Burket-Truby Funeral Home of Oakmont Burket-Truby Funeral Home of Oakmont Burket-Truby Funeral Home of Oakmont
  Burket-Truby Funeral Home of Oakmont Burket-Truby Funeral Home of Oakmont

Burket-Truby Funeral Home of Oakmont

Kratsa, Marianne (Ruskewicz)

Marianne Frances (Ruskewicz) Kratsa, 75, passed away quietly at home Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017, surrounded by her cherished family. Marianne was a Christmas Eve baby, born Dec. 24, 1941, in Verona, to Mary Josebeck Ruskewicz and Edward Ruskewicz. She was proudly Polish. Like the Romeo and Juliet of another Verona, in her sophomore year she began a romance with the Greek boy across the tracks, her high-school sweetheart, James (Nick) Kratsa. She married Nick on June 6, 1964. Their marriage lasted over 53 years. After graduating with honors from Verona High School in 1960, she matriculated to Presbyterian School of Nursing in 1963 and worked at Presbyterian Hospital and Presbyterian Home in Oakmont, where she was known for her compassion and precision. She retired from nursing to become a full-time mother to her children, Eric Kratsa, Melissa Kratsa Orie and Kara Kratsa. Marianne's family always came long before her own needs, and her exceptional sacrifice would continue. Marianne was also a lifelong partner with her husband in his business, Kratsa Properties, eventually working alongside him. She remained close to her Presby nursing friends, who nicknamed her "Rusk." Ever the leader, she encouraged family and friends old and new to join her at beach- and lakeside vacation spots including Figure 8 Island, N.C.; Sailfish Point, Fla.; and Chautauqua Lake, N.Y. She loved popular songs, dancing, musicals, elaborate meals with festive place settings, cross-stitch, and the perfect French Martini. Somehow Marianne always was the central figure around whom her friends and family revolved. Marianne suffered a devastating blow in 2008 with the death of her treasured daughter, Kara, at 33, and then again in 2013 with the death of her beloved best friend, her daughter Melissa, at 40. Faced with unimaginable losses, yet true to her strong and empathetic nature, Marianne did not just persevere. She triumphed. She became the second mother, "Mimi," to her three granddaughters, Ava Orie, 10, Kara Orie, 8, and Alexa Orie, 6, volunteering at their school, Christ the Divine Teacher Catholic Academy, and coordinating the daily logistics of their lives, from playdates and camps, to teaching the children to read, to choosing the precise clothing their mother had wanted for them. Despite her personal setbacks, she maintained her positive outlook and zest for life. She always strove to better herself, and she inspired that same attitude in everyone fortunate to know her. Her son returned to Pittsburgh to live with her and her husband in 2012 during Melissa's illness. Together, they embraced the last five years. They traveled often, honored the past by establishing playgrounds at Squaw Valley Park and CDTCA in memory of her daughters, and steered the grandchildren toward a hopeful future. Marianne leaves behind her heartbroken husband and son, both of Pittsburgh; her loyal sister, Joy Campbell of Oakmont; many nieces, nephews, cousins, and dear friends; and her three smart, beautiful, and dynamic granddaughters who, with her guidance and inspiration, she knew would achieve great successes in their lives. Friends and relatives will be received during a memorial visitation from 2 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 4, 2017, at the BURKET-TRUBY FUNERAL HOME CREMATION AND ALTERNATIVE SERVICES INC., 421 Allegheny Ave., Oakmont, PA 15139. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept, 5, 2017, at St. Scholastica Catholic Church, 309 Brilliant Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15215. Everyone please meet at church. In lieu of flowers, Marianne suggested that donations in her memory be made to Christ the Divine Teacher Catholic Academy, 205 Brilliant Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15215.