Mary Clare O’Brien Gibbons of Avoca passed away on January 23, 2016 after an extended illness. She was married to the late Judge Thomas C. Gibbons, who died July 29, 2007. They had been married 54 years when Judge Gibbons passed.
Mary Clare spent her entire life in her beloved Avoca. She was the only daughter of the late James Brennan O’Brien and Margaret Quinn O’Brien, having been born on April 8, 1927. She graduated Avoca High School in 1944 and went on to attend Marywood College, from which she graduated in 1948. She then went on to teach in the Matamoras School District for several years before returning to her hometown of Avoca, where she would remain for the rest of her days.
Soon after her return began the courtship with Attorney Tom Gibbons, whom she had grown up a block away from. They married on June 20, 1953 and started their family the following year. After her six children had grown, she returned to teaching in the Pittston Area School District as a substitute. She was a member of the St. Mary’s Altar & Rosary Society, and also served as a Trustee of Marywood College and as President of the Scranton Prep Mother’s Club. She taught CCD for St. Mary’s Church in Avoca for many years, and was an active sponsor of St. Mary’s Youth Group. She and Tom were also active in the Diocese of Scranton Cursillo Program.
After her faith and her family, she loved Avoca deeply. She never felt the need to roam, although she was well-traveled. She found her heart’s desire in her own back yard, and Nan Joyce’s pool. Some of her most enjoyable memories were made while shopping with her sister-in-law, Bert, whom she regarded as a true sister.
Mary Clare is survived by her brother, Patrick J. O’Brien of Ponte Vedre, Florida and her six children, Dr. John Gibbons of Avoca, Thomas P. Gibbons (Marianne) of Mountain Top, Judge James A. Gibbons of Newton Township, William P. Gibbons (Mary) of Old Forge, Mary Therese Gibbons Holmes (Patrick) of Avoca, and Atty. Patrick J. Gibbons (Maria) of Plymouth Meeting; fifteen grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by two brothers, Dr. James F. O’Brien of King of Prussia and Michael Joseph O’Brien of Avoca, and a daughter-in-law, Kelly.
The family would like to thank Dr. James Sheerer, the staff and nurses of Hospice of the Sacred Heart, and the staff of Mountain View Care Center for their attention, care, and love shown to Mary Clare over these many years.
Mass of Christian burial will take place where Mary Clare received her baptism, First Communion, Confirmation and was married, Queen of the Apostles Church, Hawthorne Street, Avoca on Friday, January 29, 2016 at 10:00 AM. Friends may call on Thursday, January 28, 2016 from 3:00-6:00 PM at Kiesinger Funeral Services Inc., 255 McAlpine Street, Duryea. Those attending the funeral are asked to go straight to the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Hospice of the Sacred Heart 600 Baltimore Dr., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702.