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Anna McGettigan (Gayda)

Anna McGettigan (nee Gayda) passed away on June 7th, 2022 at the age of 94. Predeceased by her loving husband, Edward, Anna is survived by her children Maryellen Glackin (Joseph); Ann Aponte (David) and Michael (Sonia). Loved by her 10 grandchildren: Daniel, Padraic (Bridget), Kathleen Swain (Christopher) and Brendan (Stephanie) Glackin; Victoria, Nichole and Kevin Fox, and Ellen Marie, Anna and Michele McGettigan; also 5 great-grandchildren: Hannah, James, Ellie, Seamus and Annabeth. Sister-in-law Paulette McGettigan and numerous nieces and nephews. Anna is also survived by her two dear friends, Marge Zimmerman and Dolly Bahlay.

Born to Ukrainian immigrant parents, Fanny and Fred Gayda, Anna was the youngest of three children and only daughter. She grew up in the shadow of St. Peter’s Church during the depression years. When she was a young teen, her father died in an accident, and shortly after that, her brothers, Mike and Dan, went off to war. This left Anna and her mother at home together. They had little, but her mother insisted one good outfit was better than a few cheaper things. Little did she know that this mantra would be the theme of her daughter’s life.

Anna and Ed met in North Wildwood. Throughout the summer of 1952, she was trying to get him interested in her friend, while he was falling in love with her. He was, after all, a North Catholic guy, and she a proud Frankford High girl! But, at the end of the summer when he told her how he felt, Anna replied with stipulations. These included: not going to the bar before coming home, and either, live in her mom’s home, or they would all move somewhere else, together! He agreed to her stipulations and they were married on May 16, 1953- and, lived with her mom. That arrangement continued through a move to a new home in Bustleton in 1967. The following year, Anna’s mother suffered a massive stroke that left her blind and paralyzed. Although never drawn to anything having to do with illness, Anna willingly took on the challenge for caring for her mother at home for years until she died in 1971. 

What she couldn’t afford to buy, Anna learned how to make. She became a phenomenal seamstress for herself, her children and her home. She had a “passion for fashion” and was always beautifully dressed for every occasion. Her sewing expanded to curtains, draperies, upholstering and her daughter’s wedding gown made from a magazine photo.  Anna’s pride in her family and home was beyond compare. It wasn’t just the appearance of things, it was the love she put into every bit of it.

Anna was also an excellent cook and baker (not pies!) and could make a gourmet quality dinner with little effort. This also made her a wonderful hostess. Again, because of the love and joy with which she did every little thing.

As she began to lose her memory, it was in the loss of these passions that her dementia became noticeable. A simple task became a herculean effort. Ed covered for her until his own illness shined a light on what had become a major health concern.

Anna was able to stay in her home a few years after Ed’s death. When that was no longer a realistic option, she went to live at St. Joseph Manor. Little did we realize in April of 2009, that she would be a resident for 13+ years.

The care she received from the staff at St. Joseph Manor was wonderful. They truly did treat her like family and welcomed Anna’s family and friends the same way. We will be forever grateful to all who cared for Anna during those years! We could not have walked the path she took us on without their support.

Although Anna has been slipping quietly away, piece by piece, for so many years, her death came suddenly and peacefully in her sleep. A perfect ending to a long and fruitful life.

Whenever you hear the words to You Are My Sunshine, please remember Anna- it was one of her favorite songs to sing.

Relatives and friends are invited to call Monday, June 13th from 9 to 10am at the Maternity BVM Church, 9220 Old Bustleton Avenue, Phila PA 19115.  Her Funeral Mass will follow at 10am.  Interment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Cheltenham, PA.

In lieu of flowers, donations to either of the following would be appreciated:

Sisters of St. Basil the Great- Development Office, Ukraine Assistance Fund, 710 Fox Chase Road, Fox Chase Manor, PA 19046 or to the St. Joseph’s Manor- Resident’s Activities Fund, 521 Moredon Road, Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006


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Service/Memorial Information
  • Visitation

    Monday, June 13th, 2022
    9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

    Maternity B.V.M. Catholic Church
    9220 Bustleton Avenue
    Philadelphia, PA 19115

  • Funeral Mass

    Monday, June 13th, 2022
    10:00 AM

    Maternity B.V.M. Catholic Church
    9220 Bustleton Avenue
    Philadelphia, PA 19115

  • Interment

    Monday, June 13th, 2022

    Holy Sepulchre Cemetery
    3301 West Cheltenham Avenue
    Philadelphia, PA 19150

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