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Mary Korach, Bethlehem Steel receptionist, churchwoman

Nov. 5, 1921 – June 4, 2015

Mary Korach of Lackawanna, a longtime head receptionist at Bethlehem Steel Corp.’s local main office, died Thursday at Father Baker Manor in Orchard Park. She was 93.

Born and raised on Gates Avenue in the shadow of Bethlehem’s Lackawanna facility, Miss Korach joined the company at the age of 20 in 1942 to support the nation’s war effort. Starting as a clerk in the engineering department, she worked in the real estate department and soon became the head receptionist.

In 1982, the company newsletter, “People ’n Steel,” wrote: “Plant receptionist Mary Korach recently celebrated 40 years of service at the Lackawanna plant, the most years ever accumulated by a female employee. The visitors, sales reps and employees who she signed in are estimated close to the one million mark.” She retired in 1983.

A lifelong member of St. Stephen Serbian Orthodox Church, she was also an officer in the St. Ilija Circle of Serbian Sisters, Serbian National Federation and church choir. She was a Sunday school teacher for more than four decades, affectionately known as “Miss Mary” by many generations of parishioners.

In 1992 and 2007, she was honored by the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Eastern America, receiving Episcopal Citations of Merit for her many years of dedicated service to the St. Stephen Church community.

Miss Korach was also an avid bowler and participated in many leagues and tournaments.

A liturgy of Christian Burial will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. Stephen Serbian Orthodox Church, 177 Weber Road, Lackawanna.

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