Educator passed on heritage through family recipes
Marianna “Chip” Burik spent much of her life teaching children the importance of healthy living and nutrition. But at home, she was an Italian gourmet.
Ms. Burik's grandparents came straight from Italy and bestowed her with the gift of Italian cooking. She continued those traditions “so we could experience what she did,” daughter Michelle Stevens said.
“We're hoping to carry on her traditions of her Easter pie and wedding soup,” she added.
Ms. Marianna Burik, 78, of Greensburg died Friday, April 14, 2017.
Born Jan. 4, 1939, in Greensburg, she was the daughter of Giuseppe and Catherine Noel Chipullo. She was a member of the first graduating class of Hempfield High School in 1957.
Stevens said her mother's yearbook notes her longtime nickname, “Chip,” short for her last name Chipullo. It continues: “a well-liked miss with a host of friends.”
Ms. Burik, a lifelong Westmoreland County resident, worked at the Head Start program in Greensburg and Hempfield, retiring as a food manager after nearly 30 years. She received numerous awards for her work teaching preschool children how to make snacks at home and about the importance of health and nutrition.
At home, she was an Italian foodie, specializing in Italian roast beef, wedding soup and a family favorite, Easter pies, also known as “shadoons” — a pie crust filled with romano cheese, pepperoni, ricotta cheese and lots of eggs, covered with another pastry topping and washed with egg.
The name suggests the pies were only a springtime treat, but Stevens said she persuaded her mother to make them at Christmas, too.
Although Ms. Burik was a connoisseur of Italian dishes, she had her doubts.
“She always worried — ‘Did I make it right? Is it too salty?' — but it was always just right,” Stevens said.
After retiring from Head Start, Ms. Burik worked at Seton Hill's Adult Day Services, and she spent the past 13 years helping to raise her grandchildren, Seth and Abigail Stevens.
“She always wanted to help people,” Michelle Stevens said. “No matter where she went, she always found someone to talk to.”
Family and friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at Barnhart Funeral Home, 505 E. Pittsburgh St., Greensburg. A liturgy service outside of Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the funeral home.
Kevin Zwick is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2856 or firstname.lastname@example.org.