Mary Beth Stanvitch, Scranton, passed away early Wednesday morning at home surrounded by her loving family after fighting a brief but courageous battle with cancer. Her husband of 49 years is Gerald Stanvitch.
Born in Scranton, she was the daughter of the late Joseph and Winifred “Betty” Wright. She was a graduate of the Cathedral High School and Marywood College, Magna Cum Laude. She was a lifelong member of the Immaculate Conception Parish Community.
Mary Beth was employed by the Northeast Intermediate Unit for over 35 years. She was the first certified special education teacher hired by the unit. She became an administrator for the unit and provided in-services on a variety of subjects including special education law to school districts from Lake Wallenpaupack to Philadelphia.
Active in Democratic politics, she was a member of the Lackawanna County Democratic Women’s Organization serving in various leadership roles most recently as the organizations treasurer.
Mary Beth was an avid golfer who was a member of the Elmhurst Country Club and its Women’s Golf Association. She never saw golf as a good walk spoiled. She saw it as a path to making friends and building relationships.
Politics, career, and golf were important to Mary Beth but nothing compared to her love of family. She was proud of her son, Gerald J., and his accomplishments, amongst which she rated the highest being his marriage to Bridget Garvey, with whom she immediately bonded and related to her as the daughter she didn’t have. Gerald and Bridget gave Mary Beth the greatest gift that any child can give a parent; grandchildren.
Lucy, Annie, and GJ completed Mary Beth’s life. She cherished every minute she had with them and took every opportunity to spoil them while at the same time instilling in them a sense of pride, self-worth, and a keen sense of right and wrong. She wanted them to understand what she was taught as a child, that “you’re no better than anyone else but no one is better than you.”
The family would like to thank Dr. Kishori Veerabhadrappa, who was Mary Beth’s medical oncologist, not only for her expertise but for her compassion, caring and understanding, as well as Dr. Susan Biancarelli and the entire staff of the Dunmore Health Care Center, the Hospice of the Sacred Heart, and the University of Pennsylvania Health System. A special thanks to Shannon Spano who provided exceptional personal care to Mary Beth. Hospice of the Sacred Heart and Shannon allowed Mary Beth to pass from this world in the same way she lived, with dignity and grace. Finally, thank you to the Elmhurst Country Club community whose relentless card sending and prayers brightened her final days.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday at 10:00am in the Immaculate Conception Church, 801 Taylor Ave. by Rev. Patrick McLaughlin, pastor.
Friends may call Monday from 4-7pm in the Vanston and James Funeral Home 1401 Ash St. Scranton and Tuesday morning from 9:00am until the time of Mass at the church.
Interment, Cathedral Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family strongly encourages memorial contributions be made to the Cancer Research Foundation of your choice.