March 23, 1925 – Jan. 6, 2018
Mary Burgoon, 92, Hollidaysburg, passed away Saturday evening at Garvey Manor Nursing Home, Hollidaysburg.
She was born in Pittsburgh, daughter of the late Philip and Margaret (Coyne) Prendergast. On May 23, 1953, she married Francis B. Burgoon in Pittsburgh, and he preceded her in death on Oct. 11, 1998.
Surviving are a son, John “Sean” (Luisa) Burgoon of Keaau, Hawaii; a brother, Thomas Prendergast; two sisters: Margaret Ann Weis and Teresa (Thomas) Weis; and many favorite nieces and nephews, including a special niece, Ellen O’Connor.
She was preceded in death by two brothers: John “Jack” and Charles “Bud” Prendergast.
Mary was a graduate of St. Mary High School, Pittsburgh, and had attended Robert Morris College. She retired from the construction firm, Flannery and Associates, where she was secretary to the president.
She was an instructor of Confraternity of Christian Doctrine for 25 years. For 13 of those years, she taught at St. Mary Catholic Church, Hollidaysburg, where she was a member. She also taught religious education to special needs children for 20 years in a program sponsored by the Ecumenical Conference of Greater Altoona. Mary was a founding member of the local Cursillio Society as well as a member of the Mercy Associates.
Mary participated in a mission trip to Guyana where she worked in a Mercy orphanage. She was a board member of the Pennsylvania Prison Society, The Altoona Food Bank and the Ecumenical Conference of Greater Altoona, where she also served as board president. She was a past president of the Art Alliance of Mount Aloysius College, a member of the steering committee of the former YWCA, a founding member of the local Genocide Relief Project, formerly Save Darfur, the Audubon Society and Mary volunteered at Garvey Manor, Meals on Wheels and the Fresh Air Fund. She and her husband, Fran, also served as foster parents for Catholic Charities.
She was most proud of the work she did on a settlement program for Vietnamese families who came to this area at the end of the Vietnam conflict in the 1970s and her involvement with the Pa. Prison Society, where she worked to bring literacy to incarcerated women and helped to provide them with important life skills to use upon their re-entry into the community and to be reunited with their families.
She was the recipient of the Altoona Mirror Women of Distinction Lifetime Achievement Award as well as the Wise Women of Blair County and the Prince Gallitzin Award.
Mary enjoyed oil painting, reading, attending concerts and the theater. She loved sweets and wrote and performed poems and songs for birthdays, anniversaries and special events for family and friends.
Friends will be received from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, at St. Mary Catholic Church, Hollidaysburg, where a funeral Mass will be held at 2 p.m., Father Anthony Legarski celebrant. Committal prayers will be held in the church. Arrangements are by Plank, Stitt & Stevens Funeral Home, 421 Montgomery St., Hollidaysburg.
In lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated to organizations where Mary served on the board and which were dear to her heart: Pa. Prison Society, 230 S. Broad St., Suite 605, Philadelphia, PA 19102 and The Altoona Food Bank, 2100 Sixth Ave., Altoona, PA 16602. Memorial donations may also be sent to the Enough Project, an organization started by Mary’s godson, which seeks to end genocide and mass atrocities in Africa’s deadliest conflict zones: enoughproject.org, 1420 K St. NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC, 20005.