Karen Jane Slechta (Perry), 73, passed peacefully at home on August 25, 2022 following a courageous three year battle with abdominal cancer. Jane was the fifth of eight children born to Fordy and Ruth Perry of Corning, NY. She is survived by her loving husband John, two daughters, Niki Loiko (Rick), and Dana DeMay (Kris), two stepdaughters, Stephanie Romeo (John) and Julie Slechta, one stepson, Matthew Slechta, grand daughter Gabrielle Romeo, plus seven siblings and their spouses: Rochelle Joynt (James), Michael Perry, Preston Perry, Gordon Perry (Diane), Robert Perry (Debra), Laurel Antonio (Gregory), and Patricia Staheli.......plus countless nieces, nephews, and other extended family members.
Jane grew up in the Northside of Corning in a loving environment surrounded by her wonderful parents and siblings. Their house was a frequent gathering place where the local children were always welcome. Many of the friends she made in that nurturing neighborhood and elsewhere in Corning remained close to her to the very end. Most notable of these dear friends were her three "adopted sisters": Jane ("Jane #1") Kaszczynec, Debbie Rockwell, and Dorothy "Dottie" Williams.
Over the years Jane held many jobs in and around Corning where she made countless life-long friends. It was almost impossible to go anywhere (including China!) with Jane and have her not bump into a friend or acquaintance! For the last 14 years before retirement Jane worked in the front office of the Pollio Dairy in Campbell. In the first year that she was eligible, she was unanimously honored with the Employee of the Year Award. Jane knew the names and "life stories" of every single one of Pollio's several hundred employees and was loved and respected by them all.
Jane had many passions but she was best known for her ability as an accomplished cook. Her cheesecakes and brownies are legendary among her friends and relatives. Husband John has been heard to say "Eating dinners cooked by Jane is like eating in a different restaurant every night". Jane loved nature and especially watching the many birds that came to her feeders......not to mention the occasional squirrel, chipmunk, bear, possum, and raccoon. She (and her siblings) especially enjoyed watching cardinals, as did their parents before them. Jane had an uncanny ability to spot hawks (and count them!) from the car during road trips and she always looked forward to the annual winter trip to the Catskills to spot bald eagles. She and John enjoyed their yearly "deer census" every spring on Harris Hill. Other interests included playing cards, reading, listening to 50's and 60's rock, crocheting, driving around our beautiful hills and byways and, of course, spending time with her daughters and her huge and loving family. She loved to travel and by the time she retired she'd visited almost all of the 50 states. In the 15 years since retirement Jane and John "kicked it up a notch" and visited over 40 countries. Friends Sam and Jane Kaszczynec joined them on many of these adventures.
Final arrangements have been entrusted to Phillips Funeral Home, 17 W. Pulteney Street, Corning. A viewing will be held on Tuesday, August 30, 2022 from 12-2 PM immediately to be followed by a funeral service and interment at the Coopers Plains Cemetery. A reception for relatives and friends will follow at the Horseheads Elks Club. In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate a memorial donation to the American Cancer Society.