Pearl H. Madyda Bocek 87, homemaker, Sacred Heart volunteer, accomplished seamstress

By on February 13, 2014

Pearl H. Madyda Bocek, 87, of Lititz, died at Hospice & Community Care, Mount Joy, Friday Feb. 7, 2014, surrounded by her family after succumbing to cancer.

Born Aug. 4, 1926, in Whitaker, she was the oldest of five children born to the late Helen and Alexander Madyda. Pearl was married to Walter E. Bocek, who died in 1989, for 41 years.

Pearl’s family was the light of her life. Her greatest joy was cooking and baking the many traditional Polish family recipes for and with her family. For many years, Pearl was a homemaker raising her daughters and serving as a volunteer for Sacred Heart Church where she prepared meals for special activities and was a member of the Rosary Guild. Before she was married, she worked at Grinberg’s in Homestead. Later in life she worked at Conzatti’s Italian Restaurant in Windber and at Lititz Office Products.

Throughout her life, Pearl was always active. For 17 years, she hosted a quilting club at her home producing numerous quilts for family and friends. She was also an accomplished seamstress and she enjoyed knitting and crocheting. It was never a problem in the Bocek home when a sweater did not make it through the wash as desired as she would just knit a new one. Near the middle of her life, she learned counted-cross stitch and a new passion was born. In addition to the traditional birth and wedding announcements; she made Christmas stockings, pictures, and tree skirts; and numerous angels, which are found in all of her relatives’ homes. Her pieces are considered works of art as the stitching and beading is detailed and intricate. In addition to following traditional patterns, Pearl had pictures of Pope John the XXIII (taken by her grandson) and her children (taken by family members) patterned in order for her to cross-stitch the pictures producing some of her most favored projects. She spent her final days feverishly working on a special project for her beloved sister, Helen.

Having been born in the Pittsburgh area, Pearl, her husband, and children moved to the Shanksville area making it her home for 41 years. During that time, the family farm was developed into what is now known as Indian Lake. Pearl moved permanently to Lititz in 1999 quickly acclimating herself to the area. She was a member of the St. John Neumann Catholic Church and made many friends at the Monday night bingo hosted at St. James Catholic Church in Lititz. Dancing and participating in a bowling league were her favorite activities with her husband. Playing cards, reading, and completing word searches and puzzles entailed other pastimes that she greatly enjoyed. In the last three years, she made the switch to the digital age and enjoyed these activities on her iPad, which her family attributes to her continued mental alertness and math aptitude.

Pearl is survived by three daughters: Kathleen Paris, wife of George Paris of Glen Mills; Cheryl Bell, wife of William Bell of Lititz and Michele Darreff, wife of Frank Darreff of Limerick. Pearl was preceded in death by her husband, Walter. The oldest of five siblings, Pearl is survived by two sisters and two brothers: Helen Bocek, wife of Stephen Bocek, deceased; Alex Madyda and wife Clara; Bernard Madyda and wife Marianne; and Vi Bowerman and husband, Jay. So cherished in her life were her eight grandchildren: Travis Tomb, wife Jennifer; Michael Tomb, wife Jaime; Christopher Bell; Katherine Bell; Shane Darreff; Brandon Darreff; Ashley Darreff and Andrew Darreff and five great-grandchildren: Sydney Tomb, Emma Tomb, Dylan Tomb, Teresa Tomb and Cooper Tomb. Pearl is also survived by two uncles: Jack and William Knapp and numerous nieces, nephews, aunts and cousins. Her extended family included Kristine Morris, wife of John, and their sons Ryan and Eric, and Stephen Paris, husband of Amy, and their sons Logan and Braden.

Pearl’s funeral will be held Feb. 14 at 11:30 a.m. at St. John Neumann Catholic Church, 601 E. Delp Road, Lancaster, with Monsignor Richard A. Youtz as Celebrant. Private interment will be in Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Cemetery, Central City. Viewings will be held at Charles F. Snyder Jr. Funeral Home & Crematory, 3110 Lititz Pike, Lititz from 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 13 and 10 to 11 a.m. Feb.14.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the American Cancer Society, 314 Good Dr., Lancaster, PA 17603.

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