Wife of paralyzed former KFC manager dies

YOUNGSTOWN — Lisa Kaluza, 53, wife of former KFC manager Joe Kaluza for more than 27 years, died Sunday in St. Elizabeth Health Center.

She had gone to the hospital Saturday with a complaint of abdominal pain, said Anna Fitzgerald, sister of Joe Kaluza.

“She was a devoted mother and wife,” Fitzgerald said, adding that her death was unexpected. She leaves a 17-year-old daughter, Tiffany, who lives at the family's Ivanhoe Avenue residence, and an adult son, Joshua, who lives in Mineral Ridge.

Fitzgerald said her brother is taking is wife’s death “as well as can be expected” and that he will continue to receive all of the care to which he is accustomed from other family members and health care professionals.

“Nothing changes,” Fitzgerald said.

Joe Kaluza was shot and paralyzed from the neck down by a robber after a staged car crash shortly after he left the South Avenue restaurant to make a bank deposit on March 24, 2008.

A group of local businessmen and more than 400 volunteers built a new $300,000 barrier-free home for the Kaluzas on Ivanhoe in 2009.

Services for Lisa Kaluza will be at 1 p.m. Friday in Christ Our Savior St. Nicholas Church in Struthers, where friends may call one hour before the service. Burial will be in Lake Park Cemetery. Arrangements are being handled by the Fox Funeral Home.

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