Apex Funeral Home

550 W Williams St, Apex, NC


Helen Pavliak

August 19, 1921July 24, 2020

Helen Genevieve Pavliak, 98 of Fuquay Varina, passed away on July 24, 2020.

Helen was born on August 19, 1921 in Delmont, Pennsylvania to the late John and Sophia Kovalcik. Helen grew up in a large family on a dairy farm. Helen moved to Chicago in the 30's to help her sister with a new baby. During World War II Helen worked as a "Rosie the Riveter". She was small enough to fit into the engine cowling of the C54 Skymaster and would buff the rivets that her friend Jane would rivet from the outside. After the war Helen married her highschool sweetheart Al. They moved to Lombard Illinois, and raised a family. She has been part of the “new” women’s movement, an inspiration, a leader, a mentor and a friend to many people. She was always busy. Her husband always used to say “Helen can’t you just sit still for one minute!” but sitting still wasn’t in her nature. She was always sharing what she knew. Helen taught Sunday school classes, was a teacher's aid, a den mother, a "Picture Lady" for her kids in grade school, and worked with the girl scouts in DuPage County.

When she wasn’t giving her time to the kids she gave it to the greater community by being the Chairperson for The Medical Missions group. She also volunteered for the United Way and The Second Time Around Resale Shop in Lombard, Illinois. The Shop’s profits went to the DuPage Senior Citizens Council programs. After she retired from her accounting position (in the paying world) she managed The Second Time Around Shop for eight years. When she moved to North Carolina in 1992 another thrift shop was to benefit from her knowledge of running a non-profit resale store. This time the lucky store was Guardian Angel in Fuquay-Varina. They give their profits to the Alzheimer's Association.

Throughout the years Helen has always been a faithful volunteer to her church, first at Sacred Heart in Lombard IL, and then at St. Bernadette’s in Fuquay-Varina NC. At Saint Bernadette’s Church if she wasn't on a committee or in charge of a club, the people who were, would still call her for advice and help. She was a member of the Altar and Rosary Society. She belonged to the Women’s Club whose main objective was to raise money for the church’s needs. One way they did this was through the Christmas Bazaar. Helen was in charge of the craft group and even when she “retired” from it they wouldn’t let her quit. Somebody was always calling for ideas and help. She also volunteered at the bake sale for twenty years.

She started the Bereavement Committee after her husband died because she saw a need. There was nowhere in Fuquay to get food for the family and friends after the funeral mass. So Helen got a group of women to volunteer to bring food to the church and set up a buffet in The Hall (the old church.)

In 2008 Father Mark made an emergency call to her. “The Bishop and some of his friends are coming for dinner tomorrow. Helen, can you get your ladies together and make dinner?” (He called her at 4:00 in the afternoon) Of course they could and it was delicious.

These are only a few of the reasons Helen was voted St. Bernadette’s Woman of the Year and later received their Achievement Award.

She went on to assume the role of Sunshine Lady. Her job was to send out greeting cards for The Silver and Gold Society. She was in a Book Club that met once a month. She was the Historian for the Red Hat Society and her group was called The Flame.

In addition to her parents, Helen is preceded in death by her husband, Aloysius Pavliak, her brothers Stanley and Eddie, and her sisters Lucy, Nell, Kaye, Praxie and Pearl.

She will be lovingly remembered by her two daughters, and son and their spouses: Anita and James Hollister, Leah and Michael Cooke and Martin and Luanne Coles. As well as her grandchildren Michael Hollister, Rachel Halula (Brian Halula), Zola Isadore (Michael McArthur), Yana Cravens (Derek Cravens), Joe Isadore, Rose Lee (John Lee), James Cooke, Andrew Coles (Corinna Coles), Caroline Coles, Anna Gaspar (Jonathan Gaspar) and Grace Slatunas (Shawn Slatunas). And her great grandchildren Kaitlyn Halula, Connor Halula, Ezra Cravens, Ira Cravens and Gideon Slatunas.

A private funeral mass will be held on Thursday, August 6, 2020. A celebration of her life will be held after the virus subsides. A tentative date is August 19, 2021, her 100th birthday.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Bernadette's Catholic Church in Fuquay-Varina, or St. Judes Children's Hospital in Memphis TN.

Condolences can be shared at apexfuneral.net


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Helen Pavliak

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Becky Burt

August 3, 2020

I am so sorry to hear of Helen’s passing. Helen was a person who just brought so much joy to me when I saw her at church. I was so impressed with her great spirit even in her 90’s. You were blessed to have such a wonderful lady, Mother, Grandmother and friend in your life for so many years.
She will be missed - Becky and Ed Burt

Linda Bridgers

July 28, 2020

Dear Leah, Anita, and family,
I am saddened to learn of your Mother's death. I've thought about and prayed for her during this last ordeal. Now, she's at rest and peace in the loving arms of Jesus and with her beloved husband!
I knew her only a short time, but could tell how important FAMILY was...from the many photos, wall of postings, and her talking lovingly about all of you!! Quite a "Mom"! She was a blessing and God-send to me by engaging me as a companion soon after my husband's death when I had no money coming in.....I lived on what she paid me!!! But, I also made a new friend! We had much in common, had much to talk about, and enjoyed each other's company😊 I wish I had known her longer and been able to spend more time with her...she was an inspiration. You will all miss her greatly, but recall all the fun memories, be grateful you had her for nearly 99 years, and KNOW that she loved you dearly, but was ready to go to her Heavenly home and was not afraid. We talked about being ill and not wanting to live unless there was good quality to our lives. She lived a good, LONG life, had a wonderful husband and large loving family, and she knew Jesus as her Savior!!!! What more can we ask for in our earthly existence! She had it All!!! What a BLESSED lady she was!!!!! I'm glad I met and got to spend time with her...I'll always remember her!!!
My Condolences and Sympathy to ALL of you!!!I
Linda Bridgers
7800 Whimbrel Ln.
Fuquay-Varina, NC. 27526

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