Atty. Robert T. Gownley

Atty. Robert T. Gownley

January 11, 2015
Atty. Robert T. Gownley, 104, affectionately known as “Mr. G,” died early Sunday morning in the Geisinger Community Medical Center Mountain View Care Center after a brief illness. He was preceded in death by his wife, Florence Walsh who passed away on January 1, 2001. At the time of her death the couple had been married for 56 years.
Born in Scranton, son of the late Edward S and Catherine Tighe Gownley, Mr. G was a graduate of the University of Scranton and the Temple University School of Law. He was a member of the U.S. Army and served in World War II as a Staff Sergeant. He practiced law in Scranton for many decades as a sole practitioner in the area of Wills and Estates and was associated in the Practice of law with his son, Attorney Robert T. Gownley Jr. He also served as an assistant City Solicitor for the City of Scranton and the Scranton Sewer Authority. At the time of his death, Atty. Gownley was the oldest living member of Pennsylvania Bar Association and also the oldest member in the history of the Lackawanna Bar Association. He kept young by attending 12 hours of continuing legal education class each year. In fact, in 2014, he completed his 12 hours of classes.
He was a devout Catholic, a member of St. Peter’s Cathedral Parish and a Fourth Degree Member of the Knights of Columbus. His family would like to thank the staff at Mountain View Care Center where he spent his last 100 days. Special thanks to Tim Robinson, Erin Fanning, and Paula for the care and compassion shown to Mr. G.
Also special thanks to the caregivers at Telespond who cared for Mr. G at his home, including Connie Nocera, Maggie Boos, Al Walker, and Karen Evancavitch. Also, Mr. G always said that: “Wednesday was the best day of the week”, because that was the day that Kathy and Elaine Nealon would take Mr. G to their home and treat him like a King. Their kindness will always be remembered.
Surviving are a son Atty. Robert T. Gownley, Jr. and his wife Nancy of Scranton; a daughter Margaret Mary Jones and her husband Frederick W., Ph.D. of N. Plainfield, NJ;  grandchildren Colleen M. Oakes and her husband Brian, Christine A. Gownley, Robert T. Gownley, III and his wife Tammy, Kevin P. Gownley, Rosemary T. Falchek and her husband David, John L. Gownley, Catherine W. Bergquist, Ph.D. and her husband Charles, Anne W. Dorn Ph.D. and her husband Daniel, Ph.D., Richard G. Jones and his wife Nina and Therese T. Amara and her husband Najib;  great grandchildren Kaitlin and Shannon Oakes, Andrew Gownley, Meghan, Robert T., IV and Molly Gownley, Gregory, Paul and Lucy Bergquist, Monica, Cecilia, Thomas and PJ Dorn, Renee and Marisa Jones, Lorna Amara.; nieces and nephews; great nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by brothers Fr. Leonard, CP, William and James Gownley;  sisters Mary Fear Wildman, Grace Gilroy and Sr. Marcia Gownley, IHM.
The family invites all attending the funeral to proceed directly to the church.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Monsignor Joseph G. Quinn of Fordham University, on Saturday at 9:30 A.M. in St. Peter’s Cathedral 315 Wyoming Ave. Scranton.
Friends may call Friday from 4-7pm in the Vanston & James Funeral Home 1401 Ash St. Scranton.
Interment with military honors in Cathedral Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to The Carlene R. Gallo, Esq., Robert T. Gownley, Jr., Esq., and Jill H. Miller, Esq. Endowment Fund for Lackawanna Pro Bono Inc. at the Scranton Area Foundation 615 Jefferson Ave., Suite 102 Scranton, Pennsylvania 18510
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  1. Tim Clark

    To the Gownley family,
    So sorry for your loss i worked for Mr G cleaning rugs. I worked for Spotless Cleaners. I always looked forward to seeing him. He was a great man meet your mom also she was very nice also. Sorry for your loss will
    Remember him always. Tim Clark

  2. Sandra Tompkins, Secretary, NSIS

    What a wonderful man! God blessed him with a long life. He graciously let the smokers from our school sit on his porch to smoke and became friends with many of them. Everyone here knew his name and had love and respect for such an interesting friendly patriarch. He was so lucky to have a loving family who helped him live his life in his own home. God bless all the family care givers who gave him that gift. I hope all your memories of him bring joy to your heart and a smile to your face! This message is from all his friends at Northeast Scranton Intermediate School.

  3. donald j murphy

    Bob Gownley was everything a good lawyer should be
    He was a very kind mentor when I came to the Lackawanna Bar in 1952
    and I was very proud to appear with him before the Superior
    Court (Me to get my 50 year card) he to be recognized for the great man he was
    As his family you should be very proud

  4. Bill Buckley

    Please accept my sincere sympathy at the passing of Atty. Robert T Gownley. Before I even knew what a lawyer did, I knew the name Bob Gownley. When my grandmother passed in 1959, his was the only name that I heard as my father was Executor. There was only praise for the handling of my grandmother’s affairs. I recognized even then at a young age that this was a great man, long before I really knew who was. It was a bit ironic that I would have attended the University with his son, and then later meet up with Bob, Jr when I was teaching his son at West Intermediate School.

  5. Bill Speare and Diane

    To the Gownley family: We are very sorry to hear of the passing of Attorney Robert Gownley,

    Bill and Diane Speare

  6. Patti Jennings

    Mr. “G” gave me my first job in a law office. He completely believed in me. Then when I was playing baseball he came to the hospital to remind me it wasnt “ladylike’, I never played again. What a wonderful man, and a wonderful family. He will be missed. Much love and hugs to his family. I think of him often.

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