We are so very heartbroken over the sudden tragic loss of Kathy. It seems unreal as if it is a dream. It is so difficult to imagine our lives without her. Under the circumstances and deep grief, it is hard to put into words a deserving obituary for her, but we will try our best.
In addition to her children Michael and Ella, Kathy is survived by her stepmother Mary Lawler and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews. Predeceased by father Edward Lawler, mother Ann Swim, and stepfather William Swim.
First and foremost, Kathy’s greatest and most proud accomplishment in her life are Mike and Ella. She loved her children beyond measure. She was able to raise two beautiful children with the help of their fathers, Mike (Chunk) Yawney(deceased) and Tom Manitta. Whenever the opportunity arose to talk about her children, she would bring them up to friends and strangers alike, always humbling boasting about them. She spent their growing up years attending all of their school/local functions and taking them on many trips and adventures doing fun things. Whenever possible, she would coach their sports teams, and made sure she attended every important event.
Her other greatest love is her brother Patrick. She has physically, emotionally, and financially cared for her brother for over 30 years. She has advocated for him and others with disabilities her whole life. As one can imagine this is no easy feat. At times when it seemed too difficult, she carried on. Kathy and Patrick not only shared a home, they shared the love of old movies and music (especially the Beatles), sports, Ukrainian food, NASCAR, horse racing, going out to eat, having drinks, going to the beach, traveling to unknown adventures, concerts, and dancing. They often reminisced about their childhood and adolescent years together. They knew each other very well. They exchanged several fond nick names, but two stick out. Kathy called Patrick a “wizbang” because although he might not remember what he did 20 minutes ago, he can recall important dates, names, artists’ music and historical events with extreme accuracy. And Patrick jokingly told everyone his nickname for Kathy “Nurse Ratchet”, because she was always catering to him.
It seems everyone knew Kathy or at least heard of her. Near and far she had many friends, acquaintances, and loved ones. She had a huge heart always being one of the first to say “I’ll help” whether it be a funeral, wedding, baby shower, graduation party, benefit, etc. She has always loved to cook and plan events which led her to establish her own business catering events. From well-known concerts to festivals and fairs, you could always count on Kathy to be there. Kathy not only loved cooking, but was multitalented. She was a trained paralegal, physical education teacher, and had pursued a degree in business.
Kathy was a hard worker, but an even bigger dreamer. A big travel dream of hers was to go to Margaretville in Key West, Florida. She loved having big vans, they were easy to travel with and easier to transport Pat and all the stuff that came with them. One of Kathy’s biggest dreams was to have a food trailer and had planned her own design log and name: rollingpat.com. She and Pat could then travel the country and serve food at different places of interest. Another dream of hers was to go to the Price Is Right gameshow in California and to go back to Memphis, Tennessee to tour Elvis’s house.
Kathy would give anyone the shirt off of her back. Her biggest flaw may have been that she would help others before she helped herself. If you needed directions you could call Kathy and give her your closest main route and cross roads and she would be able to get you where you needed to be or right back home. She was an activist at best to fight for others who couldn’t fight for themselves. She would never give up and always stuck to her guns. Kathy was beautiful inside and out. She loved animals, especially Ozzy her dog and Kitty the cat. She was an avid collector of things, many useful and many that may have just seemed needed at the time. She was also very supportive of local businesses and musicians as she wanted to see them thrive. With Kathy being the caring and generous women she was, she had maintained many close and loyal friendships throughout her life.
Although we are all broken we take some comfort in knowing she is at Margaretville with a margarita in her hand and her toes in the sand. Kathy you are unreplaceable as a mother, sister, and friend. We hope you rest sweetly and watch over all of us as we will need it now that the glue is gone.
As per Kathy’s wish she did not want any funeral services. Kathy wanted a celebration of life. The family will be having a private graveside service. However, if you would like to pay your respects to Kathy and her family and celebrate her life, there will be a celebration of life/reception. There will be music and food. Please come celebrate Kathy with us! The party will be held at 925 Old State Route 31 Jordan, New York (The Manitta House) on Saturday September 26th at 1:00 PM.
BYOB (nonalcoholic drinks provided). A dish to pass/food item welcome.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kathy Lawler, please visit our floral store.