Rebekah Malkemes died peacefully at home in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Tuesday, July 5, two weeks shy of her 92nd birthday.
She was born at home in West Pittston, Pennsylvania to Rebekah Streng and Charles E. Nicholson, MD, the youngest of three children: Barbara, known as Bobbie Fehr, and Charles, Jr. Her parents and siblings have all predeceased her, as has her brother-in-law, Quent Fehr. Her children, Janet and Robert Malkemes, reside in the Charlotte area where Rebekah spent her last two and a half years.
Other family members include Bob’s wife Charity Kimmel and stepson Alex Wilson, Rebekah’s sister-in-law Margaret Nicholson, niece Marnie Nicholson, MD, nephew Charles Nicholson, MD; nephews and wives Mike and Angie Fehr and Andy and Anne Fehr, with many other beloved cousins, relatives and friends.
Rebekah graduated from Wyoming Seminary, Vassar College and Scranton University. She taught mathematics at Wyoming Seminary from the mid-sixties until the mid-eighties where her colleagues and students became good friends.
Rebekah was an active member of the Wyoming Valley community, serving on many boards including the West Pittston Cemetery Board and as Senior Warden of Trinity Episcopal Church.
She loved being a life-long resident of West Pittston, with breaks to study, raise her family and travel extensively.
She made close friends from Norway to France to Africa, Korea and Thailand. She participated as a student in the Experiment in International Living, spending a summer at a chateau in Bordeaux and bicycling through the Pyrenees.
Later she visited her daughter Janet wherever the latter was assigned as a U.S. foreign service officer, trekking with mountain gorillas in Rwanda, sailing the coast of Norway at midsummer and riding elephants in the forests of Thailand. Bitten by the travel bug, Rebekah took her son Bob to France after introducing him to Africa, explored Turkey, traveled throughout China and visited friends made on previous trips. No visit was complete without her taking many photos to add to her collection.
Rebekah will be buried in her family plot in West Pittston on Saturday, July 23. Her funeral will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church in West Pittston at 11 am, followed by interment in the West Pittston Cemetery. There will also be a gathering to remember Rebekah the afternoon of July 30 at her home in Charlotte.
Memorials may be sent to Hospice and Palliative Care Charlotte Region, whose staff took exemplary care of Rebekah during her last months, and to Wyoming Seminary in Kingston, Pennsylvania, where she spent many fulfilling years as student, parent and teacher.
Arrangements are by the Howell-Lussi Funeral Home Inc., 509 Wyoming Avenue West Pittston.
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