Emma Helen Brolley, 76, Altoona, died peacefully Sunday, surrounded by her loving family, at UPMC Altoona after an extended illness.
She was born in Altoona, daughter of the late Eugene Bruce and Emma Helen (Bauer) Brolley.
She is survived by numerous helpful and supportive cousins and friends.
Miss Brolley was a 1955 graduate of Altoona Catholic High School and a 1958 graduate of Mercy Hospital School of Nursing, Altoona. She attended Penn State Altoona, Duquesne University and St. Francis College, and graduated from St. Joseph's College in Windham, Maine, with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.
She was the first nurse in Blair County to receive a certificate in low risk neonatal nursing. In 1996, she was awarded a certificate of appreciation from the March of Dimes in Harrisburg for her work with newborns and received awards for her service with healthy baby programs and prenatal classes. She was instrumental in saving the lives of many newborn infants.
Miss Brolley retired from Bon Secours Hospital after 40 years of service as a staff nurse, clinical instructor and unit manager.
She was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and as a social fellowship committee member, she organized bus trips for Sacred Heart travelers and was active in planning the annual church picnic. She also had been a lector, former member of the parish council and board member of Sacred Heart Manor.
She was a member of the Catholic Daughters of America - Our Lady of the Alleghenies, Altoona Serra Club, Altoona Catholic Nurses, where she served as a former president, Bishop Guilfoyle Alumni Association and a life member of the Blair County Historical Society and Fort Roberdeau. She served on the Bicentennial Committee and citizen's advisory committee to the planning commission.
Miss Brolley was also a member of the Altoona Soroptimist Club, Altoona Business and Professional Women's Club, where she was honored as Woman of the Year in 1985, Juniata Civic Association and the Hollidaysburg YMCA Auxiliary.
She enjoyed traveling, reading, gardening, painting, playing cards and attending Altoona Curve baseball games and cultural events. She lived life to the fullest with her family and friends and dedicated her life to helping others.
Friends will be received from 4 to 8 p.m.Wednesday, May 7, 2014, at The Stevens Mortuary Inc., 1421 Eighth Ave., where a vigil for the deceased will be held. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 8, 2014, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
Committal will be at Calvary Cemetery.
In memory of Emma Helen, contributions may be made to Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 511 20th St., Altoona, PA 16602 or to The Brolley Family Scholarship, Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School Scholarship Program, 2400 Pleasant Valley Blvd., Altoona, PA 16602.