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Obituary: Virginia Rae Chopak Schaefer, Canonsburg Native Involved in Labor Movement

July 12, 1937 - Nov. 10, 2012

Virginia Rae Chopak Schaefer, 75, of Canonsburg, died Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, in Canonsburg General Hospital.

She was born July 12, 1937 in Pittsburgh, a daughter of Norman L. and Mary Ellen Flanery Cline. She loved spending time with her grandchildren, and had a strong interest in civil rights.

She retired as the director of education at AFSCME, council 13, in 1999. She had gained nationwide attention as a guest labor instructor, especially for her powerful monologue portrayals of Mother Jones and Susan B. Anthony.

Her devotion to labor and education was life-long, as she also served as a local union training instructor for six years before Council 13—along with several local union officer positions.

She will be deeply missed by those who knew her in the labor movement.

Surviving are her son, Andrew Chopak (Heather) of Canonsburg; daughter Sheryl McCutheon (Kenneth) of Scotland; daughter Roberta Czarnecki, of Chicago; step-son William R. Schaefer of Camphill; step-daughter Sonia Schaefer Sellers of Harrisburg; brother Pat Cline Sr. (Mary Lou) of Venetia; three grandchildren, Joshua, Holly and Heather Chopak; niece Kimberly Gillott and nephew Pat Cline Jr.

In addition to her parents, she was preceeded in death by her husband, Harry A. Schaefer; son David Andrew Chopak; and brother Norman L. Cline Jr.

Friends will be received from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday at the Sollon Funeral Home, located at 30 E. College St. in Canonsburg, where services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday with Revs. Daniel and Catherine Peternel officiating.

Interment will follow in the Oak Spring Cemetery.

For more information or to leave online condolences, visit the Sollon Funeral Home website here.

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