One of the very first of the Baby Boomer generation, Kathleen Howsare Dell'Aquila was born on the mathematically auspicious date of 12-3-45 to Evelyn Flack Howsare and Clarence Rayburn Howsare. Sadly, her mother died when she was a baby, and her father suffered from shell shock, so she was raised, along with her three older brothers, by her grandmother and grandfather in Pitcairn. Being the youngest and the only girl, she was naturally her grandfather's favorite child, earning the nickname "Queenie" from her brothers. She was a gifted singer who performed at many church and school events, though she often displeased her severe Scottish grandmother by wearing green on St. Patrick's Day and sneaking off to learn to swim. As a teen, she worked as a soda jerk before graduating with Gateway High School's inaugural class and attending the University of Pittsburgh. Once at Pitt, she learned to play bridge at the Luna bar, and managed to be probably the only person in the universe to not graduate college in four years because she dissipated her life away playing bridge - the card game for the elderly. She did get a work-study job at the Veterans' Administration, though, and eventually a full-time position as one of the first non-attorneys to qualify to adjudicate veterans' claims, a position which she held for 35 years, 9 months and 11 days (she was definitely counting.) It was there that she met her husband, Louis Dell'Aquila, a widower with four teenage children, and with whom she had a daughter. She said that moving into their home at age 30 was like moving into the lion's den, but she rose to the challenge, loving and guiding her step-children as though they were her own (and somehow eventually completing her B.S. in Mathematics.) With her husband, she was known for their fabulous parties, personal style and gorgeous home decor. She also maintained her hobby of breeding and showing Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, eventually becoming a judge, as well as singing in the choir of the Sewickley Presbyterian Church and volunteering for a local hospital for special needs children. She had an affinity for the ocean, Diet Pepsi, popcorn, and cookies, and vacationed on Martha's Vineyard before you knew it was cool. Kathleen was a truly modern woman: both feminine and a feminist, intelligent and funny, beautiful and strong. She even excelled at having Alzheimer's, living and remembering her family long past medical expectations, and remaining kind and sweet until the very end. She is survived by one daughter, four stepchildren, and eight grandchildren. Memorial visitation Sunday, October 27, 2019, from 2 to 4 p.m. at R.D. COPELAND IRVINE CHAPEL in Sewickley, PA. Funeral service Monday, October 28, 2019, at 11 a.m. at the Cemetery of the Alleghenies.
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PostedOctober 20, 2019