Walter R. Kitta, Sr., age 97 of Fairbank passed away Wednesday, July 31, 2019. He was one of fourteen children born in Orient on June 10, 1922 to the late Joseph Sr. and Sophia Fortek Kitta.
Walter was a graduate of Redstone High School in 1941. After graduating he worked for Union Supply in New Salem, where he delivered different items to the neighboring patches. Later in years he became a butcher having worked in various stores in the area. On May 2, 1953 he married the love of his life, Theresa Kozma and together they had 3 children. His first priority was always his family. He worked hard and long hours to provide a wonderful life for them because they were his world. He also loved baseball. He played for different patches in the area and for a little team called the “Seatontown Farmers”. He was a pitcher, having acquired the nickname “Oak” because of his strong stature and build, threw some “mean” curve balls which resulted in many no-hitter games. He was once scouted by the Texas Rangers but didn’t want to leave home. He always said he could never imagine himself playing in front of thousands of people and that if he left the area, he probably wouldn’t have had the family that he so adored.
Walter loved the outdoors, cutting grass and working a garden. Even when he moved in with his daughter Frances, he would always help her when it was time to plant. Many people remember seeing him sitting on the porch with his cat Jewel “on a leash” at the corner house and would stop and talk with him. He enjoyed babysitting his grandchildren when they were young and treasured the time spent with them.
Walter was Catholic by faith and was a member of the Church of the Madonna and St. Procopius until their closings. While at church of Madonna he was active on the building committee while the new church was being constructed. He also sang in the choir and absolutely enjoyed it, once belting out his version of How Great Thou Art. Currently he was a member of St. Francis of Assisi in Footedale. He was also a lifetime member of Fairbank Rod and Gun Club.
Preceding him in death was his wife, Theresa in 1996; his siblings: John, George, Mike, Frank, Val, Dan, Joe, Frances, Mary, Victoria, Ann and Sophia; also his cat Jewel who was with him for 17 years.
Left to cherish his memory are his daughters: Frances Shimko and her husband Bernard with whom he made his home. Bernie was the best son in law to Walter, having helped with every aspect of his care throughout the years, his daughter, Cynthia Bernot and her husband Matthew. Cynthia introduced Walter to singing in the choir and she will honor him with her beautiful voice and talent; his grandchildren, Matthew and Marissa Bernot; a very, very special niece Dorothy Ann, who was Walter’s main caregiver. She was excellent to Walter and was always available when needed. Because of her he was able to stay home until he became ill. She cared for him meticulously and liked to converse with him about family. Fran and Bernie could never thank her enough, she is truly an angel, his brother, Anthony of Seatontown, great great nephew, Justin, who he and his wife Theresa enjoyed baby sitting, his furry grand-puppy Cheyanne, who he liked to sneak food and 5 cats. Also, surviving is a son Walter, Jr. and his wife, Stephanie and grandchildren, Walter, III and Stephen Kitta.
The following people are thanked for their care, compassion and understanding on this journey with Walter, the nurses of Amedisys Hospice, Heidi, Denise, Lisa, his aide Darlene, his social worker Alyssa, the aides of C-wing at Uniontown Healthcare and Rehabilitation who took excellent care of Walter, you girls are wonderful! Sherry, thank you for all your encouragement, the people who sat with Walter over the years, Chasidy Garlitz, Mary Kay Mumaw, Cheryl Gaffey, Linda Vaughn-Moore, Julian Onderko and Jean Chamberlain.
To anyone that wasn’t mentioned and was a part of this journey, thank you from the bottom of our hearts! “Love never dies”
Walter’s family will receive friends from 2-8 p.m. on Friday, August 2, 2019 at the Kish-Fabry Funeral Home, Inc., 19 Legion Street, Republic, PA where Prayers of Transfer will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday followed by a Funeral Mass at 10:30 a.m. at the Saint Francis of Assisi Church, (Footedale Worship Site) with Father Thumma Fathimareddy, celebrant. Interment will follow in Lafayette Memorial Park, Brier Hill, PA.