Cover photo for Margaret L. "Maggie" Gilvary's Obituary
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Margaret L. "Maggie" Gilvary

August 19, 1935 — June 25, 2021

Margaret L. “Maggie” Gilvary, 85, of Bethlehem, passed away on Friday, June 25, 2021.

Born August 19, 1935, in Scranton, she was the daughter of the late Walter and Mabel (Gaffney) Laggan. After losing her mother in childbirth, Maggie was proudly raised by her two aunts, Mildred and Irene Gaffney.

A graduate of Scranton schools, Maggie went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Marywood University and a Masters Degree in Reading Specialization from Bloomsburg University.

Following her formal education, she served as a student teacher in New Jersey, then went on to enjoy a career of over twenty=five years as an elementary school teacher at Lyter Elementary School, in Montoursville, PA, where she taught first and second grade. Maggie was a well-loved teacher who inspired her students and instilled a love of learning. Her creativity in the classroom made learning fun. All her students loved reading in her old-fashioned claw foot bathtub; filled with pillows and books.

Outside of work, Maggie was a loving and supportive mother of four children. She was always there for her children and grandchildren taking them on adventures to their various sporting events, the pool, family vacations, and journeys of the imagination. She loved to shop, and enjoyed high fashion. She also displayed her creativity in the garden. The flowers in her garden were stunning. Maggie was proud of her Irish heritage and always celebrated St. Patricks Day in style by painting green freckles on her students face, and her own of course, while learning about Ireland.

When she was a resident at Kirkland Village, she also shared her beautiful voice by singing Irish songs and telling jokes, putting on quite a show.

During her time residing in Bethlehem, she was a fond member of the Newcomers Club and met many dear friends. She was often described as colorful, humorous, mischievous, kind, and someone who would make you feel very special. She always lit up the room with her sparkling personality and big blue Irish eyes.

In addition to her parents, Maggie is preceded in death by her husband of fifty-three years, the late Martin J Gilvary, who died in 2011.

She will be lovingly remembered by two sons: Marty Gilvary of Portland, OR, and Kevin Gilvary and his wife Jody of Bethlehem; two daughters: Colleen DeBardeleben and her husband Hank of Marlboro, MA, and Katie Haugerud and and her husband Kent of Flagstaff, AZ; and five grandchildren: Killian, Casey, and Shea Gilvary, as well as Meghan Cole, and Caitlin Haugerud.

A memorial service will be held on October 1, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at Advent Moravian Church, 3730 Jackonsville Rd., Bethlehem, PA 18017. A catered gathering for family and friends will follow at the church.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Children's Literacy Initiative (

Arrangements are under the care of Connell Funeral Home, Inc., 245 East Broad Street, Bethlehem.

Memorial Service
Saturday, October 1, 2022
11:00 AM
Advent Moravian Church
3730 Jacksonville Road
Bethlehem PA 18017

Funeral HomeConnell Funeral Home, Inc.
245 East Broad St.
Bethlehem PA - 18018

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Margaret L. "Maggie" Gilvary, please visit our flower store.

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