Today, May 10, 2020, Our Heavenly Father took Jean Marie Martin McCarthy home. Jean was 85 years old. She was born on August 20, 1934 in Carbondale, to her loving parents Genevieve and Ralph Martin. She loved to tell her family the many fond memories of her childhood on Powderly Street. Jean married Thomas David McCarthy in June 1954; “T.D.” passed away in 2010.
Jean graduated from the Benjamin Franklin High School, Carbondale in 1952. She worked at Scranton Dry Goods until she married. There were several moves after they married because Tom worked on the railroad. She was quick to make beautiful and loving homes in New Jersey and in Port Jervis, NY, before they returned to Jermyn and later Elk Lake in Waymart.
When her children were young, Jean did some waitressing. She also received her realtor’s license in New Jersey and New York. She retired from NEIU 19 after many years of employment. Jean was a social butterfly. She enjoyed traveling and cruising with her husband, her sister and brother-in-law: Carolyn and Ernie Smith. She was proud of her Irish Heritage, and of being one of the Founding Members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in Carbondale. She was an avid quilter and made many a beautiful quilt with her lady friends in the quilting club. She loved to play the penny machines at the casinos with her daughter, sister, and cousins. Just going was a win in her eyes. She loved the ocean and took her family on many family vacations to the Jersey shore. In later years, she looked forward to visiting with her cousin, Ann Flynn, at least once a summer in Ocean City, NJ. The most important thing to Jean was her family. She was loving, selfless, and was always there for anyone in need. Her grandchildren never needed a babysitter because they had Gram or Mimi. She loved spending time at Elk Lake with her family.
She stayed with her daughter and her family for a few years, but then made it clear to everyone that she didn’t want her family to care for her. In 2016, Jean decided to become a resident at the Carbondale Rehab and Nursing Center. She made the decision because aging has a tendency to take your feet out from under you. While at the nursing home, she thrived socially. She liked helping the “old” people. She was known as the Birdhouse Lady, as she took a hobby of painting wooden birdhouses. Her creativity was amazing.
The family cannot thank the staff of the Carbondale Nursing Center enough for the care and dedication to Jean and all the residents, especially during this Coronavirus pandemic.
Jean leaves behind her children: Patrick McCarthy and wife Kay, Childs; Nancy Redetzky and husband Eric, Scranton; Thomas McCarthy and wife Millie, Elk Lake; her grandchildren: Brian McCarthy, Union Dale; Kevin McCarthy, Childs; Ian Redetzky, Marietta, GA; and Matt Redetzky, Scranton. Jean would not want to forget her newest grandchildren: Brian Fitzgerald and wife Lauren and Colleen Slick and husband Aaron, and their babies: Brayden Fitzgerald and Victoria Jean Slick. She also leaves behind so many loved ones: a sister: Carolyn Smith and husband Ernie; and many nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, great great nephews, and cousins. She loved you all.
Jean was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, and her sister: Mary McDonough.
Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, there will not be a viewing or funeral at this time. Private interment will be held in Calvary Cemetery, Mayfield. Arrangements by the Brennan & Brennan Funeral Home, Inc., 55 Lincoln Avenue, Carbondale.
The family would appreciate donations be made to the Carbondale Nursing and Rehab Center’s Activities Department, 10 Hart Place, Carbondale, PA 18407 in honor of the Birdhouse Lady.
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