Obituary of Katherine E. Colombo
Katherine (Katie) E. Colombo, 92, a longtime resident of Pequannock, passed away on March 23, 2022.
Katie was born in 1929 in the small, rural village of Olaszfalu, Hungary. The village had no electricity, no modern conveniences, and not even a newspaper. She came from a family of farmers. Her mother, Johanna, and father, Roman, along with her five siblings, Gizella, Theresa, Joseph, Robert, and Ferencz, farmed fields of wheat, corn, and vegetables, and they kept cows, pigs, chickens, and horses. Katie and her family were somewhat hidden from the very nearby war, until soldiers came to occupy their home, and post-war, her family was driven out of their home completely, and boxed into cattle cars for days to be deported into East Germany. Like the heroine we all knew Katie to be, she escaped, with some of her relatives, across the border and safely into West Germany, where she worked in a hospital for several years, until she had secured sponsorship papers from her sister, Theresa, to emigrate to America. She came, age 21, in a displaced person ship, with only the clothes she was wearing on her back.
While living with her sister and her husband on Ringwood Avenue in Wanaque, she met Bruno, who, coincidentally, lived directly across the street. Katie and Bruno married and moved into their very own house in Pequannock. They had two sons together, Bruce and Joseph. She lived in her house until the day she left this world. The years passed, and her family grew. Katie traveled, planted, danced, laughed, kept busy in her yard and home, and enjoyed time with family. Grandchildren were born, and then great-grandchildren, too. The years passed by, but Katie was ever-present in the lives of everyone she knew.
Katie welcomed everyone into her home and into her heart. Nieces, nephews, cousins, neighbors, siblings, friends, and relatives (near and far) were so much a part of her daily life. Her life was full of people, so full of blessings, and so full of love. For those of us who were lucky enough to know her, we will carry on her memory, carry with us her strength, her story, her dedication to family, and pass along the gracious legacy that she has left for us all.
Katie is survived by her sons, Bruce and his wife Susan and Joseph and his wife Jill; her brother, Robert Schwarcz; her grandchildren, Joseph Colombo and his wife Cara, Matthew Colombo, Charles Colombo and his wife Ashley, Brianne Colombo, Danielle Buonforte and her husband Nick, David Colombo, and Jane Colombo and her fiancé Fintan; her great-grandchildren, Jesse, Emily, Adeline, and Charlee. Her family would like to acknowledge two of her two nieces, Theresa Grasso and Janet O'Toole, who were a daily source of companionship and most importantly love, who were like daughters to her. Katie was predeceased by her husband, Bruno, in 1988.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 am on Monday, March 28, 2022 at Holy Spirit RC Church, Pequannock. A private burial will follow at Our Lady of Magnificat Church Cemetery, Kinnelon.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Katherine's memory can be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
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