Katherine "Kay" Root

January 3, 2013 

ALEXANDRIA BAY, N.Y.  —   Katherine “Kay” Root, 94, of Margaret Ave., died Wednesday, Jan. 2, at United Helpers, Ogdensburg, where she had been a resident since June 2011.

Born Aug. 20, 1918, in White Fish Bay, Milwaukee, Wisc., the daughter of Joseph and Katarina Mindum Ziech, she attended Wisconsin schools. 

During World War II, she worked in a defense plant in Milwaukee and then became one of the first women to join the Women’s Army Corps in 1942. After basic training, Kay went to New York City where women replaced men serving in the Army Post Office Directory Dept. when the men were transferred overseas.

She married Wilford C. Root on Feb. 7, 1945, at the Chapel in Camp Lee, Va. After Kay and her husband were discharged from the US Army, they moved to Wilford’s home town of Alexandria Bay. They owned and operated the Maple Crest Motel on Crossmon St., Alexandria Bay, for a total of 35 years before retiring in 1985. Mr. Root passed away in 1991.

Kay was one of the first women to become a director for the Alexandria Bay Chamber of Commerce, serving for more than 20 years, and named an honorary director, being active in the Chamber for more than 50 years. She was also one of the founders of the Alexandria Township Historical Society which had the goal of preserving the historic Cornwall Brothers Store. In the year 2000, she received the honor of being chosen as the “Citizen of the Year” for her long active devotion to the community.

She was very involved with the Reformed Church of the 1000 Isles, serving many terms as a consistory member , president of the Women’s Guild and a member of the choir for over 25 years. She was dedicated to many fundraising projects, especially the seasonal garage sale that she held from her home for more than 20 years, raising $70,000 ($32,000 for a new organ and $38,000 toward the construction of the Reformed Church Jubilee Hall).

Surviving are a daughter and her husband, Wendy and Thomas Sims, Miami Shores, Fla.; and nieces and nephews. 

A sister, Anita Liska, and three brothers, John, William and Edward Ziech, all died before her.

A Celebration of Life service will be held 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6, at the Reformed Church of the 1000 Isles, with a reception following in Jubilee Hall. Burial will be in Barnes Settlement Cemetery at the family’s convenience.

Memorial contributions may be made in Kay’s name to the Reformed Church of the 1000 Isles Memorial Fund, 54 Church St., Alexandria Bay, NY 13607.

Arrangements are with Costello Funeral Home, Alexandria Bay.

Information provided by Costello Funeral Service and Newzjunky.com, Watertown