Maureen Priestner of Abilene passed away on November 28, 2013, after a courageous battle with leukemia.
The family will receive friends on Tuesday, December 3, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road in Abilene, with a prayer service to will follow at 7 p.m.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, December 4, at 10 a.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church, with Rev. Msgr. Frederick Nawarskas officiating.
Mary "Maureen" Patricia Ginty was born on July 18, 1943, in County Sligo, Ireland, and lived her early years in England. In 1957, she moved with her family to Canada, where she soon met her future husband, Vince. They married in 1966. Maureen graduated from St. Joseph's Hospital School of Nursing in Brantford, Ontario. She spent most of her married life as a stay-at-home mom, raising their four children and volunteering for causes close to her heart. Her entire life was devoted to helping others.
In 1978, Maureen and Vince moved to Abilene, where she established a medical practice. For 25 years, Maureen volunteered with the Medical Care Mission to meet the health care needs of underserved members of the community. She helped create the Abilene Care Van program to provide free immunizations to uninsured children. Through her passion and commitment, more than 4,000 free immunizations have been given to Abilene-area children.
Maureen was an active volunteer for organized medicine at the state and local level. She served in numerous leadership positions with the Taylor-Jones-Haskell County Medical Society Alliance, including president from 2004-2006. She also served in several prominent positions with the Texas Medical Association Alliance, including vice president of membership, vice president of community health, and vice president of legislation and political action. In 2007, the TMAA presented Maureen with its June Bratcher Award, which is presented every two years to a "trailblazer" who has made great contributions in the area of political action on behalf of organized medicine.
For 35 years, Maureen was an active member of Holy Family Catholic Church. She served on numerous committees, including the Parish Council, and worked closely with high school youth. At the diocesan level, Maureen and Vince were proud to serve as a presenting couple for the Catholic Engaged Encounter program for 17 years. In recognition of their service, Pope Benedict XVI awarded them the papal medal Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice ("For Church and Pontiff"), the highest honor bestowed on lay people by the Vatican.
When Maureen was not volunteering or spending time with her family, she enjoyed painting, tennis, and bridge.
In all of her efforts, Maureen was driven by a sincere optimism that she could help make this a better world. She truly would do anything for anyone who needed help.
Maureen was preceded in death by her father, John J. Ginty, and her mother, Eileen E. Ginty. She is survived by her husband of 47 years, Dr. Vincent J. Priestner of Abilene, as well as their four children: Paul Priestner and his wife, Vanessa, of Tyler; Colleen Graves and her husband, Russell, of Abilene; Mark Priestner and his wife, Lauren, of Tyler; and Kevin Priestner and his wife, Holly, of Austin. She is survived by four siblings: Rosaleen Ginty of British Columbia; Sean Ginty of New York; and Brian and Brendan Ginty of Ontario. She is also survived by the five best grandchildren in the world: Joshua, Greyson, Kalli, Jacob, and Noah.
The family extends its heartfelt appreciation to Dr. Tony Melnyk, Dr. Joe Ferguson, Dr. Ed Brandecker, and the Hendrick Medical Center oncology unit and hospice services for their professional care and support.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Medical Care Mission (1857 Pine St., Abilene, TX, 79601), Kenley School (1434 Matador St., Abilene, TX, 79605), or your favorite charity
Online condolences may be posted at www.HamilFamilyFuneralHome.com