Josephine Yerich Salak, R.N., 85, of Waymart, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her loving family on Thursday evening, September 22, 2022, at home. Her husband, William Salak passed away in November of 2015.
Born June 29, 1937 in Browndale, she was the daughter of the late John and Louise (Drobné) Yerich.
Josephine graduated from Forest City High School in 1955. She received her R.N. degree from St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing, Carbondale, PA in 1958 where she went on to be a day shift supervisor. Jospehine was a faithful member of St. Mary’s Church, Waymart, SNPJ Society, and a member of the Wayne County Farmer’s Market since 1975. Josephine was instrumental in starting the market. Josephine was one of the market's original members, referred to as the "matriarch of the market," and she was made an honorary lifetime member in 2019. Josephine was known by her customers, which became her friends, as "Mama Salak, Grandma Salak, and The Cookie Lady."
Josephine enjoyed cooking, baking, gardening, crocheting, making pierogies, and scratch off lottery tickets. She also took pleasure in selling her baked goods and jellies at craft shows with her daughter Lisa, and Wayne.
Josephine's greatest joy in life was her family. She was a mother of eleven children and took pride in raising them and sharing in their life accomplishments. She had a special bond and great love for each of her children:
listening to the explanation of her medical care, watching movies, having her hair set, and brunch on Sundays with her daughter Debbie; making baked beans for and being amazed of his ability to fix absolutely everything with her son Billy; playing cards and having percolated coffee while having conversations and reminiscing of when she was her secretary with her daughter Cathy; watching the persistent de-knotting yarn skills, having her feet being pampered, and enjoying homemade meals with her daughter Susan; watching the "cotton top" and buzzing around, smiling and laughing with, and cooking over the phone with her daughter Nancy; having percolated coffee while enjoying great conversations with a therapeutic knack with her daughter Mari-Jo; having conversations about growing fruit and vegetables with her son Mark; sharing thoughts about the Catholic religion and being the prayer/rosary partner with her daughter Jane; eating foods from her recipes (white bread, breaded chicken, and kielbasa) and offering tips about them with her son Danny; kibitzing daily on the phone about everything and saying "We are Penn State" with her son Steven; receiving excellent care giving, going gallivanting, and watching Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, and Gunsmoke with her daughter Lisa. She also enjoyed the many visits and car rides with Shiloh and Finn, the most well-trained and especially smart dogs of Lisa and Wayne, and most recently with Nyah, known by Josephine as "Monkey." Josephine also was grateful for the daily and excellent care by her daughter-in-law, Dawn, and enjoyed the time she spent with her.
Josephine was the matriarch of the family. Josephine will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.
Surviving are seven daughters: Deborah Salak-Diamond (Rob Olson), Cathy Salak- "My Lady in Red," Susan Salak-Marianacci (Nick), Nancy McHale (Kevin), Mari-Jo Salak-Trumino (Ron), Jane Spera (Anthony) Lisa Salak (Wayne Thomas); four sons: William Salak III (Dawn), Mark Salak (Rhonda), Daniel Salak (Jennifer), and Steven Salak; grandchildren: Wiiliam Salak IV (Alyssa), Andrew Salak (Bethany), Danielle Gallagher (Joe), Brooke Landers, Jackson Landers, Dante Marianacci, Camielle Marianacci, Danny McHale, Kayla McHale, Olivia Trumino, Aaron Trumino, Emma Trumino, Celia Trumino, Joshua Salak, Justin Salak, Jacob Spera, Rachel Spera, Julia Spera, Sydney Salak, Connor Salak, Renee Salak, Stevie Salak, Ben Salak, and Emma Salak; great-grandchildren: William Salak V, Lincoln Salak, Wendell Gallager, Henry Gallagher, and Charlotte Gallager.
Josephine was preceded in death by two brothers, Frank Yerich and John Yerich; and two sisters, Louise Sherota and Marion McKeen.
Josephine and her family want to thank the nurses and nurses' aides of Wayne Memorial Hospice, Wayne Memorial Home Health, and Wayne Memorial Hospital, Dr. Paula Bennett and her nurses, and the staff at Wayne Woodlands Nursing Home for the wonderful care provided to her.
The Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be on Tuesday, September 27, 2022 at 11:00 A.M. in St. Mary’s Church, 242 Carbondale Road, Waymart, PA 18472. All attending are asked to go directly to the church.
Viewing will be in St. Mary's Church on Monday, September 26, 2022 from 2-4 and 6-8 PM. Rosary will be at 7:30 PM in the church on Monday.
Interment will be in The Waymart Cemetery at Canaan Corners.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Mary’s Church, PO Box 160, Waymart, PA 18472 or the Waymart Volunteer Fire Co. PO Box 186, Waymart, PA 18472
Arrangements are entrusted to Howell Family Funeral Home, Inc. Edward R. Howell, Funeral Director, 269 Belmont Street, Waymart, PA 18472.