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Our precious mother, Helen B. Petruska, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by her sons and grandson, on Sunday June 12, 2022. Mom was born on Easter Sunday, April 16, 1933 in Franklin Borough. She was the daughter of the late John and Mary (Chudy) Rykala and the youngest and last surviving member of her immediate family. She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Joseph J. Petruska Sr.; her sisters, Bernice Solomon and Sophie Kobal and brothers; Edward, Stanley, and Walter Rykala. She is survived by sons Joseph, Jr., Jeffrey and John Petruska and her grandson Joshua; all of whom she loved and adored. She devoted her life to her family and was an exceptional and dedicated wife, mother, and baba. She was a lifelong member of Assumption BVM Church in East Conemaugh, where she attended Catholic school. She graduated from Franklin High School in 1952. Mom worked hard all her life. While attending high school, she worked underage as a waitress at the Franklin Lunch to help her parents. After graduating from high school, she worked at Glosser Bros. downtown in the ladies’ department and later at the Harris-Boyer Bakery. After her marriage, she was a stay-at-home mom, for several years. Once, all her children started school, she went back to work. This time in the cafeterias at all 4 schools in the Conemaugh Valley School District, this enabled her to work and still be back home before her children would return from school. Mom was very outgoing and made friends easily. She belonged to many groups and organizations, including the Ladies Auxiliaries of both the Franklin Borough Fire Dept. and Sgt. Michael Strank Post 5107 VFW, she was the Den Mother of Franklin Boro. Cub Scout Troop and was a Home Room mother at Conemaugh Valley Elementary to name only a few. She was very active in penny cake socials and calendar parties for many groups. Mom loved sports and the outdoors. She bowled for many years in a duckpin league in East Conemaugh and pitched horseshoes in a league at the White Eagles in Franklin Boro. Mom and Dad went Polka Dancing every Saturday night (no matter what the weather) from Nanty-Glo to Latrobe. She and Dad also loved to go fishing, taking walks and hiking through the woods together and with her sons and grandson. Mom had a green thumb and kept a beautiful garden around the house. She enjoyed making crafts, playing card games at home with her family, going to garage sales and flea markets and just spending time and enjoying herself with her family. Mom is now happily reunited with Dad. Rest in Peace, Mom. We LOVE you both!
At her family’s request, there will be no public viewing or service. Private burial will be Assumption Cemetery. The family is being served by the Baker-Harris Funeral Chapel, 229-231 First Street, Conemaugh. Online condolences may be posted to www.wharrisfuneralhome.com.
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