Edith (Politylo) Karcheski was born in Milwaukee on Nov. 28, 1922, to John and Margaret Politylo.
Soon after, the small family moved to Chicago, where Edith was a student at Assumption BVM School. Staying in school and being attentive was a struggle due to hearing loss due to contracting Scarlett Fever when she was younger. Building a relationship with family and friends and being more involved in the household trumped an extended education. Her mother became ill and needed extra help and Edith gladly provided the help for her mother, her best friend until the time of her mother’s death in October 1961.
Having ample accessibility to schoolyards and playgrounds, Edith became astute in tennis and softball. Spending time caring for her mother, raising herself somewhat and becoming an athlete she developed a healthy sense of confidence and humor, this never waned in her lifetime.
Through a young man, Louis Golat, her intended date, she met his friend Ed Karcheski. Her preference was Ed, and the courtship began and they married in 1941 and remained in the mostly Polish neighborhoods of Southside Chicago. They had their first child Margaret. Soon Ed joined the armed forces doing what he needed to do in his WWII effort.
After his return, Ed and Edith began to grow their family from just the three of them to and an additional four. In the early 1960s, Edith and the family moved to Stevens Point and eventually to a farm in rural Town of Carson.
She worked in the cafeteria at Woolworth,’s first as a dishwasher then moving on to food preparation, most notably the icebox cheesecake. She then stayed in restaurant work, adding Cozy Kitchen and Hot Fish Shop to her resume all the while meeting people, making wisecracks and building friendships. When Sentry built the new headquarters building on the North Point Dr. she acquired a job working in the custodial staff until she suffered a back injury.
Edith developed a love of sheep, but that is not where the animal count stopped. The city girl became a farmer, loving animals, gardens, canning, freezing and everything else that was thrown at her. Edith never lost a step, she learned and stayed aware of refusing to grow old as others seem to do. She never aged in her mind or her heart.
Ed and Edith had traveled with a carload of kids to Tacoma, Wash. to visit friends, making regular visits to Chicago and to Ed’s army reunions. She flew for the first time when a friend bought them tickets to Hawaii to visit.
Edith was never known for her culinary skills, but somewhere along the line she picked up baking and perfected making pies becoming the “pie lady” and returned to Cozy Kitchen sharing her mad pie skills with Terry and Lois. Outside of this, she was making cheesecakes, pirogues, ponczkis, golumpki, adding to making sauerkraut and polish sausage with Ed.
Not to be limited when her daughter opened the Mission Coffee House, Edith was the “pie lady” there sharing the deliciousness with a new group of customers. She became well known by the clientele many decades her junior bringing laughter to all with her wit and no-holds-barred attitude. She attended many parties and gatherings with this crowd of her juniors, and stayed at her daughter’s wedding reception from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m., never slowing down and meeting with everyone. She made Facebook friends with many of her daughter Cathy’s friends of all ages on her iPad that she used for communication and playing solitaire.
Edith will be remembered for all of this and more, as the saying goes, a life lived well and lived a good life.
Edith is preceded in death by her husband Edward; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law. She is survived by her sister Lorraine; her children, Margaret (John) Leggero, Phillip (Kathy) Karcheski, Christopher (Hattie) Karcheski, Cindy (Jim) Friauf and Catherine (Stephanie Stokes) Karcheski; nine grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; and many nephews and nieces.
A gathering of friends and family will be held Friday, March 8 at Ainsworth Hall Chapel, King Veterans Home at 10 a.m. followed by a celebration of Edith’s life.
For online condolences please visit www.pisarskifuneralhome.com.