Mary Catherine BiancoJune 18, 1953 ~ May 17, 2017 (age 63)
Mary Catherine Bianco, affectionately known to many as Mary Kay or Kay, passed away Wednesday, May 17, 2017 in Phoenixville Hospital, after a decade long battle with ovarian cancer.
Kay faced many health challenges throughout her life, but always fought hard and never let adversity affect her spirit, sense of humor, or appreciation for life. After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1990, Kay required a power chair for several years. Through hard work and determination, she learned to walk again, serving as an inspiration to her family and others. She was a tireless fundraiser for MS and cancer, crocheting thousands of angels and snowflakes to support the MS: City to Shore Ride and the American Cancer Society Bike-a-thon. She beat the odds time and again through her resilience and strength.
Kay was born in Ellinwood, Kansas to John Roberts and Cecilia Ricke. During her childhood she moved from Ellinwood to Cincinnati (OH), King of Prussia (PA), and Whitesboro (NY) with her sisters Constance, Theresa, Amy, Donna, and brother John. In 1978, she married Luciano Bianco, and settled in West Norriton. She was a loving mother to her children Nicholas and Catherine, and her grandson Everett. Kay was also the proud “mommy” of two four-legged children, Cuddles and Noel, whom she enjoyed walking in the Norristown Farm Park and Stanbridge Street Park while talking with fellow dog owners.
She was an avid swimmer, geologist, bird watcher, crochet-er, reader, and gardener. Kay also loved music, playing piano for most of her life and singing in the Visitation Guitar Group. Through her genuine love of and interest in people, she made friends no matter where she went. Those that knew Kay, knew she wasn’t afraid of taking risks, and at times made her own exceptions.
Kay obtained her accounting degree from Mohawk Valley Community College and worked as an insurance underwriter and account manager for much of her career. While in the insurance industry, Kay earned her Charted Property Casualty Underwriter, CPCU certification from the American Institute for Property and Liability Underwriters, Inc. As a life-long learner and lover of education, Kay went back to school later in life while still working and raising her two children, to obtain her Bachelor’s in Geoscience and Master’s degree in Physical Science from West Chester University. She subsequently substituted at many of the local schools and taught science at New Life Youth & Family Services in Schwenksville for a couple of years. At nights, Kay also taught CCD at Visitation BVM.
A service to celebrate Kay’s life will be held Monday, May 22, 2017 at Visitation Blessed Virgin Mary Church in West Norriton, Pennsylvania at 10:00 am. The service will be preceded by a visitation starting at 9:00 am. In lieu of flowers, Kay asked that donations be made to the National MS Society, the American Cancer Society, or the Nature Conservancy.