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It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Irene (Rena) Zelinski, a beloved mother, Grandmother, and Great-grandmother.
Irene passed away peacefully at the age of 97 on Mother's Day at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital surrounded by her loving family. We are forever grateful for her longevity and clarity until her death.
Irene was the daughter of Italian Immigrants, born June 26, 1925, to Luigi and Mariana Angeli Cataluffi.
She was born, raised, and resided on East Sixth Street her entire life. Irene was a 1944 graduate of Wyoming Memorial High School. She was employed in the garment industry from high school graduation until her retirement in 1987. She was a loyal employee of J & R Dress Factory, Wyoming, where she served as a Chairperson.
Irene was a member of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union and a devoted member of St. Anthony of Padua Church (Saint Barbara's Parish) Exeter, where she was wed to Henry (Hank) Zelinski in 1950.
She worshipped faithfully there her whole life and became one of the offering counters for many years. There she grew her many friendships with a wonderful group of volunteers who became a comfort to her as she aged. Irene also was a volunteer for the American Red Cross Blood Drives of which her husband were faithful donors. She was also a member of the Wyoming-West Wyoming Senior's Club where she enjoyed many dear friends.
She and Hank, her husband of 57 years who preceded her in death in 2007, were the parents of Henry E. (Diane) Zelinski of Wyoming and Maureen (Craig) Pahl of Miami, Florida. Irene was the proud "Gram" of Eric (Sara) and Stacy (John) Zelinski Pennsylvania, Jessica (Clay) Roffer, Nathan (Justina) Pahl, and Benjamin (Samantha) Pahl all of Florida.
She adored her grandchildren and remained an active part of their lives, always partaking and knowing their life events, accomplishments, and endeavors. She was most blessed to become a Great Grandmother- a fun and loving "Noni" to Charlotte and Emma Zelinski, Grayson and Reese Roffer, Charlotte, Harvey, Harper, and Penelope Pahl. She never forgot a birthday and always celebrated her family and friends with her infamous phone birthday jingles.
Irene had many great friends throughout her long years. She indeed was a true friend in return. She loved hearing from them and keeping in touch via phone in her later years.
She will be greatly missed by her family and wonderful friends who were such a blessing to her as she became older, calling, providing rides, surprising her with wonderful meals, and mostly returning her love. The family wishes to thank all these wonderful earthly angels who gave their time and love to Irene for she loved being social.
The family of Irene wishes to send their sincere appreciation to Antoinette Consagra for her devotion, loving care, compassion, and friendship. Antoinette was her daily dose of love. Her commitment and loving care for Irene will forever be appreciated. The family also thanks all her friends and neighbors who fulfilled her life until her death.
Irene's family would also like to acknowledge Dr Cassandra Tunis for her dedication and compassionate care exceedingly far above and beyond measure in keeping Irene so well for so long. The family also appreciated the attentive, compassionate staff at Dr Tunis's office and the Geisinger PCU staff who displayed professional care and comfort to Irene and her family for the short while she spent there until her death.
Irene was also preceded in death by her brother Eugene (Geno) and her sister Clida Cataluffi.
Relatives and friends are asked to celebrate her eternal life directly at Saint Barbara's Parish, Exeter for a mass of Christian Burial on Wednesday May 24 at 10am with family receiving friends at 9am until time of mass.
The Monsignor John Sempa, pastor will be celebrant.
Interment will be at Mount Olivet Roman Catholic Cemetery, Carverton.
Her kindness, strength, and tenacity will live on through her family and friends of whose lives she touched.
Donations in Irene's name can be made to the American Red Cross or the North East Sight Services, 1825 Wyoming Avenue, Exeter.
Arrangements are in the care and direction of the Gubbiotti Funeral Home,LLC, 1030 Wyoming Ave., Exeter.
To send the family an expression of sympathy or an online condolence, please visit www.gubbiottifh.com