Obituary of Jean Pytel
Jean Landa Pytel, 70, passed away peacefully on Thursday, March 15, 2018 at home in State College, PA with her husband at her bedside.
Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia on October 11, 1947, she was the daughter of the late Charles and Marian (Weiss) Landa, and came to State College by way of Ontario, Canada.
Jean was a graduate of York University in Ontario, where she earned her bachelor's degree in physical education; Washington State University where she earned her master's degree in physical education; and Pennsylvania State University where she earned her doctorate focusing in biomechanics. She retired from Penn State in 2013 as an Assistant Dean for Student Services and Global Programs and Associate Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics. Throughout her career she was passionate about promoting Engineering Education and international outreach. She also served terms as the President of the Faculty/Staff Club at Penn State as well as the Chairwoman of the Penn State Faculty Senate.
Jean enjoyed being active and outdoors, as well as working with her hands. Some of her favorite activities included gardening, woodworking, golfing, canoeing, and playing squash. She was a member of the State College Rotary, and volunteered with AAUW. She enjoyed riding around town on her motor scooter and would frequently arrive to important meetings helmet-in-hand if the weather was nice.
Jean had a true zeal for time with friends and family, regularly bringing her Canadian and State College "families" together for great food and spirited conversation. Her enthusiasm for travel, both locally and internationally, was well known. Some of her more recent trips included visiting Ireland, Norway, Iceland, and Russia and she always took the time to try and experience the culture as well as the sites. Above all though, she had a special fondness for visiting friends and cottages in Ontario and there was no more perfect an evening than one spent lakeside.
Left to cherish her memories are her husband, Andrew Pytel of State College, PA; son, Nicholas Pytel, and wife Kellie, of State College, PA; and sister, Dinah Bechmanis, and husband Gil with their children Michael and Ryan, of Ontario, Canada. She is also survived by 3 step-children: Leslie Clark, and husband Mark with their children Kaylin and Emily, of Rochester, MN; Lori Ericsson of Dallas, TX; and John Pytel, and wife Diane with their children Jocelyn and Mia, of Los Altos, CA. Many special friends also remain to keep her close to their hearts.
Services will be held at Koch Funeral Home, State College, on April 14, 2018. Visitation will occur from 1:30-3:00 pm with a memorial service following at 3:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Jean to her scholarship at Penn State: Jean Landa Pytel Study Abroad Scholarship in the College of Engineering (Designation: XCDPJ) at Office of Donor Member Services. 2583 Gateway Dr., Bristol Place One, Suite 130, State College, PA, 16801.
Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at www.kochfuneralhome.com or visit us on Facebook.
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State College, PA 16801
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