As the family of Karen Palleschi prepares to say their final goodbyes, life began to return to normal at the restaurant co-owned by the man accused of killing her.
Palleschi died early Saturday after being shot one time in the head in the Clinton Township home she shared with Joseph Palleschi. Police and prosecutors say he is the man who pulled the trigger.
A funeral Mass is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Michael Catholic Church in Sterling Heights. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, private visitation will be held at Wujek-Calcaterra & Sons in Sterling Heights.
Those who knew the Regina High School graduate describe her as a kind and caring woman, and doting mother to her three sons. Known for her gracious smile, friends said she had the ability to make anyone she met feel at ease.
“I will forever cherish the many years of memories and time with were blessed with,” Rachel Mulawa wrote in the funeral home’s online guestbook. “I wish I could tell her one more time how important she is to me. What a difference and blessing she was at each stage of life going from tween into adulthood.”
Kyle Platter wrote: “There are no words to express the profound sadness at the loss of such a loving kind and gentle soul. Karen was a great support for me.”
Karen Palleschi, 53, worked for Mary Kay skin care products and formerly was employed by Medical Weight Loss Clinic. Chris Kurzawa, a senior sales director for Mary Kay, said she was loved by her “Mary Kay sisters” and many others.
“Her spirit and beautiful smile are engrained on our Hearts forever,” Kurzawa said in the guestbook. “We are shocked and saddened, and extend our love and prayers.”
According to Clinton Township police, officers were called at 2:40 a.m. Saturday to respond to reports of shots fired at Palleschi’s two-story home on Vincenza Driver at Monticello, near 18 Mile and Garfield.
When officers arrived, they found the wife deceased lying in an area between the kitchen and garage. Investigators said it appeared she had been shot once in the head.
Joseph Palleschi, who called police, did not flee and surrendered. Police said it appears alcohol was a factor in the incident.
Several relatives who were over the house on Friday night told investigators there was no sign of hostility between the couple. They were shocked by the news.
Macomb County prosecutors have charged Joseph Palleschi, 55, with one count of open murder. He is being held in the Macomb County Jail on $500,000 bond.
Joseph Palleschi is co-owner of the Villa Restaurant on Gratiot Avenue near Eight Mile Road in Eastpointe. The longtime family eatery, which specializes in Italian food, reopened Wednesday for the first time since Saturday for carry-outs.
Business was brisk at the restaurant, which has been neighborhood staple for 65 years. Longtime customers spoke highly of the Palleschi family.
“I don’t know what happened, it’s none of my business,” said one woman, who declined to identify herself. “But I have been coming here a long time. They (the Palleschis) are good people. I feel very bad for the wife.”
Karen Palleschi’s obituary lists her survivors including sons, Kenneth, Jeffrey and Joseph; mother Carol Barr; and siblings Kathy Bollenberg, Jim and Keith Barr.
It also states “dearest wife of Joseph.”
With the COVID-19 data in Michigan continuing to show improvement, the target date to reopen indoor dining on Feb. 1 remains intact.
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