South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Tom Smith
South Pittsburgh Reporer Editor 

Virgina Carik was dedicated to making South Side a better place


Last updated 11/13/2017 at 5:52pm

Quietly tending to business over the past 50 years, Virginia Carik influenced the evolution of South Side in more ways than most people now in the neighborhood realize.

A "remarkable" woman, she did everything in a humble manner. When she spoke, it really meant something, said Gene Ricciardi.

Mrs. Carik, 92, passed away Thursday, Nov. 9.

The daughter of a "hardworking coal miner" from Sutersville, Mrs. Carik came to South Side by way of Duquesne where she worked in a steel mill making "good money," $6.36 a day, counting bars of steel.

It was while she was working in the steel mill that she met and fell in love with her future husband, Michael. After marrying, they moved into his family home in South Side.

She would work in the local A&P store for 23 years as a cashier until it closed in 1969.

The Cariks would raise a son, "Hank," in their home in their home on Carey Way in South Side.

"Virginia was able to bridge the past and the future in South Side," Mr. Ricciardi said. "She held on to the traditions, the values and the customs."

Knowing the traditions and customs helped when she was making some of the thousands of pierogies used to raise funds for her church or the South Side Community Council. Mrs. Carik was involved with the Christian Mothers of Prince of Peace Parish and as a member and officer of the Community Council.

Her volunteer work extended to the Board of Directors of both the Brashear Association and the South Side Local Development Company along with the South Side Branch Friends of the Library.

And the volunteer work extended beyond the neighborhood. On Sundays, Mrs. Carik and her friend, Roberta Stackowitz, would volunteer at the Benedum Center as ushers. The women donated the time because they loved seeing the shows and they loved seeing the people.

Mrs. Carik's love of family, friends and neighborhood extended to her church and her faith. A prayerful woman, she dedicated 90 minutes a day to her prayers. She would often have people who asked to be remembered in her prayers. She would say, "I'll pray for you, but God always answers Roberta's (Stackowitz) prayers."

Funeral services were arranged by the Thomas J. Gmiter Funeral Home on E. Carson Street. Mass of Christian Burial in St. Adalbert Church, Prince of Peace Parish. In lieu of flowers the family requested, donations be made to The Brashear Assoc., 2005 Sarah St., Pgh., PA 15203.


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