Obituary for Catherine Wiest (Burke)
Catherine (Burke) Wiest
September 1, 1917 – March 22, 2018
After more than a century of a life filled with love, Catherine Wiest passed away peacefully on March 22, 2018 at the home of her daughter Catherine, in Essex, Vermont. In her last days she showed the same tenacity, resiliency, and grace with which she lived all her many years.
Catherine was born on September 1, 1917, in Emporium, Pennsylvania, to Catherine E. (Bair) and Patrick H. Burke. Catherine graduated from the Bryant & Stratton College business program in 1935. She worked as a secretary at the Kraft Food Company in Buffalo, New York, for a year before moving to Salem, Massachusetts, in 1936 to accept as job as a secretary to the General Purchasing Manager at Hygrade-Sylvania. She married her darling George Ehrhardt McFall on June 24, 1940. After his death in the service of his country during WWII, Catherine worked at the Sylvania plant in Emporium from 1946-1956. She then married Hugo C. Becker on February 4, 1956, and moved to Maywood, New Jersey. After Hugo’s 1962 death, she married John K. Wiest on August 20, 1965, and they resided in Chili, New York. Following the birth of her first grandchild in 1987, she relocated to Vermont and thrived as a devoted grandmother and great grandmother.
She leaves her daughters Mary Alice McFall Becker Searles of Bronxville, New York, and Catherine Becker Wiest Desmarais, of Essex, Vermont; son-in-law Robert Desmarais; grandchildren Devin Burke Brown and Alexandra (Benjamin) Wisehart; stepgrandchildren Jason, Jonathan, Michael, and Liza Desmarais; and eight greatgrandchildren. She is also survived by her sister, Jane Framsted of Oakland, California, and seven nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her sisters Sara Raby, Magdalene Burke, and Mary Ettle, and brother Francis Burke.
Besides her family, Catherine particularly loved ice-cream, the New York Yankees, and Chardonnay. When asked recently if she’d like to share a dessert, she replied, “I didn’t live to be this old to have to share a dessert!” In her memory, her family asks that you have a bowl of your favorite ice cream (the whole thing!) or a glass of Chardonnay, and ask an elder to share a memory with you. A funeral Mass will be held at 11AM on
Monday, March 26, at St. Pius X Church in Essex, Vermont. Interment will be at 12:30PM on Wednesday, March 28, at St. Mark’s Cemetery in Emporium, Pennsylvania. Those who wish are asked to join the family in a donation to the Cameron County Historical Society, 125 Greenwood Street, Emporium, PA 15834.