Catherine Gallagher Kearney Jablonski, 90, of Dunmore, died early Wednesday morning at her home, while under the care of Hospice of the Sacred Heart.
Born in Scranton, daughter of the late Michael and Beatrice Peyton Gallagher, she was the widow of George G. Jablonski, who died in June, 1992. Her first husband, Mark J. Kearney, also preceded her in death.
Catherine was a graduate of Scranton Central High School in 1943 and attended the Powell School of Business. In 1947, Catherine worked as an executive secretary and production assistant for her uncle, the late Fr. Patrick Peyton, when he launched his national radio program, “Family Theater,” in Hollywood, California. She was later employed at Columbia Pictures, Hollywood, and at the American Newspaper Publishers Association in New York City.
In 1953, she returned to the Scranton area and began employment at Tobyhanna Army Depot. Catherine was the recipient of numerous outstanding performance awards during her years of federal employment, steadily progressing to more challenging positions. She was the first woman to occupy the position of division chief and was the Property Disposal Officer of the Depot from 1966 to 1973.
In 1973, she moved to Washington, D.C., where she was one of the earliest employees of the newly established Defense Logistics Agency, created to merge procurement and disposal functions of all the military services into one governing body. Catherine performed as a staff specialist affecting policy for all of the military services. She took early retirement, following 25 years of government service, in May, 1979.
She married George Jablonski on May 4, 1979 and moved to Franklin, Pa., where George worked as an executive for Joy Manufacturing Company. After her husband’s retirement, Catherine and George relocated to Scranton in March, 1992, followed shortly and sadly by George’s death. Catherine then moved to Dunmore, completing purchase of the home they had both planned to occupy.
Catherine was a devout Roman Catholic and a woman of great faith, who had a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and prayed the Rosary daily. She was a member of Immaculate Conception Church, Scranton, after her Dunmore Parish, Christ the King, was merged with I.C.C.
She was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and aunt, whose religious faith and family were her primary focus. She had a vibrant, curious mind and enjoyed reading and staying informed of current events; she was also an avid football fan of Notre Dame and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Catherine is survived by three daughters: Atty. Kerry Kearney and husband Tom Armstrong, Pittsburgh; and Kathleen Kearney and Maureen Casey, Dunmore; three step-daughters: Terry Novak and Sandra Jablonski, Chicago; and the Rev. Carol Jablonski and husband the Rev. Ty Jones, Asheville, NC; a grandson, Atty. Michael Rafalko and wife Alice and great-grandson Marcus Rafalko, Philadelphia; a sister, Patricia Ingrasci, Scranton; a sister-in-law Arleen Gallagher, Dunmore; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Besides her parents and spouses, she was preceded in death by her siblings, Msgr. John P. Gallagher, Ph.D., of the Scranton Diocese, Margaret Miller, Robert Gallagher, and Mary Wagner; and her uncle, Servant of God, Fr. Patrick Peyton, C.S.C., the “Rosary Priest” whose cause for sainthood is under review in Rome. She was also preceded in death by a new-born infant son, Joseph.
Catherine’s family would like to thank her longtime physicians, Dr. Linda Frantz and Dr. Linda Barrasse, and acknowledge the exceptional care provided to her by Hospice of the Sacred Heart during her final months.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, October 10, at 10 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Church, 800 Taylor Ave., Scranton. Anyone attending the Mass is kindly invited to go directly to the church.
Friends may call Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Vanston and James Funeral Home, 1401 Ash St., Scranton. Interment: Cathedral Cemetery, Scranton. In lieu of flowers, Catherine has requested that any remembrances be in the form of prayers and Masses offered in her name.