'Everybody was family' to Mt. Pleasant woman
Margaret “Peggy” Stepansky of Mt. Pleasant loved people, whether it was her family, her cosmetology students, her co-workers at the Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center or her high school classmates.
“Her friends were her family, and there was no real distinction. To her, everybody was family. When she said, 'I love you,’ she really meant it,” said her daughter, Denise Hare, of Chicago.
Mrs. Stepansky would get together monthly for meals with her high school classmates from 1960, as well as meet her girlfriends from her days working at the vocational-technical school, Hare said.
Mrs. Stepansky, 76, died Wednesday, Aug. 1, at Excela Latrobe Hospital.
She was born May 30, 1942, the daughter of the late Gib and Barb Fiesta Zaronsky. She grew up in the Dutchtown section of Mt. Pleasant and was one of a group of friends known as the Dutchtown girls, her daughter said.
Mrs. Stepansky graduated from the former Ramsay High School in Mt. Pleasant in 1960 and earned a certificate in cosmetology.
She operated a small beauty shop in her home for many years, cutting and styling the hair of family and friends.
She met her future husband, Tom, while she was in high school and the couple married in May 1961.
Mrs. Stepansky’s other daughter, Dianna, had special needs. She was dedicated to taking care of Dianna, Hare said.
“Mom was very involved in her activities,” Hare said.
Mrs. Stepansky earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and worked as a teacher at the former Central Westmoreland Vocational Technical School in New Stanton, teaching cosmetology.
“She really liked the kids and liked to educate the students to be the kind of cosmetologist that she was. She wanted them to be professional, to be clean and to have their hair done,” her daughter said.
She not only provided students with guidance in the classroom, but would listen to them if they had problems and needed to talk to someone, Hare said.
“She would lend them an ear,” Hare said.
At home, she loved to cook.
“She was hugely famous for her spaghetti sauce and meatballs,” Hare said. She also loved to make stuffed pepper soup, pizzelles, and angel food rolls. Her husband would help her make apple pie, Hare said.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her daughter, Dianna Stepansky, in November 2017.
In addition to her husband and daughter, she also is survived by two grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.
Family and friends were received at the Galone-Caruso Funeral Home, 204 Eagle St., Mt. Pleasant, where a blessing service will be held at 9:30 a.m. Monday. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. at the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church, Mt. Pleasant, with the Rev. Richard J. Kosisko as celebrant. Interment will be in St. Pius X Cemetery, Mt. Pleasant.
Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.