Kathryn McKie was born March 28, 1931, the eldest of three daughters of Helga and Henry Jensen, who emigrated from Denmark in 1929. She was reared on her parents’ dairy farm near Oneida, Illinois.
She learned early in life to have a good work ethic as a contributor to the family enterprise; including caring for their purebred Brown Swiss dairy herd and helping with crops in corn fields and hay fields.
Kathryn had a good education in the Oneida schools, graduating from High School in 1949 and then attending Brown’s Business College in Galesburg Illinois.
In 1950, she began working as a bookkeeper at the Oneida Cooperative Grain Company – weighing trucks, noting sales of livestock feed and dealing with farmers who came to sell their corn and soybeans. She had a special aptitude for organizing information and financial data.
Kathryn married her high school sweetheart, Eldon McKie, 24 November 1951 – 71 years ago. The next year they moved to Chicago so that her husband could attend McCormick Theological Seminary to prepare to become a Presbyterian pastor. She was employed at Chicago Children’s Hospital, using her skills to organize medical records for a large clientele of families which enabled nurses and volunteer doctors to care for children more effectively.
After Eldon’s graduation in 1955, they moved to Grand Ridge, Illinois, for him to pastor a small-town rural congregation. Soon, their two daughters were born… Jane Louise and Sara Lucinda.
In 1959, Kathryn and family moved to Arlington Heights, Illinois with its large suburban congregation. Next the family moved to Kirkwood, Missouri where they lived in the same house for 49 years as Eldon served as minister at Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church and at Second Presbyterian Church in the city of St. Louis until 1983.
They then opened a franchise Kwik Kopy printing company. Again, Kathryn did all the record keeping for their business as well as delivering products to customers. She helped the enterprise flourish. The business was sold in 1988 and the couple retired.
All through their years of ministry, Kathryn served as a hostess to serve dinners in her home for church officers, resource persons from the national Church agencies and fellow Church personnel from Korea, Africa, and South America. She provided essential home comforts as an alternative to their usual humdrum accommodations in hotels.
Kathryn also volunteered in her children’s school library. After her children went to college, Kathryn used her data organizing skills by volunteering at People’s Clinic in the DeBalivere neighborhood of St. Louis to update and improve their medical records. At the same time, she enjoyed tending plants and flower beds at her Kirkwood home.
In 2009, Kathryn and Eldon moved to Bethesda Gardens in Kirkwood, an independent living facility which offered services as they aged. After a fall at home, Kathryn was hospitalized at Missouri Baptist, transferred to a Rehab Center for a brief period and then lived for several weeks at Manor Grove Nursing Home in Kirkwood where she died peacefully on Saturday December 3, 2022, with her husband and daughter Sara at her bedside.
She was preceded in death by her parents and sister Dorothy Thode. She is survived by her husband Eldon McKie; her daughter Jane (David Zuhlke) of Egg Harbor, Wisconsin; her daughter Sara (Steve Huggins) of Kirkwood, Missouri; her granddaughter Kirsten (Danny Wanner) and great-grandson Henry Wanner of New Bloomfield, Missouri; her grandson Peter Huggins of St. Louis, Missouri; her sister Leona Swanson of Galesburg, Illinois; several nieces and nephews; and many cousins in Denmark.
Services: There will be a memorial service and celebration for the life of Kathryn McKie on Saturday March 18th at Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church, 9450 Clayton Road, St. Louis MO 63124 at 11 a.m. The service will include a beautiful Musical Prelude of selections Kathryn especially liked beginning at 10:50 a.m. A reception will follow the service as a visitation time for friends and family.
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Gayle and Richard Reichle saysJanuary 20, 2023 at 8:36 pm
Eldon and family,
Gayle and I just learned of Kathryn’s passing. You have our deepest sympathy.
Marty Huggins saysDecember 18, 2022 at 5:41 pm
We are sorry to hear the news and extend out thoughts and prayers to Eldon and Family.
Marty and Leslie Huggins Family
Judy Graham saysDecember 13, 2022 at 10:56 pm
Dave and Jane,
We are so very sorry for your loss, you always talked about your wonderful family. May these beautiful memories lift you up. We are grateful that your parents had so many years together.
Love and miss you,
Judy Graham and Len VanEss
Ali Norton saysDecember 12, 2022 at 2:37 pm
Eldon sending love and prayers to you all.
Robin Orvis saysDecember 11, 2022 at 11:24 pm
I’m so sorry to hear of her passing. She was a wonderful lady and a very kind neighbor. She and Eldon were the first to welcome Leland, Spencer and me to Black Twig Lane with a plate of delicious chocolate chip cookies 14 years ago. She will be missed by many.