Mary Vorkapich Yanich, 102, of Steelton died July 25, 2019 at Homeland Center in Harrisburg, PA.
Mary was born in Midland, PA on October 27, 1916, the daughter of the late Petar and Pava Vorkapich. Mary was predeceased by her brothers Nicholas, Michael, George, Daniel and sister Mildred Devich. She was the widow of Benjamin Yanich. She is survived by her sons, Dr. Danilo Yanich of Delaware, Ted (Tosh) Yanich of New Cumberland; granddaughters, Tosha J Yanich of Washington state and Emily Yanich of Etters; great-grandchildren Braydon and Victoria Fithian of Etters; “special daughter” Rosemarie Paolinelli of Delaware; sister, Lillian Boyle of Midland; sister-in-law, Evelyn Yanich of Harrisburg; numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews, great-great nieces and nephews; and special godchildren, M. John Semic of Harrisburg and Stephanie DeMuro of Mechanicsburg.
Mary was a steward of St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church, a member the St. Nicholas Circle of Serbian Sisters, the St. Nicholas Seniors and a charter member of the St. Nicholas Mothers Club.
Mary grew up on the Vorkapich family farm near Midland, PA and regaled her nieces and nephews with stories of her farm chores and adventures. She moved to Steelton following her marriage to Ben and became a devoted St. Nicholas Church worshipper and valued church volunteer. She worked at the former Bowman’s Department Store while Ben served in WWII and eventually managed the convenience store she and Ben purchased on South Third Street in Steelton during the 1950s.
Whenever there was a St. Nicholas Church event, Mary was counted on to help make it a success - working energetically and cheerfully, usually in the kitchen, and taking periodic breaks to join in the folk dancing, especially when Zikino Kolo was played.
Mary was an avid baker whose Serbian “sweet bread” and cherry pita were unrivaled. The parties she and Ben hosted on the second day of Serbian Christmas were legend.
Mary cherished her sons, grandchildren and great-grandchildren unconditionally. She loved to banter with her nieces and nephews and inevitably had the final word. Aunt Mary was a riveting storyteller and a devoted Steel-High Roller and Penn State fan. As one family member said, “It has been a marvelous journey with this remarkable woman we love so much.”
The family is grateful for the care and compassion Mary received from the staff at Homeland Center where she was affectionately known as “Baba”, many of whom spoke to her the Serbian language that she taught them.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, July 30 at 11:00 am at St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church with Reverend Christopher Rocknage, her Pastor, officiating. Burial will be in Churchville Cemetery. A viewing will be held before the funeral service from 9:30 until 11:00 am in her church. Arrangements are being handled by Wiedeman Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Steelton.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church, 601 South Harrisburg St., Oberlin, Steelton, PA 17113.