In Memory of




Obituary for Kathleen Scoboria (McGettigan)

Beloved Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Teacher & Principal
Kathleen Mary (McGettigan) Scoboria, the beloved wife for 58 years of Dr. C. Preston Scoboria III, passed away Thursday in Reading Hospital, surrounded by her loving family, after valiantly battling a lengthy illness.
Kathleen, 80, affectionately known to many as “Kay,” resided in Hyde Park for many years, where she and Preston raised their five children. She was a devoted and loving mother, and enthusiastically supported her five children in all their pursuits. A devout Catholic, she was a lifetime member of Holy Guardian Angels Roman Catholic Church, Laureldale, where she served many years as a volunteer.
She was born July 2, 1941, in Philadelphia, the eldest child of the late Francis J. and Kathleen M. (Sweeney) McGettigan. After graduating from Annunciation BVM Catholic Elementary School, Havertown, and Notre Dame Moylan Catholic High School, Kathleen entered the Sisters of Mercy, Merion, where she served the Catholic Church, and dedicated her life to following the Gospel of Jesus. Due to ill health, after several years she left the Sisters of Mercy, but she remained extremely close to her “Band of Sisters,” attending reunions and celebrations throughout her life. These formative years Kathleen spent as a Sister of Mercy created a strong foundation on which she built her life, dedicated to Catholic faith, service and education.
Kathleen earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Gwynedd Mercy University. In 1961, she began teaching fourth grade at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Elementary School, Manoa, honing her skills by teaching classes of 75 students at a time.
In 1963, Kathleen ventured out one evening with a friend to McGillin’s Olde Ale House, Philadelphia. This evening would prove fateful, as she met a young sailor in the U.S. Navy, C. Preston Scoboria III, who was on leave for one evening from his ship, which was docked in Philadelphia. This random meeting quickly blossomed into an epic love story, including marriage, five children, and 11 grandchildren. In 2014, Kathleen and Preston celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a celebration at McGillin’s, surrounded by family and friends. Their photo taken in front of McGillin’s that night was later featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer in an article about love stories that began at McGillin’s.
Kathleen and Preston married in 1964 and lived in State College and then in McKeesport before settling in Berks County, brought to this area by Preston’s job as a physics professor at Penn State Berks. Kathleen and Preston became enthusiastic members of the Penn State Berks community of faculty families and stayed close with the campus community all their lives.
While raising their five children, Kathleen returned to the classroom first as a substitute and then as a full-time kindergarten teacher at the former St. John Baptist de la Salle Catholic Elementary School, Shillington, now LaSalle Academy, where she taught from 1976 through 1991. She taught kindergarten for 12 years, and during her tenure created the first pre-kindergarten and pre-pre-kindergarten classes in the school. She then taught sixth grade for three years. During these 15 years, she enjoyed creating musical performances for the children to share with their parents, and encouraging creativity, academic excellence, and most importantly, devotion to the Catholic faith.
In 1984, Kathleen completed the Administrators Development Program of the Diocese of Allentown. In 1991, she was chosen to serve as principal of the former St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School, Reading, becoming one of the first lay principals in the Diocese of Allentown.
Facing declining enrollment, Kathleen poured her heart and soul into transforming the school into a thriving academic environment. She worked long hours, recruited volunteers, and stayed optimistic in the face of many setbacks. She reopened the seventh and eighth grades, which had been closed, and also started kindergarten and pre-kindergarten classes. She founded multiple clubs, sports, and musical activities for the students, and inspired them to believe in themselves. She welcomed diverse communities including a large number of recent immigrants from Vietnam, who embraced the opportunities at St. Mary’s. Her determination was rewarded with increased enrollment and the academic success of her students. In 1995, St. Mary’s received the Turn Around Award from the Diocese of Allentown. During the celebration, Kathleen was congratulated for doing what many had thought was impossible.
Those lucky to know and love Kathleen were amazed, but not surprised. For Kathleen, nothing was impossible. With hard work, determination, teamwork, and faith – anything was possible.
Kathleen retired from teaching in 1998, due to health issues, and focused on her growing family.
A celebrated cook, Kathleen loved to entertain, and hosted festive Thanksgiving celebrations for a large group of extended family for more than a decade. She loved the beach and shared that passion with her children, grandchildren, siblings, and extended family, who all vacation together each summer in her beloved Strathmere, NJ, where she spent summers as a teenager.
A devoted friend to many, Kathleen enjoyed attending both high school and elementary class reunions and remained close to many friends from her childhood and teenage years, as well as friends she met through her teaching career.
Kathleen loved music, especially Elvis Presley, and was a dedicated fan of Villanova University basketball, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Philadelphia Phillies.
In addition to her devoted husband, she is survived by two loving sons and three loving daughters: Joseph R. Scoboria, husband of Rosemarie, and Robert L. Scoboria, husband of Marybeth, both of Exeter Township; Kathleen M. Scoboria, wife of John Chibirka, Wernersville; Francine M. Scoboria, wife of Gregory Pancerev, Oley; and Patty (Scoboria) Clark, wife of Zeke Clark, of Nashville, TN.
Kathleen is also survived by 11 grandchildren, Joseph R. Scoboria Jr., Catharine Rose Scoboria, Jacqueline M. Scoboria, Sophia Hope Scoboria, Luke R. Scoboria, Christopher M. Scoboria, Elizabeth M. Chibirka, Jack P. Chibirka, Daniel E. Hoffman, Sean P. Hoffman, and Julian P. Clark, who she showered with love, affection, festive family parties, and her amazing cooking. She found great joy in cheering for her grandchildren at their sports and musical events and attending their graduation ceremonies and parties.
Kathleen was the eldest of nine children in a close-knit Irish Catholic family who she loved passionately. Kathleen was predeceased by her beloved sister MaryAnne T. (McGettigan) Becker, wife of Dennis Sheedy, West Chester, and her baby brother, Francis J. McGettigan. She is survived by six beloved siblings: Susan Moock, Yardley; Dolores, wife of Michael Conallen, Gladwyne; Patricia, wife of Michael Harkins, Media; Nancy, wife of David Paterni, Port Orange, FL; John McGettigan, husband of Doreen; and Michael McGettigan, all of Brookhaven.
She is survived by two dear brothers-in-law, Raymond Scoboria, husband of Jane, Dearborn, MI, and David Scoboria, husband of Linda, Bellingham, WA. She was predeceased by two beloved nephews, Alan Scoboria and John McGettigan Jr., two sisters-in-law, Lynn (Scoboria) Greening and Micki McGettigan, three brothers-in-law, Theodore Greening, James Moock and Robert Becker, two aunts, Adele Rutter and Doris Cooney, and her uncle, Nick Cooney.
Kathleen is also survived by 14 nieces and 9 nephews who she loved dearly.
The family will receive relatives and friends Thursday June 9, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Holy Guardian Angels Church, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial starting at 12:30 p.m. The family respectfully requests that all in attendance wear masks. Kuhn Funeral Home, West Reading, is in charge of arrangements. The Mass will be livestreamed on Kathleen’s page on the Kuhn Funeral Home website. Burial will be in Gethsemane Cemetery, Laureldale, after the Mass. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Sisters of Mercy at 515 Montgomery Ave., Merion, PA 19066 or , or to the Lupus Foundation of America at 2121 K Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20037 or