Beatrice Catherine Wadzinski McKenzie passed away Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, in Jamestown, N.Y.
Born in Nanticoke on Sept. 7, 1917, she was the third child and second daughter of John and Katherine (Olszewski/Olshefski) Wadzinski. Beatrice graduated from Nanticoke High School in 1935. She was a member of the 1935-1936 state champion Monarch A.C. basketball team. Recognizing the value of a college education and determined to get her degree, she worked at the General Cigar Mill in Nanticoke and at various Pocono resorts and restaurants as a waitress to earn money for college tuition. In 1943, Beatrice graduated from East Stroudsburg State Teachers College with a Bachelor of Science degree in health education and began her teaching career as a physical education teacher at Otto Township High School in the Otto Eldred School District, McKean County. In 1947, she met her husband, Robert L. "Mac" McKenzie. They married Dec. 20, 1948 at St. Bonaventure College, Olean, N.Y. The Rev. James Rigney, OFM, officiated. They were a devoted and loving couple until Robert's death on Nov. 7, 2008.
In the 1950s, Bea and Bob moved to Jamestown, N.Y., where both were professional employees of the Jamestown School District. Beatrice taught physical education and mathematics at the junior and senior high schools and was a guidance counselor at the Senior High. She and Bob earned their Master of Science degrees in education from St. Bonaventure University in 1964.
While employed, Bea and Bob spent their summers traveling throughout the U.S. and Canada, at their summer home in Bemus Point, N.Y., and fishing at Lake Chautauqua and in Canada. Many of their Canadian fishing trips were spent with Bob's sister Audrey, her husband, Joe, and the Markle children. Occasionally, Bea's sister Philamay and her husband, John, joined them on fishing trips in Canada. Bea also participated in league bowling.
Following their concurrent retirement in January 1985, Bea and Bob traveled, played lots of tennis and resided in Jamestown and Cape Canaveral, Fla. Beatrice is a member of St. James Catholic Church, Jamestown, and a former member of Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Jamestown.
Beatrice is survived by her younger sister, Philamay Wadzinski Swiderski, Bethlehem; nephews, John Wadzinski, Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Charles Arnone, Glendale, Ariz.; John Swiderski Jr., McKinney, Texas; and niece, Catherine Swiderski Csencsitz, Northampton. She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Audrey McKenzie Markle, Rochester, N.Y.; numerous McKenzie nieces and nephews and many great-nieces and great-nephews in the Wadzinski and McKenzie families.
In addition to her husband and parents, Beatrice was predeceased by her brother, Frank Wadzinski; her sister, Sophie Wadzinski Pleskach; her brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Lames McKenzie and Madeline McKenzie Creedon; nephews, Frank Wadzinski and Jeffrey Markle; niece, Jennifer Creedon; and grand-nephew, Chase Creedon.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Notre Dame of Bethlehem Catholic Church, Bethlehem. Beatrice's ashes will be interred with Robert's at the Florida National Veterans Cemetery, Bushnell, Fla. Arrangements are entrusted to the Lind Funeral Home, Jamestown, N.Y., and the Downing Funeral Home, Bethlehem.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Holy Apostles Parish, Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 508 Cherry St., Jamestown, NY 14701 or St. James Catholic Church, 27 Allen St., Jamestown, NY 14701.
You may light a candle in remembrance of Beatrice at www.lindfuneralhome.com