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Longtime baker paused career to serve country

| Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Mary D. (Kucic) Magda, 94, formerly of Chalfant, a resident of the Southwestern Veterans Center, died Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013.

Mary Magda started cooking and baking as a young girl, and took those skills with her to the military and eventually to school cafeterias.

“My mother was working in the cafeteria in the Westinghouse plant in East Pittsburgh when (World War II) started,” said her daughter, Patricia Jones of Murrysville. “She felt that by enlisting in the Air Force, she would be serving her country and have a chance to travel throughout the world. She did serve her country with pride, but was never based in any Air Force base outside of the United States.”

Mary D. Kucic Magda, formerly of Chalfant, died on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, in the Southwestern Veterans Center in Highland Park, where she was a resident. She was 94.

Growing up in Churchill, Mrs. Magda was one of five children of railroad employee Anthony Kucic and his wife, Mary Kucic. She graduated from Turtle Creek High School in 1936 and began working in the cafeteria at the Westinghouse plant.

She served as a sergeant in the Women Airforce Service Pilots program and in 1946 returned to cook in the Westinghouse cafeteria. She married Walter Magda, a military veteran.

Mrs. Magda later worked as a baker at schools in the former Churchill School District (now Woodland Hills), including Chalfant School, Atlantic Avenue School, Wilkins Junior High School and Churchill High School.

“My mother had the personality to be working with children in both the grade schools and high schools,” her daughter said. “She was kind, caring and sociable.”

In addition to her daughter, Patricia, Mrs. Magda is survived by her daughter, Monica Heller of New Jersey; son, Gregory Magda of California; five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren; and a brother, Robert Kucic of Plum.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Walter, in 2008; and her brothers, Joseph, Anthony and John Kucic.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday in St. Helen Church of Holy Cross Parish, 905 Main St., East Pittsburgh. Entombment with military honors will follow in Good Shepherd Cemetery.

Arrangements are being handled by Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home in East Pittsburgh.

Jerry Vondas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7823 or jvondas@tribweb.com.

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