After nine decades and eight years of life, at the age of 98, Virginia M. (Olshefski) Lucas, completed her earthly journey. She died warm and safe in her bed and in her place of residence for the past 80 years. Virginia is now with our Lord and risen savior Jesus Christ whom she adored and loved so dearly, and finally met Jesus face to face with his hand extended leading her into the gates of heaven.
She was born June 22, 1917, in Mount Carmel, and was raised at 546 W. Third St. She was the youngest of six children born to Eastern European immigrants of Polish decent, Constance (Costy) and Stella (Jessick) Olshefski. At the young tender age of two, Virginia's father, Costy succumbed to his death due to an anthracite coal mine explosion. She was raised by her mother and five sisters in Mount Carmel and went on to become a loving wife, mother as well as a successful, dedicated and very compassionate funeral director in the State of Pennsylvania.
She attended Our Mother of Consolation grade school in Mount Carmel where she excelled as the top 8th grade honor student in her class from where she graduated valedictorian in the Class of 1932. She was a 1936 graduate of Mount Carmel High School. There she met the love of her life and soul mate Charles J. (Zaz) Lucas Jr. After graduation from high school, later that summer on Aug. 5, 1936, Virginia married her high school sweetheart and they began their loving journey through life together as one. That lasted 67 years until her husband's death on Nov. 28, 2003.
On Jan. 23, 1941, a son, Charles J. Lucas III was born to Charles and Virginia, he eventually became a licensed funeral director in the State of Pennsylvania and worked along with his parents until their retirement.
Virginia worked alongside her husband in the family funeral business for many years and then decided to attend Eckles School of Mortuary Science in Philadelphia. In 1948, she graduated with honors and became a licensed funeral director in Pennsylvania in 1950, thus beginning her lifetime of dedication to the funeral service with the C.J. Lucas Funeral Home helping grieving families at their time of need.
She dedicated her life to her profession and offered all her work up to God. She worked alongside her father-in-law, Charles J. Lucas Sr. and her husband Charles J. Lucas Jr. and two more generations, her son Charles J. Lucas III and her grandson Charles J. Lucas IV in the family funeral business. Spanning a time from 1936 until 2014 she was still attending viewings and greeting families while living in Kulpmont.
Virginia helped many families through times of grief, helping them arrange funerals and conduct services. She was very soft spoken with kind encouraging words to her family, friends and to the families she dealt with in their time of need. She was kind and loving, caring and generous. She spoke of how important schooling and education was and she had a spiritual devotion to Mary the Mother of God and stressed how important it was to pray and be strong and devout in your faith.
At the time of her death she was the oldest and longest consecutively licensed female funeral director in the state and was one of the first females to become licensed in the state. She was a member of the Central Pennsylvania Funeral Director Association and the National Funeral Director Association.
She was a member of the former St. Casmir's Church in Kulpmont, now Church of the Holy Angels. She attended weekly Mass and volunteered time with the Kulpmont Ladies Lions. She was a member of the Altar Rosary Society and Ladies Guild and was a fantastic baker and cook. She was known for her excellent traditional holiday meals with her traditional and home made recipes. She enjoyed socializing, keeping up with the latest fashions and shopping trips to Philadelphia.
Virginia was a loving and dedicated, wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and great-grandmother and friend, who always took pride in attending family graduations and events along with holiday and social gatherings.
Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law, Charles J. Lucas III and Sandra M. (Strike) Lucas, of Elysburg; granddaughter, Christina A. Lucas-Staszak and her husband, Leonard Staszak, and their daughter, Olivia Rose, of Newtown; grandson, Charles J. Lucas IV and his children, Nigel Miles Lucas and Kiara Marella Lucas; granddaughter, Shelley M. Lucas, of Elysburg and grandson, Dr. Bryce C. Lucas, Ph.D., of Elysburg; as well as various nieces and nephews.
She is the last of her immediate family, being preceded in death by five sisters and four brothers-in-law, Anna Choplick and her husband, Walter, Pearl Makowski and her husband, Watson, Eleanor Makowski and her husband, Al, Stella Noval and her husband, Frank and Miss Edna Olshefski.
A viewing will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, with the Rosary at 8, and from 9 to 10:40 a.m. with transferal prayers at 10 a.m., Thursday, May 12, at the C.J. Lucas Funeral Home Inc., 1053 Chestnut St., Kulpmont. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 12, at Church of the Holy Angels, 855 Scott St., Kulpmont, with Father Andrew Stahmer serving as the main celebrant.
Burial will be in All Saints Cemetery, Bear Gap.
Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Virginia M. Lucas to the Church of the Holy Angels, 855 Scott St., Kulpmont, PA 17834.
To send condolences to the family, please visit www.cjlucasfuneralhome.com.
Published on May 5, 2016