Mary Ann (Kobik) Englert, 83, of Elizabeth, PA, died January 1st, 2021. Born February 10th, 1937 in McKeesport, she was daughter of the late Nicholas and Helen (Butkovsky) Kobik, and wife of the late Chester Englert.
After graduating with honors from St. Peter’s High School, Mary Ann worked for years at the Westinghouse Bettis Atomic Plant as a secretary, supporting senior research scientists. With the birth of her children, she devoted herself to nurturing her home, family, and church.
Mary Ann was a member of Mary, Mother of God Parish and attended Corpus Christi Church, formerly St. Mary's Czestochowa Church, where she applied her craft, organizational, and people skills to lead the Confraternity of Christian Mothers as President for multiple terms. With her team of husband Chester, sister Dolores, brother-in-law Ray, and talented members, Mary Ann conceived of and produced some of the organization’s most memorable events to raise funds for the church, including: Hawaiian Luau, with hundreds of handmade leis and favors; Christmas Eve Wigilias, celebrating Polish culture and food; fashion shows; and a monumental celebration of world cultures based on Disney’s “It’s a Small World.”
Mary Ann took on other major creative projects at the church with verve, historic research, and quiet fearlessness, including the complete recreation of the beautiful namesake icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, sewing thousands of beads and symbolic embellishments by hand on the velvet cape of the Blessed Mother. She collaborated with her husband, who hand carved the formwork, and the team of Dolores and Ray Szpanka. As a testament to the work’s professional level of craft, the Italian artisan who framed the intricate piece wished to hire Mary Ann to work on similar commissions.
Throughout her life, Mary Ann applied her training in business skills, interior design, sewing, and ethnic crafts to projects for her family, her home, at the church, and in the community. She was an excellent cook and baker, a legacy from her mother Helen. She nurtured beautiful gardens, rescued cats, and loved the birds, squirrels, and deer that came to feed at their home. Mary Ann travelled with her family to sites across the USA including Hawaii, Texas, California, New Orleans, NYC, New Jersey, Chicago, Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada. She loved learning, and embraced computers and Zoom-ing with her kids when the pandemic hit.
Mary Ann was devout in her Catholic faith. She was a Lay Carmelite, having professed after intense study and formation. She maintained daily devotionals, loved saying the rosary, and did deep study of religious texts and writings.
She was a kind, loving friend, with a great sense of humor, and many friends from church and the neighborhood. Mary Ann was always ready to lend a hand, and she devoted herself with creative energy in later life as primary caregiver for her husband Chester through several illnesses and surgeries. She was all-in with support for her children’s education and extra-curricular activities--sports, dance, science fairs, music training, Saturday Tam O'Shanter art classes at Carnegie Museum, and so many others.
Mary Ann is survived by her children, Susan Englert of Pittsburgh, and Paul Englert of Morris Plains, NJ; sister, Dolores Szpanka of Mount Vernon; nieces and nephews.
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Memorial services will be staged only virtually through Gilbert Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., 1638 Lincoln Way, White Oak (412) 672-6322.
VIGIL will be held Tuesday January 5 from 4-6pm via Zoom only; Rosary, prayers, viewing, and shared stories.
MASS of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, January 6 at 10am at Mary, Mother of God Parish, Corpus Christi Worship Site via Zoom only;
Please contact the family BY 1PM ON TUESDAY to receive the private link to the Zoom sessions on Tuesday and/or Wednesday on your smartphone or computer. They will be recorded for later viewing.
Call the family home at the number you’ve used in the past.
Condolences and memories may be shared at Gilbertfuneralhomeandcrematory.com
Originally published January 04, 2021.