Christine “Christina” Irene Zavacky Soley, 98, of Butler, passed away Saturday, March 19, 2022, in the comfort of her home.
Christina was born on Christmas day in 1923 to John and Ann (Sluk) Zavacky. She grew up in Lyndora where her father had John Zavacky’s Grocery Store on Penn Avenue.
She graduated from Butler High School in the class of 1941. By her yearbook picture it said “blond…beautiful…member of the Russian Choral…likes dancing and cooking…has a cheery “hello” for all. In her elder years she worked on her class reunion committee.
Christina grew up during the depression and started to work at age 12 for 25 cents a day! She walked from Lyndora to Butler and did laundry, ironing, cooking and cleaning, a lot for such a young girl! As a teenager she worked at the lunch counter at Davey & Hilliard Drugstore by Diamond Park. She then worked at the record department in Grants, the Butler Eagle, and finally her favorite job at the Armco Steel Plant during wartime. Often the men would tie ribbons on her buckets!
Christina married her next door neighbor Andy Soley on October 3, 1946 in secret, no one knew they were married for months.
Christina was a member of St. John’s Byzantine Catholic Church throughout her lifetime. In her younger years she enjoyed singing in their choir.
Andy & Christina’s house was a home where all received a wonderful welcome. She was happy as long as everyone was enjoying good conversation, good food, laughing and singing. Anyone who came always felt at home and wanted to return.
Christina loved to laugh and often at her own expense as can be seen in the many silly pictures which she proudly posed for! There was always laughter at Christina’s house.
Christina loved music and attended many gigs of local musicians. They brightened her life with their beautiful songs and kindness shown towards her. Gary Kleemann dubbed her “The Queen of Lyndora” which she thoroughly enjoyed. Chuckie Moses had a special song always dedicated to her as did Washboard Tony, his son Nick and his friend Rob. When Vimila was in Butler she always serenaded her with the song “Forever Young.”
For almost her entire lifetime Christina cooked Sunday dinner for her entire family including grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was thrilled as they grew up and learned to prepare her favorite recipes! On Saturdays the kids often wanted to come at breakfast time. They lovingly called it “Big Grandma’s Breakfast Club.” Holidays were so special and beautiful. She made sure to carry on the traditions her parents brought from “the old country.”
All who were lucky enough to know her will deeply miss her presence in their lives. “Hold dear to your parents for it is a scary and confusing world without them” as said by Emily Dickinson.
Surviving are her children, Stephen J., Tina A. and Alan A. and Paula S. (Bill Summers) Soley.
7 grandchildren: Andy, Max, Sam (Morgan) and Nick Vavro; Sabrina (Mike) Brewer, Stephen A. (Kimberly) Soley and Erica (Jeremy) Cooper.
11 great grandchildren: Zachary and Adam Brewer; Liam, Aidan, Ava and Olivia Soley; Isaac, Elliot, Orli, Job and Jude Cooper.
She has one sister living in New Castle, Georgia Hartman, also many cousins, nieces and nephews. She is also survived by many friends who called her mom or babushka, everyone wanted to belong to Christina.
Christina was preceded in death by her husband Andy, her sisters Helen Lachester, Sally Zymboly, Olga Zavacky, Amy Passarelli, Julia Gavula and Eugenia King; her two brothers John and Emil Zavacky.
A special thanks to Dr. Sethi and his staff who gave her great care and kindness for many years. She actually enjoyed her office visits. Much appreciation to Fr. Radko Blichar who visited her on Sundays bringing her the Eucharist, beautiful prayers, songs, blessings and treats too! She always looked forward to his visits and seeing his big smile. Thanks to all from Amedysis who lovingly cared for her in her final days including Amy, Cindy, Christie, Nicole, Taylor, Leetha, Maria, also Marcia.
Friend will be received at the Geibel Funeral Home, 201 East Cunningham Street, Butler, from 2-4 and 6-8 pm Sunday, March 27, 2022. Funeral Services will be held on Monday, March 28, 2022, at 11:00 am, St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church, 105 Kohler Avenue in Lyndora. Interment will be in Butler County Memorial Park.
Parastas Services will be at 7:00 pm Sunday at the Funeral Home.