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Jeanne C. Kizak

February 10, 1947 - October 4, 2022


Obituary of Jeanne Cecile (“J.C.”) Kizak

February 10, 1947 – October 4, 2022


Jeanne Cecile Kizak (or J. C. as she preferred to be called), died peacefully in her sleep on October 4, 2022.

J. C. was born in Cleveland, Ohio, February 10, 1947. She relocated to Portland with two of her sisters in 1977.

J. C. graduated with a B.A. in Communications from Cleveland State University. As a retiree, she earned a Master’s degree in ESL from Portland’s Concordia University.

J. C. was a Lector and Extraordinary Minister at The Madeleine Parish.

J. C.’s working life took her in numerous directions. She had a floral business in Cleveland. She worked for 10 years at the City of Portland and the Port of Portland. She taught at a business school, working with abused and immigrant women, teaching them secretarial skills, life skills, and how to dress for and prepare for a job interview. She often gave students her own business attire to keep so they had appropriate interview and work apparel. She organized drives to get proper clothing, phones, and other technical supplies for her students.

Since childhood, J. C. was a “foodie.” She was a wonderful cook and could make a fine meal from an empty cupboard. She treasured her collection of cookbooks, many of which were from places and countries she visited.

For many years, J. C. worked with the Concordia Neighborhood Association. She helped with the preservation of Kennedy School and its development as a bar, restaurant, and inn.

In recent years, J. C. worked teaching ESL to both children and adults. J. C. participated in on-line and Zoom language groups, conversing in German, Japanese, and Spanish. She taught English in Tanzania. Recently, she tutored grade school students, teaching them to read and enjoy books. J. C. was an avid reader and she thought it very important to get children excited to read. She would carefully pick books out for each individual student to make each one’s reading experience the most successful it could be

J. C. ‘s parents, Thomas R. Kizak and Cecilia M. Kizak of Cleveland, and brother Thomas M. Kizak predeceased her. She is survived by three sisters and three nieces: Marianne Kizak of Colorado Springs, Kriz Kizak Wines (brother-in-law, James Wines) of New York City, and Antoinette Kizak of Chicago and her daughters Amanda, Taliana, and Bekira Rabinowitz.


J. C.’s sisters are very grateful for the help received recently from The Madeleine parish community.

Funeral Mass will be on October 19, 2022, 10:00 A.M., at The Madeleine Church, 3123 NE 24th Avenue, Portland, Oregon  97212.



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