Mary Catherine Shedlawski, 88, a resident of Wyoming Avenue, Forty Fort, passed from this life to eternal life on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 27, 2013, at the Anderson Personal Care Center of the Wesley Village Campus, Pittston, where she resided for the past year.
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Her beloved husband was the late Dr. Joseph F. Shedlawski who passed away suddenly Nov. 9, 1963. Together, Dr. Joseph and Mary Catherine shared nearly 16 beautiful years of marriage and had two children.
Born March 21, 1924 in Blossburg, Mary Catherine was one of seven children born to the late Frank and Helen Kirejewski Boinski. Mary Catherine was a graduate of Blossburg High School, Class of 1941.
Following high school, she went on to further her education at St. Joseph's Hospital, School of Nursing, Elmira, N.Y. In 1944, she graduated as a registered nurse, and was the class valedictorian.
Mary Catherine began her nursing career at Blossburg State General Hospital, where she met her future husband, Dr. Joseph F. Shedlawski, a native of Plains Township. On Nov. 15, 1947, the couple was married and they relocated to Forty Fort, where Dr. Shedlawski opened his medical practice in the couple's home. Mary Catherine assisted her husband in his medical practice, until the birth of their first child, when she shifted into the role of a dedicated homemaker.
In 1964, Mary Catherine began a new career as a kindergarten teacher at the Wyoming Seminary Lower School, Forty Fort. She became the head of the program soon thereafter. Throughout her 30-year tenure with Wyoming Seminary, Mary Catherine diligently and lovingly educated hundreds of children, retiring from her position in 1994.
She remained actively connected to the Wyoming Seminary community throughout the years. Mary Catherine kept in contact with many of her former colleagues and students. She took great pleasure in following the progression of her students. In 2008, she received the Joseph C. Donchess Distinguished Service Award in recognition of her many contributions to Wyoming Seminary.
Learning was a lifelong occupation for Mary Catherine. She continuously expanded her knowledge by taking courses at Marywood University, Misericordia University, King's College and Penn State. She had a passion for reading, and was always quite fluent on current events at the local and national levels.
Mary Catherine loved her home in Forty Fort. She was frequently seen gardening out in the yard or visiting with her neighbors. She also enjoyed traveling. She toured Germany, Poland and Egypt extensively, and experienced the beauty of her own country on many trips to the Southwest, the South and New England. She made annual trips to Naples, Fla., for a number of years. She especially enjoyed spending time with her son at his home in Chestnut Ridge, N.Y., and visiting Long Beach Island, N.J.
Family and friends were always at the center of Mary Catherine's life. She treasured every moment she had with her loved ones. Her compassionate personality, gentle nature and kind ways will resonate in the hearts of many for generations to come.
In addition to her parents, Frank and Helen Boinski, and her husband, Dr. Joseph F. Shedlawski, Mary Catherine was preceded in death by her cherished daughter, Pauline Shedlawski on April 28, 1973; her brothers, Francis, Don, Charles and Paul Boinski; and her sisters, Virginia Manikowski and Betty Lupkowski.
Mary Catherine is survived by her loving son, Joseph F. Shedlawski and his companion, Connie, Chestnut Ridge, N.Y.; her numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and her many wonderful friends.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend the funeral, which will be conducted at 9:30 a.m. Friday from Wroblewski Funeral Home Inc., 1442 Wyoming Ave., Forty Fort, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated at 10 a.m. in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, 116 Hughes St., Swoyersville, with the Rev. Joseph J. Pisaneschi, her pastor, officiating.
Interment with the Rite of Committal will follow in Ss. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Cemetery, Plains Township.
Family and friends are invited to call from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.
For additional information, or to send the Shedlawski family an online message of condolence, you may visit the funeral home website, www.wroblewskifuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Mary Catherine Shedlawski Memorial Fund, c/o Wyoming Seminary Development Office, 201 N. Sprague Ave., Kingston, PA 18704-3593, or to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, 116 Hughes St., Swoyersville, PA 18704.
Published in Citizens' Voice from Jan. 28 to Jan. 30, 2013