Mother, gardener from Mt. Pleasant had passion for giving
Pat Stahl didn't allow her own suffering to distract her from her mission to care for the people around her, whether they were strangers or family members.
She took care of everyone from homeless people living under bridges in Pittsburgh to her husband, Donald, who had Alzheimer's disease and died in 2010.
“Everyone who knew her was amazed that she spent a huge portion of her life caring for others,” said her daughter Kathryn Duchin. “She taught all of us — you take care of people.”
Patricia J. Stahl of Mt. Pleasant died Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, at UPMC Shadyside, Pittsburgh, of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. She was 78.
Born in Mt. Pleasant on Feb. 22, 1939, she was the daughter of the late Marion and Josephine (Ozuk) Wisniewski.
She graduated from the former Hurst High School in 1956.
She worked at Laughrey & King Insurance Co. and DeFurio Mongell & Associates for many years, but her avocations included gardening, volunteering for St. Pius X and Visitation parishes and helping the people around her.
“She would tell me if she could change one thing, she would go into nursing so her job would be to care for people,” Duchin said. “She was one of those true examples of how to live a life.”
Mrs. Stahl cared for her mother, father and brother following their cancer diagnoses, as well as her husband when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
“When her own cancer was in remission, she would ask, ‘What is my purpose now?' ” Duchin said.
During her hospital stays, she showed an interest in the nurses and their families. “She lit up when a nurse would come into her room. She would still want to know their story and not focus on hers,” Duchin said. “She didn't talk about her pain.”
Mrs. Stahl belonged to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Christian Mothers and the Mt. Pleasant Garden Club.
“She was so thankful for her garden club ‘angels' who surprised her and came when she was sick, and planted and mulched all her flower beds because her gardens were so important to her and brought her so much joy,” said her daughter Beth Malara.
She is survived by her children, Jeffrey A. Stahl and his wife, Donna, of Greensburg; Beth Malara and her husband, Donn, of Mt. Pleasant; Kathryn Duchin and her husband, Marc, of Mt. Lebanon, and Kristen Balestreri and her husband, Dan, of North Huntingdon; and six grandchildren.
Friends may call from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Galone-Caruso Funeral Home, 204 Eagle St., Mt. Pleasant. A blessing service will be at 9:30 a.m. Friday in the funeral home, followed by a funeral Mass at St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church, Mt. Pleasant. Interment will be in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.
Contributions may be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Jude's in memory of Patricia Stahl.