Katherine T. "Kitty" Lehnen, 89, a resident of St. Vincent's Home, formerly of Albany Avenue, both in Dunkirk, passed away on April 2, 2014 at Brooks Memorial Hospital.
She was born in Dunkirk on March 13, 1925, the youngest daughter of John and Mary (Pienciak) Ferneza.
Katherine attended schools in Dunkirk. She retired from the New York Telephone Company in 1989 after 20 years of service. Katherine previously worked at the Vineyard Restaurant. On Sept. 5, 1970, she and Leo Lehnen were married. They enjoyed traveling to Arizona, Florida and Puerto Rico to visit friends and relatives.
Katherine was very active in the Ladies of the Elks for many years and belonged to the Dunkirk Senior Center where she enjoyed playing cards with her friends. She also was a life member of the Telephone Pioneers. An avid gardener, one of Kitty's greatest joys was crocheting baby blankets for newborns in the area.
In 1978, Katherine, her mother and brother traveled to Czechoslovakia to visit family that her mother had not seen since leaving the country many years ago. It was a great celebration, as the townspeople came to meet the visitors from America.
Katherine is survived by her daughter-in-law, Vicky Pompender; stepson James F. (Barbara) Lehnen of Dunkirk; grandchildren Kimberly Miller of Dunkirk, Jody (Edward) Baffa of Pembroke Pines, Florida, Michael Lehnen (Maria Valdes) of San Jose, Calif., and James J. (Lori) Lehnen of Derby, NY. Also survived by seven great grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and dear friends.
Besides her parents, Katherine was preceded in death by her husband, Leo C. Lehnen; her son, Frank J. Pompender; and her daughters, Elaine H. Pompender and Barbara A. Canfield. Also preceded by three brothers, John, Joseph and Frank Ferneza; and four sisters, Anne Cuthbert, Sophie Stranc, Mary Mierzwa and Frances Brown.
It was Katherine's wish that her body be donated to the Anatomical Gift Program at the University of Buffalo School of Medicine. Those wishing may make memorials to St. Jude's Children's Hospital or the Dunkirk Free Library.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Memorial Mass which will be celebrated Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 10 o'clock in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church. There will be no calling hours.
Arrangements are by the McGraw-Kowal Funeral Home.