Wanda Alexandra Kownacki
December 16, 1916-January 3, 2013
Resident of Los Gatos
Wanda Kownacki passed away in her home in Los Gatos on January 3, 2013. She was 96 years old. Wanda was born in Russia. While still an infant, she was brought to Warsaw Poland by her mother and grew up there with her mother and her brother Pawel. In college she studied journalism and loved to go to the mountains in Southern Poland to hike and cross country ski. She married Stanislaw Kownacki in 1937 and remained in Warsaw during World War II while Stan served as a navigator in the Royal Air Force. After the war, Wanda escaped from Poland alone and joined her husband in England where they lived for several years. They came to the United States in 1952 and had two daughters, Wanda and Ann Alexandra (Sandy) in 1954 and 1955. Wanda lived in various parts of the United States until she and her family settled in Los Gatos, California in 1960. Wanda loved California. She traveled extensively and lived in Venezuela and Algeria while Stan worked in those countries, but she always said California was the best place to be. She became very attached to Fallen Leaf Lake California and spent time in the summer there with her family as much as possible. She loved walking in the hills above Los Gatos and had many friends of all ages. She was an expert seamstress and made beautiful clothes for herself and her daughters. She was also a proponent of healthy food long before it became a trend and worked in health food stores in Los Gatos. When she was living in Algeria she began painting in watercolors. This was the beginning of many years of creating works of art in various media, including collage. Wanda showed her work in several local galleries.
Wanda is survived by her daughters Wanda and Sandy, her beloved grandson Sam, her brother Pawel, and her nephews Piotr and Tomek.
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Jan. 5, 2013