Matushka Barbara (Gurka) Pavelchak

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January 6, 2012

Matushka Barbara Gurka Pavelchak, 75, of Latham, died Friday, January 6, 2012 at the Terrace Glen Eddy, Niskayuna, N.Y., embraced by her loving family. Born in Wilkes-Barre, she was the daughter of the late John and Pauline Kosko Gurka and the beloved wife of Very Reverend Archpriest Daniel Pavelchak. Matushka was educated in Plains, and came to the Capital District in 1971. She graduated from Hudson Valley Community College and received her associate's degree in medical records. She enjoyed a long and fulfilling career employed as the manager of medical records with the Hospital Association NYS in Albany and retired in 1999. Matushka was very active in the St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church's community in Cohoes, N.Y., where she was a member of the R Club. She was their choir director and also St Basil's RO Church's youth choir director. Matushka had a lifelong love of music and was an accomplished piano player. She was a fantastic cook and also enjoyed singing and traveling, but her true enjoyment came from the endless love of her family. She was devoted and dedicated to them and was the center of the whole family. Matushka was an ardent and relentless advocate for the Humane Society's mission of assisting animals in need. She was predeceased by her brother Theodore Gurka. In addition to her husband she is survived by her loving children, Charissa (Benton) Prentice of Westport, Mass.; Michael (Sharon) Pavelchak of Wilton; Nicholas (Joyce ) Pavelchak of Altamont; adored grandchildren, Kyra, Jeremy, Zachariah and Alexandra; sister, Mary (Dominick) DeBenedetto of Washington, N.J.; brother John (Elizabeth) Gurka of Wilkes-Barre, and several nieces and nephews. A funeral service will be held in St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Cohoes, on Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. with Bishop Michael Dahulich, celebrant. Interment will be in St. Nicholas RO Cemetery, Boght Corners. Relatives and friends are invited and may call at St. Nicholas RO Church, Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m.. A Parastas Service will be held at 7 p.m. in the church. Those wishing to remember Matushka in a special way may make contributions in her memory to St. Nicholas RO Church, 67 Saratoga St., Cohoes, NY 12047 or to the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, 3 Oakland Ave, Menands, NY 12204. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Fitzgerald Funeral Home Ltd., 105 Vliet Blvd., Cohoes, NY 12047.

Published in Times Leader on Jan. 9, 2012
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