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February 20, 2018

Mary Evelyn Vargo – Fayette City


Mary Evelyn Vargo, 101, of Fayette City, passed away Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, at home with her loving son at her side. Mary was born July 9, 1916, in Arnold City to the late John and Anna Janek Tomalski. She is survived by her son, John Richard Vargo of Pittsburgh; her grandson, Daniel Lee Vargo Jr. of Orlando, Fla.; her granddaughter, Catrina Ann Vargo of Cleveland, Ohio; a daughter-in-law, Cathy of Pittsburgh; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was married to John Vargo on Sept. 4, 1941, until his passing on Sept. 29, 2003. They lived their entire married life in Fayette City. She was a devoted homemaker and an amazing and nurturing mother. Her family was her pride and joy. She had a love for life and enjoyed being around people and saw many friends pass away. She had a terrific sense of humor and loved to laugh. She was known for always being willing to lend a helping hand and never refused to do for others. The words “I am too busy” never crossed her lips when asked to do for others. She provided her sons with piano lessons, which resulted in them being church organists while in junior high and high school. Over time, her sons earned back much of the money she spent on their piano lessons. As a young girl, she vowed if she had children, they would attend college so they would have a better life than she did. One of her proudest moments was when her son, John Richard, was hired as an elementary teacher in the Belle Vernon Area School District. She even helped him prepare his classroom for his first year of teaching. Her greatest moment was when he became a professor at California University of Pennsylvania, a position he held for 40 years. Another wonderful time in her life was when her son, Daniel Lee Vargo, graduated from Penn State University and immediately began working for Westinghouse in Pittsburgh and later Siemens in Orlando, Fla. Mary was involved in the community by being an active member of Fayette City American Legion Auxiliary Brightwell Dougherty Post 484, the Ladies Guild and the Confraternity of Christian Mothers at the former St. Edward’s Roman Catholic Church and later Holy Spirit Church. She was a Fayette City Brownie and Girl Scout leader for Troop No. 7, along with Vera McCurdy and Wilma Eley. She was an avid and high-scoring bowler for decades. She was known for her roast beef Sunday dinners and homemade gravy. Her son, Dan, often said she should bottle her gravy and sell it. She always provided her family with a hot breakfast. She enjoyed making large batches of pierogi, haluski, stuffed cabbage and many other family favorites. She loved to bake every weekend. Her family looked forward to her nut rolls at Christmas and Easter. She passed her love of cooking and recipes on to her son, John Richard. Mary had a passion for attending Pittsburgh Pirates baseball games. Her 100th birthday was celebrated and made memorable by the staff at the Lexus Club at PNC Park. With her son, she had season tickets to the Pittsburgh Broadway Series, the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera and the Pittsburgh Ballet. She loved attending the seasonal and holiday flower shows at the Phipps Conservatory. In addition to her parents, Mary was preceded in death by her son, Daniel Lee Vargo, in 1993; her husband, John Vargo, in 2003; her half-brother, John Pabis; her brother, Ben Tomalski; and her sisters, Betty Polinchak, Ann Kundrat, Victoria “Vee” Peroney, Catherine Satoran, Carolina “Carrie” Keleman and Helen Watts. Mary became a member of St. Sebastian Church upon the closing of Holy Spirit Church in Fayette City. Visitation and funeral services were held privately with the Rev. Father Francisco R. Gan Jr. officiating. Interment took place in Belle Vernon Cemetery.  Arrangements were entrusted to FERGUSON FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATORY INC., 724-929-5300, 700 Broad Ave., Belle Vernon.