Penelope C. Lawrence: Caterer, Cooking Instructor, Entrepreneur
Penelope C. (“Penny”) Lawrence, a retired Caterer, Cooking Instructor and Entrepreneur died on Saturday, February 20, 2021 in Venice, Florida. She was 85. Penny resided in the Greater Pittsburgh, PA area and Grove City, PA for 75 years before moving to Venice, FL in 2011.
Mrs. Lawrence, the daughter of the late Nicholas P. and Rose Chronis, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she was educated in the Pittsburgh Public School system before attending the Pennsylvania College for Women (PCW) — (now Chatham University) — to study dietetics.
A devoted mother, she invested her early years in raising her children and seeing to their education. After her children matured, Penny and her business partner, opened “Collage at Willow Acres” a unique shoppe in Grove City; it specialized in housewares, kitchen supplies and cooking lessons taught by Penny. Penny’s love of cooking combined with her experience at “Collage,” and her extensive international travel broadened her cooking repertoire.
Penny was welcomed at cooking schools wherever she traveled … both domestically and internationally. She enjoyed being a student as well as an instructor as she continued her quest to expand her knowledge of creating fine foods. Penny’s favorite venue for which she became well-known; was in her hometown as one of the featured television cooking instructors on Pittsburgh’s WQED.
Understandably, Penny’s talents led to many invitations by students and fans who requested her support in their own kitchens. Eventually, this led to Penny developing a successful catering business that served the Greater Pittsburgh Area. She named it “Delicious Decisions” and many a function was successful thanks to Penny’s flair for delicious food from hors d’oeuvres, main dishes to desserts along with wonderfully paired beverages.
In addition to her professional activities, Mrs. Lawrence was an avid traveler whose passports revealed an interest in the art and cultures of countries around the globe. She collected art in her travels and her home always provided insights into her keen interest in the creative arts.
Mrs. Lawrence’s survivors include: her son Peter N. Katsafanas Jr. (Jodi) of Austin, TX; son Nicholas S. Katsafanas (Maria) of Pittsburgh, PA; daughter Lisa K. Atwell (James) of Venice, FL; grandchildren, Peter N. Katsafanas III, Alexis M. Katsafanas; Ana N. Katsafanas; Nico S. Katsafanas; James T. Atwell; Gabriel R. Atwell; a brother, Lt. Colonel Nicholas N. Chronis (Diane) and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was predeceased by her brother, Peter N. Chronis of Pittsburgh, PA., and her sister, Marie N. Esihos also of Pittsburgh, PA. Additionally, she was predeceased by her husbands, Peter N. Katsafanas of Pittsburgh, PA, John W. Lawrence, of Grove City, PA.
The immediate family will have an Eastern Orthodox service in Venice, FL followed by a Pittsburgh area service and burial sometime this spring.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Penny was always feeding people, and the family feels would be a fitting gesture in her honor.