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Mother of eight found a blessing in every moment

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By Daveen Rae Kurutz
Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012, 7:28 p.m.

Kristin Croyle found a blessing in every moment.

A mom of eight, the Murrysville woman called her children her "eight heavenly blessings" and often said that God blessed her while she fought a terminal diagnosis.

"She would take one day at a time," sister-in-law Kelly Croyle-Miller, of Florida, said earlier this year. "She's so positive about everything and that kept everyone else going."

Mrs. Croyle died at home Sunday, Aug. 12, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 38.

She had been diagnosed with stage four cancer in December, just months after the birth of her youngest daughter, Amirabelle. In the months that followed, friends and strangers offered help to the family — everything from dinners and house-cleaning services to the family's first beach vacation.

Ms. Croyle-Miller described her sister-in-law as strong, optimistic and joyful. When friends or acquaintances would text Mrs. Croyle to see what they could do to help, she often would respond asking what she could do to help people.

"That was her to a T," said friend Debby Rhea of Murrysville. "She had so much generosity and true, true compassion for the needs of other people. The grace and strength that she handled such adversity was amazing. Right up to the end, she wanted to give back to other people."

Long-time family friend Heather Dorrance, of Baldwin Borough, planned a bowling fundraiser for the family during the spring. She described Mrs. Croyle as "very positive," "an amazing mother and wife" who had a big heart.

Friends said the diagnosis never dampened Mrs. Croyle's spirit — she always encouraged others. Mrs. Rhea agreed with Ms. Dorrance's summation of her friend. She said she was amazed by Mrs. Croyle's indomitable spirit that exuded joy, despite so much sorrow.

Mrs. Croyle was "one of the most faithful, patient and strong people that I have ever met," Mrs. Rhea said.

Mrs. Croyle is survived by her husband, Lance, and eight children — Joseph Buchanich, Jordan Buchanich, Kylee Buchanich, Jackson Croyle, Bennett Croyle, Brock Croyle, Alessandra Croyle and Amirabelle Croyle. She is also survived by her parents Gregory Brown, of Murrysville, and Cathy Arndt Malay, of Murrysville; her grandmother Virginia Arndt, of Plum; her sister, Natalie Korch of Murrysville; and her brother, Eric Brown of New Kensington.

Visitation is Tuesday from noon to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. at the Monroeville Assembly of God, 4561 Old William Penn Highway in Monroeville. A memorial service will be held Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the church.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Kristin Croyle Fund by making a deposit at any PNC Bank or online at .

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