Nurse generous with her time, skills
Sick with pneumonia herself, Betty Alfieri roomed with her dying husband nine years ago in Forbes Regional Hospital in Monroeville.
“She nursed him until his last breath,” said their daughter, Rose Castagnola of Turtle Creek.
Betty Gojkovich Alfieri of Wilmerding died Sunday, May 12, 2013, of complications from lung cancer at Forbes. She was 83.
She was born on Jan. 7, 1930, Christmas Day in the Serbian Eastern Orthodox Church, at home in Wall to Gliso and Mila Godich Gojkovich. Her mother was a homemaker, and her father worked on the railroad. She grew up during the Depression as the eighth of 10 children. Her mother died when she was 3.
“Their dresses were made out of flour sacks sewn by family members,” Castagnola said. When Mrs. Alfieri was 12 or 13, she scrubbed floors at a bakery.
She graduated from Westinghouse Memorial High School in Wilmerding and the former Columbia Hospital School of Nursing in Wilkinsburg. Her daughter said Mrs. Alfieri, a head nurse, took care of the sick at all times of the day.She met her husband, James “Jimmy” Alfieri, at a church dance. The couple got married and founded Alfieri Funeral Home Inc. in Wilmerding.
“She didn't know her own mother, but she was a wonderful mother,” Castagnola said. “When we came from school, she was there to greet us. She scrubbed our socks and other clothes on the washboard. She was there for all our games, our sports.”
Her grandson Nick Bellich, a third- generation funeral director, said Mrs. Alfieri was very mindful of out-of-town guests of the funeral home who had no place to go for a holiday. “She would say, ‘Why don't you come upstairs and have Christmas dinner with us,' ” Bellich recalled.
In addition to her daughter Rose and grandson Nick, Mrs. Alfieri is survived by her sons, Peter Sr. of North Huntingdon and Joe of Monroeville; daughter, Mary Bellich of Wilkins; sisters, Violet Jokola of Trafford, Dolores Lonzo of Wall and Diana Yurack of Wilmerding; a brother, Peter Gojkovich of Wilmerding; 10 other grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Jimmy,; sisters Mitzi Vudragovich, Mary Estok and Jennie Zigarovich; and brothers George and Paul Gojkovich.
Family and friends will be received from 1 to 9 p.m. Wednesday in Alfieri Funeral Home Inc., 201 Marguerite Ave. There will be a Pomen at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the funeral home. Family and friends may gather at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in St. Nicholas Serbian Eastern Orthodox Church, 2110 Haymaker Road, Monroeville.
The Rev. D.C. Malich will officiate the service at 11 a.m. Thursday. Interment will follow in Good Shepherd Cemetery.
Bill Zlatos is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7828 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Penguins’ best bet is on Martin
- From injuries to front office, Penguins’ season didn’t lack drama
- Spirit Airlines lifts fortunes of Arnold Palmer Regional Airport
- Burnett’s stellar start paves way for Pirates’ victory over Diamondbacks
- Pitt AD Barnes has enjoyed varied career in college sports
- Elites, media & character
- Man fatally shot in McKees Rocks identified
- Penguins president: General manager, coach won’t be fired
- Young defensemen make case for future with Penguins
- High risk, reward with 1st-round quarterbacks in NFL Draft
- More than 2,200 confirmed dead in Nepal earthquake