Kathleen R. Sun, 88 of Oshkosh, NE. passed away on Feb. 25 at the Garden County Nursing Home in Oshkosh after a prolonged battle with Alzheimer’s.
Memorial Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, March 4, 2016 at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church in Oshkosh with Father Matthew Koperski officiating. Burial of the ashes will be later in Rawlins, Wyoming.
Cremation has taken place and there will be no visitation.
Holechek Funeral Home in Oshkosh is serving the Sun family.
Kathleen was born June 14, 1927 to Earl and Emily Douglass in Rawlins, Wyoming. She grew up in the Wyoming oil fields, early years in Midwest then in Bairoil. She went to grade school in Lamont then high school in Rawlins. She left high school after her junior year to attend the University of Wyoming, returning to graduate with her class in 1945. She reached status as a senior at the University but did not get her degree. She went back to Summer School at Laramie after George graduated from high school and got what I believe was called a teachers or teaching certificate. She also got a private pilot’s license while in Laramie in 1944.
Kathleen married John Sun in 1946. They lived at the Bar Eleven Ranch (part of the Sun Ranch) where they had four children, Jess, Steve, Janet and George. They bought a home in Rawlins in 1962 to be closer to the schools. She helped John on the ranch in the summers and taught school in the winter. She taught at
St. Joseph’s Catholic School from 1967-70 and again from 1972-74 and worked as a teacher’s aide and substitute teacher in both Parochial and Public schools for many years.
Kathleen served on the Lamont School Board (Old District 33) from 1955-61. She was a member of the Board of Directors, Wyoming School Board Association 1960-61. She served on Governor Cliff Hanson’s Education Committee 1961-64. She was a member of the St. Joseph’s School Board 1983-85, served as President St. Joseph’s School Board 1984-85. She was a member of the St. Joseph‘s Parish Council 1980-83.
Kathleen served on the Wyoming Water Development Association Board of Directors from 1982-93.
Governor Ed Herschler appointed Kathleen to the Wyoming Water Development Commission in 1985. She served until 1991 under then Governor Mike Sullivan, 1988-89 as Secretary then 1990-91 as Chairman.
Kathleen was active in politics, serving as Secretary of the Carbon County Republican Committee from 1983-85 then as Chairman from 1985-87. She was with the Republican State Committee Women 1987-89. Kathleen also ran for the Wyoming State House of Representatives in 1984 losing by 12 votes.
Kathleen was a member of the Wyoming Heritage Society Steering Committee 1985-96 and the Wyoming Heritage Society Management Committee 1993-94. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Carbon County Stockgrowers Association 1993-97.
Kathleen was an avid reader and writer. Over the years she wrote many stories and humorous poems.
She was quick to take up the pen in defense of ranching and agriculture or comment on anything that struck her as silly or unjust (Democrats). She very much enjoyed teaching young people to write effective letters to their congressmen. After moving to Garden County NE she joined a writers club started by Doreen Jensen who became a very good friend and helped her to get the stories and poems that she had written over the years into a book before her memory failed her.
Kathleen was preceded in death by her husband John, son George, sister Virginia Shaw, brothers in law Thomas, George and Bernard Sun and an infant great-granddaughter.
Kathleen is survived by her sons Jess (Chris) of Rushville, NE., Steve (Karen) of Oshkosh, daughter Janet Gauger (Stewart) of Vista CA., sister in law Adelaide Reinholtz (Larry) of Cheyenne, grandchildren John Sun (Andie) of Meridian, ID., Jared Calvert (Je’taime) of Vista, CA., Cheri Magelky (Curtis) of Diller, NE., Darcie Forster (Austen) of Gordon, NE. and George Sun of Rushville,NE. She is also survived by nine great- grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers a donation to the Garden County Nursing Home or a charity of your choice would be preferred.