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Katherine Ann Hanadel, daughter of the late David and Shirley Hanadel of Tuckerton and Little Egg Harbor, NJ, left us on September 19, 2023, after a courageous battle with ALS (known for years as Lou Gehrig’s Disease”).
She is survived by her siblings, Keith, Kraig, Kim, and Karen, her niece, Ava, and her nephews David and Britain, and “adopted” sisters, Gail, Erica, Bunny, Beverly, and Bonnie.
Born in 1953, Kathi grew up in Nutley, NJ, until 1963, when her father and grandfather sold their milk-delivery business and bought a hardware store in Tuckerton. Kathi would reminisce fondly about Nutley and playing jump rope and hopscotch with the neighborhood girls.
Kathi was a graduate of Stockton State College (now Stockton University). After years working in Hanadel’s Hardware, she went on to work in Steve Wynn’s Golden Nugget Casino in Atlantic City before moving on to a career in investment management.
Soon after the death of her beloved mother, Kathi was almost immediately diagnosed with, and eventually beat, breast cancer, doing so without self-pity or complaint. Then new symptoms arrived; she would fall suddenly without seeming to have tripped, and her speech grew increasingly slurred. It took six months and numerous doctor visits before that horror of all diagnoses – ALS – was revealed. For the last two years of her life, Kathi was unable to eat, read, or travel beyond where her wheelchair could take her. Yet once again, she remained notably positive and stoic, despite the hardships, while occasionally resisting her caregivers, (thanks to all of you!). In the end, she managed to pass naturally and on her own terms.
Kathi adored her niece and nephews; she was enthusiastic about being their aunt and would not hesitate to get down on the floor and play with them as they grew.
Kathi loved food, especially seafood. She enjoyed skiing and sailing and traveling, yet never did it often enough to please herself. Cherishing time spent simply with friends, Kathi welcomed stretching out in a beach chair near the ocean or a pool, cocktail in hand, wearing the goofiest of hats and a wry expression that suggested she knew something others did not.
Kathi’s family knew her as a singularly determined individual, ready to stand her ground and do things her way, yet soft-hearted and generous to a fault, blessed with a forthright laugh and devilish sense of humor that stayed with her until the end.
Her family mourns her deeply, and will miss her off-the-wall conversations, her bravery, and the words of encouragement that she invariably offered when one of her siblings was troubled or ill.
Services to be private. Donations in lieu of flowers can be sent to ALS.org in Kathi’s name to help us fight this tragic disease.