HARTFORD - Kathleen Zreliak Lucik Venetta, 69, passed peacefully to our Lord with her family at her side on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013. She fought a courageous battle with multiple myeloma for nine years.
She was born Jan. 11, 1943, in Sharon, Pa., the sixth child and third daughter of Andrew and Susan Mihalcin Zreliak.
She graduated from Sharpsville High School, class of 1960, and continued to meet with her classmates until recently. She was a member of St. Joseph's Church, Sharon, Pa.
After high school, she was secretary for the Army Corps of Engineers during the construction of the Shenango Dam and later worked as a secretary at Yobe Electric Inc. and E. A. Winslow & Associates.
She married James P. Lucik on Aug. 4, 1962, and raised their two children, Dawn Marie and James II. James died March 30, 1985. She married Henry L. Venetta on Nov. 11, 1994, and together they developed their construction company, L.E.C. Inc., and in 1998 opened the World War II Museum & Learning Center in Hubbard, with their collection of World War II vehicles, tanks and memorabilia. People came from around the world to visit the museum. Henry passed away on Jan. 26, 2007.
Kathy's greatest joy was her children and grandchildren. She loved nature and diligently fed the birds, deer and turkey. Her cat, Lucky, was always by her side. She also liked to cook and was known for her halupky, potato salad and pies.
She is survived by a daughter, Dawn Marie (Bobby) Bond of Hartford; a son, James P. II (Saren) Lucik of Orange, Calif.; and grandchildren, Airman Dana Bond of San Angelo, Texas, and David Bond and Kaitlynn Moore of Hartford. Also surviving are stepdaughters Katie (Shawn) Hamrick of Niles, Becky Lough of Johnstown, Pa., and Abby (Chris) Cyphert of Cortland; and stepgrandchildren Jessica and Shawn Hamrick, Molly and Monica Lough, and Riley Cyphert.
Survivors also include her sisters, Mary Suhar of Kinsman, Betty (Gary) Ealy of Sharpsville, Pa., and Suzanna (Ross) Vernon of Mercer, Pa.; her brothers, Andrew (Lillian) Zreliak of Sharpsville, Pa., Jerome (Marie) Zreliak of Hermitage, Pa., and Eugene (Mary Ellen) Zreliak, of Masury; her father and mother-in-law, Henry and Margaret Venetta, of Florida; her sisters-in-law, Margie (Rick) Brown and Michelle (Bob) Vermurlen of Florida; and her brothers-in-law, John (Dianne) Venetta of Florida and John Suhar of Kinsman.
She is also survived by a cousin and special "sister," Susan Harvilla, Tresckow, Pa.; close nieces, nephews and many friends, especially her lifelong friend, Eleanor Dougherty; and all the members of the 4th Armored Reenactors.
She was preceded in death by husbands James P. Lucik and Henry L. Venetta; her parents; and brothers-in-law Andrew Suhar, Michael Venetta, Steve Lucik, Michael Suchar and Walter Suhar.
Kathy will be remembered as being kind and generous, and patience and perseverance were obvious during her illness. She never complained during her suffering and her response was always, "I'm fine."
The family would like to thank her caregivers, Missy and Mary Louise, and MVI Hospice, MVI Home Health Care, Advanced Medical Services in Brookfield, and her friends and family who provided loving care and support in her final days.
The family suggests memorial contributions be made to St. Joseph Church, 79 Case Ave., Sharon, PA 16146; or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105; or to Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), 383 Main Ave., 5th Floor, Norwalk, CT 06851.
Calling hours will be from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday at J. Bradley McGonigle Funeral Home and Crematory Inc., 1090 E. State St., Sharon, Pa. Friends may email condolences at www.McGonigleFuneralHomeandCrematory.com. Mass of Christian burial will be 10 a.m. Monday in St. Joseph Church, Sharon, with Monsignor Casimir Bogniak, senior associate, as celebrant. Interment will be in Hillside Cemetery, Cortland.