We celebrate the life of Teresa (Pallagi) Lill who passed away on December 30, 2022, at her home in Johnstown, PA surrounded by the love of her family. She was 80 years young.
Teresa was born in Johnstown on September 30, 1942, to Christine Samec and Joseph Pallagi. Teresa spent her childhood in Johnstown with her siblings Patricia, David, Diane and Michael. As a young girl Teresa learned to cook and bake for the family of seven. She was blessed with a gift for making clothes, drapes, slipcovers, and other apparel which she lovingly wove together for her family and friends.
Teresa graduated at the top of her class from Johnstown High School in 1960. That summer, Teresa went immediately to New Kensington, PA to attend Nursing School at Citizens General Hospital where she became a Registered Nurse (RN) in 1963. She began her career in the Emergency Department at Lee Hospital and later found her love of caring for others in the Operating Room.
On New Year’s Eve in 1963, Teresa went on a blind date and fell in love with the man who became her husband of 39 years. At the age of 21, she married John H. Lill on January 11, 1964. God blessed Teresa and John with their first child Rebecca on their 5th wedding anniversary, followed by Stephanie in 1970 and completing their family of five with Lorraine in 1971.
Teresa was an avid gardener with roses and various flowers that exploded with vibrant colors in the yard. She had a full vegetable garden that was tended to as though it was her own child.
Upon entering the Lill home on any holiday, Teresa would be seen sautéing onions or elbow deep in flour preparing a feast for the banquet that would be offered for all who shared in the celebration. Teresa’s moto was there could never be too much food and “presentation was everything”. The joy of baking brought requests for her to make wedding cakes for family and friends. Her work was so beautiful and tasty that repeat orders followed her throughout the years.
The Christmas season brought joy and decorations that Teresa carefully displayed with gentle grace. On Christmas Eve, the youngest grandchild was held in Teresa’s arms as they lay baby Jesus in the manager. This was shortly before a knock would sound on the door that Teresa would open to Santa Claus with a “ho, ho, ho” and a bag of gifts to be handed out.
As Teresa’s children became young adults, she further expanded her RN career at Good Samaritan Medical Center (formerly Mercy Hospital) in various roles in the Operating Room, Renal Dialysis, as a Nurse Supervisor and finally at the Good Sam Nursing Care Center where she was awarded “Employee of the Month” in 2007. Teresa continued to share her wealth of experience by teaching new nurses aids at Johnstown Vocational School.
Teresa always made sure the family went to the beach each summer for vacation and continued the tradition once her family grew with grandchildren, who were the heart and soul of Teresa’s world. As naturally as breathing, she taught each child all the family traditions. She patiently made dough that would be cut into triangles that small fingers would roll into Apricot crescents under her loving guidance.
Teresa was dedicated to her faith as a Eucharistic Minister, volunteer for St. Vincent DePaul Society and founder of the Alon-On Chapter at St. Therese in the 1970s.
Teresa was predeceased by her husband John H. Lill, daughter Rebecca C. Alwine, and parents Joseph Pallagi and Christine Kucharyk. She is survived by her daughters Stephanie (Lill) Dilling (husband Scott Dilling), daughter Lorraine (Lill) Bryan, (husband Mark Bryan), grandchildren Lauren Burchfield (husband Zach Burchfield), Ryan Alwine, Shannon Felix, Amber Bryan, Autumn Bryan and siblings Patricia Henley, David Pallagi, Diane Wagner, Michael Pallagi and special family friends Larry Locher and Rose Reese.
The Lill Family would like to offer a special thank you to Fr. Bernard Karmanocky of St Therese of the Child Jesus Church for his friendship to our mother and the unwavering spiritual care he extended. Fr. Karmanocky was a rock. When we called, he seemed to instantaneously appear. Thank you, Father. To Tab, Chuck, Jenna, Katie, Stacy, Amy and Stephanie from Interim Health Care Hospice, your loving care for our mother will forever be in our hearts. Our gratitude is abundant. To the 6th floor Cardiac nursing team at Conemaugh Hospital, you are dynamos. Thank you for your patience with us and the care you provided to our mother during our “extended stay” on your floor.
As Teresa lived a life in honor of our Lord Jesus, she would love to be remembered with funny or silly stories that celebrate what was good and blessed in her life.
A viewing will take place on Monday, January 2, 2023 from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at Francis G. Ozog Funeral Home, Inc., 710 Broad St., Johnstown, PA. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 at 10 a.m. at St Therese of the Child Jesus Catholic Church, 536 Decker Ave, Johnstown, PA.
Online condolences may be offered to the family at www.fgozogfuneralhome.com