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Rhea M. Powers-Hornyak

November 29, 1914 August 5, 2021
Rhea M. Powers-Hornyak
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Obituary for Rhea M. Powers-Hornyak

Hornyak-Powers, Rhea Mae (Bachtell), 106, Portage entered the Kingdom of Heaven August 5, 2021. Born November 29, 1914 in Pittsburgh, PA the daughter of Harry and Esther (Ritchey) Bachtell. Preceded in death by her parents, first husband John S. Powers (1961) second husband Major Joseph F. Hornyak(1979), sister Aletta (Bachtell) Gibson (1976), special aunt Ida C. Ritchey (1987) and dear friend who was like a daughter to her Margaret R. Vrobel (2016). Rhea is survived by her children whom she loved dearly: Carol G. (Thomas) Woods Edgewater FL, twins Joy D. Powers, Summerhill, PA and James C. Powers, Portage, PA; Step son David L. Hornyak, Mims FL. Grandchildren: Dana C. (Ty) Hill, GA; Shawn M. (Laura) Tucker, IN; great grandson Ethan Tucker IN; sisters in law Marianne Hornyak, Burnham, PA and Melvina (Marge) Hornyak, Johnstown PA and numerous nieces and nephews. Rhea was a graduate of Portage High School and attended Otterbein College in Ohio where she majored in music. She then transferred to Indiana State Teachers College (PA) and graduated with a BA in Elementary Education. She retired after 37 years of teaching for Portage Elementary School and her last years of teaching were devoted to music and art which she dearly loved. She was dedicated to her profession and loved every single child she taught. She was a well known pianist throughout the Portage, Johnstown, and Altoona areas. Rhea started playing the piano at age six. She played for the theater on Gillespie Ave. in the days of silent movies with her only instructions were to play “fast” if it was a “happy “scene and “slow” if was a “sad” scene. She also played for the miners at the Benscreek Hall . At age ten she taught her own piano lessons and by the time she was twelve she had a class of 40 students. This helped contribute to the household expenses. Rhea and her first husband John owned Powers Restaurant on Main St. After teaching school during the day, she would go to the restaurant, help in the kitchen and then play the piano for the dinner hour. She was well known for her cooking, card making, cake decorating (she taught cake decorating at the Honey Tree in Johnstown), machine embroidery, using the computer, the iPad, and iPhone, and many other talents. Her main passion was her family, church, Bible, and piano. Rhea served her church faithfully as a member of Bethany United Methodist Church formally known as Bethany E.U.B Church. She was the church pianist for over 90 years, as well as the pianist for the choir and many soloists. She taught Sunday School, was a member of the Amica S.S. Class, Bible Studies, and these past committees: Worship, Pastor Parish, Lay Speakers, and Administrative Board. She was a charter member of the Beta Epsilon Chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Sorority. Rhea loved the Lord and served Him daily and was Bethany’s oldest member. Joy and Jim would like to thank Dr. David Bencie and his staff for their kindness towards Mom throughout the years and Dr. and Mrs. James Herald for always making her “back” feel so much better when it was so unbearable at times. Rhea’s favorite quotation is by Ralph Waldo Emerson “All that I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen.” Mother lived by that quotation…she never worried about anything, she prayed and put everything in the Lord’s hands. Friends received from 2-4 and 6-8 PM Monday at the Jean H. Kinley Funeral Home, Portage. A Celebration of Rhea’s life will be held 10 AM Tuesday at Bethany United Methodist Church, Portage, Rev. Art Black, officiating. Interment Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Johnstown. In lieu of flowers contribution may be made to Bethany United Methodist Church, 700 Farren St. Portage, PA 15946

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