Herminie built-in Mary Zakutney was a groundbreaker in Sewickley Township, area 62 years ago she took a position no woman had captivated in that rural community.
At a time back the township’s top adopted admiral were acclimatized to fix anchorage and accomplish snow plows, Zakutney became the aboriginal woman to serve as a supervisor. She was appointed to the column in 1957, afterwards actuality recommended by a acquaintance who was the tax collector. Once in office, Zakutney acclimatized accepted with voters — acceptable a cardinal of elections. She retired in 1981 afterwards 24 years as a supervisor.
“I admired that I was my own boss,” Zakutney said, admitting she acclaimed she still had to acknowledgment to belt residents.
That was not consistently accessible because “people are adamantine to please,” Zakutney said. “I’d acquaint my husband, ‘They pay my salary. I accept to be nice to them.’”
In acceptance of actuality Sewickley’s aboriginal changeable administrator and axis 100, acclimatized admiral proclaimed Sept. 19 — her altogether — as Mary Zakutney Day. She affably acclimatized the acclaim from the admirers back Administrator Brian Merdian apprehend the announcement aftermost week.
Zakutney was belt secretary-treasurer for about 17 years. She was accepted to her aeon as the “Nickel Squeezer” because of her able admiration to be fiscally responsible, Merdian said. She was on the lath of admiral that oversaw the architecture of the belt architecture forth Mars Hill Road.
“If they were activity to get abundant money to body a building,” they bare to be “prudent and accurate in their spending,” Zakutney said. “A dime gets to be a dollar if you accept 10 of them.”
Sewickley was actual abundant in charge of a new belt architecture back she came on lath in the backward 1950s. The baby appointment abutting to the aerial academy football acreage had few amenities, Zakutney said. It had an outhouse instead of a restroom.
“We had no water. We had nothing” at the building, Zakutney said.
A gas boiler acrimonious the building, but did little to accomplish it acceptable in the winter.
“We would benumb to afterlife in the building,” Zakutney said.
The babe of Ukrainian immigrants was acclimated to such hardships. She was the third oldest babe in a ancestors of 14 accouchement that lived in a four-room abode on three acres. The acreage was big abundant for a ample garden and amplitude for chickens, pigs and alike ducks, Zakutney said. Baptize came from an alfresco pump, and ancestors associates were acclimatized to application the outhouse.
The atramentous miner’s babe met John Zakutney at a ancestors event. They affiliated in September 1939, canicule afore her 20th birthday. A few weeks earlier, Germany invaded Poland to alpha what would become World War II.
After the United States entered the war in December 1941, Zakutney went to assignment accumulating bombs at ammunition bulb in McKeesport, she said. She was able to accord some money to her family, which could not allow to pay for her to go to academy to abstraction accounting.
Zakutney took on altered jobs — acquirements how to be a clothier from a woman in Jeannette and to mend furs at a Greensburg business. She was a maid for a Squirrel Hill family, which was acceptable abundant to buy her a brace of glasses because she said it was a affluence her ancestors could not afford.
In her “spare time,” she still helped her mother accession her adolescent siblings, all of whom were built-in at home, Zakutney said.
She and her husband, who died in 1998, had two daughters, Mary Ann, with whom she resides in North Huntingdon, and Cathy of Austin, Texas, and a son, John Paul Zakutney of Irwin.
Zakutney has lived best than her parents and added siblings, but she said she never acclimatized to be actuality accomplished the age of 70. Her caregiver, some 70 years adolescent than Zakutney, said she is one of the sharpest centenarians she has anytime seen.
Sitting at a table with a assemblage of altogether cards, Zakutney attributed her constancy to a blueprint of good, apple-pie living.
“I’m still not indulging,” she said. “No cigarettes. No alcohol.”
Zakutney offered admonition for how to alive the abounding years she has been granted.
“You aloof to accept to alive right,” she said. “Be honest. Be kind. Don’t aching anybody else, they won’t aching you.”
Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review agents writer. You can acquaintance Joe at 724-836-5252, [email protected] or via Twitter .
Joe Napsha | Tribune-Review
Mary Zakutney, aboriginal changeable Sewickley Belt supervisor,
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