Mary A. (Grigas) Koons, age 96 of 347 Juneberry Way, Deptford, NJ, 08096 formerly of East Lloyd Street, Shenandoah passed away Saturday at the home of her daughter, Evelyn Koons in Deptford, NJ with whom she resided for the past four years.
Born in Shenandoah on February 4, 1916, she was the daughter of the late Charles and Mary (Radzavage) Grigas.
Mary was a 1934 graduate of the former J. W. Cooper High School, Shenandoah.
Prior to her retirement she worked as the bookkeeper and was a garment worker at the former Connie Fashions, Shenandoah. After her retirement, she was a “stuffer” at the former Shenandoah Evening Herald.
Mary was a devout and faithful member of St. George Lithuanian Roman Catholic Church, Shenandoah where she was a frequent lector and altar server. She was a longtime member of St. George’s choir from youth throughout her life, singing many Lithuanian hymns at masses and funerals and also held membership in the Guild and Women’s Alliance of the parish. She was a frequent reader for the Lithuanian masses at the former Our Lady of Siluva Church, Maizeville. She was also a member of the former Zarija Lithuanian Choir; charter member and 4th degree knight of the Anthracite Council 144 Knights of Lithuania where she served as Cultural Chairperson. In addition, she was a member of the Greater Shenandoah Area Senior Citizens.
Mrs. Koons read, wrote and spoke fluent Lithuanian and was an ardent supporter of Lithuanian heritage and culture; she taught Lithuanian classes at local adult schools for over ten years and hosted numerous Lithuanian radio programs on local radio stations in conjunction with Lithuanian Independence Day held annually in February. She served as an interpreter for letters from Lithuanians to family members in the states. She was not only a volunteer for Lithuanian Day activities, but also provided enjoyment with her vocal talent for over seventy-five years.
After retirement, she traveled extensively with her late husband, John to various destinations including two pilgrimages to Lithuania and one to Rome where she received a private blessing and handshake from Pope John Paul II at the private Lithuanian audience in celebration of St. Casmir’s 100th birthday in 1984.
She was an active member of the Heritage community where she resided with her daughter. She participated in the Women’s Club, monthly breakfasts, monthly social events and bingo. She was affectionately known as the “community mom” and loved by all.
Preceding her in death in addition to her parents were her beloved husband, John A. Koons who passed away on March 7, 2005; five brothers and one sister.
She was the last surviving member of her immediate family.
Surviving are her children Joseph Koons of Bellefonte, Anne Marie Albright of Philadelphia and Evelyn Koons of Deptford, NJ; four grandchildren, John Albright of New Jersey, Stephanie Koons of State College and Christopher Koons of Bellefonte, and Gabriel’ G. Koons of Miami, FL; one great-granddaughter, nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews. She also leaves behind her “precious little buddy”, her beloved granddog, Bella.
Prayer and scripture services will be held Thursday at 11:00 a.m. at Walukiewicz-Oravitz Fell Funeral Home, 132 S. Jardin St., Shenandoah. Rev. Robert J. Potts will officiate. Interment will follow at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Annville where she will be laid to rest with her loving husband, John. Rev. Peter Mainza, AJ and Rev. Augustine Idra, AJ will officiate.
Relatives and friends are invited to call at the funeral home Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy can be made in Mary’s memory to: The Knights of Lithuania, C-144, 440 West High Street, Frackville, PA 17931.
Walukiewicz-Oravitz Fell Funeral Home, Shenandoah is in charge of the arrangements.