Dr. Marie K. Loftus, 79, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, a lifelong professor at Marywood University in Scranton, died on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at Holy Redeemer Hospital in Meadowbrook, Pa. A native of Jessup, Marie was born in 1940 to Martin J. Loftus, Jr., principal of Jessup High School and superintendent of schools in Jessup, and Doris McLearn Loftus of Olyphant. Her only sister, Pat, was 11 when Marie was born. A superb student and an enthusiastic cheerleader, Marie graduated from Jessup High School in 1956, soon after her 16th birthday. In 1960 she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Comprehensive Social Studies from Marywood College. She taught at the secondary level in New York State before joining the mathematics faculty at Marywood in 1962. Marie earned a Master of Arts in Education from Marywood in 1963 and a Master of Arts in Mathematics from Villanova University in 1969. At Tulane University she pursued further graduate studies. In 1975, Marie earned a Doctor of Education in Mathematics Education from The Pennsylvania State University.
Marie served on the Marywood faculty for more than four decades, achieving the rank of professor. In 1982, she was inducted into the Order Cor Mariae Pro Fide et Cultura. For many years, she served as the chair of the Mathematics Department. She was the director of Marywood’s doctoral program in Human Development, established in 1996. Many doctoral students relied on Marie’s statistical expertise to help them complete their dissertations.
Marie was a faculty leader, serving as president of the faculty senate and on most of the major undergraduate and graduate committees. She served on the executive board of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. In 1989, she received an award for outstanding service from the Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Marie often presented at state and national conferences. She was a collaborative colleague, always willing to share her time and expertise. After 45 years on the faculty, Marie retired in 2007.
Marie endured early losses. She was only 23 when her mother died in 1963, followed by her father in 1967. In 1982, she lost her beloved sister Pat. She was an affectionate and devoted aunt to Pat’s seven children, surrounding them with love and thoughtfulness. Marie enjoyed life. Her passions included movies, travel, and reading. A gourmet cook, she loved to entertain her friends. For many years she played bridge with a group of friends. Marie loved to eat out, enjoying especially lobster or an Old Forge pizza. She liked to watch birds and created a beautiful garden. Marie observed birthdays and special occasions with carefully chosen cards and gifts. She was known for her quick wit, formidable intelligence and generous heart.
A devout Catholic, Marie was a lifelong member of St. James Church in Jessup and a communicant at St. Clare’s Church in Scranton. She was the beloved sister of the late Pat Loftus O’Riordan (the late John F. O’Riordan) of Philadelphia and the dear cousin of the late Mary Lynn (Lawler) Loftus of Tunkhannock and the late Joe Weir (Sue) of Harrisburg. Marie was the cherished aunt of John F. O’Riordan, Esq. (Kejda Baxhaku); Maureen O’Riordan; Dr. Martin J. O’Riordan (Marie); Elizabeth O’Riordan (Jeff Padawer); Clare Daniels (Dr. Robert B. Daniels, Jr.); Trish O’Riordan (Dennis O’Brien); and Daniel O’Riordan, Esq. (Sheri), all of the Greater Philadelphia area. She was the dear cousin of Claire Williams (Donald Whalen) of Waverly, Pa. and Mauri Lawler (Christine Tierney) of Jamison, Pa. Family and friends are invited to Marie’s Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday, October 12 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Clare’s Church, 2301 N. Washington Ave., Scranton. Friends may call at the church beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 12. Interment at St. Catherine’s Cemetery, Moscow. In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Marie, may be made to United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania, 777 Keystone Industrial Park Road, Throop, PA 18512. Arrangements by the Louis M. Margotta Funeral Home, 511 Church St., Jessup. For online condolences, please visit www.margottafuneralhomes.com.