Kathleen Y. Simbeck, 84, of Milwaukee, Wis., and formerly of St. Marys, died Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, at the Zilber Family Hospice in Wauwatosa, Wis., after an extended illness.
She was born Kathleen Yetzer on March 9, 1929, in St. Marys, daughter of the late Carl Yetzer Sr. and Kathryn Fitzgerald Yetzer.
She sang in school choirs and plays, and was named Miss Elk County in 1947, competing that year in the Miss Pennsylvania pageant. She was a 1947 graduate of Central Catholic High School. She sang with big bands including the Sammy Yarfido Band, a popular regional combo.
She worked for a time at Stackpole Carbon Company, until on Sept. 22, 1951, she married Robert D. "Bob" Simbeck. The couple lived for nearly 50 years on Wehler Road, raising three children. Kathleen volunteered for nearly 20 years at Elk Haven Nursing Home, and worked there from approximately 1979-1989, as an activities aide. She was tremendously popular with the residents, organizing talent shows and rhythm bands.
Bob Simbeck died on June 26, 2003. Kathleen lived at home for three years, and then moved to Milwaukee to live with her daughter Karleen. She entered assisted living in 2009, but kept in close touch with family and friends.
She remained a lifelong fan of music, particularly of Irish singer Daniel O'Donnell.
She is survived by three children, Rob Simbeck of Nashville, Tenn., Lori Tubert and her husband Marcelo of Burbank, Calif., and Karleen Vitrano and her husband Charlie of Greenfield, Wis.; three grandchildren, Emily and Sarah Tubert, and Carly Vitrano; and two sisters-in-law, Henrietta Roussey and Marie Rezmerski, both of Johnsonburg; and a brother-in-law, Leo Simbeck of St Marys.
She was preceded in death by a sister, Rose Grotzinger; and brother, Carl Yetzer, Jr.
There will be no visitation.
Family and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated in the Queen of the World Church on Monday, Sept. 9, 2013 at 10 a.m. with the Rev. Richard Allen, Pastor, officiating. Burial will follow in the St. Maryâ€™s Cemetery.
Memorials, if desired, may be made to a favorite charity.
The Lynch-Radkowski Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Online condolences may be offered at www.lynch-radkowski.com.