The wonderful long life of Rose Catherine Kovary (née Wiehl) was celebrated, according to her wishes, with a beautiful and blessed funeral service attended by her family and friends at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Garden City on July 7, 2022.
Rose reached the age of 96 and a half and passed peacefully at her home on the morning of July 1st. She was a proud resident of Garden City for 65 years and a devout member of Saint Joseph’s for just as many. A devoted mother of five children: Anton, Damien, Katherine, Christopher and John, all who survive her, as well as their respective spouses in addition to her 14 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren, for whom she was lovingly known as Grandma Rose. Married for 63 years to her beloved husband, Dr. Anton George Kovary Jr. who predeceased her in 2010. Their years together were spent raising and entertaining her family in Hampton Bays, Fort Pierce, Florida and Garden City. She especially enjoyed watching the ocean and feeding the seagulls in her later years at Jones Beach.
Rose was a devoted wife, mother, sister and grandmother who was an engaging and beautiful woman with a keen sense of humor and a passion for life. As the steadfast matriarch of the Kovary family she attended multiple recitals, sporting events and special occasions for practically every single one of her offspring and theirs as well. Traveling even into her 90’s to celebrate their accomplishments. Always curious and full of energy, she loved learning and traveling, making her way across the United States to California, and internationally to Bermuda, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Italy, Hawaii, and the Middle East including Israel and the UAE.
She also loved a good book and favored reading biographies and was a frequent visitor to the Garden City Library. She also enjoyed reading the Garden City News, especially the feature “Cats Corner”, where she would keep an eye on the activity of her town. Not able to attend college as a young woman, she attended class as an adult and completed her higher education in communication design at the University of Farmingdale where she won accolades for her black & white photography.
Her interests in history and art were fueled by her desire for knowledge and to stay culturally current she made it a point to see the latest movies, museum exhibitions, attending concerts and theater performances. She adored music and loved to sing. She was gifted with an ear that could recognize most violin and piano concertos in the first few notes. She took voice lessons before the age of ten and became an accomplished opera singer. As a soprano she appeared in several productions including Madam Butterfly performing on the stage at Eisenhower Park. One summer in the 1980’s she delighted herself by attending every single concert that the Jones Beach Theater outdoor venue offered that year; her favorite being Englebert Humperdink.
Brought into this world in 1926 to Thomas and Catherine Wiehl of Ukraine heritage, she was raised in Maspeth, Queens in the home she was born in. She was proud of her ancestry but even more so to be a first generation American daughter. She loved to reminisce about her life and told many stories of her early childhood. She was a font of information about her family’s history. Remembering her neighborhood as thriving farm land with orchards before the urban sprawl began in 1939.
Her parents, as well as her brother Thomas and sisters Lily and Violet summered in Sheffield Massachusetts. There she enjoyed the countryside. It is where she learned to garden. This pastime became a life-long hobby. Though, not surprising, her favorite flower was the white StarGazer lily, symbolizing elegance and evoking everlasting devotion, much like herself.
Rose leaves a legacy that resonates with a strong work ethic, a keen sense of the power of education, a deep spiritual devotion and the strength and love of family.
Her family wishes a steadfast journey into the Kingdom of God.
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