Mrs. Winifred "Winnie" Gail Pugh (Saraka), 78, a lifelong resident of the North End section of Wilkes-Barre, passed into eternal life Thursday evening while in the care of Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Plains Township, following a lingering illness.
Winnie was born on October 17, 1940 in Wilkes-Barre, one of eleven children to the late John and Helen Saraka (Holodick). Educated in the city schools, she attended the former Guthrie elementary school in North End and became a member of the 1958 graduating class of the James M. Coughlin High School, Wilkes-Barre. Mrs. Pugh later furthered her education at Luzerne County Community College in Nanticoke to work towards an eventual business endeavor.
She, along with her partners Frances Gibbon and Kathy Henry established the Wilkes-Barre Trophy Company originally on North Street and later North Washington Street in Wilkes-Barre, and successfully ran the business for several years before selling to the current owners in Plains Township.
Following her husband's passing, Winnie did not sit idle. She became the activities director and later an information attendant for the former Heritage House nursing home in Wilkes-Barre.
In her spare time, she was one of the first female coaches for the former North End Little League Association, where she later served as treasurer. She enjoyed canning the family's annual harvest of tomatoes and vegetables, loved baking Christmas cookies with her loving grandchildren, and hosting holidays and weekly Sunday dinners at her home, and was an avid Miami Dolphin and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguin fan. She also never missed her grandchildren’s sporting events.
Mrs. Pugh was a lifetime member of Saint Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church, North Wilkes-Barre.
Winnie is remembered as being a loving wife, mother, grandma and dear friend to all she touched in this life. Her presence will be sadly missed.
Mrs. Pugh was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Mr. Francis R. Pugh Sr. on March 20, 2007. At the time of his passing, the couple shared 44 years of married life together. Also preceding her were sisters Mildred Silvery, Irene Spilman and Evelyn Lisoski; Brother, Tim Saraka and infant brother Michael Saraka, and most recently by her grandson and fishing buddy, Joseph Gerard "Joey" Pugh on November 12, 2016.
Left to cherish the wonderful memories of their mother are her sons, Thomas R. Pugh and his partner, Michelle Franco of Mountain Top Francis R. Pugh and his wife Colleen and Edward E. Pugh and his wife Patricia, all of Plains Township;
Grandchildren, including Dennis Pugh; Emma Pugh and her partner Shawn Mitchell; Francis R. Pugh III and his wife Cassandra; Madison, Jordan and Cooper Pugh; Great-grandson, Lincoln Joseph Mitchell; Brothers and Sisters; John Saraka of East End; Norman Saraka of North Wilkes-Barre; Diana Rader and her husband Bryan of Boiling Springs; Helen Pugh of Lee Park and Sharon Ashton and her husband William “Perry” of Harding; Numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, fellow congregation members and dear friends and her beloved cat, Zeva.
Funeral services for Mrs. Pugh will be conducted on Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. from the North Wilkes-Barre location of the John V. Morris Family Funeral Homes Inc., 625 North Main Street. The Reverend Peter J. Haenftling, pastor of Saint Matthew will serve as celebrant and leader of worship.
Interment will be private and at the convenience of the Pugh Family.
Relatives and friends may join Mrs. Pugh's family for visitation and shared remembrances Monday evening from 5:00 p.m. until the time of services at the funeral home.
Those wishing to send a monetary donation in Mrs. Pugh's memory are respectfully encouraged to consider her church, Saint Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church, 663 North Main Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18705 or the Misfits Dog Rescue of PA, 1653 Ruane Avenue, Scranton, PA 18505.
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