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Mary Joan Vodzak

March 8, 2023


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Mary Joan Vodzak

March 8, 2023


Mary Joan Vodzak, 90, of Wilkes-Barre, passed away on March 8, 2023 in Allied Services Meade Street Skilled Nursing in Wilkes-Barre, surrounded by her loving family.


She was born in Wilkes-Barre, a daughter of the late James and Helen Joyce Wallace.  Mary Joan was a 1951 graduate of St. Mary’s High School in Wilkes-Barre.  She was formerly employed by the Pennsylvania Gas and Water Company and she also worked at Passeri’s Market in the East End Section of Wilkes-Barre.


Mary Joan was a member of St. Ignatius Loyola Church in Kingston.


She was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, Bernard G. Vodzak in 2019.  She was also preceded in death by her brothers, James and Jack Wallace.


Mary Joan is survived by her loving children, Joyce Elston and her husband, Thomas, Wilkes-Barre Township, Bernard Vodzak and his wife, Judy, Wilkes-Barre, Daria Vodzak, Danville and Michelle Gist and her husband, David, Greenwood, DE; grandchildren, Brittany Dye and her husband, Ryan, Jessica Elston, Amanda Gabriel, Jarrett Gabriel and his fianceé, Teagan Campbell and Michael Vodzak; great granddaughter, Nora Joan; brother, Thomas Wallace and his wife, Joni, Fl; 7 godchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.


Mary Joan was a woman of great faith and lived that faith each day.  She enjoyed playing bingo and an occasional trip to the casino, but her greatest joy was spending time with children, grandchildren and great-granddaughter.


You would never leave her house without a hearty meal and some words of wisdom.  She had the gift of making everyone in her life feel like family.  Affectionately known as darlin’ to the many of her extended family, she truly welcomed all and made each one feel special.  She put the needs of others first and always encouraged and supported all.


Her sharp wit and everpresent sense of humor were evident.  Her love, wisdom and sassy charm will be missed by all who were blessed to know her.  Celebrate her beautiful life by sharing a kind word or deed and live every day with faith and hope.


The family would like to thank Dr. John Prater and Mary for their many years of kindness and care.   They would also like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to their Allied family for their incredible care, kindness and compassion during Mom’s time with them.  MJ, as she was called, considered each of you to be one of her own.


A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday at 10:15 am in St. Ignatius Loyola Church, 339 N. Maple Avenue, Kingston.  Interment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Hanover Township.


A visitation for family and friends will be held from 9:15 – 10:15 on Saturday in the Church, prior to her Mass.


In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Ronald McDonald House or the St. Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen.


Condolences may be sent by visiting Mary Joan’s obituary at


Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Nat & Gawlas Funeral Home, 89 Park Avenue, Wilkes-Barre.