Catherine Patrenis recalls growing up Greek in Waukesha, Wisconsin, where the Patrenis clan was one of the few Greek families in the area. After her parents immigrated from Greece, they quickly assimilated to a life in America, adopting American names and traditions. Catherine’s father was a core maker until he learned English and opened his own business, Waukesha Billiards. All the while, her mother was a homemaker, raising the seven kids. Catherine and her siblings learned Greek from tutoring sessions with their local priest. In high school she worked for a tobacco and liquor/soda-fountain shop. While there, she was known as an unofficial matchmaker for some of the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears that passed through the business. Catherine took classes at Carroll College She moved on to working at a sporting goods store on Lake Michigan until she married and had two kids.