Katherine Yesic Kolenkow passed from this world at noon, April 29, 2009 from heart failure. She was at Greenridge Senior Care, El Sobrante, CA, about 10 miles north of Berkeley, where her son, Robert lives. Following a stroke in 2007, she had been bedridden and unable to walk. Katherine had been a longtime resident of Niagara Falls, and for 12 years she worked in City Hall as secretary to Mayor E. Dent Lackey. Katherine Yesic was born in Lackawanna, NY. Both her parents immigrated from Croatia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. She was fluent in Croatian, and when Robert took her to Croatia in 1983, she had great pleasure conversing with people. After high school, she attended business school for secretarial training. She married John Kolenkow in January 1933, and in November their only child, Robert was born. When Robert was old enough to go to school, and when labor was short during World War II, she began working, first at J.G. White Construction, then Dupont, Globar and Carborundum. At Carborundum she was secretary to E. Dent Lackey, and when he was elected mayor of Niagara Falls, he asked her to come to City Hall with him. While attending Niagara Falls Public High School, Robert was a Gazette carrier, using his earnings to support his hobbies and his social life. He was keen on science, and in 1951 he took first place in the national Science Talent Search (then sponsored by Westinghouse); the Gazette ran a front page story showing the budding scientist with his very proud parents. He completed his degrees in physics at MIT and Harvard, subsequently teaching at MIT and then working in Silicon Valley. Her husband died in 1971, and she did not remarry. Her father lived with her for some years, but after his passing she sold her house, took the cat, and moved to California to be near her son. She shared an apartment in Santa Clara with Robert, near his work, so he did not have a long drive back to Berkeley every night.

She underwent quintuple heart bypass surgery in 1987 and made a strong recovery. Her constitution was strong.

Her cremains will be interred at Oakwood Cemetery on Portage Road, next to her husband. There will be no service locally. She did not ask for any memorials, but she would have appreciated any donations to groups that help animals.

Visit www.legacy.com/niagara-gazette for online guest register.