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History      
Katherine "Kay" Verena Marty Fitz-Gibbon
   
[11-30-03  Brodhead, Wisconsin; 2-16-95 Redding, California]
    Buried: Greenwood Cemetery, Monroe, Wisconsin


When young she looked forward to, and enjoyed, vacationing with her extended family in Three Lakes Wisconsin, on Deer and Big Stone Lakes . . . when the facilities were still quite primitive . . . on the site that would later become the Northernaire estate.  With her mother, she helped with the many camping chores for the large family, which included cleaning fish and game, berry picking, and the often day-long preparation of meals.

She was unusually athletic for her time; a talented swimmer, she was swimming and diving in the cold lakes of Northern Wisconsin weeks before her brothers; also, she competed in track and field, at the University of Illinois, where she became a champion high jumper.

In college, and afterward, until married, she was a much pursued beauty queen and participated in many activities of the "flapper" age.  Red Grange, whose career she followed, was running wild on the University of Illinois gridiron during her campus years.  In later years, she continued to follow the "fighting Illini" football team; she was a Cleveland Indians' fan, particularly, Bill Veeck, Lou Boudreau (both from Illinois), and Larry Doby; a Cleveland Browns' fan; and, after moving to the Los Angeles area, she became a life-long Angels' baseball fan.

She grew up in Chicago; attending Lakeview High school and living very near Lincoln Park and Lake Michigan (and, later, in Lakewood, Ohio, she lived a block from Lake Erie).  She returned to Chicago, after graduating from the University of Illinois and touring Europe, where she taught mentally challenged, and other special needs, children . . . training which served her family well for many years.

In her early 50s, after many "citified" years of raising children, PTA meetings, and the theater, she still enjoyed off-trail snow-camping with Marlin Perkins and his TV show entourage . . . where her "woodsman" brothers were still not venturing.

When older, in her 60s, she returned to teaching where, because of her understanding nature, she was often assigned to the "difficult" classes that much younger teachers weren't able to handle.

She was adept at riding streetcars and buses; driving an automobile was never a concern; she always cited "an incident while young" for not wanting to drive herself.

She was "well-read," bright, and witty, corresponding with friends and extended family, until her death at 91.  All of her adult life, she assiduously collected family history for which this site is much indebted.


 

 

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Revised: 10-16-03



 
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