Today would have been Kathleen's birthday, so although we have not been in touch I wanted to honor her in some way. I was sad to learn of her passing a month ago. I was visiting my sister and brother in law in DC who knew Kathleen and we shared our memories of times spent together with Kathleen. I was sorry that we got out of touch. I wrote her last year and I don't know if she got my card, but she was on my mind as she had been many times. Kathleen was brilliant, she was fun and sometimes funny and loved things that were witty. She was a grateful person. During her illness, when I was still in touch with her, she would describe something in nature that she saw that brought her comfort and joy. She appreciated what others did for her. I know life was a struggle for Kathleen. I know I'm grateful that we had our time as being friends with fun and laughter. Her presence in my life was never forgotten and now I reflect in gratitude. We went to light a candle for Kathleen at the National Basilica of the Conception of Mary, in DC. I think she would have been pleased we chose an upscale church. A place with many chapels. We went through all of them until we decided which one was right for Kathleen. We expressed our appreciation of her friendship and prayed for her to have peace and more, to have all the joy she deserves.
I note with profound sadness the death of Kathleen Sheehan, 67, last October 10th in Savoy. Although a memorial service has not been scheduled as of this writing and there is likewise no obituary posted yet by the family, I do wish to offer this testimonial and to thank Renner-Wikoff director Susan Satterlee for kindly letting me know about Kathy’s passing. I knew Kathy some forty years ago, when we were both graduate students in the University of Illinois English Department. She was a Danforth Scholar, a highly intelligent, sensitive, caring, lovely person dealing at the time with sundry difficult issues in her life. We were both teaching for the first time (Rhetoric 105) in the autumn of 1978, and I had the opportunity to sit in on her class and see what a naturally gifted and concerned teacher she was. Although she did not pursue teaching as a career, the impression of that class has never left me. I will also never forget, among numerous other days, the time she read ancient Greek to me. I didn’t understand a word, but the sounds alone were beautiful. Kathy impressed me deeply during the year I was around her, and yes, I cared about her very much. She was a good friend to me in my own difficult time. We both moved away after that year, she back to New York City and I back briefly to my boyhood home in Michigan before taking up jobs elsewhere in Illinois (the U.S. Dept. of Labor in Chicago and then Western Illinois University in Macomb). I lost touch with Kathy when I moved west in 1982--my fault, no doubt, and to my regret. So I cannot speak about the final four decades of her life, alas. But it is curious what memories and images and feelings will linger with one through the years. My impression of Kathy from so long ago remains that of a caring friend and a remarkable, poignant person who deserves never to be forgotten. My condolences to her family and friends. Don Florence March 22, 2021 Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
Susan Kovacs was my Home Economics teacher when I was a student at Jefferson Middle School. I had her for only one semester, but I very much enjoyed who she was and her positive style of teaching. She was particularly good at assessing the ability of her students. My Mom had taught me how to sew, and she would allow me to help those around my table. I remember a time when the person next to me couldn't get their machine threaded correctly. Mrs. Kovacs was walking toward us as I was able to get the machine going. A nod of her head told me that I had done well and she was pleased. This was perhaps, one of the experiences that pointed to teaching as my own career. (I did choose a different subject.) My condolences to the family. You are aware how Susan Kovacs touched lives. She will be remembered!
I am writing about Winifred Sanders. She was a good friend of Dr. Helen Widick, a fellow Altrusan, and as such I had the opportunity to visit with Winifred when Helen purchased medications from her. I, too, am an Altrusan. She was a lovey and caring lady in all ways. It was my pleasure to meet and chat with this special woman when in her store. My sincere condolences to the family on their loss.
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