Katherine M. Ivanovich passed away following several years of health challenges, at the age of 88. Born and raised in Watsonville, she attended Mintie White Elementary School, E.A. Hall Middle School and Watsonville High School. She earned a bachelor's degree from U.C. Berkeley, majoring in mathematics and foreign languages. (She was fluent in Spanish, Russian and her parents’ native language, Croatian.) Katherine earned a master's degree in Spanish from Middlebury College in Vermont, spending a year in their language immersion program in Madrid, Spain. She traveled extensively to such destinations as Central and South America, Hawaii and Europe.
After a year-long student teaching assignment at Oakland Technological High School, Katherine returned home to Watsonville where she accepted a teaching position in the Spanish department of Watsonville High School. She was extremely proud of her department colleagues, who were to her, an extension of her family. Her career at Watsonville High would span over thirty years, until her retirement in 1988. Over the decades, she never forgot a single student, and was fondly remembered by many WHS graduates. She was actively involved in the American Field Service student exchange program and sat on multiple scholarship committees, helping deserving students to further their educations.
She was a devout communicant at St. Patrick’s Church and Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church in Watsonville. For many years, Katherine taught CCD at St. Patrick’s, and later, scheduled its bilingual devotional program. Katherine was also a loyal member of the Young Ladies’ Institute and a devotional weekly rosary group.
Katherine was preceded in death by her father, L. J. Ivanovich, her mother, Klare Ivanovich and her brother, John Ivanovich, all of Watsonville. She leaves behind her nephew, Louis (Geneva) Ivanovich; her niece, Elizabeth Ivanovich; her great-nieces, Francesca (Giovanni) Fanucchi and Katarina Ivanovich; her sister-in-law, Gayle Ivanovich; and many cherished relatives and friends both here and abroad.
A date for a memorial Mass and Celebration of Life will be announced once COVID-19 conditions improve.
In lieu of floral tributes, the family suggests donors consider the following organizations for memorial donations: Salesian Elementary & Junior High School, 605 Enos Ln., Corralitos, CA 95076; Salesian Sisters of St John Bosco Retirement Fund, 6019 Buena Vista St., San Antonio, TX 78237; Slavic-American Cultural Organization Scholarship Fund, PO Box 226, Watsonville, CA 95077 or Watsonville High School Foundation, PO Box 832, Watsonville, CA 95077. Mehl’s Colonial Chapel was entrusted with funeral arrangements.
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