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Katherine “Kathy” F. Thomas, 70, of West Bend, passed away on Friday, January 19, 2024, at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee.
She was born on November 15, 1953, to the late Roland and Elfrieda (nee Heidemann) Thomas in Plymouth, WI. She was baptized at Salem Plank Road UCC in Plymouth and confirmed at Immanuel UCC in West Bend, and was an active member of Peace UCC in Kewaskum until her passing.
Kathy lived in Cleveland, Wisconsin, and attended one of Wisconsin’s last remaining one room schools there until moving to West Bend with her family when she was 10. She was in the first graduating class from West Bend West High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Kathy was trained as a nurse’s aide by her mom in high school and worked in health care and health insurance for many years, ensured quality control as a chemist, taught science and music in the Milwaukee Public Schools, and worked in the grocery business in Milwaukee. After her dad Roland passed away, Kathy returned to West Bend where she provided companionship and care for her mom Heidi and became well known to the Pick ‘n Save customers she served.
Kathy had a creative flair and appreciated artistic expression. She enjoyed movies, plays, dance recitals, paintings, and sculptures. Her favorite was Haitian art, an appreciation she developed on three mission trips there.
Above all, she loved music in all its forms. She played clarinet, piano and guitar and studied voice at the Milwaukee Conservatory of Music. She found her greatest musical joy in singing, sang at the weddings of three of her siblings, and was a member of the Peace UCC Choir, and the Moraine Chorus. She once performed as a Jazz Soloist at a downtown Milwaukee hotel, fulfilling her dream.
Kathy was curious by nature, and enjoyed learning about science, nature, history, how things worked (she studied engineering before selecting biology), and people’s life stories - anything she could glean from a PBS show. She had a great sense of humor, enjoyed a good story or joke, and was quick to enjoy and smile over small pleasures, especially if they were shared over a great meal. She treasured her immediate and extended family relationships and never wanted to miss a chance to be part of family gatherings, celebrations, performances, and milestones.
Those Kathy leaves behind to cherish her memory include her two sisters, Mary (Roger Wong) Thomas and Laura “Laurie” Stevens; two brothers, Peter Thomas and Mark (Cheryl) Thomas; seven nieces and nephews, Shannon Thomas, Brandon Thomas, Sara Thomas, Noel Thomas, Anna Thomas, Kara Stevens, and Will Stevens; two great-nephews, Noah Uelman and Eliyas Thomas; 21 first cousins, other relatives and friends.
In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her nephews, Robert “Robbie” Thomas and Jacob Stevens; 8 first cousins and 22 aunts and uncles.
VISITATION: Kathy’s family will greet relatives and friends on Saturday, June 1, 2024, from 11:00 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. at Peace United Church of Christ, 343 First St., Kewaskum.
SERVICE: A memorial service will follow the visitation at the church at 1:00 p.m. Burial will follow in Washington County Memorial Park, West Bend.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to Peace UCC in Kathy’s name are appreciated by the family.
Myrhum-Patten Funeral & Cremation Service has been entrusted with Kathy’s arrangements. Additional information and Tribute Wall may be found at www.myrhum-patten.com.
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