AUSTINTOWN - Ann Kusic, 94, left this earthly realm Tuesday afternoon, July 21, 2020, at Hospice House and passed into heaven after a long battle with congestive heart failure.
Ann was born Jan. 25, 1926, in Youngstown, a daughter of the late John and Pauline Spear Pavlisen, and lived her life in this area.
She was a member of St. Anne Ukranian Catholic Church in Austintown, and married her husband, Michael Kusic on Sept. 18, 1948. The couple had two daughters, and remained happily married for almost 30 years, until Michael’s passing on March 31, 1978.
After the death of her husband, Ann played the role of mother and father to her daughters. Despite her fulfilling dual roles, she always provided a loving and warm home for her daughters and her grandson. After being widowed, Ann began working outside the home at JJ Gardens, and later, at C&C Ribbon.
Ann was only five feet tall, but was a dynamic bombshell with her award-winning, heart-warming smile. Even if she was heartbroken, she would not show it, and would still wear her giant ear-to-ear smile that could brighten anyone’s day. Her hugs were filled with genuine, pure, unadulterated love that rose from her soul and enveloped its recipient with sincerity.
It would be wrong to say that Ann “lost” her battle with her health, because she never stopped fighting. Though Ann's health had been failing for years, few people knew the extent to which she struggled. No matter how sick she was, she remained determined. When any others would have broken, Ann stayed strong. All who knew her know what resilience and perseverance truly looks like. There was no quit in Ann. Her joy for life and indomitable spirit kept her pushing through the pain.
Ann loved being with family and friends, and she so loved cooking and serving her “5-star” haluski, stuffed cabbage, and pyrohy. When visitors would call or stop in to visit, she was on top of the world. If anyone put cards or board games on the table, Ann felt as if she hit the $100-million lotto. She was caring and loving, and always placing others before herself, and she would stop on a dime to come to the assistance of others.
She loved going to St. Anne Church to make pyrohy in the kitchen with other parishioners. Even after she broke her kneecap she would still hobble into church to help.
Ann leaves to cherish her memory her daughter, Brenda Binder, with whom she made her home; her grandson, Mike Binder; nieces and nephews, John “Butch” (Louwannah) Bespiaty, Polly Flood (Vic Franco), Chris Pavlisen, Karen (Mike) Pekalla, Janice (Ed) Connors, Elaine Rosensteel, Joanie Duffey, Carol (Dave) Burrows, and Peggy (Michael) Stevenson; great-nieces and great-nephews, Jimmy (Jill) Barnhart and Zeita, Holly (Eric) Humphrey and Maddelyn and Noah, Jasen (Chrissy) Pekalla and Gabriel, Dreylin, and Svana, Jennifer (Terry) Stanton and Thalia, Eliana, and Liam, Michael Gabriel, Krista Rosensteel, Tim (Michelle) Haniford and Dominic, Vincent, and Joseph, Jill (Mike) Gerthung and Emily and Michael, Jim Maxim and Hailey, Matt Stevenson and Zachary, Andrew, Brianna, and Kinsley, and Mark (Mary Ann) Stevenson and Grant, Stone, and George.
Besides her husband, a daughter, Kathy Kusic; siblings, Michael (the late Mary) Pavlisen, Peter Pavlisen, Mary (the late John) Bespiaty, Steve “Lefty” (the late Betty) Pavlisen, and Charles (the late Florence) Pavlisen; two nephews, Chuckie Pavlisen and Bill Joynes Jr.; a brother-in-law, Bill Joynes; and a sister-in-law, Lillian Hartman, are deceased.
Family and friends are welcome to attend a graveside service at Calvary Cemetery in Youngstown, which will take place Thursday, July 30, at 1 p.m.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Kinnick Funeral Home in Youngstown.
In lieu of flowers, please keep Ann and her family in your prayers.
Special thanks to longtime friends, Roz Rau, Chris Lecce, Bob Walker, Jim Guliano, David Tyhosky, Anthony Bobovnyk, and Barb Plaskett, who gave extraordinary aid and assistance to Ann and Brenda.