Karas, Mercedes Emma, 102, passed away on September 16, 2022 while residing at Arbutus Park Retirement Community in Johnstown, PA. She was born in Johnstown on January 26, 1920, the daughter of Bruce and Hazel (Miltenberger) Luther. She spent her early years on the Miltenberger family farm on the Ligonier Pike and attended schools in the Johnstown area. Eventually Mercedes moved to Harrisburg, where she worked for the state of Pennsylvania, and where she met and married her husband, Gus Karas. Following the death of Gus in 1975, Mercedes returned to Johnstown and retired from active employment.
Her faith was very important to Mercedes, and she attended First Lutheran Church in Johnstown for many years. She enjoyed doing handwork and excelled at crocheting, knitting, and jewelry making, which she gifted to family and friends. After her return to Johnstown, Mercedes lived with and provided loving support to her mother. They entertained friends and family with delicious meals, fun card games, and stories of their travels throughout the country. Mercedes loved music and attended concerts whenever possible. She especially enjoyed playing her Hammond organ and learned many hymns by heart as well as tunes from her favorite musicals.
In later years, Mercedes moved to a personal care apartment at Arbutus Park Community. She enjoyed making new friends there and taking part in the various activities. During this time, her cousin John Younkin was a weekly visitor, making sure that Mercedes had necessary shopping items and taking her to outside appointments. Mercedes’s extended family is forever grateful for John’s devotion and care. Following a decline in her health, Mercedes moved to the skilled nursing section, which is where she resided upon her death. The staff at Arbutus took loving care of Mercedes. Her family will always be grateful for their exceptional kindness and compassion.
Mercedes is survived by cousins living in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, California, Oregon, and Florida. She is preceded in death by her husband, parents, and brothers Robert and Ben. No formal service is planned for Mercedes at this time. Family members will meet at her burial site, at the Wertz-Miltenberger family cemetery
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