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Miss Darina J. Tuhy, age 103, passed into eternal life, Wednesday, September 27, 2023 while in the care of Allied Services Meade Street Skilled Nursing, Wilkes-Barre. She was born in Wilkes-Barre, PA in the parsonage at Saint Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church, to Reverend Stephen and Ludmila (Lichner) Tuhy, on July 2, 1920.
Darina was an engaging and thoughtful woman. She retained her sharp mind and quick wit; still playing Scrabble until a few months before she passed. She continued her avid reading, which included various genres. Miss Tuhy witnessed astonishing changes in the world, from being born when women in the United States were denied the right to vote to the election of a woman as vice-president of our country.
Darina graduated with honors from the former James M. Coughlin High School in 1937. She then enrolled at Bucknell Junior College in Wilkes-Barre before matriculating at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA, where she was active in music and drama activities; including the Cap and Dagger theater group and Mu Phi Epsilon (the honorary music sorority). Darina obtained her Bachelor of Science in Commerce and Finance in 1941.
After attending Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio for three semesters, Darina paused her studies to answer the call to help the war effort on the home front, as World War II raged on. She used her excellent stenography skills as a
secretary for Gibbs & Hill, an engineering firm in New York City that built power plants. Darina continued her studies at the University of Michigan where she earned her Masters of Music.
After the war, Darina was hired by Bucknell University for one year to fill in for an instructor who was on sabbatical. She noted, “They never fired me, so I stayed.” While at Bucknell, Darina performed solo and chamber music recitals and presented several harpsichord lecture programs. She also returned to the University of Michigan for extensive graduate study in Musicology. As Associate Professor of Music, Darina taught music history and piano for thirty-nine years. She was emerita at the time of her death.
Retirement initially led Darina to enjoy seventeen years of the “lively musical city” of Tucson, AZ, where she lived close to family. She joined many adult study groups, taught Slovak to a small cadre of enthusiastic professional people, and tutored second graders in reading. As a volunteer at the Blind Association, she read short stories on their special radio station, and assisted in editing Braille books using a computer. She also volunteered in the office of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church and taught many adult Bible classes.
Darina returned to Wilkes-Barre, PA in 2003 to live at Heritage House Apartments (later St. Luke’s Villa and currently Allied Services–Center City), where again she lived near family. She was a member of the Slovak Heritage Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania, for whom she co-edited the English translation of the Society’s publication “Slovak Folk Customs and Traditions” and taught Slovak language classes for several years. She taught the basics of reading music and hymn singing to a small group of St. Matthew parishioners for a time. For many years she knit hats, gloves, slippers, scarves, and blankets for family, friends, and strangers in need. She moved to assisted care when she was 98 years old, at which time she obtained her first cellular phone.
Although she never learned to drive a car, Darina travelled the world including trips to Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, and many countries of Europe. The British countryside was one of her favorites. She visited family in Slovakia many times before and after the fall of the Iron Curtain, and spent a semester teaching English at the Bratislava Conservatory. She noted that some areas of Slovakia look like northeastern Pennsylvania.
Darina is predeceased by: her parents; her sisters E. Zlata Tuhy, Viera Overman, Ludmilla Raum, Olga Collmann, and Nathalia Tuhy; her brothers Reverend Stephen Tuhy, Reverend B.D. Tuhy, Ivan Tuhy, Mirko Tuhy, Cyrill Tuhy, and Philip Tuhy; and three nieces and nephews.
Her memory will be forever cherished by her surviving twenty-four nieces and nephews, and many more great-and great-great nieces and nephews.
Memorial funeral services for Miss Tuhy will be conducted on Friday, November 10th at 2:00 p.m. in Saint Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church, 663 North Main Street, Wilkes-Barre. The Reverend Peter J. Haenftling, pastor will serve as celebrant and offer words of reflection.
Inurnment will follow in the family lot of Saint Matthew Section, Fern Knoll Burial Park, Midland Avenue Dallas, where Pastor Haenftling will offer the Rite of Committal.
Relatives and friends may join the Tuhy family for visitation and shared remembrances directly at church from 12:30 p.m. until the time of services.
In lieu of floral tributes, memorial donations in Miss Tuhy’s memory would be greatly appreciated to the Reverend Stephen Tuhy Scholarship Fund at Saint Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church, 663 North Main Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18705.
The John V. Morris Family Funeral Home Inc. of Wilkes-Barre is honored to care for our friend Miss Tuhy and her family at this time. Those wishing to share online words of comfort or a fond remembrance with the family are encouraged to do so by visiting her memorial page at: www.johnvmorrisfuneralhome.com/obituary/Darina-Tuhy.
Reverend Stephen Tuhy Scholarship Fund at Saint Matthew
663 North Main Street, Wilkes-Barre PA 18705