Cynthia “Cindy” Opalka

Cynthia “Cindy” Opalka, 65, Waymart, PA, passed from this mortal life on September 10, 2023.  While at her daughter’s home, in the care of Hospice of the Sacred Heart, she was surrounded by her loving family – especially Michael Opalka, her devoted husband of 45 years.

Cynthia (Ferris) Opalka graduated from Lakeland High School, obtained her associate’s degree from Keystone College, and her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Wilkes University. She loved working as an Accountant and Director of Purchasing where negotiating was her passion.  

She was a woman greatly devoted to The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.  Throughout her adult life she was an active member of St. Michael’s Parish, Simpson, PA; St. Mary’s Parish, Waymart, PA; and St Rose of Lima Parish, Carbondale, PA. Her family has a deep spiritual connection to St Michael’s through the sacraments multiple generations of family members have celebrated in that Church.

Throughout her life she was active in the religious community. She taught CCD, volunteered at Sacred Heart Intermediate School, was a lector, Eucharistic Minister and volunteered at St. Rose Community Kitchen, even after her diagnosis of metastatic pancreatic cancer.  Her greatest wish was for her husband, daughters, granddaughter, and family to continue growing the faith of The Catholic Church.

She and her entire family also shared a passion for the New York Yankees. 

Born in Newark, NJ, she was the daughter of the late Charles Joseph Ferris II and Barbara (Pleviak) Ferris. Surviving to cherish her memory are her beloved daughters: Dr. Michele Oleksak and her husband Dr. William of Ford City, PA, Dr. Melanie Opalka-Bentler and her husband Robert of Roaring Brook Twp., PA, and Marissa Smith and her husband Nicholas of Covington Twp., PA; her one and only granddaughter Mariah Bentler (her pride and joy);  her sisters Christine Russo and her husband Tony of  Carbondale Pa and Carol Jonsson and her husband Mats of Clarks Summit, Pa;  nieces and nephews Anthony and Andrew Russo; Emily, Sarah and Mats Jonsson;  and many friends. She will also be missed by her fur baby Yankee Puggerly and grand puppies. 

She was preceded in death by her parents; her brother Charles Joseph Ferris, III; nephew Charles Joseph Ferris IV and nephew Anthony Ferris.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, September 15th at 10am in St. Michael’s Church 44 Midland Street, Simpson, PA 18407

Interment, St. Michael’s Cemetery, Simpson following Mass. 

In lieu of flowers, she strongly encourages memorial contributions be made in her  memory to St. Rose of Lima Parish 6 North Church Street Carbondale, PA 18407 and please make note “in care of the parish restoration fund.”

Arrangements have been entrusted to and are under the care and direction of the Vanston and James Funeral Home, Scranton’ PA. 

To share a memory or to express your condolences to the family please visit


  1. Margaret Calafut

    So very sorry for your loss! Chris I will be praying for you..Loosing a sister is one of the hardest losses in you my friend ?

  2. Kathy Evans

    My heartfelt condolences to the entire family on the loss of your wonderful, generous mother, wife and sister. My sons and I will deeply miss her.

  3. Sue

    You will be missed…

  4. Kathleen And Frank Di Carluccio

    Cynthia You came into our lives as you and Michael. We’re planning a beautiful wedding. We had a lot in common, especially being fans of the Yankees! We will never ever forget your beautiful, infectious smile. Your loving, tender heart. You leave behind a legacy of beautiful children that will grace the world with their presence. Michael and children, please except our sincerest condolences on this great loss of your beautiful wife and mother. May she rest in the arms of our Lord Jesus, and always be protected by our beautiful, blessed mother. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this most difficult time. We are here for you. Love, Kathleen and Frank Di Carluccio

  5. Beth Kosik

    I will miss you my friend

  6. Jim And Mary Ann Roberts

    Michael & family, our condolences on the loss of Cindy. she was a beautiful person and a great friend. Her bravery, strenght, and determenation in her battle was an inspiration to all of us. She will be sorely missed by us and by the St. Rose family meal volunteers. We will keep all of you in our prayers. May she take her rest in the arms of Jesus. Until we see you again Cindy, fairwell.

  7. Sharon Santarsiero

    My deepest condolences to you and your family. A Mother’s love is the greatest gift we receive. My prayers are with you in this time of grief.

  8. Miles Neutts

    Michael & family: Roxanne and I are so very sorry for the passing of your beautiful wife Cindy. She fought a good fight and she won and is now in God’s Kingdom as well as God’s glory. It is tough right now for everyone especially you, your daughters, granddaughter, friends and all other family members. The truth of the matter is she will be with us always in spirit. She also is talking with the Yankee greats and she must be having an awesome conversation with them. May God ease your pain and sorrow

  9. Shelby and Dave Arendt

    Carol and family, So sorry for the loss of your sister. She sounds like a beautiful lady and we wish we would have had the opportunity to know her. Our prayers, thoughts, and hugs are with your family during this sad time.

  10. Annette Conneely Mannion

    I’m very sorry to hear of Cindy”s passing. We were in each other’s company a few times when your grandparents were alive. I’m your cousin Annette down in Florida where your grandparents were moving near me. I appreciate Chris for keeping me informed about the family. My prayers and love go out to all of you.
    Your cousin,
    Annette Conneely

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