Mary Ellen Bomboy
1939 - 2021
Brady Funeral Home Inc
448 Church St
Danville, PA

Mrs. Mary Ellen Bomboy, 82, of Mahoning Township in Danville, died peacefully at home with her family on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021.

She was born in Scranton on Aug. 7, 1939, a daughter of the late Joseph and Gertrude Kerwin, and, after her father's early death, was raised with her two younger sisters in Wilkes-Barre by her mother, a parochial school nurse.

She was a 1957 graduate of Wilkes-Barre's James M. Coughlin High School and the Wyoming Valley School of Nursing where she received her diploma and Florence Nightingale pin as a registered nurse in 1960.

She was dedicated throughout her life to the profession of nursing, and she was a member of a nursing family that spanned the 20th century. Her mother's papers, reflecting her education as a registered nurse, are part of the permanent historical exhibit, "Nurses of Northeastern Pennsylvania," at Misericordia University. Mary Ellen's sisters, Nancy Whitehead and the late JoAnn Stahovic, were also nurses.

Mary Ellen graduated from the Wyoming Valley School of Nursing in Wilkes-Barre and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing at Wilkes University in 1969. Early in her career, she worked at hospitals in Princeton, N.J., New Haven, Conn., and Columbia, Md., and from 1982 to 1992, when illness forced her to retire, she was a labor and delivery nurse in the obstetrics department at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.

Her early life was the basis for the character of the beautiful blue-eyed nurse Kathleen O'Donnell in the 2007 romance, "Smart Boys Swimming in the River Styx."

The nursing tradition of which she was a part continues in her granddaughter, Mrs. Kelsey Carlo, of Hanover Township, who earned her Bachelor of Nursing degree at Wilkes in 2017.

In her college years at Wilkes, she wrote beautiful essays reflecting her broad and encompassing interest in history and global politics. Early in life she set herself the goal of reading 50 histories of European, Asian, U.S. and Central American each year, and exceeded that goal until old age, when her eyesight failed. Over the decades, she and her husband, Robert Bomboy, of Danville, traveled to England, Italy, Greece, Denmark, Mexico, and a number of Caribbean nations. They celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in April.

As a child, Mary Ellen had rheumatic fever and spent a year in bed to try to limit the fever's typical heart damage. When she was in her fifties, that damage forced her to retire from nursing at Geisinger, and in the intervening years she had open-heart surgery, two heart valve replacements, and — exactly a year ago — a very large and inoperable aneurysm in the pumping chamber of her heart. That condition had forced her into homebound palliative care until a week ago when it resulted in a stroke that ended her life.

She was a 40-year member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Danville.

Survivors: besides her husband, their daughter Tara Zukosky, of Shavertown, her daughter Kelsey, the Bomboys' great-grandchildren, Anthony IV and Jayde Carlo, and Mary Ellen's remaining sister, Nancy Whitehead, of Annapolis, Md., she is survived by her son, Robert D. Bomboy, his wife Jena, and their three daughters, Reilly, Kira, and Lacey; and the Bomboys' daughter Molly, her husband Steve Jacks and their daughters, Ellie and Maia Jacks, of Riverside, Northumberland County.

Friends and family were invited to attend a viewing on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, at Brady Funeral Home, 448 Church St. in Danville. Another viewing will be on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, from 9 to 9:45 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 68 Center St. in Danville. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m., celebrated by her pastor, the Rev. Timothy Marcoe. Interment will take place at St. Mary's Cemetery in Hanover Township, Wilkes-Barre. Arrangements have been entrusted to Brady Funeral Home Inc. Please share memories and messages of support at

Published by Times Leader from Oct. 25 to Oct. 27, 2021.
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5:00p.m. - 6:30p.m.
Brady Funeral Home Inc
448 Church St, Danville, PA
9:00a.m. - 9:45a.m.
St. Joseph Catholic Church
68 Center St., Danville, PA
Mass of Christian Burial
St. Joseph Catholic Church
68 Center St., Danville, PA
Funeral services provided by:
Brady Funeral Home Inc
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