Richard Keith Dershem | News, Sports, Jobs


Richard Keith Dershem, aka “Big Dick” of Pine Creek, of Jersey Shore, was 93 at the time of his death on Saturday, January 19, 2022. Depression-era began on July 19, 1928, in Ridgeway, Pa. of Hervey and Margaret “Peg” Dershem and predeceased by his two brothers, Donald and Jack, and his second son, Todd. Although he was born in difficult times, his childhood working on the farm and doing other odd jobs to help the family finances shaped a work ethic that traced his life’s legacy.

After one-room elementary school, he excelled at Lewisburg High School both musically, academically, and even reached Eagle Scout level. He graduated at the ripe old age of sixteen and took his saxophone talent and academic prowess to Temple University in Philadelphia. At Temple he played in the Diamond T Marching Band and first seat of the Temple Orchestra. Also excelling with books, he sailed to Temple Pharmacy and graduated at the age of twenty and had to be given a special exemption to sit for the pharmacy license due to an age required minimum of twenty-one years.

After graduating, he returned to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, where he learned pharmacy retail. The Korean War was a speed bump for his eventual career choice for several years as he enlisted in the Air Force. Working in the Air Force Supply Medical Division, this second lieutenant was respected for his inventory management skills and quick thinking. This diehard patriot loved America and it showed to his peers as well.

After completing his armed service, he returned to central Pennsylvania and began working with Cole’s Pharmacy. It was at Cole’s that cutest soda fountain, Sallie Rounds, became the love of his life for sixty-three years. Their family of six included Jeffrey, Todd, Scott, Michael, Jennie and Tim; build a long and proud lineage.

In 1960, he and the family moved to Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, where he found and ran his own pharmacy. He will also become responsible for the pharmacy at Jersey Shore Hospital, the Jersey Shore Nursing Home and a second location in Avis, . During his 26 years as head of Dershem Pharmacy, he served in a number of community organizations. He was a member of Mason’s, the Shriners and for 10 years served as Williamsport Consistory, Exalted Ruler of the Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks and Lions Club. He sponsored several local sports teams and he and Sallie became known for generosity, community service; all it took was a simple request.

Regardless of life’s obstacles, his faith was not discouraged. He was treasurer of St John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, where he was a devoted parishioner for over 60 years. Joel Osteen also came in handy when it was difficult to get to St. John’s.

His ability to tell a joke was second to none and the amount of content would fill a library. So much so that whether at the pharmacy or with friends they would tell Dick just to provide the joke number and then a laugh was shared when Dick said “Number 69”.

He is survived by his wife Sallie, living in Jersey Shore; children, Jeffrey and his wife Debbie (Zionsville, PA), Scott and his wife Sheryl (Key Largo, FL), Michael and his wife Jonel (Voorhees, NJ) Jennie and her husband Stephen (Jersey Shore, PA) and Tim and his wife Tasha (Lewisburg, Pennsylvania); eleven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

A public visitation will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 26, 2022 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 229 S. Broad Street, Jersey Shore PA, with prayer services to follow at 12 p.m. His final resting place will be Riverview Cemetery in Northumberland, Pennsylvania. Purse and food will begin at 5 p.m. at the Elks Club at Jersey Shore, 203 N. Main Street. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate a donation to St. John’s Lutheran Church.

Arrangements entrusted to Frederick B. Welker Funeral Home, Jersey Shore.


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