Bishop Bambera to officiate funeral Mass for Scranton police officer

By Bill O’Boyle -
Wilding -

SCRANTON — Patrolman John James Wilding will be laid to rest Friday.

According to the Miller-Bean Funeral Home in Scranton, the funeral will be Friday with Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in St. Peter’s Cathedral, Wyoming Avenue, Scranton, to be celebrated by the Bishop Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., Bishop of Scranton.

A public viewing will be held today from 2 to 8 p.m. at Angeli Hall, Lackawanna College, 501 Vine St., Scranton. Those attending the funeral Mass on Friday morning are asked to proceed directly to the church.

An autopsy Monday revealed that Wilding, a Scranton police officer, died as a result of blunt force head trauma, and his death has been ruled a homicide by Lackawanna County Coroner Tim Rowland.

Wilding, 29, a police officer in Scranton for one year, died early Sunday morning at Geisinger Community Medical Center from head injuries he suffered when he climbed over a fence and fell about 15 feet behind a building on North Main Avenue, Scranton.

Wilding suffered the fatal injuries early Saturday morning while pursuing three 17-year-olds suspected in an armed robbery on Jackson Street. State police at Dunmore have charged Nasir Sheldon Jones, Tanner Curtis, both of Scranton, and Isiah Malik Edwards, address listed as homeless, as adults with robbery-related offenses. Lackawanna County Assistant District Attorney Gene Talerico said the three juveniles may face additional charges pending the outcome of the investigation by state police.

Wilding and his wife, Kristen Tansits Wilding, were married Feb. 21, 2014.

Wilding was born in Scranton, son of Mary Wilding. He was a 2004 graduate of Mid Valley Secondary Center, Throop, and attended the Pennsylvania State University.

He was a 2012 graduate of the Act 120 Municipal Police Officers Training Program at Lackawanna College. He had been employed at St. Joseph’s Center for eight years, worked as a driver and guard for Dunbar Armored, Olyphant, and was also a full-time public safety officer at Lackawanna College before joining the Scranton Police Department in April 2014.

According to his obituary on the Miller-Bean Funeral Home website, Wilding loved Irish and punk rock music, especially the Ramones. He practiced Krav Maga and earned his motorcycle license. Wilding had a special place in his heart for animals and he was a tattoo enthusiast.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Lola Mae, and a son, Sidney Wolfgang.

Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday ordered the Commonwealth flag in the Capitol Complex and at Commonwealth facilities in Lackawanna County lowered to half-staff in honor of Wilding. The state flag will remain lowered until sunset on the day of Wilding’s burial.

Funds established

Two funds have been established to aid Wilding’s family:

• Office John Wilding Memorial Fund, c/o Fidelity Bank, 338 N. Washington Ave., Scranton, PA, 18503, or any Fidelity Bank branch office.

• Online at The fund was set up by a Scranton police officer and sponsored by the PA FOP E.B. Jermyn Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 2.

Street closures for each day

Today: The 500 block of Vine Street will be closed from noon Thursday until 11 a.m. Friday.

The 500 block of North Washington will close from noon until 10 p.m. on Thursday; the 500 block of North Washington Avenue will close again on Friday from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Friday: The 100 to 700 blocks of Wyoming Avenue will be closed Friday from 7 a.m. until approximately 3 p.m.; as will the 300-400 blocks of Linden Street; 200-400 blocks of Oakford Court; 200-500 blocks of Forest Court; 400-500 blocks of N. Washington Avenue; 400-600 blocks of Vine Street; 400 block of Adams Avenue; 400 block of Dix Court.

No parking will be permitted on these streets during the times listed. Cars that are parked on the streets mentioned will be towed at the owner’s expense.


By Bill O’Boyle

Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.

Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.