Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
Gwenna (Geisel) Kelley of Merrittstown, Pennsylvania, passed away peacefully on Friday, August 4th, 2023 in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Allegheny General Hospital at 66 years young, just three days before her 67th birthday. Gwenna was a survivor of ovarian cancer, originally diagnosed in 2005, but ultimately lost her battle with congenital heart failure after three years.
Born on August 7th, 1956 in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, Gwenna was the daughter of Donald R. Geisel from Thompson, Pennsylvania and Pattie G. (Walls) Geisel from Republic, Pennsylvania, both of whom predeceased their beloved child. She was also preceded in death by her cherished grandmother, Grace (Sterbutzel) Walls Livingston of Republic, Pennsylvania. Gwenna is survived by her lifelong love, Joseph K. Kelley. The couple were together for 51 years, which included 45 years of marriage. Gwenna is also survived by her only child, Dirk A. Kelley (David Martin) of East Hampton, Connecticut, and a cousin who was like a sister, Kelley M. Walls Rugola (Steve) of East Millsboro, Pennsylvania. She also leaves behind many cousins and dear friends from near and far with whom she maintained close relationships.
Gwenna graduated from Brownsville Area High School, Class of 1974, and earned her degree from California University of Pennsylvania in 1977. She devoted her career of 37 years as a Special Education teacher where she was employed by the Intermediate Unit 1. Her assignments included the Brownsville Area, Connellsville Area, and Laurel Highlands School Districts, where she left a lasting impact on the hearts and lives of her emotional support students.
Guided by her strong faith, Gwenna was a dedicated servant of The Lord. She was a former member of The First Christian Church of Republic where she served as Chairperson of the Board, choir member, and Sunday School teacher. She is a current member of the First Christian Church of New Salem where she served as Treasurer, Deaconess, and Choir Director.
Gwenna's commitment to her community was remarkable. She volunteered for numerous years with the Brownsville Area Midget Football League and the Brownsville Area Biddy Basketball League. She played a significant role in fundraising for the construction of the Redstone Township Recreation Center.
Her favorite moments were spent crating memories with family, friends, and her loyal companion, Maizie Girl (dog). Gwenna relished in the sights, sounds, and feels of her annual beach vacations. She enjoyed celebrating holidays with loved ones, baking cookies, singing, and tending to her flower gardens. The positive impact that she left on those who had the privilege of knowing her is immeasurable. While she may no longer be with us, her spirit will live on in our hearts. Heaven has gained an extraordinary angel with Gwenna!
Friends will be received in The Dearth Funeral Home 35 South Mill Street New Salem, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, August 9th from 2-8PM. Additional visitation will be held on Thursday, August 10th at The New Salem First Christian Church 800 New Salem Road Uniontown, Pennsylvania from 10AM until 11AM. A Funeral Service will be held at 11AM with Pastor Andy Miles officiating. Interment will follow in LaFayette Memorial Park.