GIRARD, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Mary L. Oleksa, 98, passed away peacefully, Wednesday evening, February 1, 2023, at the Inn at Poland Way after a long and fulfilling life.

Mary was born September 4, 1924, in Weathersfield, a daughter of the late Pal and Lyubo Markovich Pavesich.

Mary grew up in both Poland and McDonald and moved to Girard after her marriage. Mary also lived on military bases throughout the country, including Philadelphia, Norfolk, Virginia and Patuxent River, Maryland, until her husband’s retirement from the United States Navy in 1960.

She was a 1944 graduate of McDonald High School and dedicated her adult life to raising and caring for her family.

Mrs. Oleksa was a lifelong member of St. Rose Catholic Church.

She was a member of the Knights of Columbus Ladies Auxiliary in Girard and the Fraternal Order of Eagles 2172 Ladies Auxiliary. Mary was also a widowed member of the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor and a member of the Mahoning Valley Chapter of American Ex-PoWs

Mary enjoyed volunteering her time and while raising her children, she helped out in the school cafeteria at St. Rose School and also worked many church festivals throughout the years. She was also a longtime volunteer at the VA Clinic on Belmont Avenue in Youngstown.

Mary, even as her ailments progressed continued to drive her friends to appointments and other activities and continued to volunteer and socialize. She was a member of Weight Watchers and attended meetings for decades, never having to pay dues as she never gained a pound.

Mrs. Oleksa enjoyed listening and dancing to polkas, crafting and was a talented ceramics artist. She also enjoyed cooking and baking ethnic foods but mostly enjoyed the time she spent with her family.

Mary leaves to forever cherish her memory, her son, John P. (Judy) Oleksa of Boardman; her daughter, Darlene (Marty) Gamble of Girard; four grandchildren, John Paul Oleksa, Jr. and his wife, Marcie, of Austintown, Robbie Oleksa of Boardman, Stephen Gamble and Martin “M.J.” Gamble, both of Girard; four great-grandchildren, Kyle (Allison) Oleksa, Cameron Oleksa, Kaylee Oleksa and Elliott Oleksa; her sister, Barbara “Bebs” Sharbon of New Jersey and many extended family members and friends including Alexis, Holly Christine and Marissa.

Mary will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved her but is joyfully reunited with her mother, father, husband, daughter and yes, many beloved doggies.

Her husband of nearly 59 years, John “Yunko” Oleksa, whom she married May 18, 1946, passed away March 26, 2005. A daughter, Diane Oleksa and two brothers, John and Frank Pavesich, also preceded Mary in death.

Private family services were held on Monday, February 6, 2023 at Kinnick Funeral Home in Girard and she was laid to rest at Girard Liberty Union Cemetery next to her beloved husband, John and daughter, Diane.

In remembrance of Mary, please say a prayer for her and her family; smile and do a kind deed, for someone might just need your help.

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.

A television tribute will air Sunday, February 12 at the following approximate times: 6:27 p.m. on WYTV and 6:58 p.m. on MyYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.