Almost to the end, Katherine Coniglio never let lung cancer slow her down.
Diagnosed with a very aggressive form of the disease in May 2005, she continued her health care consulting work and gave elegant dinner parties in her Kenmore home, wearing stylish clothes, usually topped by a designer baseball cap.
A day before entering Buffalo General Hospital last week, Mrs. Coniglio, 51, who died there Saturday, cooked both breakfast and dinner for her family.
Born Katherine Gugino in Buffalo, she started in health care administration with United Auto Workers Local 55, rising to assistant administrator. She later moved to Nova Health Care Administrators, where she became operations director.
After Nova merged with Independent Health, she opened Premier Health Care Consultants with William Brothers and Kimberly Keel. Mrs. Coniglio, who was vice president, represented many labor unions and municipalities.
"She had a knack for brokering a good deal and always took pride in helping her clients," said her husband, Joseph.
She held state life and health insurance licenses and studied health care administration at the University at Buffalo. A member of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, she offered alternatives to organizations for coping with rising health care costs, designing health care plans and dealing with prescription drug costs.
She was a member of the Buffalo Red Cross board of directors and secretary-treasurer of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation subcommittee.
Surviving in addition to her husband are two sons, Charles Barone and Michael Barone; her parents, Carmelo and Rosemarie Gugino; a sister, Josette Selbert; and two brothers, Anthony Gugino and Carmen Gugino.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 1085 Englewood Ave., Town of Tonawanda, after prayers at 8:45 in the Amigone Funeral Home, 2600 Sheridan Drive, Town of Tonawanda.