Katherine Flint Shadek
AGE: 95 • Spring Lake
Katherine F. Shadek passed away peacefully at her home in Spring Lake NJ on December 22, 2016 at the age of 95. Katherine Frances Flint was born in New York City on Sept 8th, 1921. She was the only child of Wallace Benjamin Flint and Margaret McClenahan Flint. She grew up in Spring Lake NJ, Flushing NY and Brooklyn Heights NY. She graduated from HW Mountz Elementary School in Spring Lake and from St Agatha School in Manhattan. She was a 1945 graduate of Barnard College and a 1948 graduate of Columbia University Law School where she met her husband, Arthur J. Shadek, who predeceased her (1999).
Her father Wallace Flint, and his brother, Charles Flint, originally ship builders from Maine, founded a worldwide import export business around the turn of the 20th century (Flint & Co) in NYC. The brothers also invested in Computing Tabulating and Recording Co (CTR) and were instrumental in hiring Thomas Watson Sr. in 1914 to be the president of CTR. In 1924, CTR changed its name to International Business Machines Co. Given the brothers' confidence in Mr. Watson, Katherine's parents advised her to "try to keep the IBM shares." Despite recommendations and pressure from bank trust officers to diversify the family's portfolio, Katherine followed the wishes of her parents and held the IBM shares, some of which were purchased more than 100 years ago. Her parents bought additional shares from IBM dividends that the company continued to pay through the Great Depression. It is a quintessential long term investing story of which the family is very proud. The family is grateful for her faith and vision in the benefits long term stock market investing.
During her youth, Katherine traveled the world with her parents. At the age of 16, she bicycled through Wales (her family's ancestral homeland). Katherine was one of the few women in her class at Columbia Law School. Instead of pursuing a career in law after graduation, she turned her attention to raising her family in Tenafly and Alpine NJ and pursued her passion for investing in the stock market. She managed the family's portfolio for over 60 years, investing in the growth stocks of the 1950s and 60s while her husband concentrated on venture capital investing. Katherine was a voracious reader averaging a book a week until she could no longer read during the last few years of her life. She possessed a tremendous base of knowledge on many different subjects including European and American history. Katherine also possessed a tremendous command of the English language and her family leaned on her often to proofread school papers and letters. She also reminded us frequently of correct grammar including the appropriate use of "I or me". Her wisdom and insights will be greatly missed by her family.
Katherine and her husband focused their philanthropic activities on education because they believed education had changed their own lives. They were the first in their families to graduate from college. They were benefactors of Franklin & Marshall College, Columbia University, Barnard College and Stevens Institute of Technolgy. Katherine will be laid to rest in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn NY, near her mother and father. Plans for a memorial service will be announced at a future date. The family would like to thank Michele and David Slaff and Ron Lloyd for their extraordinary help in caring for their mother during the later years of her life. Katherine is survived by her four children; Laurence and his wife, Patricia, of Alpine NJ, Thomas and his wife, Rose, of La Jolla CA, James of NYC, Katherine Boyle and her husband, James, of Steamboat Springs CO, her brother-in-law, Warren Shadek of Pompton Plains NJ, her sister-in-law, Beverly Shadek of La Jolla CA, 10 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. Donations can be made in Katherine's memory to Franklin & Marshall College for the Arthur and Katherine Shadek Scholarship Fund, Attn: College Advancement, P.O. Box 3003, Lancaster, PA. 17604.
Published in Asbury Park Press on Jan. 15, 2017.