June 12–The people of Mountain Top are mourning the death of one of the community’s best known businessmen, Edward Deets.
Deets, who owned bus companies, a trucking business, a landmark restaurant and more, died Thursday. He was 89.
“He was always trying to improve his businesses but also the Mountain Top community. His legacy has given the mountain a lot to be proud of,” said John Augustine, chief executive officer of Penn’s Northeast, a local economic development organization. “He is someone who certainly will be missed. His heart was in Mountain Top.”
Deets started as a truck driver before opening his own business in 1947. Years later, he was drafted into the U.S. Army to serve several years in the Korean War.
In the decades to follow the war, Deets worked tirelessly to grow the Deets Holding Co., which controlled 15 businesses at one point.
Some of them included Auto-Bus, Deets-Rinehimer School Bus Lines, Northeast Transfer trucking and the Stagecoach Inn restaurant. He developed a Holiday Inn Express in Drums and also owned a real estate firm and a beverage company.
Those who know him say Deets was a visionary, who patented a bus-truck hybrid vehicle to transport people and cars at the same time — just one of his inventions. His bus companies offered charters trips around the country — and he once had a fleet of a dozen buses crisscrossing Florida.
A career highlight came in 1983 when President Ronald Reagan appointed Deets to the Motor Carrier Rate Making Study Commission aimed at deregulating the trucking industry.
While he achieved much success, Deets ran into financial problems later in his career and filed for bankruptcy. Banks were demanding loan payments of nearly $1,000 a day, he said in a 2012 interview. He said he planned to sell off assets.
Deets’ obituary salutes his work ethic.
“Edward enjoyed being a businessman and entrepreneur. He worked seven days a week and loved his wife, family and Mountain Top,” the obituary says. “His true passion was creating businesses together with his loving wife Betty as well as donating to countless organizations throughout the years.”
Dan Frascella, 88, who served as a Wright Twp. supervisor for 24 years, said Deets was very generous and was a great servant of the community.
“He did a lot to move the mountain forward,” Frascella said. “He was a true gentleman who always looked out for the community.”
Contact the writer:
(c)2018 The Citizens’ Voice (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.)
Visit The Citizens’ Voice (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) at citizensvoice.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.