Karen Margaret (Kucinski) Palochik, 76, of Lower Burrell, passed away unexpectedly at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital on Thursday, August 12, 2021, surrounded by her immediate family. Karen was the oldest of four sisters and grew up in Rutherford, NJ. Karen and her sisters shared a beautiful bond of friendship. She often spoke about how lucky they were to have shared their small childhood bedrooms together. Karen often attended Yankees games with her father, and that love of sports, especially baseball, carried on throughout her life. Karen traveled to Greensburg, PA, for college at Seton Hill and met her husband, Jim, in nearby Latrobe. During the years Jim served in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot, Karen wrote daily letters to him, to boost his morale and as a sign of her deep love. Dancing was a highlight of their early years together; doo-wop music was their favorite. They were always the first on the dance floor and the last to leave.
Karen started her professional career as a proofreader for McGraw Hill and that love of good writing and attention to detail continued throughout her life, as did her love of Jeopardy. In her final days, Karen was still astonishing her family with that Jeopardy knowledge. While she raised her children, Karen became a self-taught master of needlepoint, picture framing and calligraphy. The largest part of Karen’s career was spent at Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, where she worked as a paralegal for 22 years. Karen was a treasured member of the DMC team until her retirement a few months ago. She adorned her office with family photos and prints from her world travels with Jim. Nothing made her happier than a visitor at the door, asking about a certain piece. Karen always had a story to share, along with that beautiful smile. Upon her retirement in September, Karen auctioned off these stunning prints and donated the money to charity.
Karen could always be “counted on” – counted on to make mouth-watering pizzelles at Christmas, counted on to wear a gorgeous hat to Easter Sunday mass and counted on to attend every single event that involved her beloved grandkids. Karen’s grandchildren called her “Abby” as a unique shortened version of abuela (grandmother). One of Abby’s greatest gifts to each of her grandchildren was a personalized photo album. Each custom album featured hundreds of photos with loving captions. Her five grandchildren will forever feel her love with the turn of each page.
Karen was the beloved wife of John “Jim” Palochik of Lower Burrell for 52 years; loving mother of John James “Jimmy” Palochik (Nancy) of Pittsburgh, and Susan Stegman (Ryan) of Shaler; dear sister of Ann Stenner (Peter), Susan Brems (Fred) and Rosemary Hochenberg (Phil); and adoring grandmother “Abby” of Laura and Dillon Stegman and Cody Major, Nastasya Baxter and Christian Palochik. The extended family that Karen leaves behind will miss her apron clad holiday dinners and decorated dining table. The dear friends that Karen leaves behind will miss her kind heart and her sweet voice. They will be consistently reminded of her love by her thoughtful handwritten notes and captioned photos. Karen was kind beyond measure. To know her was to love her. For 76 years, Karen made the world a better place.
Karen was predeceased by her father, Sidney A. Kuckinski,Jr., and her mother, Lillian Rose (Bradley) Kucinski.
Friends will be received Tuesday 7:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. and Wednesday 2:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. and 7:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. in the GUINTA-BERTUCCI FUNERAL HOME INC., 1509 Fifth Avenue., Arnold, PA 15068, JohnPaul Bertucci Owner/Supervisor.
Prayers of transfer will take place Thursday 9:30 A.M. in the funeral home followed by a Funeral Mass at 10 A.M. in Mt. St. Peter Church, 100 Freeport Rd, New Kensington.
Family burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully suggests donations to our local library in Karen’s name, as reading was her passion.
To leave online condolences visit www.giunta-bertucci.com.
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