Obituary of Katherine S Gogolak
Katherine Jerusha Gogolak ("Kathy") passed away peacefully on July 30, 2023 at age 84 after a long, productive life filled with joy, accomplishment, and love for her family and friends. While Kathy will be missed her family and friends will remember her and the great times they had with her throughout her life.
Kathy was born in Plainfield, New Jersey to her parents Frank P. Sauer and Rushabelle S. Sauer. Kathy attended Sweet Briar College in Virginia and then moved to New York City, where she worked for Eastern Airlines, and then as an administrative assistant at the law firm Dewey Ballantine. While living in New York Kathy met her future husband, Peter Gogolak, who was the field goal kicker for the New York Giants football team. After marrying Kathy and Peter moved to Darien, CT to begin the next phase of their lives centered on raising their two sons, David and Tom and developed lifelong friendships. While Kathy was focused on raising her two sons and supporting her husband Peter, her boundless energy and her zest for commerce caused her to found with friends a number of local small companies that enjoyed commercial success, including Petal Pushers (floral design), The Drapery Exchange (consignment draperies) and Jerusha Partners (builder of residential homes in Darien, CT). Kathy's great sense of design and her instincts for real estate value enabled her and Peter to buy, renovate and sell over 14 homes in Darien over a 40 year period.
Even with her family and business obligations Kathy found time to provide support to numerous organizations that benefitted greatly from her energy and passion for the work they were doing. Kathy provided significant support and fundraising for F.A.C.E.S. ("Finding a Cure for Epilepsy and Seizures"), and Star, Inc. Lighting the Way ("support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities"). Kathy's work to support these organizations led her to be one of the founders of The Cottage in Darien, a home for adult men and women with intellectual and developmental disabilities located in Darien, CT. Kathy served as a board member of The Cottage for many years.
Kathy was an inclusive person and had many friends across the age spectrum. She deftly hosted many social functions in her homes; spending time with young families, older friends, and loved introducing people to each other in the community who she felt would enjoy each other's company. Kathy had a passion for golf in her early adult years, but ended up putting her golf clubs away to focus on her family. She was a long-time member of the Tokeneke Club and Wee Burn Country Club, and in recent years was a member of the Ocean Club in FL, where Peter and Kathy spent time during the winter. Kathy was also a member of the Garden Club of Darien and the Blue Notes Singing Group. Kathy had a magnetic personality and lit up the room with her warm smile and infectious laugh. She was known to stand up in front of large groups of people at social functions and tell both stories and jokes, which displayed her great sense of humor and her desire to make people happy.
Kathy is pre-deceased by her parents, Frank P. Sauer and Rushabelle Sauer, as well as her son David P. Gogolak, her sister Barbara Grinnell and brother-in-law David Grinnell and her niece Suzanne Thompson. Kathy is survived by her husband Peter K. Gogolak, her son Tom H. Gogolak, her grandchildren Graylin and John Gogolak, and her daughter-in-law Nicole Gogolak of Colorado.
A memorial service in honor of Kathy will be held at Noroton Presbyterian Church 2011 Post Rd in Darien on Saturday, October 7, 2023, at 11am. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The STAR Foundation, supporting STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way where Kathy leaves a legacy as an advocate, volunteer, and champion for people of all abilities. Donate online www.starfoundationct.org
or Mail to 182 Wolfpit Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851.
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