Helen Hopey

Helen Hopey (Kunsak)

Tuesday, May 6th, 1924 - Wednesday, April 7th, 2021
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Helen Kunsak Hopey

On Apr. 7, one month shy of her 97th birthday -- the only thing she’s ever been shy of in her life.

Born May 6, 1924 in Manchester, grew up in Woods Run, longtime resident of Ingram and Crafton, then, later in life, Moon, Coraopolis, Bellevue, Vanadium Woods Village and finally Asbury Heights in Mt. Lebanon.

Daughter of John and Anna Kunsak; sister of John Kunsak, Ann Stefano, Agnes Rak, Margaret Hack, Elizabeth Bruce (all deceased), and Bill Kunsak of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Formerly married to Stephen Hopey of Preston.

She was a Pirates fan, liked to jitterbug and polka, enjoyed peach and butter pecan ice cream, apple pie, fishing and fish sandwiches at Eat‘n Park, the big band sound and banjo music, but not at the same time.

A tireless worker, energetic joiner, organizer, leader and spitfire, she held numerous volunteer and paying jobs, among them an air raid warden during World War II; Bell Telephone Co. switchboard operator; usher at the Benedum and Byam theaters and water aerobics instructor at the Sewickley YMCA.

She was a member of the Holy Ghost Byzantine Cathlic Church in The Bottoms of McKees Rocks; the Pittsburgh Byzantine Catholic Archieparchial Choir; Lodge 390, Greek Catholic Union; the Carpatho-Rusyn Society; the Bethany Ministry; the Parish Pastoral Council; and for the last 25 years headed the church’s Friday pierogi kitchen, sometimes pinching the crew of pierogi pinchers with her brusk, no-nonsense leadership style. She was an Associate to the Sisters of Saint Basil the Great in Uniontown, Fayette County, since 1991, and initiated a project to place flowers at the headstones of deceased Saint Basil the Great nuns. She was co-chair of the 100 year anniversary celebration at Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church in 2007, and a leader in the successful effort to fund a carillon bell system at the church in 2013.

In 2001, during a trip to Europe, she had a one-on- one audience with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican, and proudly displayed photographic proof of that meeting on the walls of her many apartments.

She started and for 22 years operated Helen Hopey Catering, cooking and serving thousands of chicken breasts and halupki at hundreds of Saturday night weddings, a job that employed, and for the most part kept out of teenage trouble her five sons Stephen (Don) of Mt.Lebanon, James (Jim) of Lemont, Centre County, Mark of Spring Creek, N.C., Paul of Mountain Rest, S.C., and Glenn of Oreland, Montgomery County.

Mother-in-law to Carole Coyne Hopey, Diane Mirich, Tina Barnes Hopey and Nancy Miller Hopey. “Baba” to grandchildren Coyne, Jackson, Jessica, Lisa and David; and great-grandchildren Fisher, Alice and Riley.

Due to COVID-19 visitation will be limited. Friends can pay their respects on Wednesday, April 21 from 9 a.m. until 9:45 a.m. in Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church, Helen Street, McKees Rocks, PA, 15136. From 9:45 to 10 a.m. family members will make brief remarks at the church, followed by celebration of a Divine Liturgy. Burial will follow at 1:30 p.m. in Mount Saint Macrina Cemetery, 500 West Main St., Uniontown, 15401.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of Saint Basil the Great, 500 West Main St., Uniontown, PA, 15401; or the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Central Pennsylvania, P.O.Box 6686, Harrisburg, PA 17112; checks payable to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and include Logan Cook/Team Fisher on the memo line of the check.

To comply with Covid-19 restrictions, those in attendance are required to wear masks and follow CDC social distancing guidelines in the church. The family understands that some friends will be unable to attend due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, April 21st, 2021 | 9:00am - 9:45am
    Wednesday, April 21st, 2021 9:00am - 9:45am
    Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church
    Helen Street
    McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania 15136
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Funeral Divine Liturgy

    Wednesday, April 21st, 2021 | 10:00am
    Wednesday, April 21st, 2021 10:00am
    Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church
    Helen Street
    McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania 15136
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Fr. Frank Firko
    Fr. Kevin Marks
  • Interment

    Wednesday, April 21st, 2021 | 1:30pm
    Wednesday, April 21st, 2021 1:30pm
    Mt. St. Macrina Cemetery
    Mt. St. Macrina Road
    Unintown, Pennsylvania 15401
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Kathryn Gunther sent flowers to the family of Helen Hopey (Kunsak).
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Kathryn Gunther

Posted at 12:59pm
In Loving Memory, From Kathryn and other Friends of Helens Sons
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