Yvonne Marie Kochanczyk, D.D.S., M.A.G.D., age 91, of Kalamazoo, MI passed away on Friday, February 10, 2017 peacefully in her home in the care of family and friends. She was born into a prominent Franco-Polish family on July 16, 1925 in Poland. Yvonne was the daughter of Vincent and Zofia (Czubalska) Valentin, and grew up in France where she completed her schooling, including both undergraduate and graduate studies at the Sorbonne in Paris. She graduated with a degree in Dentistry in 1949. Also in 1949, she married Bronislaw Kochanczyk in England and in 1951 they came to America. Dr. Kochanczyk graduated from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 1961, where she was the only woman graduate at that time and a pioneer in her field. Dr. Kochanczyk started her dental practice in Otsego, Michigan in 1961, retiring in 1994. Always interested in the latest tools and techniques, she continued her dental education earning her Fellowship from the Academy of General Dentistry and her Mastership from the Academy of General Dentistry. During her career, she was a member of the Kalamazoo Valley Dental Association. In 2001 she was honored by her colleagues at the University of Michigan Dental School's 50th reunion. She is survived by two daughters, Elisabeth Beristain (Dr. Juan) Moreiras, of Coral Gables, Florida, and Barbara (Gary) Michaels of Kalamazoo, Michigan; two granddaughters, Noelle Beristain of Mexico City and Elizabeth Alexandra "Alexis" (Peter) Gillespie of Charlotte, North Carolina. She was the proud great-grandmother of three: Ethan, Hannah and Joaquin. She is also survived by her sister, Ewa Staczek. Dr. Kochanczyk was preceded in death by her husband and parents. There will be a memorial Mass and a time of remembrance scheduled in April. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Lions Club of Michigan or the charity of your choice.
A time of visitation and sharing will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2017 at St. Catherine of Sienna Catholic Church, 1150 W. Centre Ave., Portage, MI 49024; beginning at 10:00 AM with a memorial Mass to follow at 11:00 AM. A continued time of fellowship and a luncheon will follow the service.