Anna Dobrosky, 92, wartime factory worker

Anna Dobrosky, 92, passed away peacefully in her sleep at her home, MapleShade Meadows Senior Residence in Nesquehoning, Pa. on September 11, 2014. She was born on November 10, 1921 in Sterkovci, Czechoslovakia to Jan and Zuzanna Sterankovic. They emigrated from Europe in 1923 and settled in a small rural area near Tamaqua, PA, populated by anthracite coal miners and farmers. Anna grew up tending to the family’s farm, growing and harvesting the grain crops that were fed to the cows. She sold surplus grain, milk and home churned butter in a nearby town.

She attended a one-room schoolhouse that educated eight grades and, as Slovak was spoken in her home, she learned the English language by immersion at her school. Because of financial necessity, she left school after eight grades, and she worked on the family farm. She taught her seven younger siblings the English language and supervised their farm chores.

Anna was 19 when World II began and she joined the movement to recycle tin cans and fat that were used to produce weapons and war materials. While the United States was at war, she worked on an assembly line in an explosives factory that made blasting caps. She also continued the hard work of farming that was essential because of the austerity of food and gas rationing during the war years.

At age 20 she met Joseph Dobrosky at a grange dance, who, like Anna, was from a Slovak farming family. Within two years they married, and, as an army draftee, he left for basic training 20 days after their wedding day to serve in the South Pacific. Their frequent exchange of letters kept their romance alive during the two years that he served until the war ended. Their marriage lovingly endured for 66 years until the death of Joseph in August of 2009.

Anna and Joseph had a strong work ethic through many years in their jobs, he in mining, construction and school custodial work, and Anna, at a ladies’ apparel factory. They enjoyed family events very much and took great pride in the extension of their immediate family--children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Anna was a good historian and enthusiastic about sharing her early years and the rural lifestyle in her homeland in what is now Slovakia.

Anna is survived by three children, Joanne and her husband John of Ridgefield, Joseph, Jr. and his wife Rebecca of Emmaus, PA and James of Summit Hill, PA; five grandchildren, Tracy Patrick Panchelli of Exton, PA, Jason Patrick and his wife Lauren of Newtown, CT, Jayme, wife of Matthew Tilley, Laporte, CO, Aaron Patrick of Boston, MA and Sean Dobrosky of Austin, TX; six great-grandchildren, Caroline and Colin Panchelli, Jacob and Kara Tilley, Cali and Evelyn Patrick, four brothers, Paul Steranka, Mill Creek, WA, John Steranka, Valencia, CA, Joseph Steranka, Laurel, MD and Michael Steranka, Tampa, FL.

She is pre-deceased by her devoted husband Joseph, her sister, Mary Rabbas, and brothers Andrew and George Steranka.

Her children are grateful for the devoted and respectful attention given by the staff of MapleShade Meadows Senior Residence and the compassionate care by Lisa, Monika and Michaeline of St. Luke’s Hospice, Bethlehem, PA.

A funeral mass took place at SS. Peter and Paul’s Roman Catholic Church in Tamaqua, PA, followed by a graveside service and luncheon in Nesquehoning, PA.