Kathleen Pickard Profile Photo
1943 Kathleen 2024

Kathleen Pickard

March 16, 1943 — May 11, 2024

Kathleen Sophia Pickard, age 81, passed away May 11, 2024 at Coon Memorial Nursing Home in Dalhart, TX, as a result of a diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia. She was born on March 16, 1943 to Harry H. and Dora (Froetschner) Wetzel at Dodge City, KS. She was baptized, confirmed and married in Zion Lutheran Church, Offerle, KS where she served as an organist. During her time at Dodge City, Kathleen worked at Farm Bureau, was hostess at Shangri La Restaurant and did clerical work at the High Plains Journal. She married Donald M. Pickard on June 13, 1965, and they lived a short time in Dodge City before moving to Vona, CO and joined Don's father and brother in Pickard Farms, Inc.

After graduating from Offerle High School in 1961, Kathy earned her Associate's degree from Dodge City Junior College in 1963. She continued her education and earned a Bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley, and her Master's degree from CU Denver. She taught at all levels, beginning with Kindergarten in Vona, CO; secondary and college level English and Literature classes and was a lifelong, passionate educator who also served as the first female on the Stratton, CO school board. She went on to serve on the Colorado State Board of Education. She finished her education career as the Principal of Parkview Elementary School, Lamar, CO.

Music was an important part of Kathleen's life and provided her with many opportunities to share her gift with others. In addition to being extremely proficient on the piano and organ, Kathleen was an expert on the trumpet, and also learned to play the guitar, French Horn, and violin. She served as an organist, an accompanist for many individuals and groups, funerals and weddings and once joked that "she had probably married or buried more people than most preachers!" She never shied away from an opportunity to play the piano, including at restaurants and even made recordings that were featured in a player piano in Limon, CO. She shared her talent by teaching others how to play piano, organ and guitar.

Kathleen participated as a Volunteer-In-Parks at Fort Larned National Historic Site, where she put her musical talents to work in the Officer's Quarters. Kathleen played her trumpet accompanied by her sister, Joanne on the piano. She enjoyed history, and joined several historical-themed groups including the Santa Fe Trail Association where she served as the secretary to the board of directors. Kathleen enjoyed meeting and gathering with family and friends and never met a stranger. Throughout her life she was involved in garden clubs, supper club, and was an active member of the Lions Club in Lamar, CO.

Survivors include two daughters, Camilla (Brad) Green; Kirsten Dorenkamp; one son, Grant (Jaclyn) Pickard, 7 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild; brothers LaVern (Cathy Woolard); Leroy (Janet); Steve (Pam); sister, Joanne (Greg) VanCoevern; 8 nieces and nephews; and 18 great-nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, one son and one nephew, Russell Wetzel. The family would like to extend their thank-you's to Rose Wing and her amazing group of care-givers, and to the professional and dedicated staff of the Dallam/Hartley Counties Hospital District, and most importantly, the loving and caring staff of Coon Memorial Nursing Home, Dalhart, Tx.

Funeral service will be held at Zion Lutheran Church on Saturday, May 18, 2024 at 2:00 PM. Burial will follow at Zion Lutheran Cemetery. Visitation will be at Swaim Funeral Chapel, Dodge City on Friday May 17, 2024 from 1:00 to 8:00 PM with the family receiving friends from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. Memorials may be made to Zion Lutheran Church, 13307 Jewell Road, Offerle, KS, 67563 or the Dementia Society of America, www.DementiaSociety.org/donate. Thoughts and memories may be shared in the online guest book at www.swaimfuneralhome.com.


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