Mrs. Bertha Sarah (Shigo) Sharkness, a resident of Wilkes-Barre's North End neighborhood, passed into Eternal Life unexpectedly Saturday evening, October 24th, after being stricken ill at the family home.
Born in Ashley on September 15, 1930, she recently celebrated her ninetieth birthday. She was the eldest of four children to the late John and Rachel (Edwards) Shigo. Educated in the Ashley and Hanover schools, Mrs. Sharkness was a member of the 1949 graduating class of the former Hanover High School.
Following her education, Bertha was employed in the valley's former garment industry as a seamstress for several years. Later in life, she took employment at the former Neisner Brother's Five and Dime store in downtown Wilkes-Barre; first working at the toy department and later as an office secretary.
After retirement while raising a young family, she served as a Girl Scout leader for her daughters' troop. An avid sewer, she also put her talents to work, making many outfits for her three daughters over the years.
In her spare time, she loved her word puzzle books and also enjoyed making a variety of hand-made crafts she would sell or share with family and friends. The Christmas holidays were her favorite and she truly loved all of the family traditions made over the years.
Bertha and her husband enjoyed traveling, especially to Hawaii, even living on the islands for a brief time. She also had an affinity for house cats and loved caring for each one she owned over the years.
Mrs. Sharkness was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Mr. John M. Sharkness on May 23, 2004. At the time of Mr. Sharkness' passing, the couple shared almost fifty-three years of married life together. Also preceding her were two infant sons; John M. Sharkness Jr. and John M. Sharkness III; Granddaughter, Laurie Zabresky; Sisters, Mrs. Elizabeth Taggart and Mrs. Marge Hannon.
Left to cherish her memory are her loving daughters, Donna Zabresky of Ashley; Gail A. Sharkness, at home and Elaine Kenzakoski along with her husband James of Bear Creek; Grandchildren, including Megan, Jimmy and Ben Kenzakoski; Michael Zabresky; Four Great-grandchildren; John, Austin, Keeley and Valentina; Sister, Mrs. Joan Westawski and her husband Frank of Bear Creek; Several nieces, nephews, great-nieces-great-nephews and dear friends.
Entombment with the Rite of Committal will follow next to her husband John Saturday morning in Mary, Mother of God Mausoleum of Saint Mary's Cemetery, 1594 South Main Street, Hanover Township.
Relatives and friends are invited to join Bertha's family for a walk-through visitation Saturday morning at the North Wilkes-Barre location of the John V. Morris Family Funeral Homes Inc., 625 North Main Street from 9:00 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Facial coverings along with social distancing to comply with federal, state and diocesan mandates are required.
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