Merry Kay Hungate, 71, of South Waverly, Pennsylvania, passed away on April 30 with her family by her side after a long, courageous battle with cancer.
Merry was born on July 10, 1948, in Sayre, PA, the daughter of John and Margaret Nichols. She was a lifelong resident of the Valley area.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 39 years, Philip Hungate, as well as her parents, her brothers, John Nichols and Robert Nichols, her sister, Joyce Depew, and sister in law, Deborah Nichols.
She is survived by her children, Michele (Joe) Quatrini of Athens and Jessica Flynn of Sayre. She will be deeply missed by her grandchildren, Lucas, Meghan and Brady as well as her siblings, Karen (Trula Hollywood) Nichols of Sayre, Margaret (Robert) Myers of Athens, Dennis Nichols of Sayre, Lorraine Nichols of Michigan and Nancy Nichols of Barton as well as many special nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Also surviving is her faithful furry companion, Peaches.
Merry’s family was her first love. She met her husband, Philip, while in nursing school in Philadelphia, and the two were married back in her hometown in 1973. They spent 39 years making memories before Philip passed away in 2013. They had two daughters, Michele and Jessica, and later three grandchildren (Lucas, Meghan, and Brady) who were Merry’s pride and joy. She loved spending time with her grandchildren, always volunteering to babysit, taking them to Sunday lunch, and spoiling them in any way she knew how. Merry’s siblings were her foundation and supports. With many great memories of family trips, old VHS tapes, and “stories of growing up”, they could laugh for hours. Every niece, nephew and cousin had their own unique bond with her. Family always came first for her and she loved all of them dearly.
If family was her first love, nursing was her second. Merry graduated from Athens High School in 1966 and went on to Nursing School in Germantown in Philadelphia. She moved back to the Valley and began what would be a lifelong career in nursing at the Robert Packer Hospital and Guthrie Clinic. Most of her career was spent in Orthopedics which was a passion for her. Through the years, she mentored many other nurses and took care of countless numbers of patients. Her care and compassion always shined through with her half smile and her gruff manner that hid her heart of gold. She made many friends along her journey that she always considered part of her family.
Merry loved to be outside, fishing, gardening, or just going for walks. She loved to read and also never stopped trying to “win big” at the casino. Merry faced challenges, up to and including her cancer diagnosis, with grace and a fighting spirit. She will be missed by all that knew her.
A private graveside service will be held at the convenience of the family and a Celebration of Merry’s life will be held at a later date. Contributions can be made in Merry’s memory to the Animal Care Sanctuary, Stray Haven or the Nancy Quatrini Cancer Fund.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the Thomas Cremation and Funeral Service, 1297 Elmira St., Sayre, Pa. Those wishing to leave a sympathy message for Merry’s family may do so at thomascremationfuneralservice.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Merry Kay Hungate, please visit our floral store.
Animal Care Sanctuary
353 Sanctuary Hill Rd., Ulster PA
Stray Haven Humane Society
194 Shepard Rd., Waverly NY 14892
Nancy Quatrini Cancer Fund