Saturday, November 8, 2014

Sunday's Obituary - Marie G. Turnbach nee Guckavan

Hazleton Standard Speaker,
12NOV2001, pg2
Marie Turnbach nee Guckavan was the mother of my cousin, William Turnbach Jr.  When I first started out researching my genealogy, my electronic path crossed Bill's quite quickly.  We corresponded by email and regular mail a few times.  He always was eager to share information with me and others researching our shared family history.  Bill was a wealth of knowledge and brought many of us in this line together to continue on even after he passed in 2006.

As I was looking through my family tree and updating sources I came across this obituary for his mom that had been clipped and mailed to me (now if only I could remember who sent it...).  It's an impressive obituary.  I like to think that Bill had a hand in writing it, especially considering all the wonderful information detailed in there.  I never actually met Bill or his mother, but I'm sure my mom, aunt and uncle may have considering her ties to education in the Hazleton area.  In fact many of my ancestors were educators as well and I'm sure they knew her.  So today I'm sharing this well done obituary for this busy force of a woman.

"Marie G. Turnbach

Marie G. Turnbach, 101, died Saturday evening at Mercy Center, Dallas, where she had been a resident for the past seven years.

Mrs. Turnbach would have celebrated her 102nd birthday in two weeks.

Born in McKee's Rocks, Allegheny County, she was the daughter of the late James D. and Catherine (Corrigan) Guckavan.

She attended St. Gabriel's High School, and was a graduate of Bloomsburg State Teachers College, Class of 1919.  Prior to marrying, she taught in the Hazleton public schools, and, in later years, had substituted in the Hazleton Area School District and at St. Gabriel's School, in the elementary grades.

Mrs. Turnbach, along with her husband, the late William M. Turnbach, founded the Turnbach Funeral Home (Inc.), Hazleton.

She was an active member of St. Gabriel's Roman Catholic Church, Hazleton, taught Confraternity of Christian Doctrine classes until the age of 90, and was one of the founders of the parish's Golden Agers, of which she served as president for two terms.

When Penn State University throated to close down the local campus, during the 1940s, Mrs. Turnbach was instrumental in maintaining a branch in the Hazleton area.  She served on the college's educational council for 30 years and served as treasurer for 25 years.

Preceding her in death, in addition to her parents and husband, were her son, James A. Turnbach, local funeral director and former mayor of Hazleton; and daughters, Sister Marie Turnbach and Kathleen Finn.

Surviving are a son, William M. Turnbach, Trappe: daughters, Sister Ann Turnbach, Dalla, and Beth Turnbach, Hazleton; 15 grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren; and a sister, Sister Elizabeth Guckavan, Dallas.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. in the Blessed Sacrement Chapel of Mercy Center, Dallas.

Burial will take place in St. Gabriel's Cemetery, Hazleton.

Friends may call at the Blessed Sacrament Chapel on Tuesday from 4 to 8 p.m. and Wednesday from 9 to 10:15 a.m.

Donations to the Sisters of Mercy Retirement Fund, Mercy Center, Lake Street, Dallas, Pa., 18612 or to the memorial fund of St. Gabriel's R.C. Church, 122 S. Wyoming St., Hazleton, Pa. 18201 would be appreciated by the family.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Turnbach Funeral Home Inc., 423 W. Broad St., Hazleton."