Mary Helene Surace (Leo) Peko, 78, passed away peacefully at the Lackawanna Health Rehabilitation Center, Olyphant, Pa., Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013.
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Mary Helene was born May 22, 1935, in St. Joseph's Hospital, Carbondale, the first of two children of Charles A. Surace and Margaret C. Gallagher. She was preceded in death by both parents and by her half-brother, James Russell Armbruster.
She graduated from St. Rose High School, Carbondale, in 1953 with honors. For those who knew Mary Helene personally, you would already know that she was one of the most caring selfless, positive and happiest people some will ever meet. She received her Practical Nurse's License and dedicated her life to caring for others.
She married Paul Leo in 1953, later separated, and married Henry T. Peko, Throop, Pa. She is survived by two sons, Carl Leo, lieutenant commander, USN (Ret.); and Paul Leo, chief petty officer, USN (Ret.), Pensacola, Fla. She is also survived by her brother, Master Gunnery Sgt. Joseph P.C. Surace, USMC (Ret.), Meridian, Ind. She is also survived by a half-brother, Charles Arbruster Jr., Wilmington, Del.; and a half-sister, Margarella Armbruster, Delaware; and a nephew, Michael Surace, Binghamton, N.Y.
Funeral arrangements were made by John J. Turko & Sons Funeral Home, Dickson City, Pa. She was interred and a simple Christian service conducted in St. Anthony's Cemetery, Dickson City, Pa.
Published in Scranton Times on Nov. 14, 2013