In Memoriam: Matushka Karen Mahaffey

We are saddened to announce that Matushka Karen Mahaffey fell asleep in the Lord on Wednesday, August 8, 2007, after a long battle with cancer. She is the wife of Archpriest David Mahaffey, the Rector of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Pottstown.

Funeral services will be celebrated at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, August 10, at Holy Trinity Church in Pottstown. His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman and His Grace, Bishop Tikhon, will preside along with concelebrating clergy.

On Saturday, August 11, at 1 p.m., a Panikhida will be served at the Monastery Church of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, followed by burial at the Monastery Cemetery.

May Matushka Karen's memory be eternal!

The full obituary follows.

Karen Elaine Meterko Mahaffey, of Pottstown, died Wednesday evening at home. She was the wife of the Very Rev. Sterry David Mahaffey Jr.

Born Oct. 15, 1952, in Spangler, daughter of Anna Baron Meterko, Burnside, and the late Michael Meterko Jr., she was a graduate of Harmony Area High School, class of 1970, and was senior class secretary and active in the high school band and 4-H Club. A graduate of
Tri-County School of Cosmetology, she graduated as the best hairstylist in her class. She also graduated from Jefferson County Vo-Tech with a certificate in furniture upholstery. She and her husband were married May 5, 1973, at her home parish of SS. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, Urey, Glen Campbell. Karen was a former den leader for Cub Scout packs in the Burnside and Clearfield area of the Bucktail Council, Boy Scouts of America.

Known to all as Matushka Karen, Matushka being the Russian title for a priest's wife, she was a lifelong servant of God who always used her talents to benefit others. Very gifted musically, she played the saxophone and piano and directed church choirs in her home parish of SS. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church and St. Michael's Orthodox Church, Old Forge, where she was also a member while her husband was assigned there as rector. She also sang in the
Wyoming Valley Orthodox Choir and the Holy Trinity Choir of Pottstown, where she was a member at the time of her passing. Her many talents included a beautiful soprano voice, painting, crocheting, ceramic figurine pottery, sewing everything from dresses, wedding gowns, liturgical vestments and altar covers to clothes for her daughter's dolls, hand-made crafts of all types, organizing many food sales for the various churches, coordinating the baked goods stand at St. Tikhon's Memorial Day Pilgrimage and the ability to make everyone she met feel loved. She was the former church school director of St. Michael's Orthodox Church and served on the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania of the Orthodox Church in America Department of Christian Education Board.

Originally from West
Central Pennsylvania, where she operated her own beauty shop for many years, she encouraged her husband to attend seminary at St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary and sacrificed everything to achieve that goal. After his ordination, they moved in 1993 to Old Forge, where she was a very active part of the ministry in the parish of St. Michael's Orthodox Church and in the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania until January. It was then that they moved to Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, Pottstown, where she again played a very active part in the parish ministry alongside her husband.

In 2003, Matushka Karen was diagnosed with a rare form of melanoma and fought a valiant battle against this dreaded disease for the rest of her life, remaining very active until a few weeks before her passing.

Also surviving are four children, Nikolas David, Dunmore; Sterry Michael and wife, the former Nicole Koch, Lansdale; Seth Robert, West Pittston; and Kyra Ann, who resided with her parents in Pottstown; a sister, Phyllis Bracken, Mahaffey; and two brothers, Eric and Kevin Meterko, both of the family homestead in Burnside Township.

The funeral service will be today at
in Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, Mervine and Juniper streets, Pottstown. Parastas will be Saturday at 1 p.m. in St. Tikhon's Monastery, South Cannan. Interment, St. Tikhon's Monastery Cemetery.

Friends may call today,
, at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church and Saturday, , at St. Tikhon's Monastery. Arrangements by Semian Funeral Home,
704 Union St. Taylor

In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations in her memory be sent to Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, 1230 N. Hanover St., Pottstown, 19464; or the Matushka Karen Mahaffey Scholarship Fund, St. Tikhon's Seminary, P.O. Box 130, South Canaan, 18459.

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