Katherine “Kitty” Matte, 93, of Whitehall, New York, passed away peacefully in her home, surrounded by her loving family, on Thursday, May 21, 2020.
She was born Katherine Elizabeth Kovalosky on September 25, 1926 on Maple Hill Farm, Clark Hollow Road, East Poultney, Vermont, She was the daughter of Jacob Kovalosky of Warsaw, Poland and Anna Zovistoski of Hampton, New York. She attended school in a rural one-room schoolhouse where there were two other “Catherines” in her class, prompting her to take the nickname “Kitty,” an appropriate name reflecting her love of cats.
Kitty’s youth was spent on the family’s dairy farm working alongside her parents and four sisters, pitching hay by hand and plowing the fields by horse. Her father taught her the names of all the wildflowers on the farm and she brought her love of flowers and gardening to her Davis Street home in Whitehall where she maintained a flower bed in the front yard and planted a bountiful vegetable garden every spring.
Kitty was a 1945 graduate of Poultney High School. She married Bruno J. Matte of Whitehall, New York on September 23, 1950 at St. Raphael's Church in Poultney. She picked up sewing skills during her employment as a seamstress at the dress shop in Poultney and the coat factory in Whitehall before starting a family, and later brought those skills to her married life, sewing an entire wardrobe for her young daughter’s Barbie dolls.
She delighted in being a stay-at-home mom for her two children. The Matte home was a popular gathering place for neighborhood kids and a rousing game of hide-and-seek. She later took on employment as a School Aide, Library Aide and Computer Aide at the Whitehall Elementary School, as well as working part-time at the Isaac C. Griswold Library in Whitehall.
Kitty's greatest joys were her family and her faith and she expressed her love through food. She always remembered everyone's birthday with a card or a phone call and was known throughout the family for her heart-shaped birthday cakes. She was a member of the Saint Anne Society at Notre Dame des Victoires/Our Lady of Hope Church in Whitehall, New York and was also a Eucharistic Minister in the church for many years.
She was well-known for her homemade cookies which she’d donate to church bake sales, bring to family gatherings and offer as a holiday treat to school, library and bank employees and everyone she appreciated. For friends and family who came to the house to visit, there was always a pot of fresh coffee on the stove, “Kitty’s cookies” in the cookie jar and a place to sit and chat at the kitchen table.
Proud of her Polish roots, Kitty was a member of the Polish American Club and was always up for dancing at their polka dances and dinners. She would often take the lead and delighted in swinging her partners off their feet.
In addition to her parents and her husband, Kitty is predeceased by two sisters, Reta (Kovalosky) Parrott and Anna (Kovalosky) Parrott as well as in-laws on her husband’s side: Hormidas Matte, Herman Matte, Germaine (Matte) McCarthy, Beatrice (Matte) Hart, Ed Matte, Lucille (Matte) Yemans, Mary Matte and Napoleon Matte.
Survivors include her children, Cynthia Matte of Whitehall and Joseph Matte of Buford, Georgia, her sisters Teresa (Kovalosky) Hayes of East Poultney and Agnes Kovalosky of Poultney, as well as many nieces and nephews and her cat, Black Olive.
A private wake and funeral will be held for family members. A memorial for Kitty will be planned at a later date when all friends and family can attend and celebrate her life.
Donations in memory of Katherine “Kitty” Matte may be made to Skenesborough Emergency Squad at 37 Skenesborough Drive, Whitehall, New York 12887; Whitehall Volunteer Fire Company at PO Box 188, Whitehall, New York 12887; Fair Haven Rescue Squad at 17 Prospect Street, Fair Haven, Vermont 05743; Our Lady of Hope Church at www.olhstann.org; or High Peaks Hospice at www.highpeakshospice.org.
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