Kathleen Y. Simbeck

Kathleen Y. Simbeck, 84, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and formerly of St. Marys, died Wednesday, September 4, 2013, at the Zilber Family Hospice in Wauwatosa, WI, after an extended illness.

She was born Kathleen Yetzer, on March 9, 1929, in St. Marys, daughter of the late Carl Yetzer, Sr. and Kathryn Fitzgerald Yetzer. She sang in school choirs and plays and was named Miss Elk County in 1947, competing that year in the Miss Pennsylvania pageant. She was a 1947 graduate of Central Catholic High School. She sang with big bands including the Sammy Yarfido Band, a popular regional combo.

She worked for a time at Stackpole Carbon Company, until on September 22, 1951, she married Robert D. “Bob” Simbeck. The couple lived for nearly 50 years on Wehler Road, raising three children. Kathleen volunteered for nearly 20 years at Elk Haven Nursing Home, and worked there from approximately 1979-1989, as an activities aide. She was tremendously popular with the residents, organizing talent shows and rhythm bands.

Bob Simbeck died on June 26, 2003. Kathleen lived at home for three years, and then moved to Milwaukee to live with her daughter Karleen. She entered assisted living in 2009, but kept in close touch with family and friends.

She remained a lifelong fan of music, particularly of Irish singer Daniel O’Donnell.

She is survived by three children: Rob Simbeck of Nashville, Tennessee, Lori Tubert and her husband Marcelo of Burbank, California, and Karleen Vitrano and her husband Charlie of Greenfield, Wisconsin; three grandchildren, Emily and Sarah Tubert, and Carly Vitrano; and two sisters-in-law, Henrietta Roussey and Marie Rezmerski, both of Johnsonburg; and a brother-in-law, Leo Simbeck of St Marys.

She was preceded in death by a sister, Rose Grotzinger, and brother, Carl Yetzer, Jr.

There will be no visitation.

Family and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated in the Queen of the World Church on Monday, September 9, 2013, at 10:00 AM, with the Rev. Richard Allen, Pastor, officiating.  Burial will follow in the St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Memorials, if desired, may be made to a favorite charity.

The Lynch-Radkowski Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Online condolences may be offered at www.lynch-radkowski.com.

Karen R. Grotzinger September 6, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Rob, Lori, Karleen –

Losing a parent is always difficult no matter your age or theirs. A part of you dies a little as well. I am very sorry for your loss. And I hope that Kathleen died peacefully and in no pain.

— Karen Grotzinger

Gordon Hutchinson September 6, 2013 at 5:06 pm

What a lovely photograph of an obviously attractive lady. While I never met Mrs. Simbeck, I have become good friends with her son, Rob, through a professional outdoor writers organization to which we both belong–SEOPA. If the offspring are any indication of success as parents, then Mrs. Simbeck was an exceptional one, as Rob is an outstanding person–a talented writer and editor, and a consummate professional with a truly caring attitude. It is my regret to never having known Mrs. Simbeck, but I know her son professionally and as a friend, and he is an excellent person. My sincere condolences to the family and close friends.

Jeannie Klancer September 6, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Dear family,
I used to work with your dad, Bob, at G.T.E. Sylvania. One time he told me to buy a couple stocks (as I had no clue about any of that stuff). Well I bought “2” stocks. He meant 2 hundred as they took it out of your ck for a yr.. What a laugh we all had the whole yr. As for your Mom, I loved sauerkraut and never had bread dumplings. Well I’ve been making them ever since. Every time they had sauerkraut your Mom would send me in a qt jar for lunch. I still think of her when I eat them. Your Mom n Dad were a classic couple. He thought very highly of her. Always praised her on her cooking, being a good mother and wife, always had good things to say about her. You can be proud of both of them, they were GOOD people. Thoughts and Prayers w you all.
Jeannie Klancer

Joseph Moser September 8, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Karleen, Rob and Lori,

I know that you all had the privilege of being with your mom and each other during her final days…what a blessing to treasure in the years to come. Please remember the good things, the happy memories, the love that your mother had for you and how she always wanted the best for you.


I’m so sorry that I could not be there, that I am not there anymore…please know that Janet and I had you and your family in our hearts, thoughts and prayers over these past couple of weeks, and will continue to do so in the weeks and months to come. When my mother died, now 14 years ago, a very good friend of mine reminded me that the we are the ones in pain, those that are left after a loved one dies…your mom is no longer in pain…what a blessing to know that truth.

As always…with warmest regards for you and your family,

Joe and Janet Moser

Chrissy Stauffer September 9, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Aww Karleen,

I’m so sorry. I loved your Mom. She was so nice to me when I worked at Elk Haven and yes, they did love her. I just read it when I saw you, Paula and Mary Jo on face book.. Sending my sympathy.

Love, Chrissy and Bubba

Margaret Segulin September 9, 2013 at 9:55 pm

My sincere sympathy in the passing of your mother. It sounds like she was a very special lady. You certainly inherited her love of music. She must have been so happy and proud of you and your very successful career. I harken to when you were with the Bfd Era, covering Court, and I was in the D.A. ‘s office, all the laughs we shared.

May God Bless you and all your family.

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