Catherine Vianney Marciniak

July 31, 1954March 5, 2023
Obituary of Catherine Vianney Marciniak
Catherine (Kate) Vianney Marciniak, MA, writer, artist, story analyst, educator, and social activist, 68, died March 5, 2023. With her indomitable, gutsy spirit, she fought whatever cancer threw her way, until our warrior finally was ready to rest and died peacefully, joining her parents, Edward and Virginia Marciniak. Born in Chicago Illinois, she was an avid reader from an early age, engrossed in whatever book she was reading to the point that, one evening, the police were notified that she was lost, after she failed to respond to repeated calls for dinner as she lay under her bed reading. As her talent for drawing was noted early, she attended classes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago while in grade school. She had a natural ability to melodiously play a Liszt or Grieg concerto on the piano that she had memorized, despite very little practice. From among her many innate gifts, she finally settled on writing and earned her BA in English and then her MA degree in Mass Media Communications at the University of Illinois. Despite her Midwest roots, Kate spent most of her adult life in Los Angeles, California working and teaching in the entertainment industry. Her expertise as a professional story analyst led to countless projects over the years for multiple studios including Disney, HBO, CBS, Miramax, DreamWorks SKG, Showtime, Warner Brothers, William Morris/Endeavor, 20th Century Fox, and Amazon Studios. She also produced programming for National Public Radio and C-SPAN. She was the co-director of the Los Angeles Downtown Film Festival (2004-2013) and co-director of the first Silver Lake Film Festival. She later became adjunct faculty at UCLA until her retirement in 2022, where she passed down her passion for her chosen field of work to her students. She wrote for prospective students, “Screenwriting is both an art and a craft. It entails letting your own original voice come out to create a compelling story and memorable characters. It also entails following some rules that seem blatant to story analysts but that are missed by most screenwriters. I love artistry that is given form through structure.” She leaves behind many friends and her family, including sisters Christina (Michael Brown) and Claudia (Steven Puiszis), both of Oak Park and Francesca (John) Edwardson of Boca Grande FL and Winnetka IL; nieces and nephews Meagan, Catherine (Daniel Brodzik), and Lizzie Brown; Steve, Claire, and Michael Puiszis; and Jack (Katie) and Brendan Maher; grandniece Hailey Brodzik and grandnephew Gary Maher and her many Marciniak/Barta/Volini cousins and extended family. Our brilliant sister will be missed dearly. Donations may be made in her memory to the Theater, Film, Television student scholarship fund at UCLA or can be directed to the University of Southern California Norris Cancer Center Community Outreach& Engagement fund at; Please list “For USC Norris Community Outreach & Engagement Fund (GF1017958)” in the personalized note section. Checks can made to “USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center” with Kate Marciniak’s Tribute Gift noted on the memo, sent to the following address: USC Advancement Gift Services; 1150 S. Olive Street, 25th Floor; Los Angeles, CA 90015. Celebrations of her life will be held in Oak Park IL on April 15th at Trattoria 225, 225 Harrison St. (parking on Harvey/Harrison) with remembrance/celebration service beginning at 11:15 am, followed by food and fellowship, and in Los Angeles CA on April 22nd. For questions or further details, please contact

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