"But listen to me. For a moment, quit being sad. Hear blessings dropping their blossoms all around you." -Rumi
Katharine "Kay" Eiswert Staib, age 70, died peacefully at The Gatehouse on Thursday July 4, 2013, following a four-year battle with ovarian cancer. She fought bravely and remained upbeat and positive in that fight of all fights.
Born April 13, 1943, in Williamsport, she was second daughter of the late Emerson and Mary Louise Steidle McLaughlin. She was raised at the family homestead, Lorelei Farm, Cogan Station, which remains in the family and continues to be the hub of many gatherings. She graduated from Williamsport Area High School in 1961, then continued her education at the Mercidian School of Practical Nursing in Scranton. Kay was crowned May Queen in 1962, a highlight and honor for her.
Her first marriage to Robert J. Eiswert ended with his death from cancer in 1974. On Nov. 7, 1981, she married Kenneth "Ken" Staib. He remained very devoted to her and highly involved in her care needs over these past several years. They would have celebrated 32 years of marriage this November. After taking several years off to raise her children, she obtained employment in 1977 working at the former Hypertension and Obesity Clinic in Williamsport. She transferred to the Francis Costello Dialysis Unit at Divine Providence Hospital. She remained there for over 20 years before continuing at the Central Pennsylvania Dialysis Clinic, ultimately retiring in 2009.
A lifelong Roman Catholic, Kay was a member of the Church of the Annunciation, now Saint Joseph the Worker Parish. Always active in her church, both she and Ken were Eucharistic Ministers. They also volunteered in the parish center during weddings and church fundraises.
Surviving are four children, Kathleen Eiswert Cero (Bob), of Williamsport, Christine Eiswert Defloor (Yves), of Moreland Hills, Ohio, Karen Eiswert Daly (Dr. Francis), of Lewisburg and Robert Hoffman Eiswert (Sharon), of Linglestown. Also surviving is step-daughter Gretchen Buss (Eric), of Circleville, Ohio.
Surviving with a heavy heart are her siblings, Louise (Ron) Bergen, Norma (Dave) Winter, Mary Ellen (Rick) Updegraff, John McLaughlin (Betty) and Anita (Joe) Williams; along with five nephews and three nieces. She also had relatives in the greater Akron, Ohio area. She is survived by grandchildren, Matthew Cero, Sophia and Evan Defloor, Robert "Robbie" Eiswert, Karli Eiswert; and step-grandchildren, Jared and Brianna Daly and Jessica Halazynski. Her grandchildren meant the world to her, and she was regretful at not being able to see the younger ones reach adulthood. Kay always held a special place in her heart for the Eiswerth nieces and nephews.
An accomplished baker, she was well-known for her fudge and baked goods. She was also an accomplished seamstress. Kay always looked forward to a family gathering or good times with lifelong friends, former co-workers or the annual trip to New York City with her sisters. Although now at peace, Kay's absence will be deeply felt by all those who knew her in her lifetime.
A viewing and celebration of life will be held at Crouse's Funeral Home, 133 E. Third St., on Monday from 7 to 9 p.m. A vigil will be held at 6:30 pm. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Saint Joseph the Worker Catholic Church, 702 W. Fourth St., on Tuesday at 10 a.m. Burial will follow at Resurrection Cemetery, Montoursville.
If so desired, memorial contributions may be made to the Robert J. Eiswert Memorial Scholarship, care of: The Bloomsburg University Foundation, 400 E. Second St., Bloomsburg, Pa. 17815.
The family would like to express their appreciation to the staff of The Gatehouse for their wonderful care.