The Korach surname is a backbone of education in Lackawanna, where members of the family have established a legacy as teachers and administrators.
Mary M. Korach, a retired mathematics teacher, died Wednesday in Mercy Hospital. She was 90.
Born Mary Budimirovich, she was a lifelong resident of Lackawanna. She was a 1936 graduate of Lackawanna High School and earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1940 from D'Youville College.
Mrs. Korach went to work as a secondary school math teacher in 1941. Respected by her colleagues and beloved by her students, she had a knack for motivating students with her insightful comments and squinting glances, which are discussed at high school graduations decades later.
She always provided extra time to her students before and after class at school or at her home.
"I can't remember how many times I would walk in the house and find my mother tutoring some child that I had never seen before at our kitchen table," said a son, Nicholas D., an administrator in the Lackawanna School District. "She was still receiving Christmas cards from students she had taught over 40 years ago."
Mrs. Korach also taught night school classes in American citizenship to immigrants, math at St. Francis High School and Sunday school at St. Stephen Serbian Orthodox Church, where church work was another longtime love.
For the past 37 years, she was president of St. Ilija Circle of Serbian Sisters, as well as chairwoman for the Church Tea. She had served as president of the Mothers Club, founder of the church memorial library and was a member of its choir and senior citizens group.
Mrs. Korach also took great pride in preparing Serbian desserts, such as torta rolls, nut rolls and cookies, from recipes passed down from her mother.
In January 2006, Mrs. Korach was awarded the Episcopal Citation of Merit from the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Eastern America, for her lifelong achievements and service to St. Stephen's Church.
She also was a member of myriad professional and charitable organizations.
Her husband, Steven, who died in 1993, also had a lengthy teaching career in Lackawanna schools.
Additional survivors include two sons, Steven M. and George M., and three sisters, Mildred Speers, Sylvia Budimirovich and Helene Russo.
A liturgy of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday in St. Stephen Serbian Orthodox Church, Abbott and Weber roads, Lackawanna.