YOUNGSTOWN- Catherine (Kay) Kovalchik, 105 years old, passed away peacefully on December 18, 2020.
She was born December 4, 1915 in Youngstown, Ohio, a daughter of the late August and Matilda Tarby Kepko. She lived most of her life on the southside of Youngstown, graduating from South High School. She worked at General Fireproofing and moved to Columbus for a brief time where she worked at General Motors. Upon her return home, she and her husband opened a tavern called The Friendly Lunch. She later worked at the Evergreens Tavern on South Avenue, an establishment her brother owned. Kay enjoyed interacting with people and always had a welcoming smile for everyone.
Kay was a lifetime member of Sts. Cyril & Methodius Church where she attended daily Mass. She served as an officer in many organizations, including Altar & Rosary Society, Infant Jesus of Prague Guild, and Catholic Daughters of America. She was a member of the church choir and attended the Senior Citizens monthly meetings until she was 101. If there was an event taking place at church---spaghetti dinner, novena, Parish Mission---Kay participated and helped in any way that she was able. Kay was a member of Senior Branch 30, St. Ann’s Lodge, of the First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association where she was branch treasurer. She attended numerous FCSLA national conventions throughout the United States and encouraged others to join this fraternal organization.
Kay enjoyed knitting and crocheting, and she made many beautiful afghans for friends and family members. She enjoyed cooking her Slovak dishes, including pierogi, halupki, halusky and kolachi. She played cards with her club girls and loved spending time in her garden during the summer. Most of all, she treasured the time she spent with her great nieces and nephews as she helped to babysit them. Aunt Kay was a favorite---the absolute best aunt & godmother of all----and her nieces and nephews are so grateful for the wonderful years they had with her.
Catherine leaves behind to cherish her memory her niece, Mary Lou (Gary) DiPillo, niece & godchild, Jeanette (Michael) Kalman, nephew & godchild, Victor (Carla) Dutko, and nephews, Kenneth and David Kepko, niece, Marguerite Paster, nephew, Joseph Paster, nephew, Tom (Barbara) Kovalchik, her godchild, Pauline (Richard) Herman, and several other nieces and nephews. Her great nieces and nephews include David (Samantha) DiPillo, Deanna (Aaron) Lee, Jonathan, Daniel, David (Caitlin) Kalman, Jenna (Ronald) Stoops, Karlina (Nick) Martini, and Katie Gonzalez. And her five great-great nieces Juliet, Nora, Madeline, Ava, and Audrey will come to know her through the warm memories their parents share.
Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her beloved husband of forty-two years, Albert Kovalchik, as well as her sisters Elizabeth (Jack) Paster and Marguerite (Victor) Dutko, and brothers Edward (Virginia) Kepko and Albert (Rodge) Kepko. An additional brother (August) and sister (Mary) died as children. Several sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law and many cousins also preceded her in death. Catherine was the last living family member of her generation. Amazingly, she survived the pandemic of 1917 and transitioned to her heavenly reward during this current pandemic.
The family wishes to extend sincere gratitude to the loving nurses, aides, and staff of The Inn at Christine Valley where Catherine made her home over the past three years. They are also grateful to the nurses and aides of Crossroads Hospice who took care of Catherine in her last days.
A Mass of Christian Burial has taken place at Our Lady of Sorrows at SS. Cyril & Methodius Church and she was laid to rest next to her husband at Calvary Cemetery.
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