Cover photo for Loretto Sharkey's Obituary
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1930 Lolly 2024

Loretto Sharkey

December 29, 1930 — February 14, 2024

Mount Airy

Loretto (Lolly) Molony Sharkey went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, February 14, 2024.  She died peacefully at the age of 93, in Mount Airy, Maryland, surrounded by family.  Born December 29, 1930 in Covington, Kentucky, Lolly was the third of eight children born to Alfred and Helen (née Armstrong) Molony.  

Lolly grew up in her beloved Norwood neighborhood and graduated from Regina High School in 1948.  She was a precocious student – as evidenced by being selected for a prestigious Westinghouse Science Talent Search award (the science part continues to amaze/confuse her children).  Lolly then attended Good Samaritan College of Nursing with her best friend, Dorothy (née Sharkey) Rolfes, who played matchmaker and introduced Lolly to John Edward (Jack) Sharkey (Dorothy’s older brother).  After a brief courtship, Lolly left her nursing career, married Jack in 1950 and together they began building their loving (and eventually large) family.  

The family grew and moved with alarming regularity as Jack’s career progressed, first with GE, then NASA and finally NIH.  Lolly and Jack were blessed with seven children born in Covington and Cincinnati; another three in Huntsville, Alabama; and the last two in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, for a total of 12 children in under 18 years!  Eight months after their last baby was born, Lolly and Jack moved the family of 14 to the Walnut Hill neighborhood in Gaithersburg, Maryland, where Lolly remained until 2017.  

In 1973, at the young age of 52, Jack died suddenly, leaving 42-year-old Lolly to raise the 10 children then at home.  By God’s grace and Lolly’s grit, she successfully guided them all as they left home, married and started their own beautiful families.  During this time Lolly assumed her new persona – the “Rambling Rose” / “Wandering Lolly” - who could be seen walking Route 355 to daily Mass, to the grocery store and/or consignment shop, to visit the sick and those in need.  She continued her wandering ways when her children had their own children, becoming a professional grandmother who ministered to her 12 children, their spouses, 36 grandchildren and 41 great-grandchildren, visiting each in her or his time of need.  She gladly welcomed back home her children and grandchildren in times of transition, and (to the consternation of many) provided shelter to strangers.  In 2017 when living alone in a 5-bedroom house no longer made sense, Ellyn and her husband, Eddy Stubbings, graciously invited Lolly to live with them in Mount Airy until the Lord called her home.  

Lolly was a devout Catholic, a prodigious prayer (praying daily for each of her 12 kids), a voracious reader, a PBS viewer and a music lover (especially classical).  She enjoyed warm tea and long talks, never lost an argument, was always kind, gentle, thoughtful and generous to a fault.  She was a lover of books, babies, troubled souls, all things spiritual and the Lord Jesus Christ.  She was inclined to give very personal (if not quirky) gifts.  Lolly used words to build up and encourage, never to tear down.  She was never heard to speak ill of anyone, or gossip or complain.  Lolly was, in so many ways, “child-like”, (i) finding her life’s calling in caring for/loving children, (ii) knowing no bitterness, envy, greed, or pride and (iii) having a child’s faith in God the Father and Jesus the Son.  She will be remembered for a life of sacrificial loving.  It is no coincidence she died on Valentine’s Day - the day of extravagant love.


Lolly’s siblings Jack, Joann, Eileen and Matt preceded her in answering God’s calling. In addition to her siblings Frank, Chris and Bill, Lolly is survived by:



Molly (Moira) Sharkey & Jim Giammo; Anne Sharkey Wolfe & Harry Wolfe; John Patrick & Judy Robertson Sharkey; Jeffry (Jeff) Molony Sharkey & Susan Lee Sharkey (née Coyle); Stephen (Steve) Sharkey & Caroline Mandy Sharkey (w); Brian & Shirley Anne Sharkey (née Leyda); Mary & Thomas Vineer; Eileen & William Teague; Patrick Molony Sharkey and Joanne Mae Sharkey (née Bookwalter); Tyrone & Jackie Morgan Sharkey; Christopher Molony Sharkey; Ellyn Marie Sharkey and Eddy Stubbings.


Michael Giammo & Alison Sandler; Maxine S. & Geoff; Antonia S. & Michael; Frank S. Giammo; Diane Wamaling Straiter & Matt Straiter: Mario C.S. Robertson & Sherry Jay Robertson; Jennifer Sharkey; Erin Sharkey: Kathleen (Katie) Sharkey Czarny and Matthew (Matt) Czarny (h); Joanna (Joey) Sharkey; John (Jack) Sharkey; Caroline (Carrie) Sharkey & Samuel (Sam) Kerns (h); Christopher (Chris) Sharkey; Jacqueline Hesker (Sharkey) & Rob Hesker; Brian Sharkey & Megan Sharkey; William Sharkey & Nooreen Dabbish; Allison Sharkey & Juan Rodriguez; Matthew Sharkey & Michelle Sharkey; Thomas Vineer; Colleen Vineer & Andy Murry; Elaine Vineer; Samuel & Ashley Teague; Erin & Michael Wagner; Jessica and Michael Matteson; Maria and Russ Christian Humke; Melody and Mike Barnett; William Teague & Kathryn Bocchino Teague; Moira Teague; Darrin & April Showalter; Curtis Andrew Sharkey & Brittany Sharkey (née McCallum); Traci Lynn Zobrisky Née (Sharkey) & Chad Zobrisky; Kelly Marie Sharkey engaged to Brian White; Joseph Edward Sharkey & Jordyn Sharkey; John Patrick Sharkey; Liam Finn Sharkey; and, Aiden Martin Sharkey.


Natalie; Lucas; Orion; Leo; Wolf; Zelda; Ania; Simone; Ty; Riley J. S. Robertson; James (Jamie) Czarny; Abigail (Abby) Czarny; William (Will) Czarny; Caroline (Charlie) Kerns; Theodore (Teddy) Kerns; Finley Hersker; Felix Hersker; Cecilia Sharkey; Wesley Sharkey; Alaya Sharkey; Leyda Rodriguez; Cora Rodriguez; Nicolas Sharkey; Nolan Teague; Whitney Wagner; Margot Matteson; Clara Matteson; William Stone Humke; Declan McCabe; Gemma Barnett; Genevieve Barnett; Sadie Showalter; Abigail & Tori Showalter; Callum Sharkey; Rollen Sharkey; Elledi Sharkey; Collin Zobrisky; Keira Zobrisky; Drew Brickey; Conor Sharkey; and, Max Sharkey.

Links for livestreaming:,1,vQjeDYMlZj5FxCmEh_Psc31M-vjFBpjE4XTtn-5AGb35pRQCvtEbWaoHDVgmC-izbbdxSe8gR_CIF8tml41kpcwUV6UmnMP37dCyliHsgG57WfZvR_uYifTc8A,,&typo=1

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, February 20, 2024

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Stauffer Funeral Home-Mt. Airy

8 E Ridgeville Boulevard, Mt. Airy, MD 21771

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Wednesday, February 21, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

St. Michael Poplar Springs Catholic Church

1125 St Michaels Rd, Mount Airy, MD 21771

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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

1:00 - 1:30 pm (Eastern time)

St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church

11701 Clopper Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20878

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Reception in Woodlands Room

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

1:30 - 3:30 pm (Eastern time)

St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church

11701 Clopper Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20878

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