CUMBERLAND – Irene (Ley) Grabenstein, 94, of Cumberland, passed away on Saturday, July 22, 2017 at the Western Maryland Health System Regional Medical Center.
Born on August 18, 1922, in Cumberland, she was the daughter of the late Bertha (Keller) and Leo H. Ley, Sr. In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by her husband, Herman J. Grabenstein, Jr.; son, Lawrence A. Grabenstein; brothers, Dr. Leo H. Ley, Jr., and Robert G. Ley; sisters, Lucille (Ley) Moser, Mary Catherine (Ley) Kennedy, and Alberta (Ley) Robinson; and step-mother, Irene K. Ley.
Irene attended SS Peter and Paul Elementary School, the Ursuline Academy, class of 1940, and the Ursuline Business School. She was a lifelong member of SS. Peter & Paul Shrine, Our Lady of the Mountains Parish.
Irene served as Executive Secretary to the District Manager of the Potomac Edison Company prior to marriage in 1945. She was employed in 1964 as Secretary to the Principal of LaSalle High School, and transferred to Bishop Walsh High School when LaSalle closed in 1966. In 1968, she was promoted to Administrative Assistant, the position she held until her retirement in 1998.
Irene served as a member and president of the Professional Secretaries International, Algonquin Chapter; Sultana of the International Order of Alhambra, Wamba Caravan No.89; secretary of the Bishop Walsh School Board; volunteer at St. Anthony Place Food Pantry, and the Bereavement Committee of SS. Peter & Paul Shrine; member, treasurer, and newsletter editor of the Western Maryland Catholic School Alumni Association; member of the Knight of Columbus #589 Auxiliary; and provided secretarial services and was chairman of the Coaches’ Brunch for forty years for the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament. Mrs. Grabenstein was instrumental in the organization and direction of the Commemorative Stained Glass Window Project, housed at Bishop Walsh School, as sponsored by the Western Maryland Catholic Schools Alumni Association.
With her many years of service in Catholic education, Irene was honored with induction in 1988 as an Affiliate of the Christian Brothers, the teaching order of Brothers at LaSalle and Bishop Walsh. She was affectionately known as “Brother Irene.” In 1993, she, along with her late husband, was presented the Archdiocesan Medal of Honor by the late Bishop P. Francis Murphy for dedication to Catholic Education in Western Maryland.
Irene is survived by her children, Brother Joseph L. Grabenstein, FSC, LaSalle University, Philadelphia, PA, Jane Ellen Grabenstein, Pittsburgh, PA, and Dr. John D. Grabenstein and wife Laurie, Collegeville, PA; daughter-in-law, Cheryl Grabenstein, Amelia Island, FL; grandchildren, Allison (Grabenstein) Oliver and husband Frank, Annapolis, Michael Grabenstein and wife Marguerite, Kensington, MD, Emily Grabenstein, Kronenwetter, WI, Andrea, Erica, and Peter Grabenstein, Collegeville, PA; great-grandchildren, Taylor, Jacob, and Peyton Oliver, Annapolis, Matthew, Catherine, and Leah Lanzillo, Memphis, TN, Brennan and Molly Flynn, Kensington, MD, and Gracie and Beau Grabenstein, Kensington, MD; sister, Dorothy (Ley) Altice, Cumberland; sisters-in-law, Patricia K. Ley, Marietta, OH, and Christine Grabenstein, St. Petersburg, FL; step-sister, Mary Frances (Kelly) Elbin, Bethesda, MD; and special niece, Nancy Welsh and husband Ronnie.
The family would like to thank Rosie Lippold, Eugene “Cookie” Williams, and Andy DiUbaldo for their loving and constant assistance, and the staffs of Allegany Health, Nursing, & Rehabilitation and Western Maryland Health System for their wonderful and compassionate care.
Family will receive friends at the Scarpelli Funeral Home, P.A., 15205 McMullen Hwy SW, Cresaptown, on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 at 10 a.m. the SS. Peter and Paul Shrine, 125 Fayette St, Cumberland.
Interment will be in SS Peter & Paul Cemetery.
Honorary pallbearers will be: Eugene Williams, Thomas McConnell, William Datum, Michael Blake, Robert E. Carey, Hon. Paul Stakem, Joseph W. Carter, William J. Blake, William J. Blake, Hon. J. Fred Sharer, Andrew DiUbaldo, Edward P. Mullaney, Thomas Lippold, Richard Collins, Thomas Farrell, Thomas Lyons, and Nicholas J. Scarpelli.
The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be directed to Bishop Walsh High School, 700 Bishop Walsh Road, Cumberland, MD 21502 or to St. Anthony Place Food Pantry, Our Lady of the Mountains Parish, 300 E Oldtown Road, Ste #2, Cumberland, MD 21502.
Condolences for the family may be left at www.ScarpelliFH.com