Cover photo for Kathryn A. Szekely's Obituary
Kathryn A. Szekely Profile Photo
1925 Kathryn A. Szekely 2024

Kathryn A. Szekely

July 11, 1925 — January 17, 2024

Severn

Born on July 11, 1925 in Moultree, Georgia, Kathryn grew up predominantly in the home of her  grandparents Sally and Grandpa Perkins.  A bright, curious, and hard-working young lady she helped out on the farm, became adept at sewing early on, and earned high marks in school--even graduating early from high school.   On Christmas Eve, 1943 Kathryn met the love of her life while working at the soda counter in the local drug store.  Steven Szekely was stateside on leave from World War II, and just one week later, on New Years Eve, the two were married.  They spent 59 wonderful years together, full of adventures, until his passing in April of 2002.  

Kathryn ultimately left Georgia for Steven's home town of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where they lived with his parents before moving on to Levittown, north of the city.  They finally settled down with their growing family in Glen Burnie, Maryland.  During their time in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, Kathryn kept the home fires burning while Steven finished his tour in Europe during WWII, completed college in Philadelphia, and began his career in Maryland.  Kathryn was always an equitable partner, in fact those that knew her best...or perhaps just those that heard it directly from her...knew that she was "the boss" and a woman well ahead of her time!   Kathryn loved to share the story that once, when she questioned why a bill wasn't paid on time, and Steven asked "oh, do you think you could do better", without hesitation she said "yes," subsequently took over the financial reins, and continued to do so for the rest of their lives.   Her sassy can-do attitude, creative approaches to solving problems during the tough times, and her incredible resilience were essential to their family.  No matter how far Kathryn was from Georgia, her ability to frugally survive and thrive, that had been instilled in her at an early age on the Depression Era farm of her grandparents, served her well.  She could stretch a meal, a dollar, or a piece of fabric to serve its purpose so her family never felt like they were without.  And when Steven would bring his change home at the end of the day she would save all the nickels to afford to purchase one new place setting of their wedding China each year for their anniversary, slowly building a full set.  Likewise she diligently rolled their quarters all year long to take their growing family on family vacations.  She always found a way!

As the children grew Kathryn loved to be involved at their school and volunteered time at the Holy Trinity Bazaars.  She and her oldest daughter Stephanie would fry rosettes together for 8 hours on bazaar day, and leading up to the event she would make numerous crafty items, such as stuffed dolls made from white athletic socks, to sell.  She went on to teach kindergarten at Monsignor Slade Catholic School(formerly Holy Trinity) from 1960-70.  Kathryn loved working with little ones, teaching them letters and numbers, and doing projects and crafts with them.  During this time she also began welcoming grandchildren--17 in total!  Followed by 26 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great grandchildren to-date!  And with every new addition to her family there was a new little one to dote on, share her craftiness with, and of course, pass on the stories of all of her adventures!

As mentioned before, Kathryn was an avid crafter, as well as, an incredible seamstress.  From the early 2000s onward, every year she would submit 50 various crafts to the Anne Arundel County Fair, ranging from Christmas decorations, to wall hangings, to quilts (of which she was especially proficient--having conspired closely with each of her family members over the years to quilt them their own much loved, personalized quilt to reflect their individual personalities and styles).  For several years in a row she would receive ribbons and awards for 48 of the 50 submissions, and humorously be annoyed that the last two did not receive the same accolades!  Fair workers remembered her and looked forward to her submissions, wondering what creative project she would submit next!   Thoughtful and frugal as always, Kathryn saved her prize money to purchase materials for her next year's entries.  

Crafting wasn't just for the fair though, as every member of her family has been the lucky recipient of her beautiful, and sometimes hilarious, Christmas tree decorations.  In January she would begin perusing her vast collection of craft books and "mass producing" that year's selection of ornaments to then gift to her many children and grandchildren.   And boy could she ever turn just about anything into an ornament...old peach pits, burned out light bulbs, paper towels, etc...nothing was ever left to waste in her home and she truly could take what one might think of as trash and turn it into a festive treasure!  She was also gifted at Scherenschnitte, the art of paper cutting, making particularly beautiful three-dimensional Christmas trees, other holiday decor, and framed art.  In her 90s, why not take up a new craft?  Kathryn then became a proficient card maker.  Often sending her creations as birthday, Easter and Christmas cards to families and friends.  

Beyond crafting, Kathryn loved to garden and had quite the green thumb, everything she planted grew without abandon!  That green thumb left most window ledges in her house sporting some sort of greenery, a bathtub overflowing with what looked like a mini-rainforest, and expansive gardens and potted plants throughout her property.  Well into her 80s she could be seen cruising around her yard on her riding lawn mower, or on especially hot days, taking intermittent breaks from gardening, sitting on her front porch with a sweet tea in one hand and one of her trademark romance novels in the other.  

Over the years, she and Steven enjoyed frequent travel, going to every historic site she could throughout the United States.  Sometimes bringing along children or grandchildren to share those experiences.  

Kathryn was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great-grandmother, teacher, and friend.  Upon meeting her it would be impossible to say she did not leave a lasting impression!  Strong, courageous, sassy, opinionated, resilient, and full-of-life, Kathryn's picture could most likely be found sitting next to the definition of moxie in a dictionary.  Her presence will so greatly be missed, but her legacy of love, humor, and grit will so profoundly live on in all those she touched. 

Kathryn is survived by: her oldest daughter Stephanie Groth and her family, which includes grandson Richard Groth; grandson David Groth, and great-grandsons Dale and Dean Groth; grandson Christopher Groth (Anne Groth); grandson Steven Groth; and grandson Thomas Groth; her second daughter Cheryl Fercha (widow of the late Mohammed Frecha) and her family, which includes grandson Joseph Fercha, and great-grandsons Gunnar and Steven Fercha, and Schohn Bratcher; grand-daughter Samia Killmar, and great-grandsons Landon and Avery Killmar; grand-daughter Aysha Anderson(Josh Anderson), and great-grandsons Aiden and Dylan Anderson, and great-granddaughter Monroe Anderson; grand-daughter Nadia Fercha(Melissa Fercha), and great-grandson Montediego Ramos, and great-granddaughters Americee Ramos and Lochlyn Fercha; grandson Omar Fercha(Megan Fercha), and great-granddaughter Wavery Fercha; and grandson Badyr Fercha(Ali Fercha); her third daughter Susan Szekely and her family, which includes granddaughter Alexandra Walker (Tim Walker), and great-granddaughters Ada and Ivy, and grandson Bodie Walker; and grandson Charles Miller (Lindsey Miller), and great-granddaugher Lorelei and great-grandson Nolan Miller. Kathryn was predeceased by her son Randall E. Szekely (widow Nancy Szekely remarried to Harold Summers) who is survived by: granddaughter Amy Blanchard, and great-granddaughter Miranda Jacobs, great-grandson Matthew Merritt and great-great-granddaughter Kinsley Merritt; granddaughter Mindy Bell (Bill Bell), and great-grandson Michael LaBreck, great-great-granddaughter Lianna Bell, great-granddaughter Bianca Leverett, and great-great-granddaugher Kara Leverett; and granddaughter Nicole Greenway( Zach Greenway), and great-granddaughters Danika, Milayna, and MacKenzie Greenway.  


The family will receive visitors at the family owned Singleton Funeral & Cremation Services, P.A., 1 2nd Avenue SW (at Crain Hwy.) Glen Burnie on Sunday, January 21st from 2-5 PM. A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Monday, January 22nd at 11:00 AM in the funeral home chapel. Interment to follow at Cedar Hill Cemetery.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kathryn A. Szekely, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Sunday, January 21, 2024

2:00 - 5:00 pm (Eastern time)

Singleton Funeral and Cremation Services PA

1 2nd Ave SW, Glen Burnie, MD 21061

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Celebration of Life

Monday, January 22, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Singleton Funeral and Cremation Services PA

1 2nd Ave SW, Glen Burnie, MD 21061

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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