Mary B. Zakutney, 101, of Herminie, passed away peacefully Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021, at her daughter Mary Ann's home. She was born Sept. 19, 1919, in Herminie, a daughter of the late Alexander and Anna (Maroscovich) Belak. In addition to her parents, Mary was preceded in death by her beloved husband, John Zakutney, in 1998; four brothers, Charles, Michael, Alexander and George Belak; four sisters, Julie Defenderfer, Sophie Nocera, Nancy Eresh and infant, Anne Belak. Mary was the third oldest girl in a family of 15 to Ukrainian immigrants. She had many jobs in her younger years, learned to be a tailor and seamstress, caring for families in Squirrel Hill. She spent most of her spare time helping her mother raise 14 children. She went to work assembling bombs at munitions plant in McKeesport. After serving as secretary-treasurer for Sewickley Township for many years, then Mary became the first woman in the state of Pennsylvania to be elected as township supervisor, in 1957. In recognition of being Sewickley Townships first female supervisor and turning 100, they declared Sept. 19, 2019, "her birthday" as Mary Zakutney Day. She had also fought for equal pay for women and got it in 1957. Mary paved the way for women in elected office and made significant contributions to her community. She was an active member of St. Mary's Byzantine Catholic Church in Herminie. She was dedicated to her church and was involved in all aspects of the church her entire life. She loved gardening, cooking and baking Russian food, but most of all she enjoyed being a host for family gatherings throughout the years, sharing her secret recipes with family and friends. She was truly the matriarch of the family. In memory of Mary do what she loved "Be Honest. Be Kind. Don't hurt anybody else, they won't hurt you." Mary is survived by her two daughters, Dr. Mary Ann Zakutney, of Irwin, and Catherine Zakutney, of Texas; her son, John Paul "Butch" Zakutney, of Irwin; seven special grandchildren, Sarah Clifford (William) Allison, Shelly (Stephen) Welchner, Paul Zakutney, Jennifer (Richard) Drapeau, Timothy (Lise) Zakutney, Anne (Robert) Smith and Tiffany Smith; eight special great-grandchildren, Gabrielle, Sofie, Alexandra, Sam, Sydney, Ben, Evan and Lauren; a brother, John Belak, of Texas; five sisters, Anne Olesh, of Irwin, Catherine Monstrola, of Jeannette, Alice Belak, of Greensburg, Evelyn Curry, of New Jersey, and Patricia Slifkey, of Jeannette; and numerous nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews whom loved her dearly. The family wishes a special thank you to all her wonderful caregivers throughout these past years. Mary's many stories, her love for her family and community will forever be remembered, she will be dearly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing her. Friends will be received from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday at the JOSEPH W. NICKELS FUNERAL HOME INC., 404 Sewickley Ave., Herminie, PA 15637, 724-446-7251. A Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday in St. Mary's Byzantine Church, Herminie, with Father Michael Huszti as celebrant. Interment will follow in Westmoreland County Memorial Park, Hempfield Township. Parastas service will be held at 7 p.m. Friday evening in the funeral home. Panachida service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in the funeral home. Please be prepared to adhere to all the current CDC guidelines, including face masks and social distancing, in the funeral home and in church. Funeral home occupancy will be limited to 25 people at a time. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Mary's Byzantine Church, 5 Second St., Herminie, PA 15637, in memory of Mary. To send online condolences, please visit www.nickelsfuneralhomeinc.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary B. (Belak) Zakutney, please visit our floral store.
St. Mary's Byzantine Church
5 Second Street, Herminie PA 15637