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 www.ummsfoundation.org/give.