Bernadette Lukac

bernadetteBernadette Lukac of Summit Hill passed away peacefully at home on Jan. 29, 2023. She was a few days shy of her 90th birthday of Feb. 8.

Born in 1933, "Bernie," as everyone affectionately called her, was the 10th child of an eventual 11 babies born to Bartholomew and Mary Ogorzalek.

She was predeceased by her husband, Theodore Lukac, who passed away on May 10, 2008.

Bernie was the last surviving sibling. The eldest two, Sophie and Anna, died as very young children of diphtheria.

Many of her siblings were old enough to be her parents: Michael Gazella (the late Florence) Sr. Mary Albensia, OSF, Frank Gazella (the late Marilyn), Mary Nesterak (the late Louis), Joseph Gazella (the late Irene), John Gazella (the late Helen), Teresa Solak (the late Frank) and Bernard Ogozalek (the late Thelma).

Surviving her are her four children, their spouses, grandchildren great-grandchildren and one great great-grandchild: Mary and Alan Jonas of Reisterstown, Maryland and their four children: Louisa Jonas (granddaughter) of Baltimore; Sam Jonas (grandson) and Courtney Abrams of Baltimore - (Isabel: great-granddaughter); Alex Jonas (grandson) and Caroline Juterbok of Philadelphia - (Anna: great-granddaughter); Lauren Jonas (granddaughter) of Baltimore; Diane Lukac and Steven Silin of South Freeport, Maine, and their son: Jonathan Silin (grandson) of Brooklyn, New York; Theodore (Ted) Lukac Jr. and the late Patry Francis of Centerville, Mass., and their children: Gabe (grandson) and Nicola Francis of Warren, Rhode Island - (Hank, Will & Jude: great-grandsons); Josh (grandson) and Stacey Francis of Freetown, Mass. - (Alexandra: great-granddaughter and Hope: great great-granddaughter, the late Emma, great-granddaughter); Nellie (granddaughter) and Steve Kelsch of Sandwich, Mass -(Cora: great granddaughter), Theodore "Jake" Lukac (grandson) of Centerville, Mass. - (Sebastian Burke-Lukac: great-grandson); Lorraine "Lori" Lukac of Summit Hill, the youngest sibling, who lived with and helped take care of Bernadette until the very end.

Bernie excelled in high school, graduating near the top of her class. She was active in many clubs, including the Student Council and Library Staff. While her teachers encouraged her to consider going to college, family finances made that impossible and Bernadette settled into a life at home, babysitting and helping her mother.

Soon after high school, she met and married Theodore Lukac of Summit Hill. While married and raising her four children, Bernie held several challenging and interesting jobs. She worked for the Pennsylvania Telephone Company as a switchboard operator for many years - a position that required a great deal of fast thinking and patience with customers, especially in an era when many households still had so-called "party lines "(multiple users on the same phone). After telephone operations were automated, Bernie moved into the world of retail, working for Bright's Department Store. In her final career move, she worked for many years at various banks, in Summit Hill and Lansford where she was quickly promoted in the teller ranks. She was clever with numbers and sincerely loved this job.

Upon the death of her father, Bernie brought her own aging mother into her home to take care of her along with her own children until her death. After her retirement, she dedicated many hours of service to her church, St. Stanislaus, Catholic Church, Summit Hill. She became a Franciscan, was active with various women's prayer groups and worked at church fundraisers making her famous Kolaczki for sale.

Primarily, however, Bernie was the loving mother of four children. She rarely raised her voice in anger and guided with a gentle touch. Bernadette and her husband, Ted, delighted in spending time with their children and grandchildren and thinking of every manner of spoiling them. Their generosity and love were second to none and their grandchildren enjoyed their visits to "mom mom" and "pop pop's" house as much as any trip. And a visit from them brought all sorts of inventive gifts and treasures. They were the best grandparents one could possibly conjure.

Service: Mass of Christian Burial 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, St. Joseph Parish of the Panther Valley, 462 W. Ludlow St., Summit Hill. Interment, SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Summit Hill. Call 10-11 a.m. Saturday in the church. Arrangements have been placed in the care of the Thomas J. Parambo Funeral Home, Summit Hill. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages all donations be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Soc., c/o 118 N. Market St., Summit Hill, PA 18250. Online condolences may be shared at