Thelma A. Kosmach

Thelma A. Kosmach, 102, of Latrobe, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at her daughter Beverly’s home in Allison Park. She was born September 6, 1916 in Superior, PA, the oldest daughter of the late John P. and Ida (Panizzi) Fiorina.

Prior to her retirement in 1982, Thelma was a teacher with the Derry Township School District for 31 years.  Thelma began her teaching career in a one-room school building in Gray Station, teaching grades one through eight.  In addition to her classroom teaching duties for eight grade levels, she was the school nurse, the guidance counselor, and the music and art teacher.  And in those early days, she was also responsible for the coal furnace, keeping the room cleaned, and shoveling snow!  Thelma graduated from Indiana State Teachers College in 1944 and was the first teacher in the Derry Area School District to have a bachelor’s degree in education.  Thelma often remarked how fortunate she was to be a part of the development of the Derry Area school system from that one-room school house to the very modern Grandview Elementary School.  She loved her fellow teachers and students at Grandview, and although she treasured the last part of her career there, she often reminisced about her early years at Gray Station and cherished those memories.  Thelma was devoted to her children and family, and in her retirement, she enjoyed spending time with them, traveling to their homes and attending family events. Another important part of Thelma’s retirement was spending almost every day in her yard and her gardens.  She enjoyed when people stopped by and asked for a tour – or plants and seeds – and proudly said that her flowers were all over the country.  She continued to have a productive vegetable garden into her early 90s. In addition to her family, Thelma also dearly loved her neighbors on Wood Street as her second family.  Thelma was a member of Holy Family Roman Catholic Church in Latrobe and enjoyed going to daily mass after she retired. 

In addition to her parents, Thelma was preceded in death by her husband, Paul Kosmach in 1983, a sister, Louise Dinco, and two brothers, John and Morris Fiorina. She is survived three children: Beverly Kosmach-Park (David), Idamarie Kosmach Combs (Richard), and Paul Robert Kosmach; her grandchildren: Jeremy Paul Kosmach, Sara Ashley Combs, and Emma Jane Park; her sister: Vera Fiorina Baum, her sister-in-law Joellen Thomas Fiorina and many nieces and nephews.

The family would also like to thank the devoted and loving caregivers that helped make Thelma’s life so comfortable over the last years.  Thanks so much to Melissa B, Melissa G, Sherry, and Kelly.  UPMC Palliative Care was there whenever needed and Maria helped us along that journey this past year. 

Friends will be received Tuesday from 4 until 7 PM in the Hartman-Graziano Funeral Home, Inc., 1500 Ligonier Street, Latrobe, A funeral mass will be celebrated Wednesday at 10:30 AM in Holy Family Church, 1200 Ligonier St., Latrobe, with the Very Reverend Daniel C. Mahoney VF as celebrant. Interment will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, and to honor her enthusiasm in working with children, memorial contributions may be made to Camp Chihopi/ Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, c/o the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, One Children's Hospital Drive, Central Plant, Floor 3, 4401 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15224  or online at and designate the donation to go to Camp Chihopi.