Nature 10

Penelope Katsikas

September 14, 1921 ~ April 28, 2022 (age 100)


Penelope "Penny" Fatouros Katsikas, age 100, passed peacefully in her sleep on April 28, 2022, with her beloved daughter, Kiki, at her side. Had it not been for her weakening heart, she would no doubt have lived to be 115, a goal she often and proudly declared.

Penny was born Sept. 14, 1921, and married Charles (Chuck) Katsikas in 1949. They made a home and raised their daughter first in Chicago, then in Palos Heights. She was a meticulous housekeeper who loved taking care of her home and family. An avid gardener, Penny practiced organic horticulture long before it was fashionable. She loved having fruit trees and enjoyed making jams and jellies. She was an animal lover who befriended strays and wildlife alike, including a squirrel that would come to her window for treats. For many years she owned and operated several electrolysis businesses. In 1998, she moved to Chicago to be with her daughter, who had been stricken with MS. Her unceasing devotion to and care for her daughter persisted from Kiki's childhood through Penny's last days.

Penny sustained many friendships for 70-80 years. On the occasion of her 100th birthday last fall, many of the friends, family members and neighbors who appreciated Penny's generous and gregarious spirit shared 100 cupcakes and created a video tribute, in which she was described as "fabulous," "feisty" and "fierce." 

Her husband preceded her in death, as did her sister, Helene Patti. In addition to her daughter, Kiki, survivors include her daughter's dear lifelong friend, Lou Ann Haan, whom Penny loved as a daughter; one sister-in-law; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews. 

She was a generous, warm and wonderful person who will be greatly missed by lifelong friends and recent acquaintances alike, and by her daughter most of all. May her memory be eternal.

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