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Woman was a model of adapting to lifestyles

Hilda Meyer considered herself a city girl, but she gave up life on Troy Hill and the promise of a modeling career to live on a Glenwillard farm because she loved Leo Barcaskey.

Hilda Barcaskey, of Moon, a charter member of St. Margaret Mary Church in Moon, died of natural causes Thursday, Sept. 25, 2003, at her home. She was 97.

Her husband’s farm was a far cry from the modeling rooms of the former Joseph Horne Co. in downtown Pittsburgh.

“My mother was a stately young woman who would model the expensive dresses and gowns that Joseph Horne’s was noted for,” said her daughter, Dolores Barcaskey. “In those days, Horne’s was the center of the carriage trade, and many of her customers were the wives and daughters of the industrialists and financiers who lived on Ridge Avenue (on the North Side).”

It took a long time for Mrs. Barcaskey to adjust to rural life, and she regularly returned to her native Troy Hill to be with her family, her daughter said.

Hilda Meyer was one of seven children. Her father worked in the meat-packing plants on the North Side.

After grade school, she helped her family by finding work — first in a candy factory and then at Horne’s, where another model introduced her to Leo Barcaskey, her daughter said.

They dated, and he used to pick her up in his model T Ford.

“Dad proposed to Mom by telling her he was tired of driving his old car from Glenwillard to Troy Hill and suggested it would be a lot easier if Mom would marry him and move to his family’s farm.”

They married in 1920 at Most Holy Name Church on Troy Hill.

Barcaskey said it was easy to understand why her mother gave up the city life, opting instead to can the vegetables that her husband grew on the farm.

“Dad was a good auto mechanic and a hard worker who loved Mom and his children and was willing to work two jobs to raise us,” said Dolores Barcaskey.

In later years, the couple spent winters in Florida until Mr. Barcaskey fell ill. He died in 1977.

Although Hilda Barcaskey never held a job after her marriage, she busied herself with crochet. She turned out dozens of tablecloths and bed spreads, which she gave to her children, relatives and friends — and to needy families.

In 1990, Mrs. Barcaskey made time to help count the Sunday collections at St. Margaret Mary Church, the parish that she and her husband helped to establish in the mid-1950s.

Mrs. Barcaskey is survived by her daughters, Dolores Barcaskey and Betty Jane Pfeiffer, both of Moon; a son, James L. Barcaskey, also of Moon; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by a son, David Lee Barcaskey; three brothers, Charles, Robert and Regis Meyer; and two sisters, Adelaide Melich and Mary Meyer.

Visitation is from 2 to 9 p.m. today at Copeland’s Moon Township, 981 Brodhead Road.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Margaret Mary Church, Moon. Burial will be at Resurrection Cemetery, Moon.


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