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Thomas 'Warren' Halfpenny


Rohrsburg Cemetery

Thomas "Warren" Halfpenny was born on July 1, 1890 in Rohrsburg, Columbia County, PA, the son of Calvin and Caroline (Minerd) Halfpenny

As a young man, he was of medium build and height, with brown eyes and black hair.

Circa 1910, when he was age 21 and single, Warren resided with his married sister and brother in law, Anna and Henry Schreiner, on a farm in Greenwood Township, Columbia County. 

Warren was required to register for the military draft in June 1917, in the months leading up to the United States' entry in World War I. At the time, he was a farm laborer, working for his older brother Ira in Rohrsburg, Columbia County. 

At the age of 30, on Oct. 30, 1920, he entered into marriage with Marion Thomas (1902-1974), a native of Espy, PA and the daughter of Clarence Thomas. Their union endured for 35 years.

Evidence strong suggests that in the late 1920s, they took into their home Phyllis "Jean" (Cox) Hayman Harrison, the young granddaughter of Warren's brother Ira. They raised Jean to adulthood.

Warren and Marion bore a daughter of their own, Phyllis May Futoma Markle.

Warren was named in the 1924 Bloomsburg Morning Press obituary of his brother Ira, and at the time he lived in Berwick, Columbia County. He was the informant for his mother's death certificate in 1935.

When the federal census was taken in 1930, the Halfpennys lived in Centre Township, Columbia County, with Warren's widowed mother making her home there. Warren made his living that year as a bus driver.

As of 1935, their home was near Stillwater in New Columbus Borough, Luzerne County. That year, in February 1935, Warren's aged mother died under their roof. In July of that year, they are known to have traveled to Berwick, PA for the funeral of their brother-in-law Clyde Naugle/Nagle. Warren was unemployed as of 1941 when required again to register for the military draft. As of 1946, their address was Hicks Ferry, PA. The federal census enumeration of 1950 shows them in Salem, Luzerne County, with him working as a laborer with a railroad car building firm. 

Said an obituary, "Mr. Halfpenny was formerly a farmer and resided for 10 years in New Columbus and later at Mingle Inn, where he lived for about 12 years." The family belonged to the Methodist church.

Warren and Marion marked their 35th wedding anniversary in October 1955.

Warren was in frail health for the final six years of his life. He passed away on Nov. 9, 1955, in Nanticoke State Hospital, at the age of 66. Funeral rites were officiated by Rev. William L. Price of Town Hill Methodist Church. His remains were buried in Rohrsburg Cemetery in Columbia County. Obituaries appeared in the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, Bloomsburg Morning Press and Shickshinny (PA) Mountain Echo.

Marion outlived her husband by 19 years and at the end dwelled with her married daughter Phyllis in Berwick. She joined him in death on Aug. 15, 1974, at the age of 71. Her obituary in the Morning Press said she "had been in ill health for three years" and had died "in the Boone Health Care Center, Millville, where she had been the guest for two weeks."

~ Daughter Phyllis "Jean" (Cox/Halfpenny) Hayman Harrison ~

Daughter Phyllis "Jean" Cox Halfpenny (1926- ? ) was born on May 30, 1926 in Bloomsburg, PA, the daughter of Howard Cox and Anna Halfpenny, who may or may not have been married, and the granddaughter of Ira and Myrtle (Redline) Halfpenny.

At a very young age, Jean was taken in by her mother's uncle and aunt, Thomas "Warren" and Marion Halfpenny, and raised thereby to adulthood. At the age of 18, she lived in Berwick, PA and earned a living as a "sower."

Jean first was joined in wedlock with 21-year-old farmer Norman Lewis Hayman (Feb. 8, 1923-2009), a resident of Stillwater, PA and the son of Harold Homer and Edith Alice (Doty) Hayman. The ceremony was held on Aug. 19, 1944, by justice of the peace John A. Gallagher of Shickshinny. On her marriage license, she claimed her father was a truck driver in Shickshinny, PA and her mother "Anna Alt" a housewife of Dallas, PA. Because Jean was legally underage, her birth mother had to sign her consent in court.

Picturesque Shickshinny, PA 

Norman was a 1941 graduate of Venton High School. Over time, he worked as a farmer and sawmill operator and for 43 years was a bus driver for the Northwest Area School District. He held a membership in the Faith Bible Church of Orangeville.

Two children borne of this union were Linda Ann Costello and Gary L. Hayman. 

The Haymans' home in 1955 was in Town Hill, PA -- in 1961 in rural Shickshinny, PA -- and in 1974 in Southdale, PA. She is known to have attended the funeral of her aunt Margaret (Halfpenny) Redline in Mifflinville in 1963. 

The Haymans' marriage ended in divorce. Norman passed away in Shickshinny at the age of 85 on Jan. 16, 2009. His remains were laid to rest in Dodson Cemetery in Shickshinny.

Jean was joined in matrimony again with Thomas E. Harrison (July 18, 1919-1991), originally from Fairmont Township and the son of Ira and Hazle (Levalley) Harrison. He was a World War II veteran and had generated income through his work at Berwick Forge. He is believed to have brought a trio of stepchildren into the second union, Ronald Harrison, Roxie Hontz and Rhonda Glynn. Thomas died in Berwick Hospital at the age of 72 on July 30, 1991. The funeral was jointly led by Rev. William Price, retired from Townhill United Methodist Church, and Rev. Arthur L. Young of the Faith Bible Church in Orangeville. The remains were lowered into rest in Dodson Cemetery, also known as "Southdale," in Huntington Township. His obituary was published in the Wilkes-Barre Citizens' Voice.

At the death of her birth mother in 1992, she was in Shickshinny. She endured the untimely death of her daughter Linda in 2017.

Daughter Linda Ann Hayman (1947-2017) was born on Aug. 25, 1947 in Nanticoke, Luzerne County. She was an alumna of Northwest High School. Furthering her education, she received a bachelor's degree from Pennsylvania State University, a master's degree from Columbia Seminary and a master of arts from Trinity International University. On Aug. 30, 1980, she entered into marriage with James M. Costello ( ? - ? ). Their union held fast over the ebbs and flows of 37 years together. Two children in their family were Amy K. McKeever and Jon M. Costello. The couple established their home and base of operations in Detroit, where for 35 years they provided Christian ministry outreach. For five of those years, she served as chaplain of the hospital at Detroit Medical Center. Later in life, they returned to Shickshinny and lived on Paragon Farm Road, attending the Stillwater Christian Church. In her free time she liked to read, tend her garden and cook for loved ones. The angel of death swept her away at the age of 69 on April 25, 2017. Her pastor, Scott L. Lyons, led the funeral rites, with burial in Dodson Cemetery, Shickshinny.

  • Granddaughter Amy Costello ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). On Nov. 12, 2016, she wed Isaac McKeever ( ? - ? ). They were in Pittsburgh in 2017. 
  • Grandson Jon M. Costello married Ashley. They put down roots in Norristown, PA. 

Son Gary L. Hayman ( ? - ? ) -- sometimes misspelled "Hyman" -- was born in (?). He was united in wedlock with Connie. Their dwelling-place in 1991 was in Shickshinny and in 2017 in Huntington Township.

~ Daughter Phyllis May (Halfpenny) Futoma Markle ~

Daughter Phyllis May Halfpenny (1941- ? ) was born in about 1941 

She was a 1959 graduate of Berwick High School and became employed by Consolidated Cigar Corporation. 

On July 8, 1961, she was united in matrimony with Roman Leo Futoma ( ? - ? ), a resident of Shickshinny, PA. The wedding ceremony was held in the Methodist Church of Shickshinny, presided by Rev. Lester I. Snyder. In announcing the marriage, with her wedding portrait, the Berwick Enterprise said that the bride "was attired in a white street length dress. Her shoulder length veil was attached to a pearl tiara and she carried a white Bible topped with an orchid and lilies of the valley." 

Roman was a 1955 alumnus of Garrison Memorial High School and then spent four years of military service with the U.S. Navy. Once back home, he accepted a job with Luzeerne Outer Wear Company. 

The couple bore a daughter, Machelle A. Serafin Moore. 

Their marriage dissolved in divorce, with her living in Berwick and he in Shickshinny. He wed again in 1980 to Kathleen Marie Bafunno ( ? - ? ). In time, by 1994, Phyllis wed a second time to (?) Markle ( ? - ? ). 

They put down roots in Berwick, PA and were there in 1974. Phyllis is known to have attended her 35th high school reunion in 1994 at Berwick Golf Club and the 60th reunion in 2019 at Rolling Pines in Berwick..

Daughter Machelle A. Futoma ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She was a 1980 honors graduate of Berwick High School and in young womanhood was employed in the office of attorney Frank C. Baker. On Dec. 17, 1983, she tied the marital knot with Joseph A. "Jay" Serafin ( ? - ? ), a resident of Nescopeck, PA and the son of Joseph and Margaret Serafin. Joseph also was a 1980 alum of Berwick High and at the time of marrige was a senior in religious studies at Pennsylvania State University. A story about the wedding in the Bloomsburg Press Enterprise included the couple's portrait and said that Machelle's "gown was of satin designed with wedding band collar, fitted bodice enhanced with reembroidered Alencon lace, leg o' mutton sleeves with lace cuffs and A-line skirt extending into a chapel train. Her Camelot-style cap of reembroidered Alencon lace held layers of fine veiling." Jay went on to study at Lutheran Theological Seminarin Gettysburg. The couple divorced in Adams County in Nov. 1988, with Machelle maintaining a residence in Hanover. Evidence suggests that she wed a second time to (?) Moore ( ? - ? ).


Copyright 2013-2014, 2023 Mark A. Miner