Katharine S. Lenfestey, a homemaker and avid gardener, died Feb. 6 from complications of a stroke at Keswick Multi-Care Center.
The former Cedarcroft resident was 96.
The former Katharine Schlemm was born in Brookline, Mass., and after the death of her parents, was raised by relatives in Duxbury, Mass.
After earning a bachelor's degree in 1936 from Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., she studied in Germany.
"She was an early feminist and adventurer. Her flying lessons were cut short by the onset of World War II," said her daughter, Marion W. Bernard, who lives in Waterville, Ohio.
"She traveled the country alone by car in the 1940s, paddled the Danube River and worked as assistant to the fashion editor of Mademoiselle Magazine in New York," her daughter said.
Mrs. Lenfestey was married in 1946 to John F. Lenfestey, who was a purchasing agent for Owens Corning. The couple lived in Duxbury, Chappaqua, N.Y., and Toledo, Ohio, before moving to a home on Hollen Road in 1976.
Mrs. Lenfestey maintained an interest in politics and had been active in human rights and environmental issues.
In addition to gardening and bird watching, Mrs. Lenfestey enjoyed caring for her home. She also liked to swim and play tennis.
"She lived independently in her home until she was 95, with assistance in later years from her wonderful friends and neighbors," her daughter said. "During her long life, she survived cancer, two heart surgeries and two strokes."
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Mitchell-Wiedefeld Funeral Home, 6500 York Road, Rodgers Forge.
In addition to her daughter, Mrs. Lenfestey is survived by a granddaughter. Her son, John H. Lenfestey, died in 2004.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times