Cover photo for Rita Kilgallon Conlon's Obituary
Rita Kilgallon Conlon Profile Photo
1931 Rita 2023

Rita Kilgallon Conlon

April 20, 1931 — October 26, 2023

Rita Kilgallon Conlon, 92, of Shavertown, passed away Thursday, October 26, 2023.

Born April 20, 1931, in Washington, DC, she was a daughter of the late Veronica Titus and Joe Kilgalllon and niece of the late Carmelita Regan of Wilkes-Barre. Rita came to live with her Aunt Carm in 1946 and attended Wyoming Seminary Upper School, graduating in 1949. She loved attending high school in the Valley, participated in myriad extracurricular activities, and modeled clothes for her aunt's Kay Regan Shop after school.

After Sem, she matriculated at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, the Bronx, and graduated in 1953. She loved her years at "The Mount" and enjoyed a close group of friends she maintained all her life. After graduation, she worked in New York City and enjoyed New York in its golden era.

Rita was married to her Seminary sweetheart Clark Conlon in 1956. She taught at the Day School of Wyoming Seminary and then in Washington, DC, while her husband Clark attended law school. While teaching in an elementary school in College Park, Rita welcomed into her classroom the first integrated African-American student in the State of Maryland. Later that week, she met then-Senator John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, during a campaign stop at a local restaurant.

Rita and Clark moved to Huntsville, Alabama, with IBM Corporation during the space era and adapted nicely to Southern life. She finished raising her family in Bethesda, Maryland before IBM relocated her and Clark on an overseas assignment to Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, Rita tutored local high school students to prepare them for the US School system. She traveled extensively in Asia and immensely enjoyed that exciting chapter of her life.

Upon returning to the US, she spent four years in Stamford, Connecticut, before returning to the Wyoming Valley in 1996. She was a member of the Junior League of Wilkes-Barre, the Westmoreland Club, and the Huntsville Golf Club.

Rita was known as a very social person. She enjoyed playing bridge, movies, and all parties.

Her husband, younger sister Patsy Knaggs, and son-in-law Steve Disney preceded her in death.

Rita's daughters Cathleen Conlon Disney and Lael Conlon Kiesling and her husband, Gordon; grandchildren Clark Disney and partner Jill Seidman in Chicago, Illinois; Christine Disney Velarde and her husband R. Chase Velarde, Denver, Colorado; and Lt. Gordon Stewart Kiesling Jr., Jacksonville, Florida, and Conlon W. Kiesling and Caroline Lael Kiesling, New York City; nieces, nephews, and other family members will miss her very much.

Celebration of Rita's Life begins Thursday, November 9, 2023, with visitation from 5 to 7 PM at McLaughlin's, 142 South Washington Street in Wilkes-Barre. It continues on Friday, November 10, 2023, with a Funeral Mass at 10 AM in the Church of Saint Therese in Shavertown. Burial in Saint Mary's Cemetery will follow.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, November 9, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Mass

Friday, November 10, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

Church of Saint Therese (Shavertown)

64 Davis Street, Shavertown, PA 18708

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