Pani Magdalene Blaschak

Pani Magdalene Blaschak, aged 86 of Hermitage, went to be with The Lord on Sunday, May 20 at 10:17 a.m., after suffering a devastating few months living with Alzheimer’s Dementia.

Born in Conemaugh, PA on December 19, 1931, Magdalene was close to her eight siblings, many friends, and most especially her parents, John and Mary Kocemba Kuzmiak. Having attended church at Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Johnstown, Magdalene received her First Holy Communion at the age of seven. Little did this adorable brunette know at the time that the cute blonde boy in her communion class would one day become her spouse of 58 1/2 years. Always at her husband’s side, she served as Pani – the title given to priests’ wives in the Carpatho-Russian Church – at parishes in Washington, D.C., and throughout Pennsylvanian towns of McKeesport, Landsford, Hawk Run, and Penn State University. A woman of devout faith, she exemplified what it truly means to be a Christian.

She is survived by her loving husband, the Very Reverend Thomas Blaschak, and their children: T. Matthew (Cindy) Blaschak of Greenville, PA; Nadine (Kevin) Blaschak-Brown of Vallejo, CA, Natalie (Phillip) Walker of Thorton, CO; and Nancy Blaschak of High Point, NC. Magdalene is also survived by six grandchildren: Allyson, Tyler (Tara), and Garrett Blaschak; Kyra and Colin Brown; and Sophia Walker.  Her brothers George Kuzmiak of Conemaugh, Steve (Joanne)Kuzmiak of Lutz, FL, and sister, Julia Matolak of Johnstown, PA, along with several nephews, nieces, and their families survive her.

Besides her parents Magdalene was preceded in death by her brother Paul Kuzmiak and 4 sisters, Mary Wuckovich, Margaret Fausey, Kay Sayko and Martha Kmetz.

Magdalene took great joy in being with her children and grandchildren. Her cheers were heard over others at every sporting event and into the telephone when talking with her grandchildren afar. Magdalene is cherished by family, friends, and her wonderful church family at St. John’s Orthodox Church. All will fondly remember and greatly miss her humble and devout faith, sweet smile, kind personality, generous heart, and her superb pirohi pinching and Russian tea cookie baking abilities…legacies and traditions she passed down to her children and grandchildren.

The viewing will take place at St. John’s Orthodox Church, 3180 Morefield Road at Route 18 in Hermitage on Wednesday, May 23 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. The Panachida will take place at the church at 6:00 PM. The Funeral Service will take place at St. John’s on Thursday, May 24 at 11:00 AM. Interment will follow in St. Johns Orthodox Cemetery. All are welcome to share in Magdalene’s Carpatho-Russian spiritual journey Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Magdalene’s name to Camp Nazareth, 339 Pew Road, Mercer, PA 16137 and Christ the Saviour Cathedral, 300 Garfield Street, Johnstown, Pa 15906.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Tomon Funeral & Cremation Services.


Rev. Mark Tyson

2018-05-22 12:46:11

I had the privilege to visit Pani Magdalene during our recent Clergy Conference at Camp Nazareth. My uncle happened to be in the same care facility and so I visited both of them.
I found Pani Magdalene to be alert, with very bright eyes and a cheerful demeanor. She responded clearly and warmly to my: “Christos Voskres!”
We chatted and then prayed together. I was blessed to be able to anoint her with the myrrh from the Kardiotissa icon which was with us at the Camp church.
I came away from our visits prayerfully renewed by her faith and joy.
I am sorry to be unable to attend her funeral services but have already served a panachida for her at mine and I will offer a parastas on her 40th Day.
She will be commemorated in the proskomedia always.
I wish her husband, Fr. Thomas, and her children the consolation that only God can give and the fervent prayer that the Lord May reunite them all in the brightness and joy of His Kingdom!
With love and respect in Christ,
Fr. Mark Tyson

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