Mary Sobolesky

Mary Pat Sobolesky

Sunday, January 6th, 1963 - Wednesday, August 19th, 2020
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Mary Pat Sobolesky

Mary Pat passed away peacefully on August 19, 2020, at Christiana Hospital, Newark, after a courageous, life-long battle with juvenile diabetes. Born in Wilmington, DE, on January 6, 1963, she was the daughter of the late Jerome and Rosemary Gaughan Sobolesky.

Mary Pat attended St. Peter’s Grade School, New Castle, and St. Mark’s High School, class of 1981. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in early childhood education from the University of Delaware in 1985, and a Master’s Degree in education from Delaware State University.

Mary Pat was a kindergarten teacher in the Colonial School District for more than 25 years, teaching hundreds of children at five elementary schools. Always a dedicated, industrious teacher, she was once recognized as district Teacher of the Year.

She continually defied the odds battling the medical challenges of her illness. She was one of the University of Maryland Medical Center’s longest surviving pancreas transplant patients, undergoing a kidney and pancreas transplant in 1994. She underwent another kidney transplant in 2003 in which she received a kidney from her beloved mother, Rosemary. Doctors were constantly impressed with her positive attitude and resilience through countless procedures and medical challenges. They often referred to her as the “The Energizer Bunny,” “The Bionic Woman,” “Miracle Patient,” or “Super Woman,” with admiration. To her family and friends, she was an Ironwoman with a heart of gold, always guided by her faith. One of her favorite expressions: “Talk to God every day, He never gets tired of hearing from you.”

Mary Pat never let her medical challenges define her and she lived her life enjoying many passions. She was an animal lover, cherishing her years with three pugs, Tess, Gus and Gia, and two pomeranians, Ted I and Ted II. She was a true foodie. She could whip up an inventive dish in a pinch and would relish time with her many friends at restaurants. There was never a menu or dish she didn’t critique.

Her garden was always filled with a bright variety of blooms every season. Mary Pat was a modern decorator, populating her home with accents that were tasteful and a little funky.

For someone who was a landlubber, she had a fascination with sharks, often amusing her family with reminders to watch Shark Week, and informing them of which sharks were the most aggressive. She also enjoyed classic rock and everyone knew who her favorite band was--Journey.

She will be remembered for her quick wit and sense of humor, which never deserted her. Shortly after she learned she only had days to live, she was told that the morning’s hospital breakfast was bacon, eggs and French toast. “Bacon?” she asked. “What, are they trying to kill me?” Her humor was always on full display during vacations with family and friends to both the Delaware beaches and Jersey shore, which she enjoyed immensely.

Above all things, Mary Pat was a loving daughter, loyal sister, and a second mother to her three nephews and two nieces. She cherished them, cheered them, supported them, protected them, and they are forever in her debt.

She is survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Lizanne and Jim Hughes of Avondale, PA; her brother and sister-in-law, John and Emily Sobolesky of New Castle, Delaware; as well as her nephews, Kyle (Abby), Ryan and Jake, and her nieces, Bridget and Jordan. And her beloved pug, Tess. She was predeceased by her infant son, Nicholas.

Mary Pat’s family wishes to thank her many doctors, including Dr. Dana Newswanger, Dr. Michael Conway, Dr. John Kelly, Dr. Harry Lebowitz, the doctors at Nephrology Associates, and Fresenius Kidney Care, Newport, DE.

A Mass of Christian Burial and interment in All Saints Cemetery, Wilmington, DE, will be private due to the COVID-19 situation.

Gifts in memory of Mary Pat may be directed to support the University of Maryland Division of Transplantation Center. Please make checks payable to: UMMS Foundation. Gifts may be mailed with a memo indicating that the gift is in memory of Mary Pat Sobolesky to the UMMS Foundation, 110 South Paca Street, 9th Floor, Baltimore, MD, 21201, or gifts can be made online at
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Service Details

  • Service

    St John The Beloved R.C. Church
    907 Milltowntown Rd.
    Wilmington De.
    WILMINGTON, DE 19808
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    All Saints Cemetery
    6001 Kirkwood Hwy.
    Wilmington De.
    WILMINGTON, DE 19805
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Marti Sanclemente

Posted at 12:13pm
I taught with Mary Pat many years ago. She loved teaching Kindergarteners. I remember her “3 Bears” song that the children never got tired of hearing and she never got tired of singing. I am so sorry for your loss. Marti (Crone) Sanclemente

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 10:10am
We pray the love of God enfolds you during your journey through grief. Thinking and praying for you and your family.
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Ellen Schubert

Posted at 12:24pm
I was saddened to hear of Mary Pat's death. We worked together teaching kindergarten at Pleasantville Elementary for several years. Most days we had lunch together which was a time when we shared our lives, planned for our classes and became a group that loved working together. During those years, Mary Pat faced many struggles, but still came to work with a smile on her face and love for her students in her heart. She will be missed. Ellen Schubert

Karen (McClain) Johnstone

Posted at 06:06pm
Mary Pat had a smile that lit up her face. She was such a genuine person never to falter along the way. We should all learn from her courage. Now at peace with her wonderful parents and son. Love always from our hearts

Patricia Thomas

Posted at 07:40pm
I am very saddened to hear of Mary Pats passing. I will always remember her strength during all of the medical problems she faced each day. I grew up with Mary Pat, and had the pleasure of her teaching two of my children. They remember her fondly. Blessings and Prayers to her family. Her smile will be greatly missed

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