BOARDMAN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Catherine Malys of Boardman passed away in her sleep Wednesday, July 28, 2021.
Catherine, who was affectionately known as “Kay” to all of her family and friends grew up on the city’s west side and was a 1942 graduate of Chaney High School.
In her 30s, while raising three children, Kay enrolled in college at Youngstown State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education.
Upon graduation, she began a career in teaching in the Boardman Local School system. Kay taught special education at Glenwood middle school for many years. She was an old-school, no-nonsense teacher who brought out the absolute best in all of her special needs students. She never accepted anything less than her student’s best efforts and she expected all of them to succeed. Because of this philosophy, her students did indeed succeed far greater than anyone had previously expected of them. This was evidenced by the many letters and in-person words of thanks she received from parents and former students throughout the years. She was truly a “difference-maker.” She later earned a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Youngstown State University. Kay spent the second part of her career as a fifth-grade social sciences teacher at Boardman Center Middle School where she was known for teaching her students to be aware of and be proud of their family heritage and culture. Every year she had her students bring to school a favorite family traditional dish to share with their fellow classmates and had each one of them study and prepare a report on their family’s cultural background and their family’s roots. In this way, she was not only teaching her students about themselves and making them aware of who they were and where they came from culturally but she also had them making connections with their parents, grandparents other family members and even their neighbors.
Kay was very proud of her Ukrainian heritage, could speak Ukrainian fluently and loved her church and her church family very much. She was a lifelong member of Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Youngstown where her father was one of the original founding fathers of the church. Kay was very proud to say that the very first Divine Liturgy services were held in her father’s home before the church building was built. Kay proudly served her church for many years. She was a longtime church board member, past president of the Senior Ukrainian Orthodox League, a Junior Ukrainian Orthodox League advisor, a past president of the church sisterhood organization, a church representative to the Ukrainian National Convention, past president of the retired person’s club and a bingo volunteer/worker.
Anyone who knew Kay knew that she loved to sing. She was always singing and she had a beautiful soprano voice. She was very proud of her role in the church choir and was, in fact, the president of the church choir for many years. She especially loved to sing traditional Ukrainian songs. She also loved the theatre and was a longtime volunteer at Powers Auditorium and Stambaugh Auditorium.
Kay’s name on her baptismal certificate was actually Katheryna but her name was “Americanized” to Catherine. She was born October 12, 1925 and was the daughter of Michael Woloschak and Katheryna “Catherine” Senediak.
Kay was married to her husband, Joseph on September 7, 1947 and remained married to him until his death in 2000. Together they raised three children, Kathleen (Atty. Peter) Harris of Irvine, California, Dr. Joseph (Terry) Malys of Boardman and Walter (Diane) Malys of Columbus. They also have seven granddaughters, Jennifer (Alexei) Tokachev of Irvine, California, Vanessa Harris of Irvine, California, Dr. Beth (Dr. Chris) Clark of Columbus, Katy (Duane) Gaotro of Columbus, Rachel (Chad) McKinney of Mt. Gilead, Ohio, Sarah (Jared) Miller of Ft. Benning, Georgia and Christy (James) Thomas of Columbus and nine great-grandchildren, Katherina, Aleksandra, Lily, Evie, Jaxon, Andrew, Theodore, Ruby and Walter Lee. They also have a Godson, Michael Walkowiec of Boardman whose family treated “Aunt Kay” as a mother and grandmother, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Kay’s family was her heart. She will be sadly missed.
Preceding Kay in death was her husband, Joseph; her parents, Michael and Catherine; her brothers, Michael Charles, Metro “Zeke” and Frank and her sisters, Mary, Esther, Rose, Alice and Anna.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Kay was buried alongside her husband with a private graveside ceremony in the church’s cemetery.
Any monetary contributions should be sent in Kay’s name to her beloved church, Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church, 1025 N. Belle Vista Avenue.
Arrangements were handled by Kinnick Funeral Home.
To send flowers to Catherine’s family, please visit our floral store.
A television tribute will air Monday, August 9 at the following approximate times: 5:17 a.m. on WKBN, 8:39 a.m. on FOX, 5:21 p.m. on WYTV and 6:35 p.m. on MyYTV.