Featured Funeral Card – Sophia Szczerba Mirota (1879-1953)

“Mrs. Sophia Mirota, 70, of Mountain road, Whitehouse Station, died at her home October 6 after a long illness.  She was born in Poland, and was a resident here most of her life.

She is survived by her husband, Joseph; two daughters, Mrs. Genevieve Lubas and Mrs. Mary Doran; two sons, Steven and Joseph E. [towns omitted for privacy]; nine grandchildren; and one step-brother, Stanley Wasik of McDonald, Pa.

Services were held at 9:30 a.m. Friday from the home. At 10 a.m. requiem high mass was said at Our Lady of Loures Church, Rev. Joseph T. Wade officiating.  Interment was from Cusick Funeral Home at St. Bernards Cemetery in Raritan.

Pallbearers were Stanley Kozur, Julius Borducci, Stanley Mazer, Michael Szurick, Edward Vladich and Michael Zankowsky.”

Published in The Whitehouse Review, Whitehouse Station, NJ

This obituary had most of the facts right about Sophia Szczerba Mirota with one major exception. On further research my sister and I found out that Stanley Wasik was Sophia’s half-brother, and not her step-brother. It is always helpful when an obituary mentions the maiden name, but in this case it wasn’t included.

Sophia was born in the small town of Berdechow in southern Poland in 1879. This area was then called Galicia, Austria. Sophia had emigrated to the USA through the Port of Baltimore, Maryland on 22 June 1906. She had $12 with her and was going to her cousin, Teresa Motyka in Carnegie, PA.  I often think of the courage it took for a young single woman to leave most of her family behind in the old country, and venture forth in search of a better life.

St. Bernard Cemetery  is one of the oldest Roman Catholic cemeteries in Somerset County, established in 1876, and is located at 551 Route 28, Bridgewater, NJ 08876; For hours or grave locations – (908) 725-5566.  When this obituary for Sophia Szczerba Mirota was written in 1953, the cemetery location was given as Raritan.

The large gravestone for Sophia and Joseph Mirota is located on the right side after entering through the gates, in the older section of the cemetery.

Mirota – St. Bernard Cemetery – photo taken 31 May 2012 by Maryann Barnes

One thought on “Featured Funeral Card – Sophia Szczerba Mirota (1879-1953)

  1. I have always liked that the family considered it important to include Zofia’s maiden name on the headstone.

    And thank you Maryann for planting the flowers again this year. She loved flowers.


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