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Eulogy for Jean Katoski, October 5, 2015
Written by Jean?s five children
Read by Brian Marshall
When we think of our mother, Jean, we think of the song "My Way" by Frank Sinatra.
First of all, because the song was made into a hit by Frank Sinatra, whom Mom loved. Secondly, because Frank was Italian, and so was our mother.
And thirdly....because Mom truly lived her life in her own way, just as the lyrics say:
"I've lived a life that's full.
I've traveled each and every highway;
And more, much more than this
I did it My way."
It was her feistiness that led Jean to leave her hometown of Duluth, Minnesota, and travel down to DC to join her friends. As an employee of the War Production Board, she noticed a handsome man coming down the hall. She taped her name and phone number on the front of her typewriter in hopes that the handsome man with the curly brown hair and gentle eyes would notice. He did!
After Jean and Al started dating, Al soon enlisted in the Army as a Medic and was deployed to Europe to fight in World War II. While Al was fighting for our country, Jean was asked out by other men on numerous occasions. She declined all the offers because she wanted to remain true to Al. He had her heart, which she kept for the rest of her life.
Once Jean and Al were married in 1946, they ended up living in Pennsylvania for a few years, followed by Washington, DC, while Al searched for and found employment. In 1954, Jean and Al finally settled in Gaithersburg, where they raised five children. As a mother, she is described as always busy, always helpful, never sitting down for a minute, and always knowing where things are in the house; she could find anything at anytime for each of her five children and especially for Al.
As far as her cooking skills go, Jean was a great homestyle cook who kept her us well fed. We especially liked her fried chicken, chicken noodle soup, beef barley soup, and chocolate pudding, but not so much when she prepared pigs feet and kieshki. That's when we all wanted to get far away from the house because it stunk. Our father didn't have to worry about sharing these meals with us.
Along with raising five children, Jean found time to volunteer for St. Martin's Church. She ironed numerous altar clothes over 40 years. Jean cleaned the altar with her friend Gert, and also volunteered her time to count the Sunday collection.
Every time Jean went out, she made sure she was dressed up. Wherever she went, Jean opened her heart to everyone, from the mailman, to every clerk in any store, to every waitress and waiter, doctors, nurses, manicurists, and fellow customers in any store. Jean stayed true to her friends and treated everyone as an equal.
All the way until the very end, she had the determination to finish her story in her own way, in her own home. As the song goes, "I faced it all and I stood tall...I've loved, I've laughed and cried, I've had my fill...and may I say, I did it my way."
We would like to thank all our relatives and friends who traveled here today to say farewell to our beloved mother. Believe that she and Dad are smiling over us.
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