Slightly past 9 PM, on January 20, 2021, a bright light lost its glow! Eleanor Abelow had taken her last breath. The monitor in her room in Wilkes-Barre General Hospital said: "tranquility".
Eleanor, aged 87, had passed from non-Covid related pneumonia. Eleanor was beautiful, smart, well educated, kind, gentle, compassionate and loving. Her husband Joe said he knew these things because he had been blessed to be her colleague, friend, partner and spouse for the past fifty years.
Eleanor was born in Newark, New Jersey, the daughter of the late Karol and Theresa (Stefanski) Szlachetka. She was affectionately called "Honey" and "Aunt Honey" by her family.
Eleanor graduated from Saint Vincent Academy in Newark. She obtained her bachelor's degree from the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, New Jersey and a master's degree from Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey.
After high school, Eleanor was, for 19 years, a member of the religious order, the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, Convent Station, New Jersey. A beloved teacher, she taught in several Catholic elementary and high schools in northern New Jersey. Though she left the order in 1969, she never wavered from her religious upbringing, morals and values. Eleanor then taught as an adjunct instructor at Newark State College (Kean University). She subsequently took a position as an English teacher in a jobs training program at Chemical Bank in New York City. There she met her future husband Joe, who was hired as a math teacher in the same program. Eleanor had a 25-year career at the bank, retiring from Chemical Bank (JP Morgan Chase) as an Officer and Vice President in the benefits administration (Human Resources) division.
Eleanor enjoyed her 25 years in retirement. Her pleasures included harness horse racing (she and Joe had owned, bred and raced standardbred horses for 25 years), antiquing, traveling, decorating their old farm house (especially at Christmas), caring for her orchid plants, reading, and just sitting on their deck, enjoying the natural beauty of northeast Pennsylvania. But her greatest pleasures were with her family and friends!
Besides her parents, Eleanor was preceded in death by two brothers, Stanley and Charles Szlachetka and also by her brother-in-law Lee Abelow and his wife, Rita. Eleanor is survived by her loving husband, Joe Abelow of Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania as well as her sister Cynthia (Wayne) Schneider who cherished her "big sister" Eleanor; sister-in-law Ann (Howard) Unger; niece Holly (Michael) Brown; nephews Gregory (Kellie Corr) Schneider, Chris (Melissa James) Unger, Ross (Susan Cantor) Abelow, and Stewart (Robyn) Abelow; and 6 great nieces and one great nephew.
A private burial was held on January 27 at New North Cemetery in Woodbury, Connecticut. A memorial and a celebration of Eleanor's life will be held at a later date when travel and congregating are again safe.
Arrangements and care entrusted to Sheldon-Kukuchka Funeral Home, Inc. 73 W. Tioga St. Tunkhannock, PA 18657.
Donations, if desired, can be sent in Eleanor's memory to EWTN.com (Global Catholic Network) or sent to EWTN, 5817 Old Leeds Rd., Irondale, AL 35210.