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Kathleen Wytmar

July 18, 1933 ~ January 24, 2024 (age 90) 90 Years Old

Kathleen Wytmar Obituary

Kathleen Ann Wytmar (née Kaftanski, formerly Oppenheim), 90, passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends at her home of 40 years in Barrington Hills on January 24, 2024. Born in Chicago on July 18, 1933, the youngest child of Caesar Kaftanski and Stephanie Duda, Kathleen's life was a tapestry marked by intellectual curiosity, cultural enrichment, and a deeply rooted sense of community.

Kathleen's early life in Chicago set the stage for her diverse and enriching experiences. A graduate of Barat College of the Sacred Heart in Lake Forest, she epitomized the blend of grace and ambition. Her childhood passion for books led her to a cherished role at Stuart Brent Books, a nod to her lifelong affair with literature. This early chapter was but the first of her professional journey that mirrored her varied interests.  

Her exquisite taste in fashion led her to a career in the fashion office at Marshall Field & Company, where she left a mark with her elegance and creativity. She later embraced her entrepreneurial spirit, taking over the reins of her family’s delicatessen, Caesar’s Polish Deli in Ukrainian Village and nurturing it into a celebrated local landmark.

The realm of personal joys was equally resplendent for Kathleen. Her marriage to Richard “Rick” Wytmar was a testament to love and partnership. Together they traveled extensively cultivating enduring friendships around the world. Kathleen was an avid cook and consummate hostess, and they entertained friends and family at their residences in the serenity of Barrington Hills and the sunny shores of Sanibel Island, Florida. After Rick’s untimely passing in 1995, Kathleen continued to nurture those friendships which sustained her through her final days.

A woman of culture and philanthropy, Kathleen was an ardent supporter of the Polish American Association, The Japan America Society, Chicago Botanic Garden, The Art Institute of Chicago, and JourneyCare Hospice. Her interests ranged from tennis at Barrington Hills Country Club to immersing herself in gardening, classical music, fine arts, and travel, especially to France and Italy.

Kathleen was predeceased by her daughter Stephanie Oppenheim, first husband Dick Oppenheim, stepdaughter Ann Pampel, her husband Rick, parents Caesar & Stephanie Kaftanski, sister and brother-in-law Dolores & Dr. Leo Baranowski, brother Ronald Kaftanski, and numerous extended family members. She leaves behind a legacy of love to her nephew Tom Baranowski; stepchildren Joan Oppenheim and Jane Katz; stepchildren Chip (Catherine) Wytmar, Carla Wytmar, David (Colleen) Wytmar and their mother Grace Wytmar; step-grandchildren Madeline, Huck, Rachel, Elizabeth, Rick, Matthew, Justin, and Sophie; and caregivers Zofia and Doreen.

A visitation will be held at 9am followed by a funeral mass at 11am on Saturday, February 17, 2024 at Saint Anne Catholic Community, 120 Ela Street, Barrington, IL. For those unable to attend in person, her services will be live-streamed here:

In lieu of flowers, contributions to Kathleen's memory may be made to JourneyCare Hospice, a cause close to her heart.

Kathleen life was a journey of passion, elegance, and community engagement. She will be remembered with fondness and love, her legacy enduring in the hearts of those she touched.


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February 17, 2024

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Anne Catholic Community
120 Ela Street
Barrington, IL 60010

Funeral Mass
February 17, 2024

11:00 AM
St. Anne Catholic Community
120 Ela Street
Barrington, IL 60010


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