Kathryn Marie Fantaski, 34, formerly of Apollo, PA, died from brain cancer on March 12, 2007 at her home in Rahway, NJ. Born on April 17, 1972 in Wilkinsburg, PA, Kathryn (known to her friends as "Kat") graduated from Kiski Area High School in 1990 with a track and field scholarship to Brown University. She earned her Theatre Arts degree from Brown in 1994, and along the way worked through her apprenticeship at Trinity Repertory Theatre in Providence, RI. After college, Kat moved to New York City where she designed and implemented automated lighting plots for various events and shows, most notably the popular Who Wants to Be a Millionaire game show.
Inside and outside of NYC, Kat worked in automated lighting for nationally televised events such as the Emmys, the Grammys, the Espys, the Johnny Cash Tribute, and the MTV Music Awards. She also did work at various Broadway Theatres and at many other venues such as ABC Studios, Madison Square Garden, and Radio City Music Hall. Kat earned her membership into the Local 1 I.A.T.S.E Union for Stagehands where she built countless friendships, received unlimited guidance and support, and gathered enough experience to be relied upon as one of the best automated lighting technicians in the business. Throughout her illness, worked tirelessly to raise brain tumor awareness and aid in research for a cure. She regularly attended the Central New Jersey Brain Tumor Support Group where she and her husband, along with others affected by the disease, provided comfort and resources for newly diagnosed patients. Kat designed brain tumor awareness T-shirts that became known nation-wide at fundraising walks.
More recently, in October of 2006 Kat participated in the "Have a Chance Walk held in NYC where she raised thousands of dollars and was one of the major contributors to fundraising for brain tumor research. Kat's survivors include her beloved husband and first love, Daran Rumbaugh (formerly of Avonmore, PA); her father Paul Fantaski Sr. and her brother Paul Fantaski Jr. (Apollo, PA); her stepbrother James Zucco; Daran's parents, Dianna and Barry Rumbaugh (also of Avonmore, PA); and Daran's sister and brother-in-law, Tawnya and Bill Frain (Saltsburg, PA). Kat's mother, Nicolina Fantaski, preceded her in death in 1981.
Family will receive friends on Wednesday, March 14th from 2-4pm and 7-9pm in Rahway, NJ at the PETTIT-DAVIS FUNERAL HOME 371 West Milton Avenue, Rahway, NJ 07065 (732-388-0038). Family will receive friends once again on Friday, March 16th from 2-4pm and 7-9pm in Delmont, PA at the Vaia Funeral Home 463 Athena Drive, Delmont, PA 15626 (724-468-1177). A service will be held at the Vaia Funeral Home on Saturday March 17th at 11am with burial immediately afterward at Twin Valley Cemetery in Delmont, PA. Flowers are welcome at the funeral homes. However, please consider memorial donations that can be sent in Kat's name to the "Central NJ Brain Tumor Support Group", P.O. Box 221, Martinsville, NJ 08836.