Kay Pate (nee Ozretich), born on Sep. 13, 1922, died on Dec. 6, 2014, at Carle Hospital in Urbana. A private graveside service will take place at 1pm on Wed., Dec. 9, 2014, at the Danville National Cemetery. Her husband, Eugene H. Pate, preceded her in death on Oct. 2, 1998.
Heath and Vaughn funeral home, 201 N. Elm, Champaign, is assisting with arrangements.
Kay was born in Chicago, IL to Katina and Frank Ozretich, who emigrated from Split, Croatia. She was the youngest of her siblings and was preceded in death by her mother and father, brothers, Mike, Andrew, Walter, and Frank, and sisters, Rosie, Antoinette, Anna, and Amelia.
Kay is survived by her daughter, Denise Pelafas, son Dennis Pate, daughter-in-law Jessica Pate, grandchildren, Thomas Pate, Joanna Pelafas, and Nicholas Pelafas, and her nieces and nephews.
Kay grew up on the south side of Chicago, IL, and graduated from Hirsch High School in 1940. She worked at Fifth Army Headquarters where she met her husband in 1950.
Since 1950, Kay was a dutiful army wife, moving from Chicago, IL, to Fort Benning, GA, to Frankfurt, Germany, to Fort McArthur in San Pedro, CA, to Newfoundland, Canada, and finally to Fort Belvoir, VA. On June 1, 1962 her husband retired from the Army after 20 years of service.
In the decades that followed she moved with her family to San Pedro, CA, where she worked at Crestwood Elementary School, to Champaign IL, where she worked at Robeson Elementary school, to New Port Richie, FL, back to Champaign, IL, to Ponte Vedra Beach FL, and finally to Champaign-Urbana, IL.
Kay spent her life dedicated to her husband, children, and grandchildren.
She was a vibrant person who lived to love, and loved to live. She loved animals and had several dogs throughout her life (Skippy, Nike, Blondie, Dutch, and Lucky). She also enjoyed babies and children, dancing, singing, bowling, golfing, making ceramics, and sewing. Kay’s gift to everyone around her was her sense of humor and the joy with which she engaged all people. You could find her singing everything is beautiful in its own way up until her last days.Her spirit is loved and will be missed.
The family would like to thank all of the health care workers at Canterbury Ridge, and nurses and doctors at Carle Hospital for their kindness and caring.
In lieu of flowers, Kay’s family is requesting people make donations to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Champaign County Humane Society, or the Greater Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.