Jean Marie Kovaleski died on May 21, 2019 at St. Andrew’s Village in Indiana, PA, where she resided for the last three years.
Jean was born on April 14, 1924 in Locust Gap, PA. She was the daughter of Joseph T. and Emma (Bradley) Ruffing.
She married Frank J. Kovaleski on April 10, 1950. They were married for 41 years until his death in 1992.
Jean attended St. Joseph’s Elementary School and graduated from Mount Carmel Township High School in Locust Gap in 1942. Soon thereafter she was employed by JC Penney in Mount Carmel, where she worked until the birth of her son, Joseph, in 1951. She returned to Penney’s in 1956 and enjoyed a 42-year career as a bookkeeper until her retirement from the company in 1989.
Jean was a life-long parishioner of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, where she actively participated in the Catholic Daughters of America. She held a number of leadership positions in that organization, including Regent. The bus trips to shows and concerts that she organized as fund-raising events for the Catholic Daughters were enjoyed and appreciated by many people in the region. Jean’s Roman Catholic faith was the central part of her life and strengthened and sustained her as her health declined. Her acceptance of her illness was a living example of her unwavering trust in God.
Jean was known by all for her wit, humor and warmth. She was a natural storyteller who could bring a room to tears of laughter, most notably with stories of misadventures from her childhood in Locust Gap. Jean was a dedicated friend and sibling who endeared people very easily to her. After her husband Frank’s passing, she spent nearly every day alongside her closest friend and sister, Mary. Together, they attended daily Mass followed by lunch at their favorite restaurants, where they were treated like well-loved celebrities. She loved her son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren unconditionally and brought so much joy to everyone she met. Jean will be remembered by those who loved her for her infectious laugh, legendary hugs, friendly voice, and ever-present twinkle in her eyes.
Jean is survived by her son Joseph and daughter-in-law, Susan Verano Kovaleski of Indiana; her granddaughter, Mary Kovaleski Byrnes and her husband Corey Byrnes and their children, Xavier and Natalie all of Newburyport, MA; her grandson, Kevin Kovaleski and his wife Laura Wentzel and their daughter, Mira all of Tempe, AZ; a sister-in-law, Joan Ruffing of Coatesville, PA, and many nephews and nieces.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her siblings, William Ruffing (Irene), Joseph Ruffing (Lois), Charles Ruffing, Patricia Kelly (Frank) and Mary Ruffing.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday at 11:00 am in Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church with the Rev. Francis J. Karwacki, Pastor as the celebrant. Interment will follow in All Saints Cemetery, Bear Gap. A viewing will be held in the Joseph J. Stutz, Inc. Funeral Home, 40 S. Market St., Mt. Carmel, Joseph J. Stutz, III Supervisor on Monday evening from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm and on Tuesday morning from 9:00 am until 10:45 am.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy can be made to the Mother Maria Kaupas Center 438 West Avenue, Mount Carmel, PA 17851.
To leave a condolence for the family, please sign the guestbook at www.stutzfuneralhome.com.