Atty. Robert T. Gownley, Jr.

Atty. Robert T. Gownley, Jr., 77, of South Scranton passed away peacefully Monday morning at the Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York City with his family by his side following an 8 year battle with cancer.  He is survived by his loving wife, the former Nancy Kelly.  In August they would have celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary.  

Born March 10, 1947 in Scranton, he was the son of the late Robert T. “Mr. G” and Florence Walsh Gownley.  Robert was a graduate of the Scranton Preparatory School, the University of Scranton and Duquesne University School of Law.  

He practiced law in Scranton for over 50 years, including serving several years as the Solicitor for the City of Scranton.  He was a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and past president of the Lackawanna Bar Association. He was most proud of his contribution to the community when he co-founded Lackawanna Pro Bono Inc., which has provided free legal representation since 1997 helping close to 10,000 people.   

He was a devout Catholic, teaching catechism for several years.  To say he was a sports fanatic would be an understatement.  From a young age he loved to listen to the Brooklyn Dodger games on the radio and could recall every pitch and play from the 1955 World Series.  An avid storyteller there was always one or a few for him to share for any occasion.  

Also surviving are his beloved six children 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; grandchildren Kaitlin and Shannon Oakes, Andrew Gownley, Meghan, Robert, IV and Molly Gownley; his sister Margaret Mary Jones; many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by brother-in-law Frederick W. Jones.

His family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Kishori and staff at the Commonwealth Health and Dr. Jagannath and staff at the Center of Excellence for Multiple Myeloma, Mt. Sinai for their wonderful compassion and care over the years.  

All attending the Mass are invited to go directly to the church on Friday morning. 

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, April 26th at 10am in the Divine Mercy Parish at St. Joseph’s Church 312 Davis Street Scranton with Rev. Paul A. McDonnell, O.S.J., pastor and principal celebrant.

Friends may call Thursday from 4-7pm in the Vanston and James Funeral Home 1401 Ash St. Scranton.

Interment, Cathedral Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers the family sincerely encourages memorial contributions be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (


  1. Glenn Houston and Elena Alvarez

    Our Sincere condonences to Nancy and all the family.Bob was a true intellectual with a brilliant spirit.

  2. Jen Graham Partyka MSN RN

    Colleen, Rosemary, Christine and family,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. What an amazing legacy your father has left to our area. His was a life well lived. Thinking of all of you, and I hope to say all of this in person on Thursday.
    Jen & Jeff

  3. Ann Russo

    I am so sorry for the loss of my dear cousin Bob. He was such a joyful man and the best story teller!! God bless you, Nancy, and all your children and grandchildren. I know he will be greatly missed by all of you. You are in my prayers.

  4. Kathy Tumavitch

    So very sorry to hear about Atty. Gownley. He was a wonderful man and so helpful in assisting our family throughout the years. May he rest in peace and sending prayers to his wife and family.

  5. Terri and Phil Craparo

    Phil and I are so sorry to hear of Robert’s passing. I will always have the fondest of memories growing up next door to the Gownley’s. Robert and his family are in our prayers.

  6. Mari Burke

    I knew Bob when his offices were in the Connell Building in the 1980’s. I worked at the Mazzoni Law Firm which was right down the hall from his office. Then when our office moved to Bank Towers around 1995, Bob’s office was in the same building. We crossed paths many times, whether it was in the office or on the street downtown. He was very friendly, could carry on a conversation with anyone, and a great lawyer. His presence in the legal community will be misssed.

  7. Erin James

    We enjoyed Bob and his family over the years as owners of Tom and Jerry’s Restaurant in Scranton. I particularly remember many conversations we’d have, and thought of him as a great friend and customer. Watching his family grow and being a part of their regular visits was a pleasure. A true pillar of the community.

    Jerry Huester co-owner Tom and Jerry’s Restaurant

  8. Kerry Kearney

    I left Scranton in 1970. I knew Robert as the older brother of childhood friend, Marmee Jones and as a lawyer whom I would see at lawyer meetings over the years. He was a very kind kid and an excellent lawyer. My mother died in 2016. Robert came to her wake at Vanston funeral home. I was so touched by his kindness in coming. I had not seen him since I retired from law practice. I wish I could be in Scranton to express my condolences. I am sending prayers for Robert and for his lovely family and for Marmee on the loss of her only brother

  9. Linda Gagnon Norton

    My sincere sympathy for the whole Gownley family. My Mom was also very saddened to hear of Bob’s passing. May he rest in God’s warm embrace

  10. Kristy Kemmerer

    Mr..Gownley will always be remembered by me as someone that looked on the bright side of life. I interacted with him only a few times, but each time I felt like a part of the family. I enjoyed his conversations and sense of humor. His love and dedication to his family was beautiful.
    All my love to the Gownley family

  11. Bob Gatelli

    Bob was a very friendly , kind and compassionate man. A true gentleman, I got to know him when he handled my Mother’s legal matters especially in her later years. I was privileged to have known him. My sincere condolences to Nancy and family.

  12. Charles and Ann Marie Kumpas

    As I visited with Bob at the funeral home, I thought of our long friendship of over fifty years, starting when we were in the same class at the Univ. of Scranton, class of 1969.
    And, after his graduation from law school he became our family lawyer for my wife Ann Marie and me, helping us through all our legal needs over those years, and for many of our extended family that we sent to him.
    It seemed every office visit, every talk on the phone, the last one only recently, that we talked about baseball also, and we both enjoyed it. My wife and I lost a good friend. Our condolences to his family.

  13. Anne (Nancy) O'Malley Burke

    Please accept our deepest sympathy for your loss. I had the opportunity to meet attorney Gownley through his association with my mother Marie O’Malley and my brother Robert. It was always a pleasure to chat and discuss friends and relatives we had in common. He was truly a gentleman.

    God bless and may he rest in peace.

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