A few hours after Pope Francis’s appearance at Independence Hall on Saturday, I got a call from my mother that my grandmother was going home to God. I made my way out of shut-down Philadelphia—on foot past Center City’s traffic exclusion zone into University City—to hail an Uber to get to my grandmother’s bedside in Bucks County. I grew up alongside my grandmother as much as my mother. May God grant her eternal rest.
Gram’s obituary in The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Marion Bruce Shakely of Warminster (formerly of Mayfair, Philadelphia), died peacefully on Sat., Sept. 26. She was in her 88th year. Marion was a graduate of Saint Bernard School (1942); Mount Saint Joseph Academy (1946), and the University of Pennsylvania (1950). She was the wife of the late John A. “Tioni” Shakely and beloved mother of Marion P. Wedo, William H. Shakely, Alison A. Nahrgang (Matthew), Joseph M. Shakely, and Samantha C. Aboud (Robert). Marion is survived by 10 grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Celebration of her funeral Mass will begin at 10:00 A.M. on Sat., Oct. 3 at Nativity of Our Lord in Warminster, PA with visitation at the church beginning at 9am. Holy Sepulchre Cemetery will be her place of earthly rest. Contributions in her memory may be made to the Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia’s John & Marion Shakely Charitable Fund. Requiescat in pace.The Philadelphia Inquirer/PDF
Marion Bruce Shakely of Warminster died peacefully in the evening on Saturday, September 26, 2015, at Doylestown Hospital. She was in her 88th year. Surrounding Marion were all her children, other members of her family, and a close friend, all praying, crying, laughing, and sharing memories.
Born in Point Breeze, South Philadelphia, Marion was the only child of Philip A. and Marion Bruce (nee Roth). In November of 1929, as the small family prepared to move to one of the first rowhomes in Philadelphia’s Mayfair section (then largely still semi-wild open space), tragedy struck when Philip, a member of the Philadelphia Police Department, was killed in the line of duty. The widow, her 18-month-old child, and other family members fulfilled Philip’s dream and completed the move. Mother Marion, “Nana” to her grandchildren, resided in the home until the mid-1970s; the Bruces were one of the earliest families in Saint Bernard parish in Mayfair.
On a blind date (when she was in college) Marion met her husband-to-be, John A. “Tioni” Shakely. In 1964, Marion and John moved their small family into a brand-new home in the Hartsville Park section of Warminster Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The Shakelys became members of Nativity of Our Lord parish, Warminster, in that year. Marion traveled extensively, including through the American West and Caribbean as well as to England, Scotland, Germany, Italy, and Greece. She was committed to Saint John Paul the Great and to the Culture of Life.
Marion worked for the old Snellenburg’s and Strawbridge & Clothier department stores, as a technical copyeditor for electronics manufacturer Philco Corporation, and for First Pennsylvania Bank, all in Philadelphia; but she regarded her true and noble vocation to be as a loving wife and loving mother.
Marion was proud to be a graduate of Saint Bernard School (in 1942); Mount Saint Joseph Academy, where she studied on scholarship at the original Chestnut Hill campus (1946), and the University of Pennsylvania (1950). At Penn, where she also studied on scholarship, she was a Kappa Delta sorority sister while studying political science and journalism.
Surviving Marion are her daughters Marion Wedo, Alison Nahrgang (spouse, Matthew), and Samantha Aboud (Robert); sons William and Joseph Shakely; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Marion’s loved and loving husband, John, long a teacher at Central Bucks High School West, and employee in Pennsylvania’s “State Store” system, preceded her in death in 2001.
Celebration of Marion’s funeral Mass will begin at 10:00 A.M. on Saturday, October 3 at Nativity of Our Lord Church, 585 West Street Road, Warminster, PA 18974. There will be no viewing, per her wishes. Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Cheltenham Township will be her place of earthly rest.
The Shakely family warmly thanks the staff of Doylestown Hospital for the professional and compassionate care provided to Marion.
Please consider donating, in lieu of flowers, to a charity performing corporal works of mercy in the name of our Lord. The Holy Family Home, administered by the Little Sisters of the Poor, was one of many charities that Marion supported. She also created the John & Marion Shakely Charitable Fund with the Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia to provide scholarship assistance to students at Archbishop Wood High School.
Requiescat in pace, Mom. Requiescat in pace, Gram.