Cecelia C. Merkel of Dunmore, 96, died Sunday at the Dunmore Health Care Center. She was preceded in death by her husband, John C. Merkel, who died August 6, 1989. Born in Archbald, she was the daughter of the late Frank and Mary Gilroy Cawley. At the age of 10, after the death of her mother, she came to Dunmore and lived with the late Patrick and Anne Reilly who raised her as their own child. She was a graduate of Dunmore High School Class of 1935 and remained very active in their class reunions, including their 75th class reunion three years ago. Prior to her retirement, she was employed by Lackawanna County Juvenile Detention Center, a job she took for two weeks but stayed 20 years. After retirement, she volunteered at Moses Taylor Hospital for another 20 years, finally retiring at age 90. She was a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Dunmore and its Altar and Rosary Society.
She was very proud to have lived in her own home until age 95, where everyone was always welcome. Her 95th birthday was a festive celebration that she thoroughly enjoyed in the circle of her loving family and friends.
Surviving are her children, Mary Anne Fedrick of Laflin; Francis J. and wife, Mayor Beverly Valvano Merkel of Jessup; Sally and husband, Joseph McDonough of Richmondale; Jack and wife, Donna Merkel of Moosic; and Genevieve and husband, Bill Upton of Wilmington, Massachusetts; grandchildren, Lisa Merkel Kennedy and Brian, Michelle Stiner and David, Jeffrey Merkel, Jennifer McDonough DePietro, Patrick McDonough and Heidi, Timothy McDonough and Emily, Christopher McDonough and Tiffanie, Karl Merkel and Alison Merkel; great-grandchildren, Norah Kennedy, Finn Kennedy, Danielle DePietro, Colin McDonough, Elliott McDonough and Carter McDonough, who she referred to as her "little darlings" and who gave her great pleasure in their visits; and several nieces, nephews and cousins, including Jack and Mary Anne Seifried and Margaret Barrett Jackson. She is also survived by a sister-in-law, Theresa A. Kocis; and brothers-in-law, Joseph and Aloysius Merkel.
She was preceded in death by a sister, Regina Boucheaux; and three brothers, Paul, Leo and Francis Cawley; and son-in-law, Howard B. Fedrick.
The family would like to extend its deep gratitude to Doctors Gerard Nealon, Charles Deck and Thomas Roe for their astute medical care over many years. Also to Marge Shay, Denise Williams, Bernard and Mary Jane Kelly and April Mead for their service, compassion and friendship to Mom. A special thank you to the entire staff at Dunmore Health Care Center, where she resided the past 12 months and to Home Health Care Professionals and Hospice.
The funeral will be Friday from the Albert P. O'Donnell Funeral Home, 2025 Green Ridge Street, Dunmore, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. at Saint Mary of Mount Carmel Church, 322 Chestnut St., Dunmore. Interment, Cathedral Cemetery.
All those attending the funeral please go directly to the church on Friday morning.
Friends may call Thursday from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the Christmas Holiday Bureau at Voluntary Action Center, 538 Spruce St., Scranton, PA; or St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen, 500 Penn Avenue, Scranton, PA. To offer an online condolence, visit ODonnellfuneral.com