On Tuesday morning, Kathleen A. Keegan decided it was time for her earthly journey to come to an end, and she let go of this life peacefully with a doctor she knew by her side, and tender nurses who stroked her head and held her hand as she drifted away.
Kathie was a beautiful human, a loyal friend to many, an aunt, a big sister, a loving and proud mama, and her most prized role, a Gigi to her grandsons Kairo and Zeidyn.
She was known by many names: Kathie, Kath, Keegan, Special K, Mama Kath, Kakalina, Gramma Kaffie, Big Tuffy, Aunt Kath, Gigi and Yertle.
Kathie was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in Seattle, Washington’s Wedgewood neighborhood. As a young girl, she was involved in dance, sports and Girl Scouts and loved being a big sister and best friend to her weiner dog Max. She attended 12 years of Catholic School, first at Our Lady of the Lake and then at Blanchet High School, and she graduated with an AA from Seattle Central Community College. As a young woman, she loved everything to do with the Beatles and also spent some time travelling across Europe after a brief stint at the University of Washington.
Professionally, Kathie was a pioneer, serving as one of the first female Inspecting Engineers for the City of Seattle (now Seattle Public Utilities), a career which lasted over 30 years. Her favorite job, however, was being a mother to daughters Chelsea and Tymmony, which gave her an immense sense of pride. She was a devoted and diligent provider and their number one fan at every event and activity. In September of 2018, her sense of pride and joy reached unimaginable levels as a new generation of Keegans came into our lives. Her grandsons Kairo and Zeidyn were her guiding lights and her raison d’etre in these last few years. She was most content with them in her arms.
Kathie adored her nephews Darren, Brendan, and Trevor with all her heart and shared a special bond with each of them. She was an avid reader and cross-word puzzler, and enjoyed the games of dominos she played at the Garden of Eden. She loved to travel, especially to New York to visit Chelsea over the years. She enjoyed swimming, dinner and late night conversations with friends, and always had a story to tell or some gossip to share. She could recite phone numbers, addresses, and birthdays from memory, and she could and would strike up a conversation with anybody. She appreciated a good party (especially if it was for her), and loved being in the company of other people.
Kathie was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1997, and her journey with it was long and arduous. In the ways she could, she demonstrated a fierce but graceful strength through failure after failure of her body to provide the quality of life that she so deserved. She tried hard to keep her spirits up through visits with friends and family, Netflix comedy special viewings and lots and lots of sweet treats.
Kathie was a warrior, experiencing sexism and discrimination in her career, surviving Breast Cancer and the death of both her parents within a two year period of time. She bounced back from a double-knee replacement and underwent intense Deep Brain Stimulation surgery. She faced these struggles and more by hiding behind smiles and a playful sense of humor.
She will forever be remembered for her kindness and loyalty, her strength and fortitude, her love of swimming, turtles, comedy, travel, and any lemon flavored sweet treat, her big, beautiful, smile and contagious laughter, and her pride of her children and grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her mother Therese (2004) and father John (2006), and leaves behind her sister Pat, brother Bruce (Little Tuffy), sister-in-law Judy, nephews Darren, Brendan, and Trevor, daughter Chelsea, daughter-in-law Natalie, daughter Tymmony, and grandsons Kairo and Zeidyn.
Per her request we will not be holding funeral services. When it is safer to do so, we will have a celebration of life.
In the meantime, if you have memories and/or pictures of her, or want to record a message in her memory, please do so here:
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Kairo and Zeidyn’s college fund using this link: www.gofundme.com/Kathleen-Keegan-Legacy-Fund
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