Katie was born on May 18, 1949 in San Francisco. California , the loving daughter of her parents John Callahan and Charlotte Hempler Callahan. She left on her journey to the place of unconditional love and no worries, surely, Heaven, on Tuesday April 30. She was at peace in her own home after a month long battle with cancer and complications from surgery.
Katie is deeply missed and much loved by her adoring husband of 42 blessed years, Bob. She is also the most loved mother of Amy Anderson, husband Tim and Nina Nicolopulos. She is also the adored yia yia of Amy and Tim's children, Kaia Bella Anderson and Jake Ryan Anderson. She is also survived by her loving mother (90) Charlotte Callahan, Aunt Helen Mehawk and beloved brother, Tom (Sue) Callahan of Mesa, Arizona. Katie is also deeply missed by her husband Bob's brothers' Richard (Judy) and Russell's (Lori) families. All of her Nicolopulos and Callahan nieces and nephews loved their Aunt Katie and her fun-loving ways.
Katie was a force of nature! She tackled life's challenges with a gusto and joy that made her life long friends everywhere. She graduated from Notre Dame High School in Belmont in 1967. She then followed her calling of always wanting to help people to St. Joseph's School of Nursing in San Francisco, graduating in 1970. A 40 plus year career followed at Kaiser Hospital in Redwood City where she worked in many different capacities, making a difference for the better in every position she held. She was much loved by staff and patients and as always with Katie led to life long friendships.
Katie also spent a year as a coordinator for the Travelers' Aid Group at the San Francisco Airport, assisting travelers and once again making friends.
Bob and Katie were married on April 3, 1971, high school sweethearts who were fortunate and blessed to spend 42 years of marriage together. They honeymooned on the beautiful Garden Island of Kauai in April of 1971 and returned almost yearly after Amy and Nina were born. It became a second home for the Nicolopulos family and a place where Katie felt so at peace. Katie also loved all things Italian and cherished her trips to Italy to visit the family in Lucca. The family there embraced Katie and love and miss her very much. Her infectious spirit and love of life endeared her to them all.
Family was the number one priority with Katie. She loved the home that she and Bob built in 1983 on Nimitz Avenue in Redwood City and decorated it with her own
touch of Italian/Hawaiian Zen and was proud that everyone who entered it said it felt warm, friendly and inviting. In her kitchen she loved to cook meals she learned to cook in Italy while visiting Bob's relatives. Family gatherings and holiday parties gave her a great sense of joy and she took great pleasure in bringing people together. Katie was always supporting her children's and grandchildren's activities and was a fixture at their swim meets, soccer, softball and baseball games. She was a brilliant example to her daughters, Amy and Nina, of how to be a strong woman, loving mother and good friend. Her grandchildren Kaia and Jake loved the field trips she organized for them and the chicken soup and care she gave them when sick. She was famous for her lists and during her last days on hospice she left letters of advice to Kaia and Jake for landmark birthdays they will have and even planned the music for her services. Bob was also given quite a list of things he needs to do in regards to their children and grandchildren.
She retired in 2012 and again continued in her calling of helping others. She volunteered at the Palo Alto Veteran's Hospal Hospice Program and most recently could be found at St. Anthony's Dining Room in Redwood City helping to dispense food to the needy.
Katie recently told us that she was influenced by her father, John's, advice: Be nice to people and they will be nice to others. This glden rule was Katie's philosophy for life. People tell countless stories about how Katie went out of her way to help others whether they were friends, relatives or people she heard needed help or people that she just met. She was the glue of each group she was associated with and her advice, help or beautiful smile were enough to make people feel better. Katie also had a wonderful sense of humor. Her recent performance at her Notre Dame 45th High School reunion (which of course, she helped organize) as Sister Kathleen Margaret is now legendary.
The life force that was Katie Nicolopulos will truly live on in her husband, children, grandchildren and extended family and friends. Her kindness and concern for others will surely be paid forward and she will be smiling on all of us from that beautiful other side of unconditional love.
Ci vediamo in Cielo mia bella moglie!!
A Funeral Mass will be held this coming Tuesday May 7 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Pius Catholic Church in Redwood City. It will be followed by a Celebration of Life reception at 1:00p.m. at the Emerald Hills Elks Club in Redwood City. As a tribute to Katie's love for Hawaii, the dress for the services will be Aloha attire.
A private committal service will be held at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Los Altos at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, we request donations be made in her honor to St. Anthony's Dining Room, 3500 Middlefield Rd, Menlo Park, Ca 94025