Kathleen Laura Boyer bestowed unconditional love to her family and friends for 78 years. She passed on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 and did not want a celebration of her life until the Covid crisis is over.
She is preceded by her parents, Margaret and Ken. She is survived by her husband, Ron; her boys, Brian and Steven (Peggy); her sisters, Karen and Jean (Rickie); her niece, Jackie (Steve); her granddaughters, Kirsten and Beth; her Aunt Marion; her cousins; and her cats, Rosie and Roxy.
Kathleen cared deeply about local food security and animal adoption. So, in lieu of flowers please contribute to a local food pantry or no-kill animal sanctuary.
Kathleen was born in Wisconsin shortly after the US entered WWII. She was an appropriately named Irish girl because Kathleen in Gaelic translates to 'pure'. She was a high school cheerleader in Tomah and twirled baton. Kathleen and her sister Karen took their baby sister Jean everywhere. If Kathleen and Karen went on a double date, Jean was the chaperone.
In 1957 her family moved to Rockford and her life changed. One summer day in 1959 Kathleen was crossing the State Street bridge with a girlfriend when a young man in a boat passing under inquired if they had a cigarette. And a deal was struck: a cigarette for a boat ride. His name was Ronald, and she knew that she wanted to date him immediately. She didn't know that her voyage with Ronald would last more than 60 years.
Ron called her 'Kass', and he always had a scheme to make her laugh because her smile brightened the world. Their adventures would include boating, learning to pilot airplanes together, starting a family, vacations and camping, home remodeling, and on one occasion camping next to the home being remodeled.
Ron and Kass enjoyed spending time with each other regardless of the activity. They went to flea markets together. They would go fishing and Kass would read. On Sundays they would frequently fly the airplane up to the Lake Lawn Resort for lunch.
For their 25th anniversary Ron and Kass travelled to the Caribbean which was a very memorable experience. Ron and Kass celebrated their 60th Anniversary in 2020. The pandemic made it difficult, but they still had a great time.
Kathleen's health deteriorated in 2020, but Ron took incredible care of her. Kathleen would frequently say how lucky she was to have her Ronny.
Kathleen had unwavering confidence in her two boys, Steven and Brian. She knew that Steven could drive a car at age 11. So, why shouldn't he help his aunt Jean move across town? She didn't know what a computer was, but she bought Brian a new one every year on his birthday. Kathleen was an attentive mother, who seemingly had eyes on the back of her head. Regardless of her boys' shenanigans she was always there. She taught them the difference between right and wrong, and how to be kind to others.
Steven and Brian have fond memories of summers with their Mom at Lake Ripley, swimming, skiing, riding the ice cream truck. Sun-burned noses and Mom there with sunscreen. Mom drenching the lake patrol officer that attempted to stop the resort-wide water fight.
Her boys tried to return her love. Steve consoled her during long nights of arthritic pain. Brian tried his best to keep her safe through the pandemic.
Kathleen loved her sisters very much. She spoke with her baby sister Jean, or 'Jeanie' as only Kathleen called her, every morning. They enjoyed talking about everything from pets to politics. 'I could talk to her about anything and I learned a lot from her', recalls Jean. 'She was my confidant, my best friend, and always there for me.'
Ron and Kathleen enjoyed many good times with their friends, Jan and Dick, who had a daughter named Peggy. Peggy remembers music playing and thinking Kathleen was the coolest dancer. Forty years later Peggy joined the Boyer family by accepting Steven's hand in marriage. Kathleen loved Peggy as her own daughter, and enjoyed telling her about the fun times with Jan and Dick.
Kathleen's niece Jackie had a special place in her heart. Jackie called her 'Ka', and Ka loved to abduct her for weekends whenever possible. Jackie remembers Ka shrieking and running out of the kitchen after seeing a mouse, and then laughing hysterically when the two returned to the kitchen to see Ka's slippers in the exact position where she had leapt from them. Jackie also recalls the fact that 'Kathleen always knew what you were thinking.'
Kathleen had two granddaughters, Kirsten and Beth. They have happy memories of summers at the house on White Water Lake with their Grandma. Kirsten loved antiquing with her Grandma and thought she was so wise very young. Her Grandma taught her the meaning of true love. Her Grandma was always there for her. Her Grandma saved her life. Her Grandma was her best friend, her everything.
Kathleen loved antiques and frequently helped friends date and evaluate glassware, figurines, and other rare items. In 2019 she started selling antiques online, and she always received positive reviews from her customers.
Kathleen was famous for her letters and meticulous card selection. She wrote letters to Steven regularly when he was in the Navy. She sent a letter to Brian every day the year he went off to college. She sent letters and song lyrics to Kirsten when she needed support. She sent a card to Jean every day for a month while she was in the hospital. Kathleen spent many an hour at the Hallmark store reading cards in order to find the perfect card for a birthday, a holiday, or just to say 'I love you'.
The Boyer household hosted a variety of pets including dogs, cats, ducks, gerbils, a raccoon, an orphaned bird, and reptiles large and small. Kathleen loved animals and they loved her. Fawn was Ron's first dog, but she only listened to Kathleen. Regarding pets and kids it came down to what 'Mom says'. Fawn, Waldo, Lady dog, and Annie are certainly happy to see her again.
Kathleen loved Christmas. She loved giving gifts and had multiple trees. Her boys remember amazing Christmas mornings that Santa magically delivered. She enjoyed hosting on Christmas day. The food was delicious and served on beautiful antique depression era glass dishware.
Kathleen had a green thumb and a large collection of house plants and outdoor flowers. It was difficult to count the number of house plants at their home in German Valley. She loved her crown of thorns that she cloned from her Grandma's plant, hostas, blue bells, hibiscus, and a variety of others. Kathleen also kept a knife and gloves in the car and would stop to harvest wild roadside asparagus which she loved.
Kathleen always put others before herself, even at the end. It was appropriate that Man first landed on the Moon on her birthday, because Kathleen was a guiding star to everyone that knew her.
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