Family woman a blend of cheer, determination
By Christina Gallagher
Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
When Kim Slobodnyak went out for a drive, she couldn't resist searching for large cardboard boxes piled in someone's trash.
A discarded refrigerator box was a key find, as often she would transform them into a backdrop for the children's plays she directed at the Mifflin Avenue United Methodist Church in Wilkinsburg.
“She was a miracle with cardboard and duct tape,” said her daughter Nicole Slobodnyak of Wilkins.
Kimberly Jean Slobodnyak of Wilkins died Saturday, July 6, 2013, in the Cranberry home of her daughter Bonnie Montalbano, after a long battle with ovarian cancer. She was 59.
Mrs. Slobodnyak grew up in Wilkinsburg and met her husband, Nick, during a kindergarten field trip to the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. They began dating in eighth grade when she asked him to a Sadie Hawkins dance.
“That was our first date, and we haven't been apart since,” Nick Slobodnyak said.
After marrying at 20, the couple raised their three children in Wilkins.
Mrs. Slobodnyak worked as office manager for Forest Hills Dental for 24 years. Tracie Bruno, her co-worker, said Mrs. Slobodnyak had a good rapport with patients.
“She was very spunky, very good with patients and very outgoing,” Bruno said.
Every Thanksgiving, Mrs. Slobodnyak organized dinner for about 60 relatives in Mifflin Avenue United Methodist Church. She would connect dozens of tables to create one large one because she wanted her extended family to share the holiday together.
When she was in her 40s, Mrs. Slobodnyak began to train for long-distance races. She completed eight marathons in her lifetime.
Nicole Slobodnyak said when her mother learned her cancer was terminal, she cashed in her retirement funds and took the family to Disney World.
“She could be so silly and so fun,” Slobodnyak said. “She would lighten any situation with her smile and her goofiness.”
In addition to her husband, Nick, and daughters Nicole and Bonnie, Mrs. Slobodnyak is survived by a son, Scott Slobodnyak of Brooklyn, N.Y.; sister, Denise Weber-Gaiter of Franklin; brothers, Clint Weber of Scranton and Dale Weber of Springdale; and two grandchildren.
Friends will be received from 2 to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday in Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home, 1111 Monroeville Ave., Turtle Creek, where a funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday.
Christina Gallagher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5637 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins center Malkin won’t play tonight vs. Sharks
- Kovacevic: Got proof on Tomlin? Let’s hear it
- Connellsville man headed to Fayette court
- Ex-Penguins winger Kennedy ‘emotional’ about return
- Election code violations against Bullskin supervisors waived to county court
- Ravenstahl opposes Peduto’s early retirement plan
- Schmotzer resigns high-paid administrative job with Baldwin-Whitehall
- Ex-Steeler WR Wallace: It was a ‘challenge’ for Haley to use me
- Sewickley Light Up Night planned Friday: Events, detours, parking, more
- Dozens of workers strike outside Downtown fast-food locations
- Film about former Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis in prestigious festival