LORANE — Last week, a beautiful angel flew home. Kathy Warden held a special place in Jim’s and my hearts. I wrote about her in my column a few weeks ago without naming her. She worked for us at the Lorane Family Store for many years and she and her husband, Gary, raised their children, Jeramie and Paula, in the home they rented from us across the street from the store. She was more than an employee … more than a friend … so much more to not only us, but many others in the community of Lorane. She loved children and related to them easily … she was “Aunt Kathy” to not only our grandkids, but to many other young people in the community, as well. She babysat them when they were little and she and Nancy O’Hearn, who lived with the Wardens for many years until her passing, welcomed them and their friends in the home the Wardens moved to on south Territorial as they grew into their teenage years and later, adulthood.
Once Jeramie and Paula began providing her with grandchildren, her world revolved around not only them, but those belonging to her “chosen family” that she claimed and loved through the years. Those 3 granddaughters, 4 grandsons and 1 great-grandson, who all lived close-by, were her pride and joys and they brightened her world until the very end.
Kathy’s health deteriorated over the years to the point that she spent way too much time on a ventilator in the hospital, but each time she came home, she seemed to bounce back to Gary and the family who was always there for her. The pandemic years were the hardest. Her health was so fragile that she stayed isolated at home as much as possible and she had few visitors. Jim and I hadn’t seen her for two years when we made our “goodbye” visit to her a couple of weeks ago when she was put in hospice care at home.
I believe she was at peace when she left us, and we are all grateful that she is no longer suffering the pain and discomfort that was so familiar to her. Our deep condolences go out to her husband Gary and all of her family at this painful time. Kathy leaves a piece of herself in the hearts of all who knew and loved her.