HARVARD – Katinka Podmaniczky Coleman of Harvard, Massachusetts died peacefully in her sleep, at home, with her family around her on March, 14, 2012 at the age of 94. She was born on September 28, 1917 in Budapest, Hungary, the daughter of the late Baron Tibor von Podmaniczky and the late Virginia Hegeman Walker. She is survived by her husband of 70 years, Loring W. Coleman of Harvard, MA and four children: Linzee Coleman-Bagge of Bozrah, CT, Susan Jewell of Northborough, MA, Peter Coleman of Buckfield, ME, and Andrew Coleman of Harvard, MA, seven grandchildren and seven great grand children. She is also survived by her younger brother, Sandor Podmaniczky Walker of Thomaston, ME and her namesake, a grand niece, Katinka Podmaniczky of Boston, MA.
After her family moved from Hungary to Germany in 1922, Katinka was educated in the schools in Munich and later at a boarding school in Switzerland. She finished her secondary education at Rosemary Hall in Greenwich, CT. Her diverse educational experience allowed her to become fluent in the English, German, French and Italian languages. She attended Vassar College, majoring in Journalism and later worked as an editor for a publishing house in Boston. She was very proud to have become a naturalized citizen of the United States and instilled a strong sense of patriotism into her family.
Katinka and Loring were married on December 6, 1941, the day before the attack on Pearl Harbor. When Loring was drafted into the Army, Katinka joined him at Fort Lee in Petersburg, VA, where he remained stationed for the balance of the war. They lived in Decatur, GA for three years before returning to Massachusetts to settle in Sudbury for the next twenty years.
Katinka, while busy raising her family, was active in civic affairs, belonging to the League of Women Voters and serving a term on the Town Planning Board. She was a member of St. Elisabeth’s Episcopal Church in Sudbury, singing in the Choir and helping to organize and run the new church thrift shop. Later, relocated to Harvard, MA, Katinka became a member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Southborough, MA, where she also enjoyed working at the Bargain Box and the annual Christmas Fair.
An avid gardener, she was a member of the Sudbury and Harvard Garden Clubs and maintained one of the original vegetable plots in the Harvard Community Gardens.
Music was always a delight and passion throughout her life. She was a supporter of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and could be found there on Friday afternoons during the concert season and at Tanglewood in the summer. She loved opera and could recite long passages of Wagner’s works from memory.
She was also an avid sports fan dating from an interest in Olympic Sports as a child through long time enthusiasm for all the Boston professional sports teams. She was a field hockey and lacrosse player in secondary school and enjoyed downhill skiing. Later in life she was a very active climber in the Austrian Alps.
But Katinka’s prime focus throughout her life has been her family, as a devoted wife, mother and grandmother providing steadfast support and guidance through these many years. Her family will greatly miss her nurturing care and vibrant personality that has been a light to us all.
Arrangements have been made with Badger Funeral Homes in Littleton, MA. There will be no visiting hours. A memorial service has been scheduled for 2:00 PM on Saturday, March 24, 2012 at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Southborough, MA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry in Ayer, MA. or to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.
(Obituary courtesy of Badger Funeral Homes)