Obituary of Cecelia D. Kokotailo
Cecelia Dorothy Kokotailo (nee Wachowich) died on May 3, 2019 in Middleton, WI, at the Attic Angel Community. Cecelia was born in Opal, Alberta, Canada, the third child of Anastasia (nee Stepchuk) and Philip Wachowich on May 14, 1925. She attended a one-room school house in Opal, and graduated from St. Mary’s High School in Edmonton, Alberta, where she was awarded the Governor General’s Medal for obtaining the highest examination marks in the province. She earned her RN degree from the Misericordia Hospital School of Nursing in Edmonton, and received the award for the highest examination marks in her class. Cecelia received further training in neurological nursing at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital and worked with the preeminent neurosurgeon, Dr. Wilder Penfield. She worked as an operating room nurse and supervisor, most recently at Underwood Hospital in Woodbury, NJ.
Cecelia married fellow Albertan George T. Kokotailo, PhD in 1953 and they lived for the 51 years of their marriage in Woodbury, NJ, but traveled the world for George’s work in solid state physics. Cecelia’s great love was her family. She truly lived her Catholic faith by helping her husband, children, extended family, patients, and community in her quiet yet determined, kind and precise way. She moved to the Attic Angel Community in Middleton, WI in 2008, making a new community of friends at both Attic Angel and Blessed Sacrament Parish. A loving, thoughtful and caring woman, Cecelia influenced her children, granddaughter and extended family in a multitude of ways. She is survived by her son Philip R. Kokotailo, PhD (wife Sarah Stevens), her daughter Patricia K. Kokotailo, MD (husband R. Lawrence DeRoo), and her beloved granddaughter, Laura S. Kokotailo. She is further survived by her siblings Mary Dumaine of Calgary, AB, The Honourable Allan Wachowich (wife Bette) of Edmonton, AB, Patricia Hlady (husband Ben) of Grand Bend, ON, sister-in-law Lucy Wachowich of Edmonton, AB, and many cousins. Cecelia was a beloved aunt to more than 40 nieces and nephews.
A funeral service will be held at the Holy Angels Parish - St. Patrick Church, 64 Cooper Street, Woodbury, NJ on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 with a viewing at 10:30 AM and Mass at 11:30 AM. Interment at Wenonah Cemetery, Mantua, NJ. A memorial service will be held in June 14, 2019 at 7pm at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 2121 Rowley Ave., Madison, WI. Donations in memory of Cecelia may be made to the Employee Appreciation Fund at Attic Angel Community, 8301 Old Sauk Road, Middleton, WI 53562 or to Catholic Charities. The family wishes to thank the Attic Angel Community, especially the Haven staff and flock of Angels, for many years of excellent care for Cecelia. They also thank Agrace Hospice (especially Mary Nuedling, RN and Susi Sirianni, LCSW) and Dr. Alexis Eastman for all their expertise and caring.