Kathleen Rita (Akey) Schoonover Panehal, 98, passed away July 30, 2020 at the Soldier’s Home in Holyoke. She was born July 16, 1922 in Manchester, NH to the late William and Esther (Collins) Akey. Kathleen served with the Navy WAVES during WWII where she met her husband, Charles Schoonover. They wed in July 1945, raised their family in Ludlow, and were married 48 years until his passing in 1993. An active member in her community, Kathleen joined many women’s groups, the PTA, and was a talented singer and actor in several local stage productions. She attended Hunter College where she received training to become a registered dietitian, working for Mercy Medical Center and retiring in 1988 from Baystate Medical Center. In 2002, she met her 2nd husband Robert Panehal while on a cruise; they were married in 2004 and enjoyed 11 years together traveling the world before his passing in 2015. Kathleen will be remembered for her warm smile and upbeat, loving nature that touched the lives of all who knew her. The family would like to thank the dedicated staff on the 2nd and 4th floors of the Holyoke Soldiers' Home for the loving care given to her.
She leaves her beloved children: Charleen French and her husband Alfred of Ludlow, Peter Schoonover of South Yarmouth and Paul Schoonover of Enfield, CT; 5 grandchildren: Marcella Uszynski and her husband James of Chicopee, Christian French and his wife Deanna of Granby, Jennifer Schoonover and her significant other Robert Surprise of West Suffield, CT, Holly Schoonover and her significant other Ethan Sawyer of Avon, CT and Rudy Schoonover of Springfield; 6 great-grandchildren: Abigail and Nicole Uszynski, Patrick and Benjamin French, Luke Montenari and Emma Sawyer; one great-great grandson Ashton Uszynski; her sister Mary Taylor and her husband Thomas of Enfield, CT and her sister-in-law Doris Akey of Enfield, CT. she was predeceased by her brother William Akey, Jr. She also leaves 5 step-children, many step-grandchildren, along with other family members and friends. She was also predeceased by a grandson Peter Del Negro.
A public walk through visitation will be held on Monday, August 3, 2020 from 4-6pm at Nowak Funeral & Cremation Services, 15 Ludlow Ave., Springfield followed by a funeral home service at 6pm. (Guests are required to adhere to state guidelines requiring no contact, social distancing, and wearing face masks.) Private burial with military honors will be held at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne, MA.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Special Olympics, 1133 19th Street NW, 12th Floor, Washington, DC 20036‐3604 (online at www.give.specialolympics.org) or to the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, 110 Cherry St., Holyoke MA 01040. To express condolences online, visit www.nowakfuneral.com.
To send sympathy gifts to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kathleen R. (Akey) Panehal, please visit our tribute store.
1133 19th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20036,
Soldiers' Home In Holyoke
110 Cherry Street Holyoke, MA 01040,
Tel: (413) 532-9475