Robert G. DeFant, formerly of Hazleton, passed away Wednesday at Providence Place Retirement Community in Drums, at the age of 96.
Born in Hazleton, September 24, 1925, he was the son of the late Cirillo and Louisa (Franch) DeFant of Taio, Austria. Bob was the Tyrolean Historian of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Tyrolean Church of Hazleton.
He was a 1942 graduate of Hazleton High School. He was a veteran of WWII, having served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps in the States and abroad in England and France. His last tour of duty was at the Pentagon, Washington D.C. On V-E Day in Paris, France he received the French Medal of International Alliance of Combatants.
He was active in his church community, Men's Retreat League, Boy Scouts of America, Hazleton Art League, Borough of Conyngham Council, VFW, HAL Travel Club and Assciazione Trentini NEL Mondo of Trento Italy.
Preceding him in death in addition to his parents were his wife Mary Ann (Oleyar) DeFant, three brothers Pio, Angelo, and Livio DeFant and four sisters Maria Grosso, Ameila Braskie, Emily J. DeConsini, and Esther DeFant.
All of his family came to America from the Austrian Tyrol in 1920 through Ellis Island. Bob was the only one of his family born in America, and is the last member of his immediate family.
Surviving are several nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, grand-nephews and godchildren.
His funeral will be held privately with a Mass of Christian Burial at St. John Bosco R.C. Church, Sugarloaf followed by entombment in Calvary Cemetery, Drums.
Remember Bob as a friend who was there when you needed him. In lieu of flowers, masses, books, etc., just say "Hello" or give a smile to a veteran, the elderly, and disabled. God will love you too.
Harman Funeral Homes & Crematory Inc. (East) 669 West Butler Drive, Drums is assisting with Bob's arrangements. Online condolences can be entered and more information is available at www.harmanfuneral.com.
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