Wife of Westmoreland County Commissioner, Ashley Kertes, Dies Suddenly in Her Sleep at 36

by J Pelkey
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Ashley Kertes, the wife of a Republican Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania Commissioner Sean Kertes, died suddenly in her sleep.

She was only 36.

Greensburg Mayor Robb Bell said that Kertes was found unresponsive in bed at her home at around 7:30 a.m. on Friday morning, Trib Live reported.

Ashley’s cause of death has not yet been revealed.

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According to officials, no foul play is suspected.

“It is so profoundly sad. Ashley is one of the most talented and brightest stars in the city,” Mayor Robb Bell said.

County controller Jeffrey Balzer said that on Thursday night, Kertes spoke to a crowd of several hundred who had gathered to support her husband at a political fundraiser at Rizzo’s Malabar Inn in Crabtree.

“She got up in front of the room and introduced everybody,” Balzer said.

Trib Live reported:

Kertes worked as the associate administrator to the superintendent and community outreach in the Greensburg Salem School District. She previously worked for four years as the executive director of the Greensburg Community Development Corporation and at the courthouse in Westmoreland County’s fiscal department and Controller’s Office.

Kertes is the daughter of North Huntingdon District Judge Wayne Gongaware. Her mother works at the courthouse as a court assistant.

Greensburg Salem Superintendent Ken Bissell said the school district is grieving her loss.

“Ashley is a beautiful, kind and caring person who did so much in such a short time with Greensburg Salem. We are deeply saddened,” Bissell said.

While working for the city’s nonprofit development agency, Kertes headed the creation of several initiatives including the covid-19 Relief Main Street Jump-Start Program, which aimed to help small businesses in the city struggling because of the pandemic. She also spearheaded Greensburg Restaurant Week events and the Hometown Hero Banner and Celebration programs.

In an interview last year with the Tribune-Review, Kertes said the jump-start program was among her proudest accomplishments.

“It not only helped them bounce back from covid, but it helped them sustain their business for the future,” Kertes said.

She and her husband married in 2017. They have no children.

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