Bernadette Marie Sokol, 53, of Rostraver Twp. died Saturday, January 9, 2016, in Jefferson Hospital's Rehabilitation Medicine Center.
Bernadette was born on June 30, 1962, at Frick Hospital, the daughter of the late Michael Sokol and Alice JoAnn Kuhn Sokol. She was the granddaughter of the late Mike and Josephine Sokol and John and Pearl Kuhn Leavor and John Leavor.
A graduate of Belle Vernon Area High School, she received her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Pittsburgh. She received her Master's Degree as a Reading Specialist from California University of Pennsylvania.
Bernadette began her teaching career at St. Thomas More School in Bethel Park. She was a passionate teacher who was currently teaching at Marion Elementary, and she had been part of the Belle Vernon Area School District for 22 years. Bernadette considered teaching the best job in the world. She organized programming and fundraisers in her school and cared for her children in her classroom and even beyond their classroom years. One of her favorite fundraisers was the "Pasta for Pennies" fundraiser that benefited the Lymphoma and Leukemia Foundation.
She was a wonderful caregiver to her parents and showered love on all her family and friends. Bernadette also was an avid and accomplished photographer and crafter, making scrapbooks for all her nieces. She was an excellent cook and her meatloaf was highly prized. She was a fan of all Pittsburgh sports, especially the Pittsburgh Pirates. She realized her dream of international travel, going to France and Spain this past year, and enjoyed her annual beach vacations with the Russell family (Carl, Kathy and Robert).
Bernadette is especially beloved by her partner for life, John Russell of Rostraver Twp., her six brothers and sisters, and 13 nieces and nephews, who always counted on Bernadette for a good laugh, a good story and lots of love. While working in rehab, her nieces and nephews were able to play many hours of games with her. She was a member of the former St. Timothy's Church in Smithton and attended the Church of St. Anne in Rostraver Twp.
In addition to John Russell, Bernadette is survived by her siblings, Teresa (William) Thomas of Mount Lebanon, Mary (Ken Martin) Sokol of Midway, Tim (Jackie) Sokol of Columbus, OH, Mark (Chrissy) Sokol of Scottdale, Cathy (Rick) Hesson of West Newton and John (Kim Clark) Sokol of Belle Vernon. Her nieces and nephews include, Ian Thomas; Alexandria, Mekenzie, Emily and Gracie Sokol; Amanda, Maxwell and Evan Sokol; Lauren, Jack, Mike and Joe Sokol; and Alice Hesson.
Friends will be received Tuesday from 2 to 9 p.m. in the James C. Stump Funeral Home Inc., 580 Circle Drive, Belle Vernon/Rostraver Township (724-929-7934) www.jamesstumpfuneralhome.com where a Blessing Service will be held Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass at 10:00 a.m. in the Church of St. Anne with Rev. Vincent J. Gigliotti as celebrant.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to "Pasta for Pennies" in Bernadette's name, through Marion Elementary School.
A service summary is not available