Katherine Jeannette (Dempsey) Senkow

November 1, 1929 ~ November 10, 2020 (age 91)


Katherine Jeannette (Jean) Senkow born Catherine Jeannette Dempsey, November 1, 1929 passed on November 10, 2020 in Leesburg, Virginia.  Previously and most recently she had lived in Manassas, Virginia and Lake Barcroft, Falls Church, Virginia.  She was the only child to Catherine Grace Dempsey and Percy L. Dempsey. At the time of her passing, Jean was 91 years old and was surrounded by her family.  As Jean would say, “a lady does not say her age”, it is with caution that her age is mentioned. Jean was born in South Norfolk, Virginia, a town that has now been annexed with Chesapeake, Virginia.  During her life she experienced many events.  She was born three days after Black Tuesday, the start of the Great Depression and lived her toddler and grade school years during that time.  Much of her youth was spent raised by her grandmother, Miranda Ellen Sawyer who ran a boarding house, a duplex in which one side was occupied by her family, and the other side was rented out to individual boarders.  Across the back of the house was a common kitchen.  Meals were cooked on a wood stove.  Jean met the love of her life, Joseph (Joe) Senkow through her Uncle Ralph, both of whom were Navy men.  Ralph was Joe’s commanding officer. One night he gave Joe an option: go out with his niece, Jean, or stand bridge watch.  Easy choice.  And one which led to a lifetime of love between Jean and Joe.  They were married on Joe’s 22nd birthday, November 22, 1947.  Jean had just turned 18.  Sometimes their wedding anniversary date also fell on Thanksgiving.  Joe predeceased Jean in passing on March 15, 2009.  Jean spent her early married years as a homemaker and later her work career for the most part with the Department of State, rising to a GS-13 prior to retirement with only a high school education.  Jean enjoyed playing bridge, “toodling” for antiques, and taking day trips with Joe and also with her children and grandchildren. She took much pride in interior decorating of her home.  She very much enjoyed the hunt for a “treasure” she would then gift and declare it was something she picked up in “her travels”. Both Jean and Joe saw World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the numerous conflicts following the social and cultural revolution of the 1960’s, the Civil Rights Movement, the first man to walk on the moon, computers, cell phones and beyond.  With great reverence they both saw the first African American President, Barrack Obama, be sworn in as President of the United States.  Jean would have been so proud to see the first woman Vice President be elected.  She was not conscious for the election or the results. Soon after Joe died in 2009, Jean struggled with and ultimately lost her battle with dementia.  She moved to a long-term memory care facility in 2017.  It’s been a very long journey for Jean and she is now with much joy reunited in spirit with those who passed before her.  Jean is survived by her three children, Stephen Michael Senkow (Trish) of Annandale, Virginia, Catherine Senkow Croft (Robin) of Manassas, Virginia and Justin Matthew Senkow of Ashburn, Virginia as well as her granddaughters, Maggie Croft of Lynchburg, Virginia and Carly Croft of Richmond, Virginia, and her grandson, Dillon Savard (Kim) of Omaha, Nebraska as well two great grandchildren, Kyle Savard and Elizabeth “Lizzy” Savard.  All have fond memories of family and wish her well on this next phase of her journey.  A private memorial service will be held sometime in the future.  In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association in her memory.  Katherine Jeannette Senkow Alzheimer's Association Donation.

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Katherine Jeannette Senkow Alzheimer's Association Donation

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