Obituary for Ellen M. (Gilvary) Gilhooley | Kniffen O'Malley Funeral Home - Wilkes-Barre


Ellen M. (Gilvary) Gilhooley

August 29, 1929 ~ October 13, 2018 (age 89)

Ellen Marie (Gilvary) Gilhooley, 89, of Avoca, PA passed away Saturday morning surrounded by her loving family at Celtic Health Care Hospice Unit at Geisinger Medical Center South in Wilkes Barre. Ellen was predeceased by her devoted husband of 62 years, James J. Gilhooley, who passed away November 14, 2016.


Born on August 29th, 1929 in New York, NY, she was the daughter of the late Joseph and Mary (Gilroy) Gilvary and Ellen resided in Avoca for most of her life.


Ellen graduated from Avoca High School in 1947 and was formerly employed by Bell Telephone Company prior to taking on her cherished role of mother and homemaker in raising her 5 children. Ellen and James enjoyed decades of travel together and treasured time spent with dear friends and extended family. Ellen was a devoted member of Queen of the Apostles Church (St. Mary’s), Avoca, and also served as a member of the Altar & Rosary Society. Ellen was proud of her Irish heritage and Catholic faith, a love and pride that she and James instilled in their children and grandchildren.


Ellen was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who will be dearly missed by her family and friends. A true matriarch as the eldest of eight children herself, Ellen’s greatest joy was raising her own family and spending her days with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her life was the epitome of love, patience and kindness to all and a better listener you could not find. Her home was the center of every gathering and holiday celebration across the generations she raised. Ellen loved to laugh and gave so generously of herself to all. With independence and grace, Ellen was most fortunate to have lived in her family home with the caring assistance of her devoted family up until the time of her recent illness and passing.


In addition to her husband and parents, Ellen was preceded in death by her brothers Martin, John and Joseph Gilvary; sister JoAnne (Gilvary) Lyons; and her daughter-in law, Rosemarie (Semenza) Gilhooley.


Surviving are two loving daughters, Mary Beth Tracy and her husband, Thomas; Ellen Kovaleski, and her husband, Edward, all of Avoca; three loving sons, James, Yatesville; Michael and his wife, Marylou, Shavertown; Patrick and his wife, Nancy, Tampa, FL; three sisters, Sr. Catherine Gilvary, I.H.M., Scranton;  Mary Gloria Gilvary, Avoca; Pauline (Gilvary) Craig and husband, Jack, Harrisburg; sister-in-law, Jane (Gilhooley) Kelly, Scranton; 14 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews. All of whom she loved deeply and will carry on Ellen’s compassionate spirit.


Ellen’s family would like to express their gratitude to the physicians and staff at Geisinger and Celtic Health Care Hospice Unit for their care and compassion.


A Mass of Christian Burial celebrating Ellen’s life will be held on Thursday, October 18th, at 11:00 A.M at Queen of the Apostles Church, 715 Hawthorne Street, Avoca with Father Phillip J. Sladicka officiating. Interment will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Avoca.


Friends are invited to call on Thursday morning from 9:30 A.M until the time of the Mass at Queen of the Apostles Church.


In keeping with Ellen’s request, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sisters of IHM Retirement Fund, 2300 Adams Ave., Scranton, PA 18509 or Queen of the Apostles Church.  Arrangements have been entrusted to Kniffen O’ Malley Leffler Funeral and Cremation Services Inc. 728 Main Street, Avoca.


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