Cover photo for Pauline Helen Gacnik's Obituary
Pauline Helen Gacnik Profile Photo

Pauline Helen Gacnik

March 7, 1926 — March 29, 2022

Pauline Helen Gacnik

Heaven has gained an angel. Pauline Helen (Trontel) Gacnik, 96, passed away peacefully on March 29, 2022 of causes incident to age.

Pauline was born March 7, 1926, to Mathew and Caroline (Lessar) Trontel on 5th Avenue in Midvale, Utah. She had two siblings, sister Caroline and brother Matt, with whom she had a special bond.

Pauline was proud of her Slovenian heritage, spoke the language, and passed on many Slovenian traditions we cherish today, such as potica, sarma, and Zegen. Christmas and Easter will never be the same without her.

As a teenager, Pauline, along with her sister Caroline, played for the Utah Shamrocks, the historic fast-pitch women’s softball team. Pauline anchored first base as a ‘lefty,” and was fondly nicknamed “Peanuts.” Caroline, known as “Carrots,” was the pitcher. Both were excellent players and made quite a softball pair.

Pauline became a telephone operator after high school and always said it was her favorite job besides being a homemaker.

After a whirlwind courtship, Pauline married Jerry Louis Gacnik on August 31, 1946 in Midvale. They spent the first 5 years of marriage in the coal mining town of Superior, Wyoming, before returning to Midvale for Jerry’s job at Kennecott. They were married for 53 years before Jerry’s passing in 1999. Together, Jerry and Pauline raised four children: Carolyn, Rosie, Michael, and Marilyn.

Pauline would not want us to sing her praises, but we will anyway! She set a good example of kindness, humility, and generosity for all of her family members to follow. She showed quiet strength through life’s challenges, offering guidance, love and support, a helping hand, a listening ear. She was a polite, prayerful woman who lived her life with honesty and integrity. She loved her family unconditionally, and oh how much we all loved her! Pauline would not want us to focus on her physical beauty, but who can forget her beautiful smile. That smile.

Pauline was a devout Catholic, with a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. She attended daily mass at St. Therese Catholic Church through most of her life and had many special church friends. She was a member of the Third Order of Franciscans, faithfully following the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi who taught humility, simplicity, and helping the poor. She always had her rosary and prayer books nearby, and we thank her for the many, many, many prayers she said for all of us over the years.

Pauline is survived by her four children: Carolyn Huey (Jack); Rosemary Gacnik-Flores (Robert), Michael Gacnik, and Marilyn Porter (James); Seven grandchildren: Anthony Huey, Angela Huey Fox, Andrew Huey, Christopher Porter, Marie Gacnik Wade, David Gacnik, and Laura Beebe; 12 great-grandchildren: Doriana Porter, Olivia Huey, Cross and Roman Huey, MaKailey, Paisley, and Vincent Porter, Mira and Silas Fox, and Deegan, Braden, and Adison Wade; and her special nieces and nephews from the Menghini family (Paul, Mark, Karen, Gary, John, and Linda) and the Trontel family (Rachel and Mattie).

Pauline is preceded in death by her husband Jerry, her parents Mathew and Caroline Trontel, sister and brother-in-law Caroline and Leno Menghini, brother and sister-in-law Matt and Linda Trontel, infant sister Josephine, and grandson Justin Clarke.

We would like to thank Dr. Barry Stults for his excellent care of Pauline for many years, and are grateful to the staff at Sunrise of Sandy Senior Living for their tender loving care during her final years.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, April 8th, 2022 at St. Therese Catholic Church (624 West Lennox Street, Midvale). Visitation 10:00-11:00 a.m., Holy Rosary at 11:00 a.m., and Mass of Christian Burial at 11:30 a.m. Interment Midvale City Cemetery. Masks recommended for the services, please.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Pauline’s memory to Catholic Community Services of Utah ( ). She would like that as her focus has always been on helping those in need.

We have been blessed by Pauline’s presence for 96 years. Rest in peace dear Mom, grandma, great-grandma, aunt, and friend. We will miss you dearly.

Past Services


Friday, April 8, 2022

Starts at 10:00 am (Mountain time)

St. Therese Catholic Church

624 Lennox St, Midvale, UT 84047

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