Mary Veronica Koval “Meba” passed away peacefully on December 28, 2021, in Hilton Head Hospital surrounded by her family. “Meba” was a nickname given to her by her first grandchild. She was 93.
Meba, the eldest of five children, was born June 27, 1928, in Elizabeth, NJ to her parents, Bernard J. and Catherine F. Giesler. She received her RN degree in 1949 from the Elizabeth General Hospital. When she was head nurse of a surgical unit there, she was approached by a co-worker (Helen Koval) to go on a blind date with Helen’s brother. The co-worker soon became her sister-in-law when she married the love of her life, John J. Koval on September 10, 1955. They lived in Carteret, NJ for 36 years.
Meba left nursing in 1956 to become a full-time mother. John was Senior Vice President of Amerada Hess Corporation and retired in 1986. In 1991, they moved to West Windsor, NJ to be an active presence in their grandchildren’s lives taking care of them and supporting all of their endeavors. Eventually, they moved to Monroe, NJ. John passed in 2011 and Meba relocated to HHI with her daughters in June 2021.
Though small in stature, Meba was a strong, caring, loving matriarch of the family. She was always supportive of her children and grandchildren encouraging them to reach their full potential. She was very generous with her time and always reminded us how much she loved us. Her favorite activities were attending her grandchildren’s sporting events and cheering on their teams.
Mary Koval is survived by her daughters, Maryanne and Linda Koval of HHI, Karen Dontas, and her husband Pete, of Spring Lake, NJ; a dear family friend, Gail Sitvarin; her sister and brother, Catherine F. Giesler and Bernard J. Giesler; and three grandchildren, Stephanie Doyle, and her husband Virgil, Elizabeth Koval and Ryan Dontas. She is preceded in death by her husband, John, and her sisters Bernadette Skeans and Dorothy Mullady.
Meba will have a private ceremony on December 31 at Island Funeral Home & Crematory followed by a mass at St. Francis By the Sea Roman Catholic Church. A memorial service and entombment will take place in NJ this spring. In lieu of flowers, please donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital www.stjude.org/give