The Rev. Robert J. Kelleher, Lake Winola, died on Thursday, March 15, 2018, at the Jewish Home of Eastern Pa., Scranton. He was the widower of Eileen Rattigan Kelleher, who died Dec. 11, 1998.
Father Kelleher, son of the late Gerald and Elizabeth Boland Kelleher was born in Scranton on April 25, 1940. He received his early education at St. Paul's in Scranton and graduated from Scranton Preparatory School. He received his B.A. in philosophy from Fordham University, New York in 1963. He did graduate work at Fordham and Georgetown universities and earned his M.A. in English from the University of Scranton in 1968. He taught English and philosophy at Luzerne County Community College for 33 years. In addition to teaching he was an organist and director of music at a number of churches in the Diocese of Scranton.
Father Kelleher enjoyed spending time at Lake Winola where he was a resident since the age of 7. He enjoyed swimming, running and reading and most of all spending time with his family.
Upon the loss of his wife, Eileen, after 27 happy years of marriage, he chose to follow a calling into the priesthood.
Father Kelleher received his seminary education at Blessed John XXIII National Seminary, earning his Master of Divinity in May of 2006. He was ordained a deacon at St. Mary of the Lake, Lake Winola, on May 28, 2005, by the Most Rev. John M. Dougherty, D.D., auxiliary bishop emeritus of Scranton. Father was ordained a priest at St. Peter's Cathedral, Scranton on June 24, 2006, by the Most Rev. Joseph Martino, D.D., bishop emeritus of Scranton.
Father Kelleher served as assistant pastor at St. Ignatius Parish, Kingston from 2006 to 2008 and pastor of All Saints Parish, Plymouth, from 2008 until his retirement in 2015.
Father Kelleher was a loving father, grandfather and brother. He is survived by three children, Chris and wife, Melissa, Clarks Summit; Katie Peruto and husband, Dave, West Chester, Pa.; David and wife, Nicole, Clinton, N.J.; seven grandchildren, Brandon, Matthew, Christopher and Henry Kelleher, Ava, Abby and Ben Peruto. Also surviving are his brother, Jerry Kelleher and wife, Rosalie, Sun City, Fla.; and sister, Ann Lattanzi and husband, Frank, Vienna, Va.; several nieces and nephews.
Viewing will take place at St. Mary of the Lake Church, Lake Winola, on Monday, March 19, 2018, from 4 to 7 p.m.
A Vesper Service will be held at St. Mary of the Lake, Lake Winola, at 7 p.m., with the Rev. John M. Lapera, dean, presiding.
A Pontifical Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by the Most Rev. James C. Timlin, D.D., bishop emeritus of Scranton, on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, at 10 a.m. Viewing will also take place 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., prior to the 10 a.m. funeral Mass. Interment will be in Pieta Cemetery, Tunkhannock.
The arrangements have been entrusted into the care of Jennings-Calvey Funeral and Cremation Service Inc., 111 Colburn Ave., Clarks Summit, PA 18411. For directions or to leave an online condolence, visit the funeral home website.
Memorial contributions can be made to St. Francis Free Clothing Store - St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen, 500 Penn Ave., Scranton, PA 18503.