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Homeless Man Gets Donated Burial

January 31, 2002

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POTTSTOWN, Pa. (AP) _ Neighbors of a homeless man who refused to accept offers of help while he was alive have volunteered to pay for his funeral.

Joe Czarenko, 72, was found dead Tuesday in a wooded area of Chester County near North Coventry where he had lived in a makeshift shelter for years.

Jean Zubert, manager of a nearby convenience store, said customers who heard about his death had donated $178 toward funeral expenses. The Coventry Mall, where Czarenko often spent time, donated $500.

Zubert said Czarenko rarely accepted handouts when he was alive. It wasn’t known if he any family.

``People would come in and leave money for him because he wouldn’t take it,″ Zubert said. ``We had a folder in the back labeled ’Joe’s money.‴

Mt. Zion Cemetery spokeswoman Kim Lenhardt said her company will donate a grave and marker for the burial.

``He was always cleaning our hedges and wouldn’t accept anything for it,″ she said.

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