Margaret A. “Peg” (Sciabica) Pavkovic

Margaret Pavkovic

Margaret A. “Peg” (Sciabica) Pavkovic, 96, of Phillipsburg died peacefully on May 14, 2024, after a lifetime dedicated to family, faith and friendship.

A lifelong resident of Philipsburg, Margaret was born at home on Sitgreaves Street in 1927 to Santo and Theresa Sciabica. Along with her husband John, she raised her family of five children in a house they built in 1959 on a plot of land once farmed for tomatoes by her grandfather and other Italian immigrants.

She was a 1946 graduate of Saints Philip and James High School and a lifelong member of Saint Philip and Saint James Church, where she faithfully attended Mass for over 90 years. Her devotion to her Catholic faith was a mainstay of her life and she was especially partial to the teachings of Bishop Fulton Sheen and Mother Angelica on EWTN.

As a young woman, she frequently took a bus with friends to dance clubs in the Lehigh Valley. One Saturday night, she met John Pavkovic at the Frolics Ballroom in Allentown, Pa. They hit it off immediately and married in 1952, celebrating 58 years together before John’s death in 2010.

After high school, she worked at Ingersoll Rand, and then later at Public Finance Company in Easton, Pa, where she made lifelong friends.

After she raised her family, she started taking trips along with her husband and friends, traveling to Hawaii, the Bahamas, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Barbados and overseas to Germany and Sweden.

Yet she was a homebody at heart, enjoying the pleasures of making new recipes, decorating and gardening.

Her favorite times centered on family gatherings. She grew up in a large Italian-American family and celebrated holidays, birthdays and Sunday afternoon dinners with parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins gathered around the table enjoying a big meal. It was a tradition she continued with her children and then with her five grandchildren, cooking and baking feasts of lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs and braciole. And always dessert. She was especially known for her French pastry.

Margaret followed the news avidly, and read the newspaper cover to cover every single day, always curious about everything happening locally and around the world and always happy to discuss the news with her journalist daughter and her friends. Not surprisingly, she celebrated the arrival of 24-hour cable news and its constant drumbeat of stories. She was diligent about following politics, especially during election season, and would offer running commentary on what she was watching, constantly questioning the current state of affairs.

Her other favorite hobby was clothes shopping, the results of which produced compliments wherever she went.

She was predeceased by her parents, Santo and Theresa Sciabica; her husband, John; and daughter Bernadette Pavkovic. She is survived by Suzanne Pavkovic of Bridgewater; Mark Pavkovic (Lisa) of West Reading, Pa., Matthew Pavkovic of Phillipsburg; and Denise Elliott (Richard) of Phillipsburg; Frank Sciabica of Phillipsburg; Marie Tracey (Gordon) of Denville, N.J.; Anthony Sciabica (Valerie) of Green Valley, Arizona; and five grandchildren, Evan, Erin, Alexander, Andrew and John. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be at the Finegan Funeral Home, 302 Heckman St., Phillipsburg, on Monday, May 20 from 10 a.m. to 12.p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 1:00 p.m. at Saint Philip and Saint James Church on 430 South Main Street in Phillipsburg, NJ.

Donations in her memory may be made to Saints Philip and James School, 137 Roseberry St, Phillipsburg, N.J. 08865 or at