1924 - 2015
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Age 91, of Church Hill, TN, died on Wednesday, October 7, 2015. She was born in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania where she resided until 1998. She was the wife of the late Edmund Richard Michalik; and is survived by one son, Dr. Richard E. (Susan) Michalik; three grandchildren, Jana, Nathan and Rachel Michalik of Church Hill; and several dear nieces and nephews in various areas of the country. Mrs. Michalik was well recognized in Pittsburgh for her participation in many civic and cultural organizations throughout her life, as well her life as a business education instructor, professional secretary and administrator. During the course of her life she served as a member and officer of the Women's Association, the Alumnae Council, and the Alumni Association of the University of Pittsburgh. In addition, she was Treasurer of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater Guild for 25 years, and of the International Ballet Council for four years. She served as Secretary of the Pittsburgh Chamber Opera Theater for five years. Martha also was a member of the Civic Light Opera Guild and the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh for many years. Her professional life was spent at the University of Pittsburgh where she served in many different positions over a 35 year period. She considered her greatest achievements during her tenure as Associate Director of Governmental Relations where she represented the University in Harrisburg during the period when the University became a state related institution and at the time the Pennsylvania High Education Assistance Agency Bill providing financial assistance to Pennsylvania college students was passed; and as the first Director of Special Events. As Director, she was largely responsible for planning and executing events such as the annual commencement, ground breaking ceremonies for new structures, and for general official entertainment involving community constituents. Martha's professional career took her into memberships in the National Secretaries Association where she was named International Secretary of the year in 1960. She served as Chief of Protocol of the American College Public Relations Association for several years; and as President from 1973 to 1975, of the Business and Professional Women's Golden Triangle Chapter. During her membership in various University of Pittsburgh organizations she was named an Outstanding Alumna in 1961 and was given the Distinguished Service award by the Alumnae Association in 1975. Mrs. Michalik was presented with an Honorable Mention Community Services Award in 1979, by her late husband's employer, PPG Industries Glass Research Laboratories. After moving to Tennessee, she continued to be active in civic organizations by serving as Treasurer of the Church Hill Community Chest, and as a member of the Board and Finance Chairman of the Friends of The Senior Center in Kingsport. As busy as her activities kept her, she still found time to be a member of the Friday Bridge Group at the Senior Center, to participate in the activities of the Crusaders of Crossroads United Methodist Church, to sing in the Silver Sounds Choir associated with the church and to be an active member of the Kingsport Women's Club. The family will receive friends on Monday at 10 a.m. in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the JEFFERSON MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME AND CEMETERY. Please visit to leave an online condolence for the family. HAMLETT - DOBSON FUNERAL HOMES, Kingsport is serving the family of Martha Besmark Michalik.

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Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Oct. 10 to Oct. 11, 2015.
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October 10, 2015
Richard, I am sorry to hear of your mother's passing. But she must have been an amazing woman, right up until the end. I remember visiting at your house on Cherry Street when we were little kids and meeting your mom and dad. My condolences to you and your family.
Alice Bergquist Hayden
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