Florence Josephine (Madeya) Gibas passed away Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, at the age of 91, her family announces with great sadness. She was the last of the original Madeya clan of Duquesne.
The daughter of Polish immigrants, Jacob and Josephine Madeja, Florence was born and raised in Duquesne. After graduating high school in 1945, she worked in the local steel mill until her marriage to Sylvester in 1950. Together, they raised seven children in West Mifflin. They fondly remember her superb stuffed cabbage, chocolate chip cookies and nut rolls, exploding homemade root beer, driving them to Holy Name church and school, Duquesne Dolphin swimming practices and meets, summers at the cabin in Ligonier, and mom forever washing their clothes in the basement wringer washer.
In her later years, Florence enjoyed browsing flea markets, collecting antiques, watching old musicals and swimming at the Homestead Carnegie Library, where she appreciated her fellow swimmers giving her the lane along the wall. Always positive in her Catholic faith and in life, she was a constant inspiration to her children.
Her infectious laughter echoed through the generations she raised and filled many houses and holiday celebrations with a legacy of joy that will forever resonate in our hearts. In 2000, she lost Sylvester after 50 years of marriage.
She was preceded in death by brothers John, Stanley, Edwin, Frank, Joseph and Albert Madeya; and sisters Ann Klaus, Irene Ondrey and Frances Proch. She is survived by son David (Jill), of Aberdeen, Md., and their children, Erin (Michael) McNabb, Jason (Larkin) and Katelyn (Geoffrey) Gray; daughter Joanne Thornburg, of North Huntingdon, and her daughter Paige; son Jerome (Chris), of Greensburg, and their children, Anna (J.D.) Flanagan and Jacob (Heather); son Daniel "Buck" (Julie), of West Mifflin, and their children, Rachel and Claire; daughter Susan (Gerald Rutter), of Avon, Ohio, and their children, Duane, David (Robin) and Eric Amador; son John, of Baltimore, Md.; daughter Stephanie (Art) Gover, of Centre Hall, Pa., and their children, Olivia, Evan (Allison), Grace, Stephen, Adrian and Elinor; and nine great-grandchildren. Visitation will be from noon to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, at MALOY-SCHLEIFER FUNERAL HOME INC., 915 Kennedy Ave., Duquesne, 412-466-3300. A blessing service will be at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 18, 2019 at the funeral home, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. at St. Hedwig Church of Christ the Light of the World Parish, Duquesne, with the Rev. Thomas Lewandowski officiating. Burial will be in St. Hedwig Cemetery, West Mifflin. Memorial contributions may be made to the Carnegie Library of Homestead.
Originally published November 14, 2019.