Obituary of Mary Helen Mikitish
Mary Helen Mikitish
June 2, 1932-September 15, 2023
Mary was born in Pittston, Pennsylvania to Michael and Anna Bonchonsky, and was the eldest girl in her family of nine children. She was an exceptional student and loved skating, sledding, dancing, softball, and singing in the church choir. After her mother passed away, Mary helped care for her youngest two siblings, Irene and Tom. After completing high school and a business trade school, she worked at night as a telephone operator while still caring for the family during the day.
She married Stephen (Steve) Mikitish, her friend Marion’s older brother, on June 15, 1957. Mary and Steve began their family life in Arlington, Virginia with the birth of Sandra and Stephen Jr. Steve’s military service took them to Chateauroux, France where they celebrated the arrival of Michael and Monica. Their next tour was in Panama City, Florida where they welcomed their fifth child Joseph. Upon Steve’s retirement from the Air Force in 1967, the family moved to Tucson and their forever home.
In 1975, Mary and Steve along with four other dedicated families began and established St. Melany’s Byzantine Catholic Church. Mary’s endless contributions to growing the church included making icons, organizing and promoting fundraising polka dances, cooking for numerous church dinners, and selling countless raffle tickets.
In addition to raising her family and the church obligations, Mary also dedicated her time to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Her son Joseph received many essential services and medical equipment from the MDA. Mary also served as a parent chaperone for various of her children’s functions and activities.
Mary was devoted to her husband, her family, and her faith. She passed her strength, work ethic, and love of God to those around her. She made a home, started a church, and volunteered for those in need. Her strength carried her through her husband’s final journey with dementia in 2007, and her own 13-year battle with multiple myeloma. In the end, she was at home with family by her side as she wished. Mary is survived by her youngest two siblings, five children and more than 20 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She will be missed, remembered, and always loved by those who knew her!
In lieu of flowers, Mary requested donations to St. Melany's Byzantine Catholic Church.To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Mary Mikitish, please visit our Tree Store