Born October 27, 1934, Catherine Jane Szuminsky (Keyho) passed away at the age of 85 on July 24, 2020 after a recent decline in her health. Catherine was preceded in death by her husband of 61 years, Robert William Szuminsky, Sr. Catherine was the mother of Rosemary, Robert, Jr. (Abigail), Roger (Lisa), and Cathy (Darrell Klette). Grandmother of Bobby, Michael, Andrew, Steven (Jennifer), David, Sadie, Austin, and Owen. Great-grandmother of Makayla and Lucia Mae. Catherine was the first of four children born of Agnes Harriet (Eisenberg) Keyho and Bernard Francis Keyho, of Pittsburgh, PA. She is survived by her two younger siblings, Bernadine Martin and Bob Keyho of Virginia and preceded in death by her older sister Harriet Ulder.
Catherine graduated from the Pinkerton Business School and worked a significant number of years for TWA Airline before marrying her sweetheart and raising her family full-time. With Robert (Bob), Kay raised four children, welcomed their significant others, as well as watched grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow. Bob and Kay enjoyed horses, games of chance, and vacations together throughout their entire marriage. They were the perfect pair.
Catherine (Kay) was a giver of herself daily. She was meticulous in all she did as a sign of respect and love for those in her life. She ran to her own clock, often taking extended time in a task; making sure to complete it the way she envisioned, even if it made her late. Her clock, if observed well, was a measure of her love. So that others would have what was needed, in order to complete a task for home, or to prepare a gift, she often ran behind schedule. Time notwithstanding, this was out of love for her family, careful and meticulous in all she did in order to make each one happy.
Kay was a master of homemaking. On a shoestring budget for a family of six, she could produce a King’s meal from one noodle. Kay would create masterpieces new or from recipes long committed to memory. This was Kay’s way to show caring and love for her family through a skill she truly enjoyed. Kay would create and cook, endlessly providing her time in the kitchen as items were boiled, baked, steamed, and cut. Carefully, Kay would crave meat very thin to layer on a plate, slice a tomato so that each were identical for placement on multiple sandwiches, cut veggies so tiny for homemade salsa that each chip was filled from one swipe. If you asked her the ingredients, Kay would quickly recite not just the item, but its exact measurement, when and how each was combined, the best way to cook the item, and additional suggestions for other versions. She knew where to get the best oil to make Pizzelles, the “trick” to stir the mixture together, what the weather should be like to make the crispest “snap” of the wafer, and precisely how to store these treats. Casseroles were a staple at the dinner table for her four growing children, each produced differently for variety. Dinners were full, fun, and filled with smiles.
Kay’s homemaking did not stop with cooking. She showed love through her skill as a seamstress. Kay could sew, needlepoint, and crochet. Laying board, scissors, pins, and measuring tape on the dining room table, only later to be taken upstairs to one of her machines, within hours Kay would have created anything from a fashion-worthy garment to multiple pairs of jogging shorts. A pattern used just as a “guide” was easily altered under her keen eye to match anyone’s shape or size. If she had no pattern; no worry. If you needed a decorative item; Kay would needle-point it. Needed a cover for the Kleenex box or a coaster for your end table; Kay would simply weave a yarn design in plastic of the prefect color and dimensions. If you had a tear in your couch; Kay would mend it to be undetectable. Getting cold; Kay crocheted you warmth.
She loved being with people. Kay enjoyed interactive games such as cards, bingo, and dominos that allowed time to interact. Whether playing a game or meeting a new person, Kay had a sweet way about her with everyone. To Kay, everyone she crossed paths with was kind, beautiful, and worthy of her attention. If Kay met you on the Trolley, in the elevator, on the street, in the store, she would gain eye contact and start up a simple conversation, paying attention to all your details. These conversations were causal and caring, full of empathy for the simplest thought. Before that person knew, it felt like you were talking to your best friend, sharing a secret with your grandmother, or talking to Santa’s wife. The truth be told, she could have the exact amount for your monthly electric bill in under ten minutes, fully agreeing in its high amount. No time for a conversation; Kay didn’t mind. Instead, strangers were graced by her heartfelt compliments of “beautiful hair” or “really pretty white teeth.” No one was exempt from receiving her loving attention and exquisite social etiquette.
Kay truly, deep down to her core, loved everything people did. Nothing escaped her notice or polite comment. Nothing was determined too small or too big….instead everything given to her was just the “perfect” gift. She appreciated everyone and everything. Not a flower was imperfect, not a tree too tall, no person was insignificant. Her words simple, yet elegant in expression. With warm giggles and smiles, each member of the family learned to love watching her open gifts. Handing her a box wrapped in a pretty ribbon and paper, Kay would exclaim, “Oh, what a beautiful box! This paper is so pretty!” Then, after several minutes of staring at the box and intently studying the paper, she would finally begin to unwrap its contents. Inch by inch, without the tape being allowed to rip the paper or ribbon, she would slide a long, slender finger along a border until all was unwrapped. Setting the paper on top of the box, Kay would purposefully fold, matching corner to corner as she admired the paper before placing the item safely aside. It was only then that Kay would open the box, greeting the “real” gift with “Ohs” and “Wows,” smiling as she lifted the treasure high for all to see. If the item was wearable over what she had, Kay would stand to model. To everyone’s delight, Kay would run her hand over the material, say how soft it was, look at the giver and give another “thank you,” then walking about the room with arm extended and toe tipped as though on a runway she would smile. This continued opening to opening, so that all of us received her gift of joy.
Kay was all. Kay was complete. She was sweet, simple perfection. Kay was a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, friend, companion, keeper of secrets, mender of hearts, observer of beauty, fixer, maker, giver. Goodbye, our sweet Princess. Your hair is beautiful, your teeth are really pretty. You are our model, our great joy. You have our love forever in our hearts. Share a hug with Dad. You will be well missed until we see you on the other side of Heaven.
Friends received 2-6 p.m. on Sunday only at BRUSCO-NAPIER FUNERAL SERVICE, LTD. 2201 Bensonia Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15216. Services and interment will be held privately for the family. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the funeral home is following CDC, Pennsylvania and Allegheny County Health Department guidelines. Therefore, facial masks are required while in the building.
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