Catherine George (Knight) nee Oraczewska

Catherine George (Knight) nee Oraczewska of Fernie passed away at the Rocky Mountain Village on Sunday, November 13, 2011 at the age of 98.

Catherine was born to Michel and Maria Oraczewska on a farm in Round Hill, Alberta on March 17, 1913. She grew up in a large family of six other siblings and three half-siblings. She had the typical prairie farm life of the times, full of hard work interspersed with those joyous times of family and community gatherings. In 1928 Catherine found her way to Corbin, BC to work as waitress/chambermaid in the boarding house and later the Flathead Hotel, both ran by the Knight family. On April 12, 1934 she married Harry Knight and moved into their newly built home beside the hotel, which was soon filled with three children: Myrna, Joseph and Sidney. After the Corbin riots and the closing of the mine, Catherine and family moved to Fernie in September 1937 where she helped in running the family business of the Waldorf Hotel, Royal Hotel and later in 1944 the Arlington Hotel.

Later in life Catherine had many jobs in Fernie, among which were seamstress, dental hygienist for Dr. Campbell, clerk at Minton’s Drugstore, clerk at Robinson’s Store and serving in the Fernie Quality Bakery for “Tippy” Menduk. Catherine was also a 72 year member of the CWL and involved with countless good works in the community.

After the passing of Harry Knight in 1969, Catherine remarried in 1976 to Nick George and was to go on happily until his passing on January 28, 2008. Retirement years brought time to travel, and attend to those beloved household diversions of gardening, knitting, sewing, baking, all the while enjoying those bowling outings to win the occasional trophy. As the matriarch of the family she drew pleasure on doting over her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and lived long enough to hold and cherish her great great grandchildren.

Catherine is survived by her brother Clarence Allen of Claresholm, stepsister Maria Galloway of Los Angeles, nine grandchildren, thirteen great grandchildren and fifteen great great grandchildren. She is predeceased by Harry Knight, Myrna Walls, Sidney Knight, Joe Knight and Nick George.

Funeral Mass was celebrated at the Holy Family Catholic Church on Wednesday, November 16th with Father Bart van Roijen, Celebrant. Interment followed at St. Margaret’s Cemetery. Arrangements entrusted to Cherished Memories Funeral Services Ltd.


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