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Pine woman 'the queen of North Park'

| Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2005

For much of her life, Marjorie "Sis" Kobert was "the queen of North Park," where she ran concession stands at the swimming pool and ice skating rink.

"Everyone in North Park knew her," said Charles Kobert, her husband of 47 years.

Mrs. Kobert, mother of three and grandmother of nine, died Sunday, Feb. 6, 2005, at her home in Pine. She was 67.

Mrs. Kobert not only was popular among visitors to North Park but also knew everything about the park, where she was born April 10, 1937.

"Her dad was an Allegheny County policemen, and in those days there was housing for them in North Park," her husband said. "I think she knew every corner of that park."

Mr. Kobert recalled how he and his future wife, along with her brothers, often sneaked into the park to ice skate on Marshall Lake.

"I think she fell through the ice almost every time we went ice skating," Mr. Kobert said.

The Koberts were married on Sept. 21, 1957.

Mrs. Kobert, who graduated from Vincentian High School in McCandless in 1955, worked on and off in the park for several years after high school, interrupted only by a short move with her husband to Fort Hood, Texas, in 1959 and '60.

Mrs. Kobert ran concession stands at the ice rink and swimming pool, and operated a Tastee Freez ice cream stand near the park. She later worked as a clerk in the park's administration office.

"She was great to work with. She made the days go by quickly," said Tina Vertes, now North Park's office manager and an employee there since 1980. "She was very well-known and well-liked."

John Long, the park's recreation director in the 1980s and '90s, said Mrs. Kobert was dedicated to the park.

"She loved working at North Park, and she also was busy running her own home. I don't know how she got it all done," Long said.

In 1991, Mrs. Kobert had a massive stroke that left her paralyzed on one side and unable to walk. Yet she would not let her physical limitations restrict her life, friends and relatives said.

"She was always on the go, even after her stroke," Vertes said.

In recent years, the Koberts made several long motor trips -- to New Hampshire, Florida and Mississippi, her husband said. "She loved to see her grandchildren," he said.

Mrs. Kobert also kept in touch with many of the people she worked with, Long said. "She never forgot to send cards to people on their birthdays."

In addition to her husband, Mrs. Kobert is survived by a daughter, Karren Crain and her husband, Robert, of New Hampshire; two sons, Charles B. Kobert and his wife, Charlotte, and Michael E. Kobert and his wife, Donna, both of Richland; two brothers, Raymond R. Fink Jr. and Francis M. Fink, both of McCandless; and nine grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. today and Wednesday at the Schellhaas Funeral Home in Bakerstown in Richland. A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Alphonsus Church, Pine. Burial will follow at Holy Savior Cemetery in Richland.

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