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Obituaries » Shirley Reese Knelly

Shirley Reese Knelly

March 10, 1929 - January 21, 2021

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Shirley Reese Knelly, 91 of Wilkes-Barre, went home to be with her Lord on Thursday, January 21, 2021 in the comfort of her own home.

Born in Wilkes-Barre, she was the daughter of the late Edwin and Ellen (Owens) Reese, and was a 1947 graduate of James M. Coughlin High School. She was a member of the Parsons Primitive Methodist Church, where she was active in the Ladies Aid. She was also a member of the Pennsylvania Masonic Widow’s Guild, and St. David’s Society.

Shirley was preceded in death by her husband of 66 years John “Jack” Knelly, Jr., on February 11, 2016, brothers Thomas and David Reese, and sisters Mary Jane Reese, Sarah Mosley, Mary Jones, and Ann Reese.

She is survived by her children Lois Ann McGrady (Carleton), Laflin; John Walter Knelly, III (Mary Rose), Milton; Richard Knelly, Wilkes-Barre; Shirley Knelly (Carol Lavix), Annapolis, Maryland; Mark Knelly, Wilkes-Barre; grandchildren Lesley Johnstone (James), Carla Kouterick (Kyle), Kelly Berstecher (David), Jill Messinger (Jeremy), Scott McGrady (Suzanne), MaryJo Daines, Colleen Franciscus (Scott), Shirley Ocasio (Juan), John Knelly IV (Elizabeth); and great-grandchildren Kymberly, Caden, Connor, and Kierra Kouterick; Rachel, Benjamin, Aaron, and Nathanael Berstecher; Chase, Brady, and Tate Messinger; Elizabeth and Luke McGrady; Sarah, Isaiah, Elias, and Lillie Franciscus; Ellah and Ayanna Ocasio; Amaya, Cadence, and Liam Knelly.

Shirley’s family would like to give special thanks to Dr. Richard Blum, to Kathy, Gigi, Carol, Helen, Betty, and Louise, and to Residential Hospice and all the nurses and aids for their care and love for our beloved mother.

Funeral services will be at the convenience of the family, and officiated by Pastor Scott McGrady, Shirley’s grandson, Pastor of North Valley Baptist Church. Also participating will be Pastor Andy Jerome, Pastor of Parsons Primitive Methodist Church, and Pastor Jack Jones, Shirley’s nephew, of First Reformed Church, Plymouth. Friends and family are invited to a walk through visitation on Sunday, January 24, 2021 from 4-7 pm at the Parsons Primitive Methodist Church, 193 Austin Ave, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18705. Private interment will be held in Fern Knoll Burial Park, Dallas. Due to the ongoing pandemic, restrictions have been put in place. Those attending the visitation, we ask that you be brief when paying your respects, please follow the practice of social distancing, and masks are required at the church.

Arrangements entrusted to the Corcoran Funeral Home, Inc., 20 South Main Street, Plains, PA 18705.

In lieu of flowers Memorial Donations may be made to the Arthritis Foundation (111 South Independence Mall, E. Philadelphia, PA 19106), the Shriners Children’s Hospital (Shriners Hospitals for Children, Processing Center, P.O. Box 863765, Orlando, FL 32886) , or Parsons Primitive Methodist Church.


Phone 570-823-1358
Fax 570-829-6699


20 South Main St.
Plains, PA 18705

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