South Greensburg cancer survivor was devoted to family
South Greensburg’s Pat Urda didn’t let obstacles stand in the way of being an active supporter of her family and her community.
“She was resilient,” said her daughter, Karen Peltz. “She showed perseverance in the face of adversity. She was a fabulous role model.”
Mrs. Urda survived a battle with cancer in her 40s. “It slowed her down a little bit, but it didn’t stop her,” Peltz said. “She still lived her life the best she could.”
That included helping her husband, Robert, run the family’s Urda Heating and Air Conditioning business for 35 years. “She was an integral part of keeping him organized,” Peltz said. “She took care of the books, the accounting part of it and the taxes. She was the one who answered the phone.”
Patricia J. Urda, 84, died Saturday, March 30, 2019, at home. She was born March 2, 1935, in Greensburg, a daughter of the late Michael and Anna Zappone.
Mrs. Urda worked as a switchboard operator for Bell Telephone and also spent a stint in the accounting department of the Greensburg Kmart store. She later worked as a secretary at Westmoreland Dermatology while also assisting with the family business.
A member of Our Lady of Grace Church and an Excela Westmoreland Hospital volunteer, she served for a time as a PTA official at Greensburg Salem School District and as a local Brownie and Girl Scout leader, inspiring her daughter eventually to take on the latter role.
“She was the kind of leader who wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. She was learning along with the girls,” said Peltz.” She was a very positive influence.”
Mrs. Urda never missed attending her children’s and grandchildren’s athletic events as they grew, but she also was an avid fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates and the University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball team.
“We knew never to call her when there was a good basketball game on,” her daughter said. “She knew every player and what they were good at.”
Family and friends relished Mrs. Urda’s cooking, including her stuffed cabbage, homemade orange-and-lemon-flavored pizzelles and a pound cake with nuts and cherries she baked for her extended family’s annual lakeside vacations.
On those summer getaways, “She enjoyed shopping and being with her best buddies,” Peltz said. “Last year was the first year she missed.”
When her eyesight faded in her later years, Mrs. Urda was able to continue enjoying books by borrowing taped versions from the library.
“She really had a good life, but it was a tough life,” her son, John, said.
In addition to her husband of 61 years, Mrs. Urda is survived by her two children, John and his wife, Ellen, of Sewickley, and Karen Peltz and her husband, Robert, of Seven Fields; four grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.
Parting prayers will be held at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Clement L. Pantalone Funeral Home, 409 W. Pittsburgh St., Greensburg, followed at 10 a.m. by a funeral Mass to be celebrated in Our Lady of Grace Church.
Interment will follow in Greensburg Catholic Cemetery.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .