Margaret Maloney Bednark passed away in the company of her two children Wednesday evening, Jan. 30, 2013, at Mercy Center, Dallas.
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She was born on Ochtendung, Germany, on Nov. 16, 1919, to Thomas F. Maloney, a doughboy in the army of the occupation, and Elizabeth Sybil Kölner, the youngest of 13 children and a remarkable woman in her own right.
Margaret was raised in the Georgetown section of Wilkes-Barre Township, graduating from St. Joseph's Monastery school and the Wilkes-Barre Township High School with honors in 1937. She worked with the Works Progress Administration PA in Harrisburg for several years prior to her marriage one week after Pearl Harbor to the love of her life, Dr. Leo Bednark. She met her future husband in high school and a wonderful loving lifelong relationship continued until Leo's death in 1986 –– a loss that was devastating to Margaret.
Margaret's life was punctuated by tragedy as well as good fortune. She lost her younger brother, Leon, to complications from scarlet fever when he was 9 years old. On Good Friday 1936, she was involved in one of a series of the "Good Friday bombings" that resulted in the death of her father, a well-known mine union official, and her 4-year-old brother, Tommy, as well as causing near-fatal injuries to Margaret requiring a lengthy hospitalization and a miraculous recovery. She carried the scars of her injuries with grace throughout the years but had nagging recurrent complications through the years from her prior injuries.
Margaret had the good fortune to have wonderful parents and to be part of the lively Maloney clan in Wilkes-Barre Township. She was blessed with movie-star looks and a personality and a mind to match. Ever beautiful and talented, she always remained humble. She lived the Golden Rule and as the biblical passage from Galatians teaches us "you reap what you sow" and this principle guided her life.
Her other great treasure was her loving husband, Leo. Following Leo's death, she found great comfort in her many friendships and in her large extended family. She was a life member of the Luzerne County Dental Society, including her term as president, and received a lifetime service award from that organization. She was an avid bridge player and missed the friendly competitions with her friends at Fox-Hill in recent years due to her failing health. She always had an eye for fashion and dressed elegantly.
The joy of her life was family. She basked in the glow of her loving 11 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. She was always eagerly interested in their accomplishments or in receiving the latest photos of the family. They learned love and acceptance from her and she was always available to give good counsel as necessary as children grew into men and women and life presented them with the usual problems. Margaret's gift was to make everybody feel loved, honored and accepted with genuine caring. She made everyone feel special –– family, friends and even casual acquaintances alike. Her true legacy is the way she lived her life and the example that she gave to all of us.
Margaret is survived by her son, Dr. Thomas, Dallas; her daughter, Mary Elizabeth (Lisa) Storrs, Kingston; and the above 27 grandchildren and great-grandchildren who will sorely miss their beloved "Nana."
The funeral will be held at St. Ignatius Loyola Parish, Kingston, at 9:30 a.m. Monday. Friends may pay respects at Maher-Collins Funeral Home, 360 N. Maple Ave., Kingston, from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday or prior to the Funeral Mass on Monday morning. Interment will be at St. Mary's Cemetery, Hanover Township.
The family gratefully acknowledges and thanks the wonderful staff of professional and nonprofessional at Mercy Center, Dallas, for their expert care delivered with compassion and respect and overall encompassing spiritual atmosphere. We also wish to thank the beautiful residents of the second floor nursing unit who enriched Margaret's stay as she did theirs.
Also, we wish to thank Margret's remarkable caregivers, including Drs. William Hottenstein, Jack Ellis, John Carey, Wayne Dombroski and nurse practitioner Fran McGlynn. Special thanks is given to the Rev. John Kulavich for his outstanding counsel and spiritual direction given to the flock at Mercy Center.
Lastly, we thank the many caring family members and friends of this family and of Margaret for their thoughtfulness and support, particularly Antoinette Heck, Mary Beth Voda, Beth Tracy Distasio and Betsy Hannigan, to name a few.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Mercy Center, P.O. Box 370, Dallas, PA 18612, or St. Ignatius Loyola Parish, 339 N. Maple Ave., Kingston, PA 18704.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.maher-collins.com.
Published in Citizens' Voice from Feb. 1 to Feb. 3, 2013