Maria Katharina (Kotte) Yackiel, age 85, entered into eternal life on December 22, 2020, after long and difficult chronic illnesses. Born January 3, 1935 in Haltern, Germany, she was the daughter of the late Franz and Agnes (van Kell) Kotte. She immigrated to the United States in 1952 at the age of 17, and joined her Aunt Gertrude Koenig in Ghent, NY.
After graduating from Chatham High School, Ria attended the Pittsfield Nursing Program and became a registered nurse (RN). She was proud to become a U.S. citizen in 1957.
Ria joined the United States Air Force in 1958 as a Lieutenant, and was stationed with the 93rd Bombardment Wing at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma. While there, she met and married her husband, Capt. Thomas F. Yackiel, in 1960.
Throughout her husbands’ 24 year military career, she was an outstanding wife and mother. During this time, she coached girls softball and took her boys to baseball. She went roller skating, skiing, fishing, bowling and swimming with her children. She sewed our clothes and enjoyed playing piano and the accordion. Ria loved to visit and receive her relatives from Germany, whenever she had the opportunity.
In 1976, Ria and Tom settled back into his family home in Dennison Twp. She enjoyed her time working as an RN in the Medical Clinic on Rt. 940 and was a member of St. Patrick's Church, White Haven.
In addition to her parents, she was pre-deceased by her sisters, Agnes, Traudel, Brigitte and brother, Franz-Josef. She is survived by a sister, Annette Frost, of Vienna, VA.
With great sadness on her passing, she is survived by her husband, Lt. Col. Thomas F. Yackiel (USAF Ret.), and her children and spouses, Ursula and Michael Khalife of White Haven, Thomas B. Yackiel of White Haven, Karen Yackiel and Kirk Dyche of Centreville, VA, and Christopher and Vicki Yackiel of Catawissa, PA.
She is also survived by 5 beloved grandchildren, Angela and Michelle Khalife, Matthew, Emily and Thomas R. Yackiel, and her dear nieces and nephews.
Public Military Graveside Funeral Service will be held at 10:15 am on Saturday, December 26, 2020 in St. Patrick's Cemetery, White Haven.
Private Family Visitation will be held prior from the Lehman Family Funeral Service, Inc. 403 Berwick St. White Haven.
To send flowers to MARIA's family, please visit our floral store.