Stephen E. Sokach, 71, of West Pittston rose into the Kingdom of God with Jesus on Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013, surrounded by his loving family.
Born in Exeter, he was the son of the late John and Anna Klem Sokach. He was a 1959 graduate of Exeter High School and Wilkes-Barre Business College.
He was employed for 52 years by Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. as a multi-award winning sales representative.
He spent his life serving others at work, in his church and his community. He held multiple offices over 40 years of volunteer service with the Exeter Lions Club and was the Guiding Lion for the establishment of the West Pittston Lions Club. He was a founding member of the Wyoming Area Booster Club, served as president of the Wyoming Area School Board, served as an Exeter Borough auxiliary police officer
, vice chair of Exeter Borough Civil Defense and was auditor of West Pittston Borough. An avid golfer, Steve was also a member of Fox Hill Country Club.
A man of great faith, Steve served the parish community of Corpus Christi, first as a lector, then as a Eucharistic minister for over three decades. Caring for others was central in Steve's life and he would regularly deliver communion to shut-ins. A member of the Holy Name Society, he chaired many different activities for the annual Fall Bazaar at Immaculate Conception Church. But more than that, he instilled a great faith in his children and precious grandchildren.
He lost his father at age 19, and helped his mother raise his sisters, when he met the Love of his Life, Judith Scripkunas Sokach. They married in 1964 and would have celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary on May 2. The love and devotion they have for each other serves as a model for all couples who know them. Together, they started with nothing, but gave everything to their two children, Stephen John and Mary Elizabeth.
As patriach of the family, Steve instilled a great respect for tradition, a faith-based life and selfless love and devotion. Not a day passed that he didn't express his love to all those close to him, especially his wife, Judy.
His son, Stephen John Sokach, married Jeriann Katany Sokach and gave him three beautiful granddaughters, Carly Elizabeth, Stephanie Ann and Alexis Ann.
His daughter, Mary Elizabeth Sokach, married Donnie Tristan Minnick and gave him three handsome grandsons, Tristan Jude, Stephen Andrew and Blaise Alexander.
Beloved "Papa" spent his days as counselor, playmate, taxi driver and biggest fan for all of his six grandchildren. Their lives have been enriched beyond measure because of his constant presence and dedication to their well-being and success. His spirit will live on forever and ever in the hearts of his grandchildren.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Joan, and his brother, Jack.
He is survived by his devoted wife, Judy. Together for 48 years, they conquered the world together. There was nothing they couldn't accomplish. They loved to spend Saturday nights, date night, eating at at their favorite restaurants. But the rest of the week was devoted to their children and grandchildren. Sunday was always "family day" and always started at church. He was proudest when he was surrounded by his whole family.
His heart remains with Judy forever.
He is also survived by his son, Stephen John, wife, Jeriann, and their children, Carly, Stephanie and Alexis; daughter, Dr. Mary Elizabeth, husband, Donnie, and their children, Tristan, Stephen and Blaise; sister, Mary Ann Smutko; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Friends may call from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at Howell-Lussi Funeral Home, 509 Wyoming Ave., West Pittston. Funeral services will be held at 9:30 a.m. Thursday from Howell-Lussi Funeral Home, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in Corpus Christi Parish, Immaculate Conception Church, 605 Luzerne Ave., West Pittston. Interment will be at Mount Olivet Cemetery, West Wyoming.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Exeter Lions Club or the West Pittston Library.