Katherine Townshend Deneke, 42, formerly of Mt. Lebanon, passed away on Tuesday, August 11, 2020, with her family by her side. Katie was the beloved daughter of Douglas and Susan Townshend, formerly of Mt. Lebanon, and devoted sister to Adam Townshend of Grand Rapids, MI.
Katie was born on October 13, 1977. She sang and danced her way through childhood, developing a lifelong love of 80s pop music (Debbie Gibson, in particular) along the way. She graduated from Mt. Lebanon High School in 1996 before earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Sciences, and a Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology, from Duquesne University.
Katie was an exceptional practitioner and a champion for, and friend to, her students at Hickory Ridge Elementary in Brunswick, OH. She was innovative in her interactions with children and just as creative at home. She enjoyed stamping and making cards, never letting a birthday or holiday pass without a thoughtful note. You could also find “Team Katie” cooking unique recipes at competitions throughout Ohio (her Seared Ahi Tuna with Cantaloupe and Watermelon Relish should have taken the top prize at one event, inexplicably taking second place to a glazed donut burger). Her competitiveness extended to the game table, where she relished doling out Wild Draw Fours in Uno and enthusiastically “choo-chooing” her way through Mexican Train.
Above all, Katie loved her family and her cats. She never missed the chance to play golf or go to a Steelers game with Dad. She always looked forward to singing karaoke with Adam in her favorite vacation spot, Stone Harbor, NJ. The highlight of Katie’s year, though, was seeing all of the Oscar-nominated movies with Mom, her sous chef, book club partner, fellow Fanilow (fan of Barry Manilow), and best friend. Katie had a kind heart, a generous and indomitable spirit, and an amazing personality. “Team Katie” extended further than she could have ever imagined.
Katie is survived by her parents, Douglas and Susan Townshend of Grand Rapids, MI, her brother Adam Townshend and sister-in-law Gretchen Townshend of Grand Rapids, MI, her nieces Artley and Kathlyn Townshend, her nephew Leo Townshend, and the extended family she adored. Katie was predeceased by her maternal grandparents, Robert and Ruth Thomas of Wheeling, WV, and her paternal grandparents, George, Hilda, and Marie Townshend of Parkersburg, WV.
Interment will be private. While you may consider donating to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1066 Washington Road Pittsburgh, PA 15228 or the Mt. Lebanon Public Library, 16 Castle Shannon Blvd. Pittsburgh, PA 15228, in lieu of flowers, we’d ask you to read a book, play a game, cook something new, or play that 80s hit (preferably, Debbie Gibson’s “Electric Youth”) in Katie’s memory. She will undoubtedly be singing along.