Katherine Venn

Katherine Mary Venn

1956 - 2023

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Obituary of Katherine Mary Venn

We are devastated to share the loss of Katherine Mary Venn (nee Gilewski). Katherine passed away on Tuesday, January 17th, at the age of 66 after a long, hard-fought battle with cancer.


Beloved wife, partner, and best friend to Don, loving mother to Caley (Chuck) and James, and proud “Gran” to Josie. Katherine was a member of a close-knit Polish family of six from Oshawa and an extended family of many aunts, uncles and cousins fondly known as the “P’s, B’s, and G’s” (Prazmowskis, Bronishewskis, and Gilewskis). She also leaves behind countless friends with whom she loved to socialize and “break bread.”


Katherine was an accomplished salesperson of 42 years. Although she could sell anything, she specialized in healthcare products and systems. At Philips Lifeline, she led a team of 12 reps and managed a large part of Ontario, winning multiple awards throughout her career.


Kathy or Kath, as she was known in her private life, was an amazing cook and loved to entertain. She passed on her love of cooking to Caley and James. They often discussed recipes and could recount step-by-step how a successful meal was prepared, usually while enjoying another meal one of them had just made.


She held a BA from Brock University and was named Novice Oarswoman of the Year in her sophomore year. Kathy’s later pursuits included her book club and investment group, cherished pasttimes that provided a chance to get together and share goals, experiences, and aspirations with like-minded women. 


Kathy was an avid supporter of Caley’s volleyball and career in education, James’ artistic endeavours, and Don’s sailing, snowboarding, and tennis pursuits. She participated in all of these activities at certain points in her life. 


Kath loved to spend time at the cottage on Presqu’ile. She was a fixture on “Deck 2” during the daily cocktail parties with our Lilac Lane family. She spearheaded a rebuild of the cottage in 2016 and it stands as a true testament to her style and organizational prowess. 


The family would like to thank her cancer care team at Lakeridge Health Oshawa as well as the doctors, nurses, and externs at Lakeridge Health Bowmanville who provided compassionate and respectful care in her final months. 


Kathy was a force of nature; a powerful woman with an incredible life force and energy. Just like her own mother, she was the best sounding board, always willing to listen and to reassure her loved ones. She will be sadly missed by her family and anyone else who had the fortune of passing through her orbit.


Details regarding a celebration of life will be forthcoming. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Canadian Cancer Society.