FALL RIVER – Kathleen Dunning, 74, died January 7th, 2021, at University Hospital in Madison. Her children are grateful to have been able to spend time with her in the hospital prior to her passing. A celebration of life is planned to be held for both Kathy and her husband of 52 years, Sam, who preceded her in death by seven weeks, when it is again safe to gather.
Kathy was born February 10, 1946, in Columbus, Wisconsin, to Howard and Evelyn (Zimbric) Wedeward. She was the fifth of eight brothers and sisters who grew up in Waterloo, Wisconsin. Kathy attended St. Joseph’s Catholic School and graduated from Waterloo Community High School in 1964, where she was active in both cheerleading and choir. After graduating from high school, Kathy’s first job was working as an administrative assistant in the trust department of First National Bank in Madison. She met the love of her life, Sam Dunning, and they married in October of 1968. Soon after the birth of their first child, they moved to Randolph, Wisconsin, where they further expanded their family and built their life together. While Sam owned and operated his own barbershop, over the years Kathy worked several part-time jobs in the community while raising and taking care of the family, including at the local bank, dentist office, and pharmacy. Kathy retired in 2011 from American Family Insurance in Madison as a Claims Specialist.
In 1990, Sam and Kathy moved to Fall River, Wisconsin, after building the log home they had always dreamed of owning. Kathy enjoyed living in the country and was an avid gardener who was particularly proud of her blueberry patch. She enjoyed activities like reading, cooking and baking, bird watching, and sewing, especially making items for her grandchildren. She also liked to play cards and games with family and friends. Sam and Kathy loved animals and over the years had beloved pets, including Max, a dog whom they missed dearly and spoke of often, and a parrot named Harry, who terrorized everyone in the household except Kathy. Kathy was truly the anchor of the family, the organizer and director who kept things on track, the source of constant support and love for her husband and kids, always putting the needs of her family above her own aspirations. She had natural wit and could always be counted on to have a solution to life’s problems. Kathy instilled in her children the importance of hard work, honesty, compassion, moral fortitude, spirituality, and self-reliance. We were in no way prepared to lose her so soon and will forever feel her absence.
Kathy is survived by all of her brothers and sisters, Richard (Lois) Wedeward, Thomas (Rose) Wedeward, Daniel “Chester” (Sharon Deneen) Wedeward, Susan (Donn) Gurney, Jeffrey (Mary Lynn) Wedeward, Kristine (Andrew) Chitwood, and William Wedeward; her children, Jennifer (Dale) Dobbratz, Matthew (Michelle) Dunning, and Holly (Christopher) Casson; and six grandchildren, Samuel and Emma Dobbratz, Andrew and Gabriel Dunning, and Adalyn and Oliver Casson.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Evelyn and Howard Wedeward.
Her children would like to thank both the staff at the Meadows of Fall River for the years of care and friendship they provided to both our parents and the doctors and nurses of UW Hospital Madison for the incredible efforts they made on our mother’s behalf and the compassion and support they provided us during that difficult time.
To those who may be so inclined, in lieu of flowers or a gift to the family, we would encourage you to consider making a donation to either the Columbia County Humane Society or the Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin in Kathy’s name.
Koepsell-Zeidler Funeral Home in Columbus is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at www.koepsellfh.com.