Margaret Mary (Ludlow) Shimkus, 87, of Dalton died Sunday morning at home surrounded by her loving family. She was the wife of Vito Shimkus. The couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Oct. 21.
Born Oct. 11, 1934, in Syracuse, N.Y., she was the daughter of James and Beatrice (Ryan) Ludlow. A graduate of Sauquoit Valley High School, Sauquoit, N.Y., she received her bachelor's degree in history from Le Moyne College, Syracuse, N.Y., and earned her master's in elementary education from SUNY at Oneonta. Moving to Scranton area, she was an elementary school teacher for the Scranton School District and shortly after moved to Dalton in 1962, where she was a devoted mom raising her eight children. An only child herself she would share with cousins her dream of having eight children.
After her oldest son's tragic suicide in 1981, she joined Compassionate Friends where for many years she comforted other bereaved parents. Margaret was a member of Al-Anon for more than 30 years where, as a sponsor, she helped many families struggling with substance abuse and addiction. Margaret was a dedicated volunteer, offering her time every week for more than 20 years to the staff at VNA Hospice.
She was the longest current member of the Waverly Community House Women's Club and for years collected old clothing to donate to the Sleeping Bag Project of My Brother's Keeper to make patchwork quilts for the homeless. For many years, she had a great devotion to the rosary. Margaret was a very intelligent kind woman who was never impressed with money or stature. She had friends from all strata of life.
Margaret was a woman of few words who was well-known for her matter-of-fact attitude. She will be missed by her children who have many fond memories, such as taking a different child every Friday for their special night out grocery shopping with a treat afterward.
Margaret, was a sensitive woman known for her great compassion for others' suffering, whether it be from drug addiction, bereavement or illness. Her family extends their gratitude to the staff of VNA Home Hospice, Commonwealth Home Health and Geisinger at Home.
She is survived by her seven children and their spouses, Vito Jr., Dalton; Ann and Dana Coutts, Denver, Colo.; Joseph and Amy, Peterborough, N.H.; Mary Keinz and Randy, Murray, Utah; Thomas and Beth, Scranton; Francis and Beth, Cincinnati, Ohio; and Michael, Fort Worth, Texas; and grandchildren, Therese, Anna Mary, Veronica, Theodora, Kelly, Julie and Derek Shimkus. She was preceded in death by son, Jimmy.
The funeral will be Thursday at 10 a.m. from Our Lady of the Abingtons, 700 W. Main St., Dalton, to be celebrated by the Rev. Arbogaste Satoun. Interment, St. Catherine's Cemetery, Moscow. The family will receive relatives and friends Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Jennings-Calvey Funeral and Cremation Service Inc., 111 Colburn Ave., Clarks Summit, 18411.
Memorial contributions may be made to Compassionate Friends, 48660 Pontiac Trail, #930808, Wixom, MI 48393, www.compassionatefriends.org; My Brother's Keeper Sleeping Bag Project, 260 Laurel Lane, Hop Bottom, PA 18824, www.thesleepingbagproject.org; or VNA Hospice and Home Health of Lackawanna County, 301 Delaware Ave., Olyphant, PA, 18447, www.vnahospice.org.
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