.

Friends may call Friday noon until the funeral services. Interment will
follow at the Sunny Side Cemetery, Tunkhannock.

If desired, memorial contributions may be made to the Wyoming County
Historical Society, Harrison Street, Tunkhannock. For directions or
condolences, visit

Also see “Local legend dies at 103” and “Birthing a community’s memory” by Robert L. Baker in the Wyoming County Press Examiner