Charles Michael Szajna, 77, of New Kensington, became whole as he transitioned and embarked on his new journey with Christ one day before his birthday on Sunday, December 12, 2021in his home with “my two girls” by his side. He was born in New Kensington on December 13, 1943, beloved son of Walter G. and Bessie C. Kleinhans Szajna.
Charles was a graduate of Ken-Hi Class of 1961 and went on to study business at Point Park University and continued his education in Food Service Management from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Charles worked in the Department of Labor and Industry as a claims interviewer for the unemployment office, a job he excelled at and retired from in 2006 after 18 years of service. A man of deep love for his country and freedom, he served in the United State Army before he married his best friend, Kathyrn DeBernardin Szajna. Together they built their family on traditional values and a strong foundation of love centered on God. Charles’s fierce faith led him weekly to attend mass, was a member of Mt. Saint Peter Parish, and especially cherished the Advent and Christmas season. He proclaimed he “would take Christmas with him forever”, and it was only fitting that Oh Holy Night was played as he took his final ride. He was an accomplished rifleman, using his sharpshooter skills acquired in the service, he and his team won 1st place in the Grand Aggregate, a prestigious marksman award and an accomplishment Charles was so proud of. One could argue he had the steadiest hand in western PA. A meticulous man, he always strived to do more than asked. The ultimate problem solver, Charles dedicated his life to helping those he cared for, and always made sure his family and friends had everything they needed. His wonderful sense of humor, uplifting spirit, and special bond with his family will continue to warm our tender hearts, as we will miss his daily presence which left the most profound imprint in our lives.
Charles is survived by the love of his life, his wife of 47 years, Kathryn Szajna; his pride and joy, his daughter, Christine Cicarella, whom he affectionately called his “spider monkey”; four siblings, Debbie (Nancy Smith) Szajna, Mary Lou (Kenneth) Herbst, and Walter J. Szajna.
In addition to his parents, He was welcomed into his everlasting life by his brother, Gilbert Szajna; and his beloved kitty cat, Kiddie Lou, who also adored Christmas like her Dad, reveling in the ambiance of the family Christmas tree, curled up like a little kidney bean and her deep sigh of contentment made everything perfect.
In lieu of flowers the family asks to please consider donating to the Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley in honor of Charles’ beloved, Kiddie Lou.
Please join us to celebrate and honor Charles’ life with a viewing from 2-4 p.m. & 6-8 p.m. on Sunday Dec. 19, 2021 at ROSS G. WALKER FUNERAL HOME LTD. 217 Freeport Road New Kensington, where prayers of transfer will be Monday, Dec. 20 at 12:30 p.m. immediately followed by mass of Christian Burial at Mt. St. Peter Parish, 100 Freeport Road, New Kensington with burial to follow at Union Cemetery, Arnold. At the request of the family and funeral home, please wear a secured mask and practice social distancing. Please visit www.rossgwalker.com to leave an online tribute.