Monica M. Maley was a good listener to friends and relatives who counted on her for advice.

She enjoyed life and loved to travel, hold card parties, and entertain.

Ms. Maley had a wide circle of friends. Still, she valued her independence.

“She was very loyal to her friends and family, but she was a straight shooter, and you knew where you stood with her,” said sister-in-law Loretta Maley.

“She established boundaries long before I ever heard the term."

Ms. Maley, 74, of Rehoboth Beach, Del., a retired program analyst for the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, died Tuesday, April 7, from COVID-19 at Beebe Hospital in Lewes, Del.

She grew up in coal country in central Pennsylvania, and lived in Newtown Square and Exton while working in Chester County. Earlier, she worked in Northumberland County, near her hometown.

Ms. Maley was born to John and Sara Monica Higgins Maley of Mount Carmel. She had two older brothers. After Mount Carmel Catholic High School, she graduated from Immaculata University.

Ms. Malley’s laugh was described as “absolutely joyful.”

She never married or had children, and treasured her nieces and nephews.

“She was a wonderful role model of an independent woman for them," Loretta Maley said.

She loved animals, had dogs and cats, and rode horses. “She thoroughly enjoyed life,” Maley said. “That laugh she had when she was having a good time was absolutely joyful.

“She had the tightest group of first cousins, and she is really going to be missed."

In January, Ms. Maley had heart surgery in Philadelphia and recuperated at a rehabilitation center in the area for more than two months.

She was excited to move back to her Delaware home on March 25.

But she collapsed on March 30, was hospitalized, and was diagnosed with the coronavirus on April 3.

In addition to her sister-in-law, Ms. Maley is survived by other family and friends.

Services and interment will be held at a later date.

Valerie Russ