Beatrice Catherine Wadzinski McKenzie

Feb. 16, 2013

Beatrice Catherine Wadzinski McKenzie passed away on 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 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, Pa.

In 1947, she met her husband, Robert "Mac" L. McKenzie. They married on 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 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, and 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.

After their concurrent retirement in January 1985, Bea and Bob traveled, played lots of tennis and resided in Jamestown and Cape Canaveral, Fla. Beatrice was a member of St. James Catholic Church, Jamestown, and a former member of Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Jamestown.

In addition to her husband and parents, Beatrice was preceded in death by her brother, Frank Wadzinski; sister, Sophie Wadzinski Pleskach; her brother-in-law and sister-in-law, James McKenzie and Madeline McKenzie Creedon; nephews Frank Wadzinski and Jeffrey Markle; niece Jennifer Creedon; and grandnephew Chase Creedon.

Beatrice is survived by her younger sister, Philamay Wadzinski Swiderski, Bethlehem; nephews John Wadzinski, Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Charles Arnone, Glendale, Ariz., and John Swiderski Jr., McKinney, Texas; niece Catherine Swiderski Csencsitz, Northampton, Pa.; sister-in-law, Audrey McKenzie Markle, Rochester; numerous McKenzie nieces and nephews; and many grandnieces and grandnephews in both the Wadzinski and McKenzie families.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in the future 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, 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.

To light a candle in remembrance of Beatrice, visit

Published in Times Leader on Feb. 21, 2013