NEW CASTLE, Pennsylvania (MyValleyTributes) – Helen “Ann” (Stack) Plonka, 90, of Hunters Woods, New Castle, passed away peacefully with her daughter, son and loved ones at her side, Thursday, September 1, 2022, at her new home that she shared with her daughter in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Ann had lived in Santa Fe for nearly a year and still enjoyed her favorite activities. She went to Mass every Sunday at St. Francis Cathedral, Santa Fe and also loved attending weekly yoga classes, drawing, going shopping and of course, keeping her beautiful red hair.
Ann was born December 23, 1931, in New Castle, a daughter of the late Philip and Grace (Price) Stack. A lifelong resident of New Castle, she graduated from New Castle High School in 1949.
Following graduation, she was employed by Bell Telephone of New Castle working as a switchboard operator. She was later transferred to the engineering department as a district clerk, where Ann was the editor of the first Bell Telephone Magazine, The Bell Train. In 1988, she was hired by the Lawrence County Courthouse where she worked as a switchboard operator and receptionist, retiring in 2004. She returned to work part-time as a prothonotary clerk in the court office until 2017.
A devout catholic, Ann was a member of Holy Spirit Parish of New Castle – St. Mary’s site, where she served with the Ladies Guild and Activities Committee. She also made pierogies for the annual church sale and Easter Fest and actively volunteered at all church festivals and fundraisers.
She served as President of the National Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi fraternity and was a member of P.I.E (People Interested in Education), working to brighten the circle of nepotism. Ann was also a member of the League of Women Voters.
An active community volunteer, her favorite project was working on the restoration of Cascade Park in New Castle, and helping to organize the first annual Irish Festival held at the park. She also volunteered for the Free Lunch Program feeding the summer school children.
Ann is survived by a daughter, Rita “Janine” Plonka Stern and her partner, Daniel Adams, of Galisteo, New Mexico; a son, Brian Louis Plonka and his wife, Kathy Butcha Plonka and their son, Jordan Louis Plonka, all of Hauser Lake Post Falls, Idaho.
Ann was preceded in death by her husband, Louis John Plonka, on August 21, 2014; a sister, Jean Stack; a brother, Philip “Pete” Stack and his wife, Delores (Houk) Stack; four aunts, Ethel (Price) Ludwig, Mary Price, Helen Price and Emily Price and grandparents, Emily Price and John Albert Price.
Ann will be dearly missed by all who knew her.
The family would like to thank Compassus Hospice for their exceptional kindness and care.
Calling hours will be 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Friday, September 16 in J. Bradley McGonigle Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., 111 W. Falls Street, New Castle.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 9:00 a.m. Saturday, September 17 in Holy Spirit Parish – St. Mary’s Church, 124 N. Beaver Street, New Castle, with Rev. Ben Barr, as celebrant.
Interment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Union Township.
A television tribute will air Sunday, September 11 at the following approximate times: 8:58 a.m. on WKBN and 7:58 p.m. on FOX.