Dec. 11, 1938 - July 7, 2022
Carol A. Kepner, a lifelong resident of Altoona, died at her home Thursday from heart failure. Although that was her cause of death, the many people who loved her know that her heart never, ever failed. Our mother was an exceptionally strong woman who loved her family fiercely, deeply and unwaveringly. She was our rock.
Born to Ralph and Martha Kinney, Carol grew up in the Altoona neighborhood of Twentieth Avenue and Twentieth Street. She was a 1954 graduate of Altoona Catholic High School, where she formed many friendships that stood the test of time.
She was sadly preceded in death in 1998 by her husband, Melvin, a man she loved the moment she first saw him at the McCrory’s lunch counter where she worked in downtown Altoona. They were married in 1960 and built a home and a life together for 38 years.
Now carrying on her legacy of strength are: her daughter, Cheryl and husband, Jimmy; her son, Melvin and wife, Chris and her son, Andrew and wife, Jennifer; grandchildren: Anna, Jake and fiancée, Brittany, Coleman and wife, Lindsey, Ben and wife, Nikole and Jacob and wife, Brianna. One of Carol’s greatest joys was being great-grandmother to Addison Kepner, who brought endless beauty, light and laughter to her life. Carol is also survived by her brother, Ralph Kinney and his wife, Gail.
A member of St. Therese of the Child Jesus Catholic Church, Mom was a woman of steadfast faith. She prayed the rosary daily and said her prayers without fail, beginning with the sign of the cross and hands folded in prayer. She was a prayer warrior of the first order. When we needed help with lifting up in prayer people who were seriously ill, we would call Mom in immediately. She believed that prayer is the answer to all of our challenges and that it has the power to heal this world.
For many years, Carol was a trusted and devoted caregiver to friends and family members. She was the go-to caregiver for our great-uncles and for numerous friends. She cared for them with compassion and an ability to get done what no one else could seem to do. She was one of the very best.
Smart and 100% cognitively sharp until the end, Mom was a storyteller. She loved revisiting stories about her youth and the lively characters in her neighborhood. Her stories always elicited good laughs. Mom loved to laugh, whether she was browsing the greeting card aisle or observing people’s peculiarities.
It is safe to say that no grocery store ever made a dime in profit off of our mother. She was the Coupon Queen, searching the papers for bargains, coupons, double coupon offers and loss leader specials. She did it until she was too sick with heart failure to drive, push the cart and let Mark in the Weis Market parking lot assist her.
Most of all she was a loving, hard-working, devoted mother who sewed her sons’ shirts on a treadle sewing machine (and they looked darn nice). She was the mother who always packed chocolate covered cherries and a note of “you-can-do-it” support in her daughter’s lunch when she traveled to speech and debate tournaments. Along with our father, she did the most important jobs of all with care: she gave us our first understanding of God and taught us how to be good human beings. For these things and millions of others, we will love you forever, Mom.
Our family would like to thank Dr. Andrea Santarelli, who opened a door with Mom that we thought could never be opened. And we would like to thank Sabrina Will and the extraordinary people of Grane Hospice, all of whom provided compassionate, tireless, expert care throughout Mom’s final journey. We will always be grateful to have been with Grane.
Carol wanted a funeral Mass to be held at St. Therese of the Child Jesus Catholic Church, 411 Wopsononock Ave., Altoona Pa and attended by family and friends who hold her dear. So, the funeral Mass will take place at 11 a.m. Monday, July 11, 2022, by Father D. Timothy Grimme. Burial will follow the funeral in a private ceremony at Grandview Cemetery, where she will join her husband after 24 years
In lieu of flowers, call your mother today and tell her why you love her, if you are blessed enough to still have her with you.
Arrangements are by Stanley J. Krish Funeral Home Inc.