Swan-Law Funeral Directors

501 North Cascade Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO


Catherine Joan GEMBCZYNSKI

February 7, 1928June 19, 2020

Our much loved wife, mother, and grandmother, Catherine (Cathy) Joan Gembczynski, 92, of Colorado Springs passed away peacefully on June 19, 2020. She was the second of two girls, born on February 7, 1928 in Paxton, Illinois, to John Novak and Margaret Keegan Novak. Cathy grew up in Paxton and attended Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri where she studied fashion and design.

Following her passion for travel and adventure, Cathy was selected by the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service in 1952. She worked in the U.S. Embassy in Bonn, Germany until 1956. Cathy met her husband Sgt. Major USMC Thaddeus “Ted” Gembczynski at the embassy where he was serving as a U.S. Marine following his service in the Korean War. They were married in Germany on March 1, 1956.

Returning to the United States shortly thereafter, Ted and Cathy began their married life in Boulder, Colorado. Cathy was a homemaker who enjoyed her children, sewing, puzzles, and reading. Ted and Cathy had three children: Margaret Ann, Suzan Elizabeth, and Thaddeus Frank Jr. The Gembczynski family enjoyed the outdoors, fishing, swimming, skiing, raising Boxers, and later, Golden Retrievers. Cathy was always enthusiastic about having her children and grandchildren travel and explore their own unique interests.

After moving to the Denver area, Cathy began working as a bookkeeper for Hamilton Brothers Oil Company. She enjoyed her bus rides to work in downtown Denver and became an even more avid reader during her commutes. Eventually the family moved to Franktown until finally she and Ted settled in Colorado Springs. During the time their son, Thad, attended CU Boulder, Cathy and Ted became active in the group of founders of the CU Directors Club. Over the coming years Cathy became an avid Buffs fan. After retirement she joined her daughter Suzan on the campus of MSU Denver to audit any class that sparked her interest.

Although she was raised in the Catholic faith, Cathy fed her spiritual needs by connecting with nature. She used to say, “If all families could ski together on Sundays, the world would be a better place!” She was so proud to be able to ski with her grandchildren into her later years. Cathy and Ted were delighted to have their eldest daughter Margaret living and teaching abroad as they were able to visit many exotic locations including India and Africa. She loved being a Grandmom to her five beautiful granddaughters. In her later years, she continued to read, knit, and work cryptographic puzzles in the daily newspaper. Cathy was preceded in death by her sister Rita (Boni) Dy and her granddaughter Emily Elizabeth Dee. She is survived by her husband, her children Margaret (David) Bell, Suzan Dee (David Heckel), and Thaddeus (Leslie Dee) Gembczynski. Also surviving are her grandchildren; Caytlyn Dee (Hardy Stafford), Brenna Dee (Blake Neville), Kathleen Gembczynski, and Elizabeth Gembczynski.

Catherine held a special affinity for North American Indigenous People. Memorial contributions made to organizations that support them would be greatly appreciated.

Cremation services provided by Swan Law Funeral Directors. A memorial will be held at a date to be announced.


  • A Memorial Service will be held at a future date


Catherine Joan GEMBCZYNSKI

have a memory or condolence to add?

Susanne Walker

July 2, 2020

Cathy was a part of my life since they moved to Franktown. I have been so lucky to be accepted into their family for the past 40 years. There are so many memories that I have which include Cathy such as the blizzards in Russellville, driving our old Datsun pickup to their house to hang out and especially sitting on the island table in the kitchen while she mixed margaritas- You are a wonderful woman and I will always cherish the time I had with you. I am posting a wonderful photo of you and Ted.

Randy Barrett

July 1, 2020

Ted and family, I am so sorry to hear that Cathy has died.
I remember when she was in the Rehab Center the same time that my wife, Cathy, was there.
My wife, Cathy, died on October 15, 2018, only 71 years old.
Your wife, Cathy, lived to be 92 years old.
Both Cathy's will be missed, but they are no longer in pain.
They are our guardian angels now in heaven, looking over us.

Your family in is our prayers.
Randy Barrett & family