S: In Loving Memory of Maryellen A. Reilly
BC: I am home in Heaven, dear ones; Oh, so happy and so bright! There is perfect joy and beauty In this everlasting light. All the pain and grief is over, Every restless tossing passed; I am now at peace forever, Safely home in Heaven at last. Did you wonder I so calmly Trod the valley of the shade? Oh! but Jesus` love illumined Every dark and fearful glade. And He came Himself to meet me In that way so hard to tread; And with Jesus` arm to lean on, Could I have one doubt or dread? Then you must not grieve so sorely, For I love you dearly still: Try to look beyond earth's shadows, Pray to trust our Father's Will. There is work still awaiting for you, So you must not idly stand; Do it now, while life remaineth - You shall rest in Jesus` land. When that work is all completed, He will gently call you Home; Oh, the rapture of that meeting, Oh, the joy to see you come! | SAFELY HOME
FC: Maryellen A. Reilly February 9, 1953 - July 4, 2011
1: Life brings simple pleasures to us every day. It is up to us to make them wonderful memories. Cathy Allen
2: Many Faces of MER | MOTHER | WIFE | MENTOR | LEADER | GRANDMOTHER
3: Maryellen A. Reilly had over 30 years of comprehensive executive experience in Healthcare and Operations Management. She had managed budgets exceeding 300 million, and lead staff of professional, clinical and support personnel. She had provided internal and external leadership in organizational efficiency and patient flow, program planning and development, financial operations, construction, contract negotiations, patient satisfaction, performance improvement oversight, regulatory, and accreditation compliance. In her role as Vice President of Operations at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Maryellen was responsible for the daily operations of the clinical and administrative departments. within this 780 bed Academic Medical Center. She had direct management responsibility for most of the non-nursing areas of hospital operations. Her responsibilities included establishing goals and implementing strategies to support corporate strategic initiatives i.e. maximizing efficiency of hospital processes and flow of patients throughout the care continuum, identifying opportunities to increase admissions, designing and streamlining operations and administrative systems, enhancing use of diagnostic technology and information systems to improve quality and efficiency, developing and implementing customer service initiatives. The Health System includes the Clinical Practices of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and four hospitals including HUP with a combined budget of nearly 2 billion. Prior to this role, Maryellen served as the Vice President for Quality, Safety and Case Management for the nine hospital, Philadelphia based Allegheny Health System. In this role, she was responsible for designing and managing the Quality and Case Management programs for each hospital, managing third party payer relations, and for assuring that all associated processes were effectively managed and measured. Maryellen received her MasterÂ’s Degree in Clinical Management from Drexel University, and her BachelorÂ’s Degree in Medical Technology from Temple University. She was certified in Lean and Six Sigma methodologies, and had applied these methodologies effectively in her role as VP of Operations. Maryellen was recognized as a leader in Patient Flow, Transitions Management, and Hospital Operational efficiency. She has facilitated Healthcare seminars and workshops for professional organizations, and numerous health care organizations. Maryellen was a member of the American Society for Clinical Pathologists and the Association for Healthcare Quality. Maryellen and her husband, Gary W. Reilly resides in North Wales, Pennsylvania where they enjoy spending time with their five children and eight grandchildren; soon to be nine. | BIOGRAPHY
4: John Kirby: In the hospital gonna be a 4th of July baby. MER: Awesome. You'll have to name her Martha!! Good Luck. Hope all goes easily and quickly. Let me know. John Kirby: 7 lbs 7 oz. 9:23 am. MER: Hooray. welcome to the world of pink!! Is she Violet Kirby? John Kirby: Yes, Violet Rose Kirby MER: Pictures? MER: Beautiful MER: Little Miracles | TEXT MESSAGE- July 4th, 2011
5: Sue, I so regret that I am not able to be at the Memorial Service tomorrow. I don't know what is planned but if there is an opportunity to share, feel free to read this for me:: Maryellen became my friend and a trusted mentor over years of close interaction and sometimes disagreements and struggles. She taught me to think more broadly about our department and about my career. She encouraged me to take on new challenges and see new opportunities. She trusted me to make good decisions. Most importantly, she listened. Despite her incredibly busy life, she always took time to listen to my concerns, chat about our families and share thoughts about our future. She shared a deep sense of compassion for patients, staff and her colleagues which made her a wonderful administrator. I will miss her terribly and hope that the spirit of her dedication and compassion remains as a guidepost for all of us. I am saddened for her family who she cherished and spoke of frequently. She was so proud of them and the close knit family life she loved. I hope her children and husband can find some measure of solace in knowing that her HUP family shares their grief. Betsy, Elizabeth M. Datner, MD Medical Director Associate Professor | Faculty & Friends Condolences
6: Garry and Al, This is shocking and sad news. We placed my Mother in hospice a little over a week ago and she passed away Sunday morning. Maryellen was very supportive and helpful throughout. I just spoke with Maryellen on Sunday morning after my Mother passed. She was, as always, compassionate and encouraging. She was my mentor and friend. I will truly miss her. If there is anything I can do, please feel free to contact me. I will be out this week finalizing my Mother's funeral plans but do not hesitate to call me for anything. David R. Moore, Jr. Administrative Director Respiratory Care/Pulmonary Diagnostics Dept. | To MER's family, my sincere condolences and to you Garry, you lost a trusted leader and a friend. I am very saddened. She will be sorely missed. Larry McCook Director, Patient Transport Services | Hi Garry, I was so sorry to see this news. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you, your team at HUP and also to Maryellen and her family. Pat Remeis, Assistant Director, Radiology
7: MATRIACH | Garry, I'm sure you have countless thoughts to share with everyone from what you have already received from Maryellen's friends and colleagues. I just wanted to pass on a few of mine that I was not able to share at the time yesterday. What I remember most about her was her genuine concern for all of us as individuals. Certainly while I worked within her division but even long after as we would schedule chats to update each other on our families and careers. Never did we have a one on one meeting that the subject of a family update didn't come up. Her moral support during my wife's battle with cancer is something I will never forget. We are truly all family here, and while our matriarch has passed on to a better life, we are fortunate to be left with her memories and certainly her example of the type of person we should all strive to be. Joe Cooney Assistant Executive Hospital Director-Support Svcs Penn Medicine at Rittenhouse | Comment: I met Maryellen Reilly once in 2006. Our daughter Kathryn was diagnosed with cancer and had to undergo months of treatments. As busy as Maryellen was, she made sure Katie got the finest care available. I could tell when we met that Maryellen was a go-getter. Everybody stepped it up when she was around. She was a true leader. I'm sure she will be missed at HUP. I have the highest respect for HUP and all the staff. This opinion started with that first meeting with Maryellen. There is an old saying that goes; "It starts from the top down." Her kind of administrative ability is one of the reasons that HUP is the most wonderful, caring, hopeful hospitals that will ever be. At this sad time, I pray for all of you. I don't have to pray for Maryellen. She has passed "GO" and went straight to heaven. Our daughter Kathryn has been cancer free for 5Y- 2M- 2d. God bless all of you. Sincerely, Michael Purcell firstname.lastname@example.org 215-527-9132
8: Garry, I am sorry that I cannot be there for Maryellen's remembrance. If I was there, I would talk about Maryellen's love of family, her dedication to Penn, and her loyalty to her staff. In each instance she brought a high level of energy, enthusiasm, and unending support. And of course her love for people, was at the center of all she did. I will miss my friend and colleague. Sincerely, Al Black Chief Operating Officer | Garry, My deepest sympathy. I loved Maryellen. Johanna Epstein Chief Operating Officer, Department of Orthopedic Surgery | Lucy, Mare was the life and breath of HUP...she will be missed for years to come. You and the Reilly family are in my thoughts and prayers. Diane Jakobowski Director, Transplant Dept. HUP | Garry, I cannot tell you how sad I am. Maryellen always made time for everyone and because of her wise advice and guidance, I earned a degree. The Health system has lost it's soul today. Steve D'Emilio Practice Manager Pennsylvania Hospital | I just heard the terrible news. I am so sorry and send my deepest condolences. I know that words have so little ability to communicate our thoughts at these moments, so I will keep mine brief. Lucy, I know how deeply you felt about Maryellen and she about you. I also want to let you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Joe Straton, MD
9: Garry, This is so shocking and I am sure somewhat unbelievable to you and others at HUP. I received word from Maureen Rush last evening and was just truly saddened. I didn't know Maryellen very well having interacted with her on only a few occasions but I knew of her stellar reputation throughout HUP and UPHS. I am keeping you and the HUP family in my thought and prayers. Mary Lee | So sorry to hear this news Garry. Maryellen was a mentor and terrific leader to many of us. Marge Bowmen, MD Chair and Professor Family Medicine and Community Health, Penn Family Care | Garry---Al, If I can do anything to assist - Maryellen's family or the health system as we deal with this unbelievable loss, please let me know. Eileen Maloney-Wilensky Director, Clinical Research Div | Garry, I am saddened to learn of Maryellen's passing. She was such a pleasure to work with, always responsive and upbeat, a team player with a positive outlook on life. It is hard to believe and my heart goes out to you, your team and her family. Debbie Driscoll, MD Professor & Chair Obstetrics & Gynecology Dept. | Garry, I was so shocked and saddened to learn of Maryellen's sudden passing. Thinking of you all during this difficult time. Marie Mattera Senior Executive Assistant Penn Medicine Office of the EVP/Dean
10: Like everyone, I am deeply saddened. Maryellen and I had formed a very wonderful friendship in my short time here and she went out of her way to make me feel like part of the team. Just let me know of anything I can do to help you or her team. Jim Cato Chief Nursing Officer RWJ Executive Nurse Fellow | Garry and Al, My department extends their sincere condolences to you and your leadership team for the loss of Maryellen. Many of my staff have worked with Maryellen on multiple projects over the years and always spoke highly of her leadership. She was always the consummate professional and her collaborative and friendly style will be solely missed by all of us. We will keep you and Maryellen's family in our thoughts and prayers. Patrick J. Doris Associate Vice President for Real Estate, Design & Construction | Hello Colleen, (Your mom) by all who knew her and worked with her at HUP left a beautiful legacy of friendship, camaraderie and a strong work ethic. She is very much missed but lovingly remembered. All my best to you and the rest of the family. Louise Clark Executive Assistant to; Garry Scheib, COO | Thinking of you during this very difficult time and hope the Reilly family get stronger each day. Fondly, Pat Robinson Human Resources Assistant
11: My Dear Friend Lucy, My heart goes out to you and Mare's family at this sad, sad time. I'm sure you're heartbroken over the loss of such a good and wonderful lady who also, fate decreed, happened to be your boss. You will cherish the years you knew her when your grief subsides a little. It will be hard going without her, but her spirit will always be with you. May the Lord give you comfort and strength in your time of grief. God Bless, Joy Backhouse Staff Assistant to Vice-Chair Dept. of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine | Dear Lucy & Brooke, My deepest condolences to you both and the Reilly family. Maryellen was so fabulous! Of course, you know that more than I. My thoughts and prayers are with you. In Sympathy, Marie Hegarty | Dear Lucy: I've been thinking of you constantly since hearing the sad and unexpected news about our beloved MER. She was an earthly treasure during her too short time; she'll be an endless spiritual treasure for us now. May God bless you, MER's family, HUP colleagues and staff during this very sad and difficult time. Rick Bryson, RPh UPHS Clinical Applications Director Corporate Information Services
12: Hi Lucy, I hope you are doing OK. I've been thinking about you all week, so sorry for your loss. Please let me know if I can help you with anything. Kelly Gallagher Administrative Secretary Penn Transplant Institute | Lucy, I wanted to let you know you're in my thoughts as is MER's family. The passing of Maryellen must be extremely difficult for you, given how close you were with her. My deepest condolences to all. Rick Kleindienst Process Improvement Specialist | Lucy, I wanted to let you know how sorry I am for your loss. I know you were very close to Maryellen and her death must be so difficult for you. Know that I am thinking about you. Take care of yourself. Katrina Kniezewski Nurse Practitioner Penn Medicine at Radnor | Lucy, I am so sorry to hear about Maryellen. She was an amazing woman. I know you esteemed her very much. My prayers are with you and the family. Mayra Belen Senior Concierge The Pavilion
13: Dear Lucy, How sorry I am. Remember we had a brief conversation on how terrific Maryellen was not too long ago? We had the opportunity to honor how wonderful she was while she was with us. She never drew lines around people nor put them in boxes. She calmly asserted herself and was a lady always. I'll continue to think of her in that way and no one wore jewelry with such zest as she did. Dana Napier Manager | Lucy, I spoke with you a few times back in late May. My best friend, Steve Gallagher is Maryellen's Brother. You and Maryellen got me into Penn very quickly and helped calm my nerves when I first heard about what I am dealing with. I was and still am shocked by the news of her passing. I just wanted to extend my sympathy to you at this time. I am sure it is a difficult time and I am thinking about you as well as for her family and friends. Regards, Brian Charlton
14: Dear Gary and Family, I am a colleague and protege of Maryellen's and I wanted to write to tell you how sorry I am that she is no longer with us. Garry Scheib called each of the HUP Senior Leadership team, in person, to share the horrible news and I was stunned, at the time, and still feel a bit paralyzed by my disbelief that she is not here. I had known Maryellen since she arrived at HUP and I was working as a Clinical Manager in Occupational & Physical Therapy at the time. She helped my Director and me to determine ways to work with her CRM/Social Work group in trying to figure out if we were getting reimbursed at a lower rate for patients that needed therapy as part of their plan of care, but were unable to receive it due to lack of therapists. Since that initial meeting, I have always known Maryellen to have such a wonderful sense of humor and ability to find joy in everything we do. When I was appointed to my current hospital administrative role about four years ago, Maryellen was one of the first Senior Team Leaders to congratulate me and also offer up her time once a month for mentor-ship meetings. I was new to the team and also to hospital administration and Maryellen really went out of her way to "show me the ropes." I really looked forward to our time together. Maryellen always made me laugh and she always shared sage advice about how to navigate the challenging political landscape in our organization, amongst other lessons. We shared stories about our families andMaryellen loved talking about her time spent traveling with you and also spending time with her children and grandchildren. She gave me advice about how to make sure to carve out time for my husband and our only child - my daughter Naomi, who is now 5 years old. She told me to never forget that my family should always be my number one priority and shared strategies for how to make that work. I always keep Maryellen's words of wisdom with me as I plan out each work day - striving to work as efficiently and effectively as possible in order to make it home on time for my family. We also chatted about the kitchen renovation she was coordinating at home and, again, she shared her pearls of wisdom as my husband and I were contemplating a home renovation, ourselves. She told me how much she enjoyed the creative process of making the design decisions, but that it was somewhat annoying that she had to deploy her work skills in order to navigate and negotiate the contractor contracts and terms. She laughed and told me to make sure that Greg and I didn't get taken advantage by the folks that would do the work in our home.
15: On a day-to-day basis, Maryellen always amazed me with her boundless energy and enthusiasm, regardless of how busy she was (and I know she was scheduled out for many, many hours each day!) She was also incredibly caring and would want to know how you were and if there was any way she could do to support you (I was not even one of her Direct Reports, yet she always looked out for me.) In business meetings, I always admired her advocacy of her team and their needs. She had profound knowledge of the operations of all of the departments in her vast portfolio and she never ceased to amaze me with her grasp of these. And many at her celebration of life service at HUP recollected Maryellen's skill as the quintessential diplomat and creator of bridges and banding individuals together to achieve a common purpose for the benefit of our patients, families and staff. She really did this with such grace and ease because she understood people - and in particular her colleagues and diverse stakeholders at HUP so well that she knew how to customize her approach in ways that would enable an initiative to be successful. Beyond all of these things that I admired about her at work, Maryellen was just such an incredible fun and kind person. She held a very high position in our organization, yet she treated everyone - regardless of their position - as an esteemed colleague of hers. In part, this is why she is so beloved by all of us in the HUP community - Maryellen could "keep it real" and treat others with a great deal of respect and genuine caring. During HUP's celebration of Maryellen's life, I attempted to be strong, but couldn't help my tears from falling as I was contemplating life without her. And I cannot even imagine the feelings swirling about within you, your children and your grandchildren. I will keep you all and Maryellen in my thoughts and prayers and hope that we will all be able to move forward with her spirit and fun and loving ways to guide us and comfort us in our various adventures in life. Please extend my heartfelt condolences to your entire family. Maryellen was such a wonderful friend, colleague and mentor to me (and many others) and she will be sorely missed by us all. In Sympathy, Mia Gonzales Dean Assistant Executive Director, Support Services Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
16: Lucy, I pray you are managing OK with our great loss. I miss Maryellen so much and think about her constantly. She touched so many people in such a nice way. I have been thinking about you too all day. Be strong! I'm trying too as well. Penny Sevin Project Manager Path & Lab | Lucy, Just wanted to let you know that my thoughts and prayers are with you. I know how hard it is to be going through this loss. My sympathy to you and all your colleagues. Lauren Platt Trauma Registrar | Lucy, I can't tell you how many times I've been wanting to reach out to you so you know that you have been in my thoughts and prayers. I only knew MER to see her only a few times but she had a beautiful presence about her that I KNOW could never be replaced. I will continue to keep you and her family in my thoughts and prayers. Donna Jones Executive Secretary Corporate Material Management Purchasing | Dear Lucy, I hope that you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. After hearing all the tributes today, I regret that I did not know her longer and better. She was really an amazing person that will be missed by everyone who knew her. Julie T. Davis Technical Director Vascular Laboratory | Lucy, How sorry we are for the loss of your dear friend, colleague, and boss - MER. It goes without saying that her presence will be greatly missed by those who like you knew her best, and it is with deep sadness that I approach the topic. Take care, Jenny Jex Office of Patient Affairs
17: Hi Lucy, I, like many others at HUP, were shocked to hear about Maryellen's death. She was so special to so many people, I want to write a HUPdate article about her and I know that those who worked closely with Maryellen will have the best insight - and often the best stories to illustrate her true personality. I'm so sorry. I really liked Maryellen and enjoyed the times we worked together. Sally Sapega, Director, Internal Publications Editor, HUPdate and System News Department of Communications | Lucy I am sorry for the loss of your friend Maryellen. My heart goes out to you and Maryellen's family. Hortensia Luaces Financial Coordinator
18: Ralph Ciampa, Last week, I had a heart attack and this week I have a broken heart...I know that Faith matters and Prayer is the key - but somehow it still hurts. It is very difficult being physically away from my HUP family at this time, particularly yesterday (MER would have had a fit if I came in). Do you know if the HUP Memorial was taped? Last Tuesday when I was to be discharged, MER came up to my room we talked, laughed and prepared our strategy for coverage in my absence, she canceled her vacation and I apologized because I was her back up while she was on vacation. She laughed and said, "I am now the back up - to the back up." She insisted that I was to focus on getting better because she was worried about me and wanted me to concentrate on my health and recovery, she could hold down things in the meantime... As she was leaving the room she stopped at the door, turned around came over to the chair that I was sitting on- gave me a very warm and tender hug and said, "I Love You and want you to take care of T." MER added, she was meeting with the girls and we will figure this out. She went on to state that when she left my room the previous day she forgot to hug me and that bothered her the entire day, she was not going to make the same mistake twice. I know she wants me to recover but still expects me to take a leadership role in the midst of the storm and that includes taking care of our most treasured resource - Oneself. I share this reflection to give strength and courage to my colleagues and to stand on the principles and values that MER held so dearly to the very end. T. Tonita Bell Director, HUP Admission Center Director, Penn Transfer Center
19: Lucy, I am so sorry for your loss of your friend and boss. I pray that God gives you strength and peace. Love and God Bless you with your loss of a true friend. Pam Cooper Friend | Dear Lucy, I am shocked and saddened! I can't imagine your and everyone's pain. You were an asset to MER, as you were to all of us Lucy. You are in my prayers as is the Reilly family. Judy Passalacqua Friend | Lucy, We are so, so sorry for your loss. I know that this will be an incredibly busy time for you, and I don't expect you to write a response. I just wanted to let you know that we all will miss Maryellen, and the motivated, caring, can-do environment that the two of you created. All my best, Carey Huntington Associate CFAR | Lucy, I just wanted to reach out and say hello. I'm sure you're very busy trying to figure things out and having lots of emotions. I am very sorry for your loss. Please know that you, along with Maryellen's family are in my thoughts and prayers. Anita Rodriguez Executive Assistant to; Jeffrey A. Drebin, MD, PhD Dept. of Surgery | Hi. I have been praying for you. Maryellen would have wanted you to be strong and to carry on the things that she's taught you and share the wisdom that she has instilled within you. I saw you at the tribute to her in MAH and you spoke very well. Sending you hugs and prayers. Cynthia Byrd Environmental Services
20: Lucy. I wanted to drop you a line and let you know I have been thinking about you these past few days. I can't even imagine how hard this must be for you and the others that were so close to her and her family. I'll continue to keep you and the rest of her family as well as for her colleagues in my thoughts and prayers. The celebration service this afternoon was really beautiful. I know MER would have really liked it...especially the funny parts. Denise Vaughn UPHS Project Management Office | This is truly sad news and I just wanted to send my condolences to you and the Reilly family and we know this is a very difficult time for all. Irv Nachamkin, Dr.PhD, MPh Vice-Chair Laboratory Med Path & Lab | I wanted to express my condolences on the loss of Maryellen. I had the opportunity to work with her before, when I filled in for Judy a few years back and was looking forward to doing it again for many years now that I have returned to HUP. I can't say enough great things about her. She was a wonderful person and terrific mentor; she will be missed by many. Linda Kelly Manager Neuro-diagnostic Labs | Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never ever the same.
21: To the Reilly Family, Though my formal reporting relationship to Maryellen was not long enough for me to get to know her family, I gained a great sense of who she was to you through my relationship with her. First and foremost, Maryellen continuously reminded me to put my family first. She was amazingly supportive of me when it came to those hard decisions of work versus family. I so much appreciate what she did for me and how she eased the burden of those choices. She was a great advocate for her directors and I will never forget the support and leadership she gave me and the rest of her team. I respected her and considered her a great mentor. She will be missed, but part of her lives on in what she has taught me. Lauren Hudson Director, Clinical Nutrition Support Services | Remembrance of Maryellen Reilly | Maryellen was part of the heart and soul of HUP. She is now part of our Spirits. Garry Scheib UPHS, Chief Operating Officer | Maryellen's kindness and unique concern for other's was an inspiration to many. I will always treasure her spirit and love for people. Al Black HUP, Chief Operating Officer
22: To the Reilly Family, When Garry called me Monday to tell me the awful news of MaryellenÂ’s passing I felt like I had been punched in the gut. The feeling hasn't really passed but other feelings and thoughts have overtaken that visceral sense of loss. In my meetings Tuesday morning after we all discussed our shock and grief and then went on to our business, Maryellen came up again and again not because she was gone but because she was supposed to be there or in the next meeting or in a follow-up meeting this week. She seemed to be connected to everything. Of course, that has been the case for a long time Â– that she has been connected to everything but it never seemed so apparent as it was in her absence. We needed to talk to her about everything - the Social worker for this, the heart failure project for that. Her vivaciousness and Joie de Vivre seemed to be so able to fill a room so much that it could not be extinguished. I feel like a light has been turned off. Although we did'nÂ’t grow up near each other, Maryellen and I had a common cultural and religious heritage that we would delight in sharing at holidays, holy days and sometimes when a good laugh about Catholic school days seemed to be just the right metaphor to relieve some tension Â– a story about the discipline or the rules, being called to the principals office. WeÂ’d joke about The Great Day- St. PatrickÂ’s Day, Lent and everything else. I donÂ’t know whether Maryellen was in the principalÂ’s office all the time or none of the time. Maryellen was all in Â– there was no in between Â– she committed and she got it done, everything, but amazingly at work she found the common ground and brought people together. That was what I was missing in my meeting on Monday Â– the loss of the great connector.
23: Maryellen was an Irish colleen in the very best sense. For some reason since Monday the lyrics of old Irish tunes kept playing in my head and I canÂ’t stop them. The words seem corny but when I tell you snippets of the lyrics youÂ’ll understand why they keep playing Â– Irish eyes smiling, the lilt of Irish laughter, like a morn in spring, steal your heart away. Her face was bright, her heart warm and her spirit genuine. If you were MaryellenÂ’s friend or co-worker you were like family. My son went to visit a college and met a kid that had grown up near MaryellenÂ’s family. We figured this out because I told her about the College visit Â– sharing family stories were just natural with her Â– she was always interested. She immediately said Â– oh, so and so goes there. HeÂ’s a great kid and on and on. She spoke glowingly about the boy as if he were her son. If a mutual friend was having trouble she would stop you in the corridor and ask, Â“What are we going to do about our friendÂ”. When a member of one her departments had a problem she spoke about HUP being home and family and how we had to take care of each other. HUP is a tough place. Maryellen made it home and homey. She was no pushover. ThatÂ’s an understatement. She stood her ground when she had too but she was a consummate team player. She mentored and cajoles but never had self-interest at heart. Mare would be disappointed in me but I realize now that the light that went out was my light. Her light will continue to burn Â– such was the force of her good will and positive spirit and it will inspire each of us to take care of home. PJ Brennan, MD Senior Vice President & Chief Medical Officer, UPHS
24: Dear Gary and Family, In the six or seven weeks since MaryellenÂ’s passing, I kept hoping for Â‘just the right wordsÂ’ or something really profound to say. I am still numb and speechless. I really liked Maryellen, she was hard not to like. Maryellen was really one of a kind. So many different attributes come to mind. I imagine her looking down from Heaven so very proud of her family. You have handled yourselves with such grace and composure. You have shared yourselves at your most tender moments, so for this we Thank you. We loved her too. On a personal note, my real name is Mary Ellen although everybody calls me Mel. In 2002, I made a medication error when I gave 30 of my Â‘closest friendsÂ’ in the ER a PPD. Only problem, it was'nÂ’t PPD. It was Tetanus Toroid! After having spent 17 years working in HUPÂ’s ER, on my 2nd day in Occupational Medicine to make a gaffe like that! It was probably one of the most humbling and embarrassing moments of my entire career that almost caused me to quit nursing. I was devastated with my error. Well, as luck would have it, I had to do a PPD offsite up in the social work section. Maryellen was one of the last people to come in. She was Â‘the bossÂ’ and knew of my error. Â“Do you trust me? I asked,Â” she stuck out her arm. I always remember how she set me at ease by lighting up the room with her smile. I remember thinking, Â“IÂ’m being interviewed!Â” Then she comment; no one ever comes to work WANTING to make a mistake. It's unfortunate, and we can all learn a lesson from it so just hang in there. I am eternally grateful for that! Mer'Â’s funeral Mass was probably one of the most beautiful Masses that IÂ’ve ever been to. All those priests, the choir, the homily, the intercessions, the readings, the whisper of how proud Mer would be of her family and the police honor guard. To hear you do the special Lordy, Lordy prayer and to hear you speak of music was the top for me. At MER's memorial services at HUP was also exceptional. With Kelly, Â“such a crack upÂ” starts the HUP service with a Hail Mary. PJ Brennan who spoke so passionately of MaryellenÂ’s moral compass; Victoria mentioned how the Â‘big wigÂ’s' fight like brotherÂ’s and sisters. Lisa Bellini, MD, MER calling her Â‘kid.Â’ To hear you say about baking cookies with my grandkids really put a balance and a real perspective on her life, that is of God, Family, Friends, and Work. Lucy, her admin who loved, loved, loved her, and always said she was the greatest boss EVER! So approachable, so easy to work with such a wonderful human being who we can all learn from. God knows my heart breaks for Lucy. To see grown men cry, (Garry Scheib) and everyone who attended who held so much love, respect and admiration for MER. She really put her Blood, Sweat, and Tears into this place. Hold tight to the thought that she loved her family, both at home and at work. She was 'GREAT' at what she did, was'nÂ’t she? Please know that we think of her. Not a day has passed that thoughts and prayers for her and for you all comes to mind. Hang in there, I hear her saying. Follow my example of how to lead a good life; Balance, Peace, and do this with Love! Mel Kearney, RN, BSN Occupational Medicine
25: Maryellen was my mentor, supervisor, and friend. She inspired me to be the best for both HUP and my family. I find it hard to put my emotions into words, so I will try to express them in a story. One year ago I came back from maternity leave, a first time mom worrying about becoming a working mom, and it was time for my annual performance review. Maryellen had been in continual contact the 12-weeks I was away, but her first order of business was to make sure that I was doing OK now that I was back. She was always compassionate first. She went through my evaluation and then (right at the end) threw in, â€œI just inherited a new department and it fits into your portfolio nicely. I think you can handle it and would like you to take it on. But talk to your husband about it and let me know in the next couple of day's€. My mouth said, "OK, I will. Thanks for thinking of me for the opportunity". But my face most likely read, â€œAre you serious? I am just back from leave, trying to balance being a mom for my 3-month old and a job that is more than full time, and you are asking me to do what?â€ But, as I shared later with my husband, I trusted in Maryellen and knew that I would find a way to take on the department because she wanted me to. Long story short, I did take on the department and was able to balance work with being there for my daughter. And that is how it always was with Maryellen. She had confidence in us. She had a vision that we all wanted to be a part of and would do anything to help with. She knew us better than we knew ourselves. Now that she is gone, I realize that even more. -Brooke McDonnell
26: Dear Gary, Mike, Chris, Laura, Colleen and Matt, to her Sisters, Brother, Cousins and her very closest friends; I don't need to tell you how much I loved Maryellen because it was very obvious to all. She was a woman who shared so much of herself; her time, her life and most of all her family stories. She was an amazing caring person, just naturally beautiful inside and out. She was the very best person I'd ever met and worked for. MER was special in every aspect of her life. She would brighten up the days even when the day wasn't as good as she made it seem. Her approach to managing was like no other, she was compassionate in her dealing with others. She was honest, direct and to the point, dedicated and loyal, mostly respected and admired by all. She was a genuine lady, a treasure, flawless and quite rare. She was dependable, we all knew she truly cared. During my worse time (surgery), MER was the one person who carried me through better health and to a better life. The first two weeks during my stay at HUP, I was told by many that MER left no stone unturned ensuring that the physicians would get me back onto my feet. She called the Trauma team over the weekend when it should have been her "family time." Day in and day out running from meeting to meeting she managed to squeeze in time to check up on me. It was just her way of showing how much she cared. We take for granted that this is just part of the job but now looking back, this was her loving and nurturing way. Although I have thanked MER a million times for saving my life, I neglected to thank the Reilly family for sharing their Mother, Wife, Mother-in-Law and GrandMother with the Rivera Clan. From my family to yours we are very grateful for the support given and for the love she has shown to all of us. She was a magnetic human being and is now my "Guardian Angel". I will miss MER more than anyone can ever imagine. She was very "SPECIAL" to me and to all of us at HUP. There's not a day that goes by that I am not thinking of her. She was truly an example of living life to it's fullest and loving all unconditionally. | Dearest Friend I had the greatest friend on Earth, Sisters by God but not by Birth. I owed her a lot for what she had done for me, without her in my life I'm not sure where I be. She will be my best friend until I die, we had certain jokes no one understood but her and I. Together we were able to share our life story, we looked for good in others glory. She was an amazing person every single day, I admired and looked up to her in every which way. She never complained nor needed to explain, only bringing sunshine to HUP when it rained. MER was sent by God to do great things, one of Heavens Angels with no visible wings. Thanks for always being there for me, you have shown how true friends should really be! This isn't good-bye but until we meet again, our lovely MER my dearest Friend! With Deepest Sympathy, Lucy Rivera
27: Bless the family, Dear Lord. She embodied the character and goodness of a special person. She let life come to her which is rare these days. Her priorities were in order and she enjoyed life. We are all going to leave this world. There is no escape and Maryellen was a prime example of the importance to live life fully. I know she is watching out for all of us. It was an honor and pleasure to work and come to know such a caring and lovely human being! John Sestito, Chief Operating Officer, Neonatology Associate Executive Director, CPUP | Thank you MER! I felt your presence when I rode 6,602 miles for A.C.S. I wanted to give up but I thought of you. Your spirit and the little moments we shared. God Bless you and your family. Houria Elashari, Patient Guest Relations Coordinator | MER, I miss you and miss working with you. You always had a laugh in waiting, even as you pushed us to do better. But best of all, was talking to you about what mattered most to you - your family and kids. You just lit up. Beth Johnston, Executive Director, HUP | Maryellen was a kind and brilliant woman. All my prayers to her family. RIP may God Bless. Dana
28: Dear Gary, Mike, Chris, Laura, Colleen and Matt, It is so difficult to put into words what your wonderful wife and Mother meant to me. From our first meeting as she was interviewing me for a job there was an instant connection, we had so many similarities on our thoughts on life and work. We shared the early loss of our Mothers and of course the kid connection as we both had kids around the same age. While work was so important to Maryellen, her number one thoughts were always with all of you. We had a conversation one day about HUP and how it really consumed our lives but we both agreed that it did not define us, Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Sister and Friend are what defined MER. There is not much that went on with all of you over the past 10 years in your lives that she did not share whether it was joy, happiness, disappointment or sadness and believe me she was so proud of each of you no matter what was going on. With each new event in your lives babies, marriages jobs and not she found the best in all of you and encouraged you to do the right thing as she did with all of us at work, yes she was great a creating to do lists for all of us but she was right there to guide and assist to make sure those to dos were completed. It was so rare for MER to have a bad thought or word about anyone she always looked for the good in us all and put us first so that we could take credit for many things that were her doing behind the scene. She was kind and compassionate and taught me a lot about grace and understanding. I keep hoping for the phone to ring on a Sunday night around 10 wanting to know if we could ride in together since someone needed her car the next day. It was a great chance for us to catch up and of course she hated the train ride. It is so hard to believe she is gone and I will not have her uncanny ability to say the right thing to make a difficult situation easier or to experience the joy of planning a wedding for Colleen and my Katie together. I will also miss her mishaps with the cell phones dropping them down elevator shafts, running over them with the car and other mishaps with technology we always had a good laugh about that in the office. The day we realized she had a Facebook page and told us not to bother to request her as a friend as she created her profile only to see the kids (grands) pictures! My life was greatly enhanced by MER and I truly miss my colleague, mentor but most of all her wonderful friendship. MER will live on in each of us as she touched our lives in so many special ways. You are a wonderful testament of the wonderful person that she was and will share your many attributes with others as she did. Thank you so much for sharing a part of her with us and I will think of her fondly every day. May God Bless You and help you to find peace as you continue on with your lives. Becki Fitzpatrick Director, Infection Control and Prevention
29: "The Clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop, at late or early hour. Now is the only time you own. Live, Love, toil a will. Place no faith in time. For the clock may soon be still." Robert H. Smith | We will never forget our dear friend Maryellen. The place is just not the same without her. She was the one you turned to when you wanted something fixed or a change in place. She would gather all the troops and within a well organized meeting or two she would have them all marching to the same tune with a smile on her face. She truly cared about the place and loved the people who work here. She have all the answers to problems but she was also a great friend too. You could not ask for a better person to work with. And lastly, despite her own denials, she really knew her finances too! All these traits qualify her for "Sainthood" - one of a kind. We will miss here and love her forever. Diane Corrigan Chief Financial Officer
30: Dear Gary & Kids; I worked for Maryellen for the last 12 years, the last 8 she was my supervisor. We had a great working relationship; boss/friend, friend/boss. In our routine meeting, we always talked about our families first (lots of kids, UPenn and San Diego) and then get down to business. There is one quick story I want tot tell you. I made an appointment with her to review a difficult situation in Transplant that needed a solution. when I got to her office she said, that she knew we needed to talk but would I mind walking over to CHOP's emergency room with her. One of her grandchildren was over there and she wanted to be close to her daughter and grandson. I wanted to reschedule but she insisted that if I had an urgent need, she was available to discuss it. So we walked and talked and went to CHOP. I got my issue resolved, she felt relieved to be with her family and Laura was supported by her Mom. As usual, Maryellen figured out a way to meet everyone's needs. Despite an incredibly busy schedule both here and at home, MER always had time for people. I miss her and always will. With my deepest sympathy, Diane Jakobowski, Director, Transplant | As a Social Worker here at HUP, Colleagues and I have always heard about the immense contributions to the CRM/SW department that Mrs. Reilly achieved. She was a wonderful advocate for our staff, always pursuing what was best for patients and staff alike. Her smile and kindness will always be remembered. She always greeted me with a friendly hello at each passing in the hallway. She will never be forgotten. Maria | MER was a friend and a colleague who always kept her sense of humor and who kept it real and kept her focus on what mattered most. I will miss her smile, quizzical looks and her warmth! Betty Adler Legal Department
31: Maryellen, I miss you and think of you often. Thanks for all of your advice and encouragement over the years. I hope your family knows how much you were admired by all of us at HUP. Paul Harrington Director of Nursing | God Bless her and I will include her in my prayers. Rodelia Fontanilla | I have known Maryellen for many years and worked together on many patient initiatives. She was a wonderful friend and colleague and I will miss her dearly. My prayers are with all of you during this difficult time. Love, Ann Marie Morris | I will miss you Maryellen so much as will all who knew you. You, on many occasions were my Savior, always there to listen and encourage me to hang in there. You, the family are fortunate to have a Wife and Mom who was so giving and caring. Her memory will influence me always and I know she is a Guardian Angel for those who loved her. Sincerely, Linda Kahoe-Hanna Patient Access Manager | God Bless you, my prayers will be with the family during this difficult time. Donna Shiara | You were always the voice of reason. We will all miss you and your kind ways. May you rest in the love of God. Mary Schierse
32: To the Reilly family, Thank you for sharing your Mom, Wife, "MER' with us. She was a light for HUP and she touched many. She was the Diplomat approach for Humanistic... "Some people are like comets. They streak through our lives in a flash of excitement, love and awe. Then they are gone, never to be seen again, although we think of them often. Cometlike people cannot be held onto or controlled. They need to keep moving, lighting up yet another sky. Sadly, some comet types die too young, and we miss them and grieve deeply in their absence. But the angels know that each comet person who has left the Earth at a young age exits in a burst of light that remains for the good of those left behind. A comet would never want us to mourn its disappearance. So comet people want us to remember the joy they left behind and to allow the love we had for them to continue to grow, blessing others in its path." She will be missed but never forgotten! With Love and Peace, Kate Fitzpatrick Nursing | Gracious God our Father, thank you so very much for your hands on healing, love & compassion on your children. In Jesus name I praise and Thank You! AMEN | I was seven months pregnant when I began reporting to MER (with my 2nd child.) The first meeting I had with her after returning from maternity leave, she told me how important it was to balance my family and work. And in particular, how important it was for me to make time for my husband not just my children. I sat holding the balance stone that was on her desk as we spoke. Her insight both professionally and personally was beyond compare and will miss immensely by me and everyone she touched. She was truly one of a kind. Denise Montgomery Cardiovascular Medicine Administrator
33: I want to thank Maryellen's family for choosing to be with us, even in the midst of your grief. That was a generous gift that helped us through our shock and grief, you were genuinely, openly here with us. And the sharing at the end of the funeral was also deeply touching. A rich portrait of a beautiful person and her wonderful, deeply cherished family. May God continue to bless you with healing. Peace, Ralph Ciampa | I will miss my good friend. Maryellen and I shared many personal conversations over the years. I will always remember the support and compassion she gave me during my wife's illness. She was such a good listener. It was very evident that she cared deeply for the people around her. I will miss her dearly but take comfort that she is in a better place and still keeping an eye on us all. Chuck Aitken Assistant Executive Hospital Director | I could write a book on how Maryellen has changed my life. She gave me a gift that will be with me forever. She took a small spark and made it a flame and I feel her warmth even now. I will miss her and will cherish every minute I spent with her. Thank you MER for believing in me. Kara Geibel Supervisor Pathology and Laboratory Medicine | To the Reilly Family, There are people you come in contact with who make a profound impact on you as a person and Mare was one. She became my boss but more importantly a trusted friend, colleague, mentor and an inspiration. She challenged me to want more and mentored me to become a leader but most importantly a better person. Every time a difficult situation arises I ask myself how would "Mare" handle herself. It helps me to center myself and focus on the task at hand. I hope it helps to know that she was a truly beloved person and is sadly missed. Best Regards, Rob Tobin, Director, Infusion Services
34: My funny moment of Maryellen was when she was looking for Tonita who was always tied up in meetings. Tonita's phone was ringing with no one in the office to answer. As I walked by her assistants desk the phone begins to ring for the second time so I pick it up and it's Maryellen. She's looking for Tonita and ask that I interrupt her meeting to speak with her. Another time MER calls with the exact scenario, no one to answer the phone. As I pick up Tonita's line MER saids; "Shirley, it seems you are always sitting in your office when I call", we both laughed and MER thanked me. I would do it again today if I had the chance but know to be absent from the body is to be present before the Lord. Blessing Always, Shirley | The Rose Beyond the Wall A rose once grew where all could see, sheltered beside a garden wall, And as the days passed swiftly by it spread its branches, straight and tall.... The rose bent gently toward its warmth, then passed beyond to the other side. Now, you who deeply feel its loss, be comforted - the rose blooms there - its beauty even greater now, nurtured by God's own loving Care. Michelle Cannon The Admission Center, HUP | At UPHS, Maryellen had unique gift for bringing the right people together to discuss issues and resolve challenges. Maryellen will be sadly missed and never forgotten by all who had the pleasure of knowing her. Kathy Rickard Associate Director CRM & Social Work, HUP
35: To the Family; I would like to share how your Mother impacted my life. I had the unique opportunity to work for your Mom on a project called "Lean." I am sure you have heard this term, as your Mom was very supportive of this project. The lean project began in my department of Anatomical Pathology. I believe this opportunity changed my view on health care and had a major impact on my career. As a lean leader, I had the rare opportunity to change work flow processes and make an improvement to patient care at HUP. I am blessed to have had the privilege to work with your Mother. My deepest sympathy goes out to each family member. Your Mother is truly missed. Lyn Thomas, HT (ASCP) Histology Technical Supervisor Anatomic Pathology | Maryellen, Your presence is greatly missed but I feel your spirit as I walk through the hallways of HUP! You were an inspiration to many of us and your energy is still with us. I will miss you and pray you are at Peace. Pat Remeis Assistant Director Quality Improvement & Patient Safety | To the Reilly Family, Although Maryellen's light has dimmed in our midst, we know it still shines brightly in our hearts. Having felt her gentleness and kindness and unselfish love, we carry her joy with us always. Alicia Salvatore Executive Assistant to, PJ Brennan, MD
36: I had the pleasure to work with Maryellen regarding the HF/Transplant program for the past several years. I will miss her dearly as a colleague and leader. she had the ability to listen and appreciate the multidisciplinary staff and program operations. She was important facilitator in the growth of our program to one of the best in the Country. Her vision and interactions with us were of a good leader and mentor. My last moment with her was at the PMLF meeting and I hadn't seen her in awhile. We talked about her new role and she continued to discuss operations and guidance. When she left me I turned to a colleague and said; "I really miss her not being involved with my service line and her mentor-ship." At the time, I really didn't know missing her would mean more... To the family, please take care and always remember the special moments that your Mother gave to each of you. Sincerely, Donna Chojnowski Director of Clinical Operations Cardiovascular Division | I feel I had much in common with Maryellen. I think she made that same connection with most people she knew. She always smiled and said hello Jules to me whenever I saw her and no matter where. That hello was always cheerful and always brightened my day. I loved Maryellen's way of thinking and organizing concepts and solutions. It was as if she had 360 degree insight. Although we won't see her as we did, I know her spirit will be with us forever. Julie Koehler Business Director Urology | Dear Reilly Family, Your Mom had style and class. The memory of her at HUP will definitely last. Dorothy Horne Executive Secretary Administration
37: I had the privilege of working with Maryellen in various capacities for the past several years and I miss her dearly as a colleague, advocate and friend. I always admired her grace under pressure and the ability to inject a bit of humor into any situation. Sometimes, I would poke my head into her office to ask a quick question or to say "Hello" and no matter how busy she was, there was never a time she didn't turn with a smile and a friendly hello. As I've reflected on what Maryellen meant to me, my thoughts and the sum of all the wonderful expressions of love at her life celebration led me to the realization that MER represents what we often find lacking in this place of human suffering, healing and miracles. The Grace and Peace of our Lord and his most Blessed Mother. May we continue to be blessed by her spirit which will live on ti inspire us for many years to come. May she rest in peace, her work on Earth is complete. Tony Killian Administrator Cardiology | Maryellen was a wonderful leader who knew the name of every one of her HUP family. She made an effort to know something about everyone. She will be missed. Sylvia Dossick Manager Technical II/ Spec Rec-Process Path & Lab | Maryellen changed HUP in unique ways and the outpour of love these past few days exemplify some of it. She was influential on me. I observed with curiosity how she frequently understood and communicated different points of view, and sometimes insisted that those views be understood, even when she does not necessarily agree with them. Hers was a mature and informed spirit. How can we forget? Phil Okala Vice President, Service Line Integration Business Development | To the family, What a wonderful gift we have experienced by knowing your Wife, Mother, sibling, relative and friend. I will never forget her smile., it would light up a room. Her spirit will be with us forever. My prayers are ongoing for you and yours. Cynthia Byrd Physical Plant Dept.
38: To the Reilly family; There are people you come in contact with who will make a profound impact in our lives; Maryellen was one of them! My memories of Maryellen was how much I enjoyed our lunch walks together but because of her busy schedule, there were far and few times we were able to meet. Every time MER would see me at the corridor she would stop to ask; Â“when are we starting up our lunch walks again?Â” My most memorable times of Maryellen were; each time a photo was taken of her she would say; Â“Karen, is there anything you can do to make me look thinner?Â” She was a caring and lovely human being. She was a wonderful friend and colleague who I will miss terribly. Karen Kushner Web & Graphic Manager Designer | What a sweet women...my prayers for the family... K. Hamilton | I did not know you long, but you impacted my life in a way that I will never forget. Thank you, Jim Cato | On the day of the Celebration of Life, I wanted to say a few words. I knew the importance and recognized that she had touched each person in the room longer than I had known her and let them to speak about how she touched their lives. I feel an emptiness inside now that Maryellen has passed. But what I reflect on is the way she touched me professionally. Maryellen always had an open door, was friendly, and always gave great advice. I remember all my interactions with her and she always had a high degree of respect for what you bought to the table. My interview day where she broke the ice with me and smiled from across her desk, I knew this was soon going to be my home, because of her. My sincere condolences to the family for their loss of a Mother and Wife. Your wife and Mother made me feel welcomed and I will always be appreciative for that. Rick Kleindienst Process Improvement Specialist Administration | Maryellen was an awesome person. Full of light and laughter. She will truly be missed. HUP is a better place because of her! Mary Mulholland Senior Coding and Education Specialist Medical Administration
39: This picture was taken in Cupcake store on the evening of June 14, 2011, Washington, D.C. three weeks before Maryellen passed away. We traveled to attend conferences and we always had the "BEST" times and fun together. This evening after our dinner, I made Maryellen stand in line for 45 minutes to get a cupcake from this store because the owners had a TV show and also because I love sweets. As it turns out, we brought 3 cupcakes and went back to our room. I actually laid in one of the beds eating cupcakes while watching a movie. I remember thinking; "this is life" and thanked Maryellen for bringing me with her on this trip. Maryellen was my boss for 14 years...there was a reason for that...she was an exceptional woman in every way! Mare was the kind of person that took you under her wing and protected you. I believe if it were not for her support I wouldn't be here now; she got me through a cancer diagnosis, a shattered right leg, and the death of my husband. Maryellen was also the smartest person in the room, had a wicked sense of humor and was able to compartmentalize her brain to keep all the balls in the air at one time. Most of all, Maryellen loved her family...and believed that Motherhood and being a wife was the most important job of all. I believe Maryellen is still watching over all of us and helping all of us to be the people we were meant to be. Kelly Cooke Assistant Executive Hospital Director, HUP Administration | Colleen, Do you remember your Mother called you from the Cupcake store and asked if you wanted a shirt? | Dear Reilly Family, Thank you for sharing Maryellen with the HUP family. She was truly a gem! | Love, Kelly Cooke
40: To the Reilly Family, Maryellen Reilly was an amazing woman. Although I knew her only a short amount of time, she welcomed me as if she had known me for a lifetime. She always made us feel safe and happy no matter who you were. I will treasure the wonderful memories I had with MER. With much love and compassion, Jessie Thomas Executive Secretary Administration | I have known Maryellen for the past 8 years since I returned to HUP. I worked with her on many initiatives and she was always supportive in her approach. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this time. She will be greatly missed at the HUP. Barbara Todd Director of Advance Practitioners | To the Reilly Family; My prayers are with you. I pray that God will strengthen and comfort you. Maryellen was a hard worker and the name of everyone's lips when they needed something done at HUP. :) She will truly be missed...Her rich legacy lives on in YOU! Peace and Blessings to you... Tamika Patton Watkins HUP Admin | Dearest Reilly Family; Whether advocating for "balance", teamwork, or advancing a large agenda, MER found the most meaningful way of everything as a professional and lady! I will never forget how she took me under her wing and guided me on my professional journey at HUP. She will forever remain in my heart as my first mentor, friend, and truly a role model...and I will forever be reminded of the professional she effortlessly fulfilled. All my love, Staci Oppleman-Bedell
41: To the Reilly Family, It was a joy working with Maryellen. she always had a smile and a kind work for all. Take pride in knowing that she will always be missed. Diane Limbert Social Work Department | MER was an exceptional woman and all who were privileged to have known her will never forget her. I remember a time in my life when my Mother suffered complications during a hospital stay and as my fears grew, MER was there for me and my family. She demonstrated reassurance, provided me with the understanding as to what was happening, and extended herself in a way that brought me a sense of calmness to get through such a difficult time. She gave so much and didn't ask for anything in return. I feel fortunate to have met such a strong and beautiful person such as MER. My heart will forever go out to the Reilly family for what they have lost and be joyful for all that they had gained by having her in their lives. Sandi McGinley-Diaz Social Work Department
42: EULOGY BY THE REILLY CHILDREN: Michael, Christine, Laura, Colleen, Matt Everyone knows I am a huge fan of music, sometimes I would bother Mom with how loudly I liked to listen to it. Now it is hard to listen to the radio without hearing some lyrics that make me think of Mom. One song that seems to be constantly playing in my head is a hidden track that Bruce Springsteen wrote. It goes something like this: "They built the Titanic to be one of a kind, but many ships have ruled the sea. They built the Eiffel Tower to stand alone, but they could build another if they pleased. The Taj Mahal, the Pyramids of Egypt are unique I suppose. But when He built your Mother, He broke the mold. The World is full of many wonders under the passing sun, but sometimes something comes along, and you know for sure it's the only one. The Mona Lisa, the David, the Sistine Chapel, Jesus, Mary, and Joe... and when He built your Mother, He broke the Mold." God truly did break the mold when he made my Mom. She was a loving Wife, Mother and friend to all that knew her. I would always ask myself what made Mom tick? How can she find enough hours in the day to run a hospital and worry about each and every one of us? Her heart was filled with love for everyone here especially her husband, 5 babies and 8 grandbabies. We know that Mom's unshakable strength and enduring grace began in her childhood. She grew up as the oldest daughter in a large Irish family. Mom lost her own Mother when she was just 13 years old. As the oldest girl in the family of 7 children, she had no choice but to become the Matriarch of the family. With the support of her Aunt Cass, Mom raised her siblings. Those who knew Aunt Cass know what an inspiration she was to Mom, and how she continued to live on in everything that Mom did. But, with or without the help of Aunt Cass, being a Mother was a calling to her, and although I was not around to witness this period of her life, what she has today with her brothers and sisters is a testament to how incredibly she performed.
43: I lived with Mare and Gary when Mike, Chris and Laura were born. We shared our kids, and our lives with each other. She was an amalgamation of Mother/Sister/Friend, From bossing me around as a kid, to helping me with my wedding, to raising our babies together; we shared books, vacations, flowers, music, advice, and sometimes I felt like we shared the cells in our bodies; I guess that was our hearts. I could tell you what Mare would say before she uttered her words. For 53 years, I loved this lady and she will be the queen of my heart forever." My Mom and Dad met in a Chemical Lab of all places in 1972. It's funny too because Mom was attracted to Dad even after a chemistry accident which blew off his eyebrows. By 1985, they had bought a home, had 5 kids, and began two careers. Together they raised us through good times, and bad, always thinking about us, and our needs, before ever thinking of themselves; which meant that most of the time they didn't even have the opportunity to think of themselves at all. Mom was destined to become a successful working Mother, ever at a time when a successful working Mother was rare. Mom would wake up early and curl my Sister' hair while they were still sleeping, take Matt road kill hunting - don't ask-, and have a kettle screaming and be dressed for work all before 7 AM. And before she walked out the door for work, she was sure to leave each of us a morning TO DO list. Even after we moved out of the house we would still receive our TO DO lists in a voice mail that Mom left us on her way to work that morning, we may have been still sleeping but Mom was already helping us plan out our day, When she passed, Mom could not be prouder of her family. She was proud of the relationships her children had, and very excited for Renee and I, who are preparing to bring the newest Reilly into this World. Everyone knew that Mom was ecstatic that her three daughters found outstanding gentlemen to settle down with, and she can rest comfortably knowing that my Sisters are well taken care of. But most of all she was blessed to have spent time with 8 wonderful grandchildren, who all will carry a bit of Mom-Mom with them forever. | My Aunt Fran put it best when she said to me, AND I QUOTE; "As a Sister, Mare was there for all the joys and sorrows that life brought with it. We loved to laugh together, raised out babies together. Mare was such a great source of comfort to all of us.
44: As many of you here today know, if you were Irish you were automatically Mom's friend. But Irish or not, through no fault of their own, Mom cherished her friends as if they were family. She hosted annual parties, cheered her friends in times of triumph, and struggles through the challenges of their lives happily accepting all of the stress and sorrow that came with those duties. Mom was never jealous, always supportive, and she embodied a sincere sense of Joie De Vive. A combination of qualities that is rare in the World today. Mom was a devout Catholic. There is no doubt that she had a personal relationship with God, and there is absolutely no doubt that she is with him today. It was not uncommon to see Mom sitting on the couch on Christmas Eve admiring her Christmas Tree. And while she truly loved Christmas, the presents, the Children, and the parties, we all knew that is was not the tree that she was admiring, but the miracle celebration that Christmas is truly about. Similarly on Easter Mom would throw the best Easter party and host the best Easter Egg hunts, but at the end of Easter Mass, when the choir was singing Alleluia, Alleluia, Mom would sing that song with a level of passion that told you she was sincere about the true meaning of Easter. Her Irish Catholic ways reflected in the high standards that she pressed upon us, and although we each fought those standards at times, we never went to sleep without thinking to ourselves that she was always right. | At work Mom was a success. In fact, based on the heartwarming event that the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania or ("HUP") held just two days after she passed, I would say success is not even a strong enough word. From the stories shared at the HUP memorial as well as the ones today and last night it is obvious that Mom's HUP colleagues appreciated her stern yet compassionate leadership, her work ethic, and kind Motherly personality just as much as us. And it was those qualities that enabled her to become a Vice President at a top 10 hospital. Penn was very important to her, she bragged about the hospital, its accomplishments and innovations; and if any of her babies or grandbabies got hurt, even if we were in Timbuctoo, Mom would say "we need to get you down to Penn." I feel confident saying that she was proud to have made it to the level that she did, and if she had more time, there is no doubt she would have continued her climb and success. Another thing Mom was proud of was her Irish Heritage. She knew how to make all of the horrible food that the Irish eat, and she made us all grow to love it, especially her Irish potatoes. Mom loved to talk about her trip to Ireland which she took with Dad, Fran Bob, Fr. Greg and me in 1985. I will always treasure the memories of this trip with her. As a family we were planning another trip back to Ireland that Mom was really looking forward to. In her typical fashion she was already planning the details of the trip and talking of what a wonderful time it will be. She was thrilled at the idea of shearing her "Ireland" with all her kids.
45: * Mom-Mom's store which was her method of ingraining a sense of hard work and responsibility in her grandchildren, even at age 3 * And of course, Fourth of July at the beach. Mom loved the beach and she was a patriotic American. It was fitting that she passed under the warm sun of the Shore, and her soul passed through the gates of heaven with fireworks of freedom lighting the way. In closing, I would like to ask my sisters and brother to join me in reciting a prayer that we always heard our Mother saying as she pranced around the house cleaning, cooking, or hanging with her kids. A prayer that her Mother taught her, she taught us, and that we will continue to pass on to her grandchildren in the years to come. LORDY, LORDY,SAVE MY SOUL TAKE ME TO HEAVEN IN A SUGAR BOWL | While memories are endless some of the things we will miss most about Mom are: * Sunday Dinner...I mean EVERY SUNDAY * Random Parties that she would spontaneously throw; yet expect you to be at * Phone calls on the Ride Home from work (which I am sure saved my brother-in-laws, and T, from some long and boring calls with her daughters.) * Christmas and Easter at her house- especially the Christmas tree and Easter egg hunts * Telling us our baby stories...we all loved that. Especially our birth stories. Mom always cracked up telling us that Col came so suddenly that the Doctor only had a chance to put one glove on before she arrived * Going down the Shore - Jumping waves with the kids, and building sand castles * Kitchen table conversations about relationships, careers, and Church * Tea cups clanging together on the floor of her car as she drove around * Hearing Mom encouraging my Sisters to model themselves after the blessed Mother, saying; "Stop Talking Like a Truck Driver, and Please be Modest Girls." * Watching her accessorize every outfit from her work suits to her bathing suit and hearing her say, "I need my bling girls." * Her daily trips to Starbucks with her girls * Knowing she would give us the last 5 dollars in her wallet if we needed it
46: Dear the Reilly Family, Your Mom was truly a wonderful woman. I have always admired her ability to exceed the challenges of being a great Wife and Mother while accomplishing all she did here at HUP, seamlessly and tirelessly with such grace. She will forever remain part of our HUP family and we take you into our hearts and share in your loss. May the Lord continue to bless, comfort, and keep you. Phyllis Murray Executive Secretary Human Resources | To the Reilly Family; I knew Maryellen for a very short time. Never in my life did I develop such a close relationship with someone in such a small period of time. I will remember her forever especially her smile and supportive friendly way. Violet Rose is doing great. Please let me know if there is anything you ever need from me. John Kirby Associate Executive Hospital Director
47: Colleen, Chris and Laura, I have been wanting to tell you about something. The day after your Mom dies, I was driving to the train station. I had "The Message" on Sirius Radio on (it's contemporary Christian music.) This song came on called "Save a Place for Me" by Matthew West. It was the first time I ever heard this song and I've never heard it again on this station (although I do have it on my iPod now.) It's a song written to a person who had passed away and it talks about how he is waiting to join this person in Heaven. Literally that morning, it was as if your Mom was sending this song just to me. It truly comforted me at that moment. I went in to work and watched the video on the Internet - so touching. Every day I think if your Mom and what she did to impact my life. I am so "proud" of you girls!!! I hope each day I can raise my daughters as well as Maryellen raised hers. I grieve daily that such an amazing woman isn't here with us anymore! But I am truly blessed to have known her - and to continue to know you girls and your families. You should listen to the song and maybe watch the video. It hit a chord with me! Rachel Chebeleu Director, HIM
48: For years, Mare and I have been saying we have to get everyone together for a day with my Mother Anne Rush who well, let's say is over 90's year young. We finally pulled it off the Summer of 2010. We met one Summer, Sunday afternoon at Mare's Sister Margie's house in New Jersey. Mare and her Sisters Fran and Margie, my Sisters Mag and Cass, along with my Mom Anne (who was like a Mother to Mare after Mare's Mother Bernice died) enjoyed a great afternoon on Margie's porch. Eating good food, drinking fine spirits and remembering funny, sad and happy past events discussing the present and future. We were all so happy that we finally "pulled this off" with everyone's busy scheduled. We thought we were doing this for my Mother Anne's sake, due to her age. We wanted her to feel our love and support...just in case. Turned out, we weren't doing this for my Mom Anne, we were doing it for Mare. This was the last big reunion for our extended family until her funeral. so, we always look for lessons in life. The lesson here is that we shouldn't put off that special get together due to our crazy schedules...just do it! I'm so happy we had that wonderful day to remember, to laugh, to complain about nonsense and to feel each other's love and support. We will always remember you Mare, we will always miss you Mare and one day we will see you again to laugh, "not" to complain about nonsense and to feel your love and support. With Love, Maureen "Reene" Rush (Mare's Cousin)
49: Maryellen Reilly, 7/6/11 Even in this place, where the reality of life and death is ever with us, we experience. from time to time, these devastating losses that painfully and shockingly remind us that we live this precious life wrapped in a mystery beyond our knowing. Maryellen had the gift, the art perhaps, of honoring that mystery through her faith and through an innate humility, while throwing herself without reservation into what she did know. And Maryellen knew family and friendship, and work, loyalty and fairness, and optimism, absurdity and silliness, and healthcare. I was marveling just last week at the sincere enthusiasm with which Maryellen embraced change in this rumbling, living system. This ever-changing scene will be harder for all of us without her. We had been blessed - I have been blessed - by Maryellen's years with us. I prayed for Maryellen many times over those years, and I invite us now into such a prayerful moment. I invite us to open our hearts to the eternal goodness that brings us together - binds us together - in this time of sorrow. The eternal goodness that inspires us and upholds us in our daily living and serving. The eternal goodness that shines so beautifully through the life of Maryellen. May her grieving love ones be comforted by this goodness? May our hearts be warmed, our vision cleared, our wills stirred, our hope restored, with our memories bubbled full of such goodness. AMEN Rev. Ralph Ciampa Director, Pastoral Care
50: "Gone but never forgotten"
51: REILLY FAMILY HEART WALK - 2011