Elizabeth "Betty" Czekalski,
of Natrona Heights, passed away Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009. Born Aug. 13, 1918, in Mt. Union, she was a 1936 graduate of Mt. Union High School. She lived all of her adult life in Tarentum, Brackenridge, Fawn and Harrison. Betty was a pioneer among businesswomen in the Allegheny-Kiski Valley. After completing real estate education at Business Training College in Pittsburgh (now Point Park University), she became a real estate sales agent at Krutz Agency in Harrison. In 1963, she founded Betty Czekalski Agency, one of the first woman-owned businesses in the valley. She grew and operated this successful real estate business for almost 20 years, and eventually four generations of family members worked there. Although she "retired" from active listing and selling in 1980, she continued her labor of love, working for the company that she created until well into the new millennium. Betty was also a pioneer for women in community service, and donated countless hours for a number of local organizations. She was a member Emeritus of the Allegheny Valley Business and Professional Women's Club and in 1978 was awarded Woman of the Year. She was active in the Allegheny Valley Chamber of Commerce and was the first woman elected to the Chamber's board of directors. In 1977, she became the first woman to serve on the board of directors of Allegheny Valley Hospital. In 1994, she was awarded Small Business of the Year by the Allegheny Valley Chamber of Commerce. In her leisure time, she enjoyed cooking, and dining out with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She also enjoyed playing a number of card games, and was known as a formidable euchre player. She is survived by a son, Wally (Janet) Czekalski, of Harrison; a daughter, Barbara (Wilford) Russell, of Greensburg; five grandchildren, Christine (Andrew) Spece, Wally "Tyke" (Danielle) Czekalski, Michelle (Daniel) Bradley, Mark (Deborah) Russell and Christina (Donald) O'Brien; and 12 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her loving caretakers, Midge Grossman, Lucy Mahdik, Sharon Crilley, Margaret Chilia, Melissa Slomkowski, Anne Doshen and Kay Nuttall. She was preceded in death by her parents and 10 siblings.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the DUSTER FUNERAL HOME INC., Tenth Avenue at Corbet Street, Tarentum, 724-224-1526. A Christian Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament Church. Entombment in Mt. Airy Mausoleum, Natrona Heights. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Allegheny-Kiski Health Foundation, P.O. Box 92, Natrona Heights, PA 15065. Visit www.dusterfuneralhomeinc.com
Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament Church."