Paulina Takach Fennell

September 7, 1924 ~ May 1, 2020 (age 95)


Paulina Takach Fennell, of Butler, passed away on May 1, 2020. She was 95.

Paulina was born on September 7, 1924, to Paul Takach and Mary Hospodar Takach, immigrants from Slovakia who met, married, and raised their family in Leechburg, PA, where Paul worked for Allegheny Ludlum Steel. Paulina was their youngest daughter and the fifth of their six children.

After Paulina graduated from Leechburg High School in 1942, she went to work in the business office of Allegheny Ludlum at West Leechburg. On Dec. 31, 1945, a coworker, Edwina Fennell, set Paulina up on a blind date with her brother James S. Fennell, Sr., who had served in the Eighth Army Air Corps in Europe during WWII. Paulina married Jim on June 26, 1948. After several moves related to Jim’s career, the Fennell family settled in Butler in 1961. Paulina and Jim raised six children and were married for 63 years, until Jim passed away in March 2012.

For most of her life, Paulina was a full-time wife and mother. With the encouragement of her daughter Kathleen, Paulina began working outside the home in the mid 1970s, eventually becoming assistant manager of the Altmeyer’s Home Store then in downtown Butler. After her retirement from Altmeyer’s she continued to work at The Bon Ton department store until 1991.

Paulina is survived by five of her children: James S. Fennell, Jr. of Beaumont, TX (m. Jeanne Briskey); John Fennell of Butler; Richard Fennell of Alexandria, Virginia (m. Nancy Seck); Marcia Fennell Kostic of Pittsburgh (m. John Kostic), and Sandra Fennell of Murrysville. Her daughter Kathleen Fennell Briggs (m. Steve Briggs) preceded her in death.

Paulina is also survived by her grandchildren, Mark (Dana) Fennell of Harleysville, PA; Rebecca (Benjamin) Hall of Pearland, TX; Karen (Jordan) Spindle of Tyler, TX; David (Nicole) Fennell of Houston, TX; Katherine (Luke) Palumbo of Kingwood, TX; Kevin (Alicia) Briggs of Aldie, Virginia; Bryan Fennell of Washington, DC; Erik and Andrew Fennell of Rockville, MD; Victor and Sean Patrick Dryer, of Pittsburgh; and Mary Kathleen and Clare Dryer, of Murrysville; 18 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, her husband, and her daughter, Paulina was preceded in death by her three sisters, Mary (Michael) Ondrey, Anna (Joseph) Strapac, and Elizabeth (Edwin) Nowacki, two brothers, Paul and John (Mary) Takach, and two nephews.

Paulina was a member of St. Peter’s Roman Catholic parish in Butler. Her interests, many of which she has passed on to her children and grandchildren, included reading, cooking, word puzzles, musicals, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, and classic movies.

Paulina was reserved and considered shy in her younger days, but her family and friends came to know her quiet but often mischievous sense of humor, which was with her even in her last days. She was greatly loved and will be greatly missed.

Her children wish to thank the staff at Sunnyview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for their love and care for Mom since October 2017.

Due to the current situation caused by the pandemic, private Services and Burial were held for her family. A public Memorial Service will be held and announced at a later time. Arrangements by the Geibel Funeral Home, 201 East Cunningham Street, Butler.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Peter's Church, 127 Franklin St., Butler, PA 16001 or to the American Heart Association.

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