Casandra C. “Sandy” (Marasco) Grutza, 70, of Ringtown, formerly of Shenandoah Heights, passed away peacefully after suffering from a lengthy illness Monday night at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville.
She was born January 22, 1949, in Shenandoah, but was raised and educated in Fairless Hills. She was the daughter of the late Carmen and Catherine (Lazuk) Marasco.
Sandy was a 1966 graduate of Pennsbury High School. She then received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Bloomsburg State College in 1970. Upon completion of her college education, she returned to Shenandoah and began a 35 year teaching career at the Shenandoah Valley Elementary School. During her early teaching years, she resided with her beloved grandmother in Shenandoah, the late Rose (Levitsky) Lazuk. Sandy also received her master’s degree from Bloomsburg State College, as well as a reading specialists degree. In addition to teaching at Shenandoah Valley, she taught reading courses at the State Correctional Institution, SCI/Frackville for the Reading Area Community College; it was a unique teaching experience, which she enjoyed and found rewarding.
In 1973, she married Ronald D. Grutza, who taught at the North Schuylkill High School, Fountain Springs. They would have celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary on Sept. 29. Though they were not blessed with children, Sandy found special love for the students she taught and cared for throughout her career.
Sandy was a member of Divine Mercy Parish, Shenandoah, formerly St. Stanislaus Church. She served as the vice president of the board of directors of the Greater Shenandoah Area Historical Society and also as a past president of the Shenandoah Valley Education Association.
Sandy’s greatest interest was singing. She sang in the former St. Stanislaus Church Choir and the Schuylkill County Chorus. She often sang at wedding ceremonies of family and friends. During her free time, Sandy was an avid traveler, having made many trips out of the country, as well as to numerous states. Her favorite travel experience was a vacation in Italy and Greece. She enjoyed going to Broadway Shows and saw many throughout her life. Among her greatest pastimes was shopping, especially for bargains. Sandy also enjoyed gardening. She loved both cats and dogs and volunteered with the Animal Resource Center in Bloomsburg.
Preceding her in death, in addition to her parents, were her maternal grandparents, Kosten and Rose (Levitsky) Lazuk; her paternal grandparents, Phillip and Caroline (Fabian) Marasco; her uncle, Peter J. Marasco; and her niece, Melissa Ann Benyaker.
Surviving in addition to her husband of 46 years, Ronald D. Grutza, are her sister-in-law, Roseann Benyaker and her husband, Jack, of Norristown; her nephew, Jeff Benyaker, of Norristown; colleagues and dear friends.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at Walukiewicz-Oravitz Fell Funeral Home. 132 S. Jardin St., Shenandoah. A Mass of Christian Burial will then be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. in Divine Mercy Church, 232 W. Cherry St., Shenandoah, with Monsignor Ronald C. Bocian, pastor, as the celebrant. Interment will follow in Holy Ghost Polish National Catholic Cemetery, Shenandoah Heights. A viewing will be held from 8 until 10 a.m. Monday at the funeral home.
Expressions of sympathy can be made to the Greater Shenandoah Area Historical Society, P.O. Box 327, Shenandoah, PA 17976, or the Ringtown Area Library, P.O. Box 120, Ringtown, PA 17967 or at www.ringtownlibrary.org.
Walukiewicz-Oravitz Fell Funeral Home, Shenandoah, is in charge of the arrangements.