Marjorie J. LaBella

Born: Thu., Dec. 4, 1952
Died: Thu., Oct. 15, 2020

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Marjorie J. LaBella-Loving Wife, Mother, Grandmother

Marjorie J. (Gage) LaBella, a dedicated and loving wife, mother of three and grandma to seven, passed away on Oct. 15 at the age of 67, after a short illness. Her family was at her side, as it was throughout her life.

Marjorie was born Dec. 4, 1952 in Bradford, Pa. to Carl and Marilyn (Lane) Gage. She graduated from Otto-Eldred High School in 1970 and earned her bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from East Stroudsburg State College in December of 1973. She was a health and physical education teacher in the Bradford Area School District for nearly 35 years before retiring in 2009.

On July 6, 1974, at St. Bonaventure University, she married her high school sweetheart, Philip LaBella, who had determined in their junior year of high school that she was the one. They raised two sons, Philip and Nicholas, and a daughter, Jennifer.

Sports played a large role in her life, first as a cheerleader in high school and college (before girls’ youth sports opportunities were available) and later as a mother helping out with her children’s sports, keeping score and filming games. Her love for sports did not wane in retirement, as she regularly attended high school volleyball and basketball games and was a St. Bonaventure basketball season ticketholder for 45 years. She was a tennis partner, a cross-country skier, a walker, a bike rider, and even a kayaker as recently as July 2020.

Marjorie was skilled at sewing, spending decades making bags, baptismal gowns, holiday decorations and other clothing for family and friends. She was handy, too – just as comfortable with a circular saw or a hammer as she was with a sewing machine.

Marjorie loved to bake (her prodigious annual Christmas cookie production has been a family event for 40 years), hated to cook, and claimed she liked doing laundry. She was musical, playing the flute in her high school marching band and later singing in the St. Raphael Church choir for more than 25 years.

She was most happy at home spending time with her children and grandchildren, all of whom live in Pennsylvania. Even a pandemic could not postpone annual family beach vacations. Marjorie was known to regale her family with the same stories over and over, despite her husband and children chiding her about the repetition.

She owned more sneakers than professional athletes, most featuring a shade of her favorite color, blue. In her retirement years, she spent time traveling, working on puzzles, shopping, and playing solitaire late into the night. Marjorie was fearless – willing to take on any project or travel anywhere. She was caring, showing her children it was okay to cry. She could be pretty clumsy, known to break bones in the least dangerous circumstances, yet still finding a way to laugh at herself.

Marjorie is survived by her husband, Philip, of Eldred, Pa., her three children, Philip (Julie) LaBella of Stockertown, Nicholas (Nichole) LaBella of Bradford, and Jennifer (Scott) Wolf of

York Haven; seven grandchildren: Maggie, Philip, Ezekiel, Ava, Elijah, Gehrig and Lila, and her brother, Steve (Sue) Gage of Beauregard, Ala., and nieces and nephews. Marjorie was preceded in death by her parents, Carl and Marilyn, and her sister, Jeanne.

Due to COVID-19, a private funeral mass will be held for family members only at St. Raphael Catholic Church in Eldred, Pa. with the Rev. Thomas Brown officiating. Burial will follow at St. Raphael Cemetery. A celebration of life will be planned once the pandemic subsides.

To honor Marjorie’s life, the family suggests a donation in her name to St. Raphael Parish or St. Raphael Cemetery at P.O. Box 252 Eldred, Pa. 16731, the St. Raphael Chapter of the Knights of Columbus, c/o Dick Crowley, 24 Eaton Hollow, Eldred, Pa. 16731 or to the Otto-Eldred Sports Boosters at 143 Switzer Dr., Duke Center, Pa. 16729.

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