PITTSTON — Pittston resident Joan McFadden loves being around the action. She spends many nights at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey games and volunteering throughout Greater Pittston.
The Pittston City St. Patrick’s Parade Committee recently announced that McFadden, formerly Mozeleski, will be the grand marshal of the third annual parade, which is scheduled to begin at noon Saturday, March 5.
“I was shocked,” said McFadden, 82, who has lived in Pittston for the last 79 years. “I felt it was such an honor but I couldn’t believe they were calling me. All I can say was I was shocked.”
McFadden was born in Moosic and raised in Pittston. She’s been here the majority of her life. She graduated from St. John’s High School in 1951 and entered the Pittston Hospital School of Nursing, graduating in 1954. McFadden’s career was spent as a nursing supervisor at Pittston Hospital, then Geisinger, until her retirement in 1998.
McFadden was married to Thomas “Mickey” McFadden, a former city councilman who passed away in 2002. The couple has three children: Donna Connors, Denise Skrzyowski and the late Thomas McFadden.
Throughout her time in Pittston, there weren’t many organizations to which McFadden didn’t belong. She’s a eucharistic minister at Our Lady of the Eucharist Parish and also a volunteer at Geisinger Wyoming Valley. She’s been part of the Tomato Festival Committee and the Greater Pittston Historical Society.
McFadden is the current president of the Jacquelines, which is the auxiliary group of the John F. Kennedy Knights of Columbus in Pittston. She is an original member of the Jacquelines, which formed in 1965. In Wilkes-Barre, she’s a member of the Donegal Society of Greater Wilkes-Barre, which promotes Irish heritage.
“I try to keep myself busy,” she said. “My husband and I were constantly on the go. We were always going some place and meeting new people. That’s the one of the advantages of being involved.”
McFadden is a big fan of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins as well as the Pittsburgh Penguins. She has had season tickets for the little Pens since the team’s inception in the late 1990s. She’s also an avid fan of the University of Notre Dame.
This will be the first time McFadden is part of something like this, she said.
“I always like to participate in things like this with the community,” she said. “Being there with my family is the most important thing — all the parties and everything.”
McFadden is the third grand marshal of the event. The late Paul F. Leonard, a local funeral director and past Man of the Year of the Greater Pittston Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, was posthumously named grand marshal of the parade in 2014. In 2015, lifelong Pittston resident James A. Rooney was named grand marshal.
Prior to 2014, the city hasn’t had a parade in nearly a half century. In the past, McFadden has participated in the Tomato Festival Parade and the St. Patrick’s Parade. Her first time as the grand marshal will be memorable, she said.
“If you’re around long enough you’ll get to do everything,” McFadden said.
First ever Leprechaun Loop
New to this year’s festivities is the first ever Leprechaun Loop. The loop will be held prior to the parade at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 5. The 1-mile walk/run will feature a costume contest, along with trophies to the top finishers.
Race-day registration and the race will be held at the Greater Pittston YMCA on Main Street. Interested participants can register online at www.runsignup.com/leprechaunloop or visit www.facebook.com/pittstonstpatsparade.
A portion the race’s proceeds will be donated to the Care and Concern Free Health Clinic of St. John the Evangelist Parish. The run begins just north of William and Main streets, and ends at the Joyce Lot on Main Street. For more information about the race, contact Tiffany Ferrentino at 570-237-7345.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick