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Market owner respected in community

| Friday, July 5, 2002

Those who knew Anna Kitch remember her as the spirited and kindly woman who operated Kitch's Market in Slickville, Westmoreland County.

Her parents opened the store in the early 1920s. Friends and relatives, like her niece Marilyn Suarez, also remembered her as a teacher and confidant — "an aunt that you could confide in and keep it secret. She was a true lady of the old school," Suarez said.

Anna Kitch, 89, of Slickville, died on Monday, July 1, 2002, in Forbes Regional Hospital, Monroeville.

She was born on March 27, 1913, in Salemville, one of seven children in the family of Nicholas and Mary Krol Kitch. Her parents had emigrated from the Ukraine, which at the time was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Ms. Kitch was raised in Slickville.

Once settled in Westmoreland County, Nicholas Kitch established Kitch's Market. At the time, the store sold groceries and had a butcher shop. Customers also could buy paint products and other items there.

"The majority of their customers were miners," Suarez said. "They respected my aunt's family.

"In the early days, they also delivered. My Uncle Andy did the driving, and he'd deliver throughout the area. Their customers looked forward to seeing their truck making the rounds."

Marilyn Suarez often visited the market when she was a child.

"I can still remember the wooden floors and the chair that I used to sit on," she said. "It was fun, the market, along with the post office, was where friends would meet and shop or just meet and keep up to date with what was going on in the town."

Suarez also recalled the family's generosity. When the miners were on strike, the Kitch family helped them with food until they went back to work.

Anna Kitch graduated with honors from Saltsburg High School, Indiana County, where she excelled in French and Latin. Following graduation she entered the nursing program at St. Francis Hospital, Lawrenceville. But because of poor health, she dropped out of the program and joined her parents in their store.

Ms. Kitch operated the store with her brother, Andrew.

The Kitch family were members of Holy Ghost Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Slickville, where Ms. Kitch served as financial secretary and a member of the parish board. She also was a member of St. Olga's Sisterhood.

In addition, she was a member of the Slickville Civic Organization, where she participated in many of the town's activities.

Ms. Kitch is survived by a sister, Olga Shumski and her husband, Charles; two sisters-in-law, Mary and Mildred Kitch, all of Slickville; six nieces and nephews; nine great-nieces and nephews; and three great-great-nieces and nephews.

Obednitza with a funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. today in Holy Ghost Ukrainian Orthodox Church, officiated by the Rev. Robert Popichak.

Graveside service follows at Twin Valley Memorial Park, Delmont.

Arrangements are being handled by the Bash-Nied Funeral Home, 152 Abbe Place, Delmont.

Should friends desire, memorial remembrances may be made in Ms. Kitch's name to the Eastern Orthodox Foundation, 422 E. Penn Run, Box 432, Indiana, PA 15701-0432, or the American Cancer Society, 320 Bilmar Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15205-4620.

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