WILMINGTON--Rosemary C. Sobolesky, 88, of New Castle, DE, passed away peacefully on May 15, 2020, at Manor Care Health Services, Pike Creek, after a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. Born in Schuylkill County, PA, on November 18, 1931, she was the daughter of the late John and Elizabeth Flaherty Gaughan. She was the beloved wife of the late Jerome J. Sobolesky, who passed away in 1984. They were married for 25 wonderful years.
Rosemary attended St. Joseph’s High School in Girardville, PA., a small town in the coal region of the state. She graduated from St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Reading, PA, with her R.N. degree in 1953, and earned a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Villanova University in 1958.
She met her husband, Jerry, in Delaware, when she heard of another Schuylkill County native who could give her rides “up home” on weekends from Wilmington. Their first date was going to a “Big Five” college basketball game in Philly. They enjoyed raising their three children in New Castle, volunteering with many school and church activities.
Rosemary was a nursing professor at Delaware Technical and Community College for 15 years. She also worked in many hospitals in the Philadelphia and Wilmington areas, including early in her career at Bryn Mawr Hospital, Rosemont College student health center, the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Elsmere, DE, and St. Francis Hospital and Tilton Terrace Nursing Home in Wilmington, DE.
Rosemary will be remembered for her kindness and caring toward family, countless friends, and her many nursing students and patients through the years. It was not uncommon for our phone to ring late at night, after which she would gather her nursing supplies and head out to help a friend in need.
She was a devoted mother and grandmother. A visit from “Grammy” was always a treat full of love and kindness. Perhaps her most heroic act was donating a kidney, at age 71, to her daughter, Mary Pat, in 2003.
Rosemary was an active member of St. Peter’s Catholic Church, in New Castle, where she was an organist for more than 30 years, playing for masses, weddings and funerals. Her family also enjoyed listening to her play many piano tunes over the years – a soundtrack from the 1940s through the 1980s. She often played songs from her favorite musicals, including The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins and Phantom of the Opera. She also enjoyed family trips to the Jersey Shore and Delaware beaches.
She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law Lizanne and Jim Hughes, of Avondale, PA, daughter Mary Pat Sobolesky, of Wilmington, DE, and her son and daughter-in-law John and Emily Sobolesky, of New Castle, DE, as well as 5 grandchildren, Kyle (Abby), Ryan, Bridget, Jordan and Jake. She was preceded in death by her baby grandson, Nicholas, in 1990.
She is also survived by a brother, Jack Gaughan, and sisters-in-law Betty Gaughan and Dorothy Gaughan, all of Harrisburg, PA, and sister-in-law Helen Sobolesky, of Schuylkill Haven, PA , as well as many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by a brother and sister-in-law, Francis and Marion Gaughan, formerly of Queens, N.Y., and a brother Harold Gaughan, formerly of Harrisburg, PA.
Her family would like to thank the staff at Manor Care, Pike Creek, for their care of Rosemary for more than five years, as well as caregivers Jessica Cook and Rita Casale Rizzo, and BAYADA Hospice.
A Mass of Christian Burial and interment in All Saints Cemetery, Wilmington, DE, will be private due to the COVID-19 situation.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to the Alzheimer’s Association, Delaware Valley Chapter, P.O. Box 96011, Washington, D.C. 20090-6011, or Alz.org., or to the St. Peter the Apostle Church Organ Restoration Fund, 521 Harmony St., New Castle, DE 19720. To send messages of condolence and view her memory page visit the Krienen-Griffith Funeral Home website at www.delawarefuneral.com.