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BELASH, Katharina "Katsch" (von Metzsch) 76, of Cambridge, MA, passed away on October 7, 2013, in the loving care of her 3 children. She was preceded in death by her parents, Gottfried and Gisela von Metzsch of Baden-Baden, Germany, and her brother Eugene von Metzsch. She is survived by her son, Alexis Belash and his wife Kate, her daughter Nadia (Belash) McKay and her husband Jim, all of Milton, MA, and her daughter Renata Belash of Petaluma, CA. She is also survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Charlotte and Andreas Froriep, of Zurich, Switzerland, and 5 beloved grandchildren: Ali and Isabel Belash, Henry and Ollie McKay, and Anika McCarthy-Belash. Katsch was born in Schwedt/Oder, Germany and grew up in Frankfurt. She often spoke compellingly of the dear friends and the life values she developed at her much loved boarding school, Schule Schloss Salem on the Bodensee, where she completed her Abitur/Baccalauriat. She attended Frankfurt University, studying Philology before moving to the United States. Initially residing in Chestnut Hill/Brookline, Katsch moved to Cambridge, MA in 1987. She was a Residential Real Estate Broker with Forum Associates, and then Office Manager and Sales Director at Cambridgeport Commons. In 1990, she became Financial Assistant to the Harvard University Department of Sociology, retiring in 2006. Katsch was always impressive, at whatever she undertook. She was known for her spirited sense of humor, flashing smile, heartfelt laughter, and her tell it like it is attitude. A person of strong conviction, she was kind and brave, often rooting for the underdog. Katsch was highly intelligent and always curious, a vibrant woman of class and grace. She was broadly read, particularly loving biographies, and always enjoyed a rousing conversation. Her artistic gifts showed through in her own photography, architectural drafting, painting and drawing, as well as in the elegant surroundings she created in her home, and in many years of work with The Charles Playhouse and the ICA. She thrived by the ocean, and enjoyed spending time in Chatham on Cape Cod, surrounded by dear friends. Katsch loved nature and all its interesting little creatures, especially her adored grandchildren. She was a strong force in peoples lives, and she will be greatly missed. A memorial celebration of her life will be held in the Boston area at a later date. Online condolences may be submitted at www.cambridgesidefuneralhome.com. Contributions may be made in Katschs honor to: Mass Audubon, Attn: Sarah Joyal, 208 South Great Road, Lincoln, MA 01773 or online at http://www.massaudubon.org/donate/memorial.php.
Published in The Boston Globe on Oct. 20, 2013
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