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After enduring a painful struggle against ALS, Mary Martha Penny Dottle, 64, of Carbondale, was finally taken by the hand of Jesus and led to the loving embrace of her mother and father, John and Margaret McDonald Penny, on Tuesday, November 20th.
Mary Martha recently retired after 43 years in the banking business and moved to the Villages, Florida for three reasons. One: to be only an hour’s drive from the pride and joy of her life, her beloved son, David, a school teacher in the Orlando area. Two: so that her husband of 42 years, Dave, could golf seven days a week in the sunny Florida weather. And three: that Mary Martha could visit her favorite place, Disney World, anytime she wanted. Mary Martha had two wonderful years in her beautiful Florida home, making many friends and enjoying the sun, pools, and ocean before a diagnosis of ALS in April 2017 ended all of that.
Mary Martha’s first cousin, Peggy Jean Buonomo, who has been the big sister Mary Martha never had, upon hearing this diagnosis, told Mary Martha that she should return to Carbondale to be with family and friends.
In May, on a special medical flight accompanied by an RN and close friend, Ms. Clytie Miller, Mary Martha returned home. Before Mary Martha’s arrival, close family friend Dave Opalka and his crew worked diligently for two days to transform the Carbondale house into a handicap accessible home. During this time in Carbondale, it was fully illustrated how much love and devotion her family, friends, and the community had for Mary Martha. A total of three jam packed benefit fundraisers and one golf tournament were held to aid her in her fight against ALS. The golf tournament and the first basket raffle benefit were organized by close family friend, Lisa Kelly. The second benefit was a spaghetti dinner and basket raffle organized by Mary Martha’s loving sister and brother-in-law: Donna and Lenny Dottle, along with nephews Kristopher Nichols and Mark and Luke Dottle. And finally, the third benefit was organized by Mary Martha’s childhood and lifelong best friends, Reenie Fox and Mary Jane Miskovsky and their families.
Mary Martha was one of those few fortunate people who actually loved going to work. She spent the majority of her working years at the NBT Schoolside Office in Carbondale, where she met hundreds of customers who quickly became her friends. Through all of her months of agony, first losing the use of her legs, then her arms, and finally the ability to swallow, Mary Martha never once said “Why me?” Even though this terrible disease took away everything but her sight and her mind, she was steadfast in her courage and her belief in God!
There were two wonderful people who were instrumental in getting Mary Martha through this ordeal: Jill Buonomo Fallen, her godchild, and her caregiver: Deniece Smith. Without the caring and love of these two women, Mary Martha’s ordeal would have become almost intolerable. Also, a big thank you goes out to Mary Martha’s cousin: Sister Ann McDonald, for stopping every Sunday afternoon to give Holy Communion and a comforting chat.
The family would like to thank the great work and dedication by the VNA Hospice ladies: Kellie, Karen, Connie, and Amy. Also, thank you to Ms. Joan Cerra, PA and Dr. Matthew Haley of the Haley Family Practice. In closing, the family wants to say “Thank You” to the community for the love and kindness you’ve shown to Mary Martha during this very trying time.
The funeral will be Saturday, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 9:30 am in Saint Rose of Lima Church, 6 N. Church Street, Carbondale. Interment will be at the convenience of the family in Jermyn Cemetery. All those attending the funeral Saturday are asked to go directly to the church. Friends may call Friday, from 4 to 8 pm at the Brennan & Brennan Funeral Home, Inc., 55 Lincoln Avenue, Carbondale.
If so desired, memorial donations may be made in Mary Martha’s name to Indraloka Animal Sanctuary, PO BOX 155, Mehoopany, PA 18629.
Indraloka Animal Sanctuary
PO BOX 155, Mehoopany PA 18629