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Gladys O. (Ofiesh) BeterApril 20, 1925 ~ October 10, 2017 (age 92)
Gladys Ofiesh Beter, a lifelong resident of the Allegheny-Kiski Valley, passed away surrounded by family at her Lower Burrell home on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at the age of 92. Gladys was born on April 20, 1925 in New Kensington to the late Khouyria Emily Ofiesh and the Very Reverend Father Nicholas Ofiesh, a longtime priest at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church. The 5th of 13 children, upon her graduation from New Kensington High School (Ken High as it was known locally), Gladys immediately took a job in the clerical department of The Wearever Company, working her way up the ranks to Pay Roll until she was forced to retire due to her marriage in 1953 to the late Thomas (Tom) Beter. ‘Gladys and Tom’, as they were often referred to by their friends and family, got their start in the grocery business. By the time they retired they had become known for their work as owners of three Shop’n’Save supermarkets – Russellton, Natrona Heights, and Kittanning. In addition to being Tom’s right hand as they grew their businesses, Gladys supported her two children, Emily Ann and Thomas Nicholas, in their extracurricular activities at school. She became most well known throughout the New Kensington-Arnold School District for her involvement, fundraising skills, and leadership roles with the Athletic Boosters at Valley High School, where her son Thomas was both a wrestler and football player. Despite her life as a busy wife, mother, caretaker for her aging parents, and business owner, throughout her life Gladys was a great believer in giving back to her community. She was the ‘go to’ person that her parents relied on as they maneuvered the congregation at St. George through a time of great growth. Even after her parents retired from their ministry, Gladys remained an active voice within the St. George community, serving in a number of leadership roles, including as President of the Myrrh Bearing Women’s Society and as a member of St. George’s governing Board. She and Tom both were members of the Antiochian Archdiocese’s Order of St. Ignatius, a group of Antiochian Orthodox Christians from around North America who worked tirelessly to promote and fund a number of the Archdiocese’s special projects. Also a member of her local chapters of the Order of the Eastern Star and Garden Club, Gladys was an avid reader and a strong supporter of People’s Public Library. Over the years, in her free time, Gladys was an amateur, but talented, artist; a card game enthusiast – especially Bridge, Bid-Whist, and Gin; and a lover of word and number games and puzzles. Gladys is survived by her daughter, Emily Ann Beter Snyder; her son, Thomas Nicholas (Elizabeth) Beter; 5 grandchildren – Kristen Marie Snyder; Elliot Beter; Lauren (Gene) Carlini; Kimberly (Aneesh) Snyder Mehta; Alexander Beter; three great grandchildren – Evan Thomas Carlini, Alex Carlini, and Tessa Ann Mehta; and three siblings – The Very Reverend Father Gregory (Mary Jane) Ofiesh of San Francisco, CA; Madeline Kayafas of Clearwater, Florida, and Minerva Matthews of New Kensington. She is preceded in death by her husband, Thomas Beter; her parents, The Very Reverend Father Nicholas Ofiesh and Khouryia Emily Ofiesh; her great grandson Gabriel Carlini; her son-in-law, Philip W. Snyder; and her siblings, Dr. Gabriel Ofiesh; George Ofiesh; Albert Ofiesh; Nadia Ward; Catherine Orner; Virginia Ofiesh; Elayne Ofiesh; Neal Ofiesh and Edward Ofiesh. Prior to her passing, Gladys requested that any donations in her name be made to St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in New Kensington.