Life is like a box of chocolates. At least, that’s how Joan Marie “Pete” (Krawczyk) Kruszka saw things. You never know what each new day might be filled with, but at least you’ll have had some chocolate when it’s all said and done. Joan passed away on Sunday, April 16th, 2023 and was reunited in Heaven with the love of her life, Paul Kruszka.
Born on May 24, 1938, in Swissvale, she quickly cemented her place as the center of attention in our family by winning a blue ribbon award for “cutest baby”. Throughout her teenage years, she was inundated with suitors hoping to take her out, but she knew the very moment she met Paul that he was the only one for her. In her career, she was a trailblazer, learning to type at IBM in the early 1950’s and then working as an office manager for a pediatrician until her retirement. Joan was a devout Catholic and a long-time parishioner of St. Agnes Parish in North Huntingdon.
Full of spunk, sass, and sugar, Joan taught us many invaluable lessons while she danced through life. Consider some of her priceless wisdom: It’s ok to have sticky buns and ice cream for breakfast. “Fudgicles” and “fudgies” are both acceptable pronunciation for fudge popsicles. Always get to church early enough for the rosary, that way you also guarantee yourself a good seat. There’s no problem that a glass of Kümmel can’t solve. When in doubt, go to Vegas, and always have champagne ready for when you land. If a department store is giving away gift cards to the first hundred customers of the day, you count as a new customer each time you go to a different entrance. It’s ok to fight for the bill when you want to treat your family to dinner. Pie doesn’t count as dessert and should always be followed by cookies and cake. Always wear bright colors, so that everyone can see you when you walk into the room — adding sparkles or glitter is even better. If you’re feeling cold and snuggly, it’s socially acceptable to wear a blanket everywhere you go as well. If anyone asks your age, the appropriate response is always thirty, even if you’re in your eighties. You’ll sleep better if you let the Golden Girls play in the background. If you’re cute and smile, you can trick the nursing home staff into giving you double desserts. Yes, Joan taught us a lot, but most importantly, she taught us to never forget to cherish the unique flavor of each day, to savor the sweetness of the tender moments, to hug and hold the ones you love, and to always always always remember what her fortune cookie once told her: life is a verb.
Although Joan loved chocolate, the sweetest thing to her was the time she got to spend with her beloved family. She savored every moment that she could spend with them, and would start counting down the minutes until their next visit from the instant they left. Her spirit lives on through her daughter, Kathy (Rick) Raeder of Bethel Park, and her son, Ken (Karen) Kruszka of Plum, as well as four grandchildren, Ricky (Ari), Kayla, Robby, and Kenny. As the daughter of John “Bunny” and Helen (Pilepić) Krawczyk, Joan is survived by her brother, Tom (Peggy) Krawczyk of Monroeville. She was predeceased by her brother Frank (Sharon) Krawczyk of Arizona.
A Catholic Mass will be held on Wednesday, April 19th, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. in Word of God Church, 7446 McClure Avenue, Swissvale, PA 15218, followed by a burial at All Saints Braddock Catholic Cemetery. Arrangements handled privately by David J. Henney Funeral Home, Library.
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