MISSOULA — Kathryn Thomas, 98, the matriarch of our family, passed away peacefully at her home here in Missoula on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017.
She was born to Boyd and Mary Hansen and traveled with her parents while Boyd worked as a sawyer at various sawmills. In Bloomington, Idaho, she met the love of her life, Homer, and they were married in Bancroft, Utah. While live in Idaho, Kathryn started raising a family while Homer worked on his dad's ranch and various other jobs to support his family. Seeking a better future they moved to California and were there with their two boys, Clark and Paul, during WWII. Life was difficult during this time and Kathryn was one of the many that had to use ration stamps for the ordinary things of daily life. During that time a little girl, Cara, was born into the family.
When Homer's father need help back in Idaho, Kathryn moved her family back while pregnant with her fourth child, Michelle. Eventually Homer and Kathryn moved to Montana and finished raising their family in Deer Lodge. While there Kathryn started working for Warm Springs State Hospital and studied to take her LPN test. She took her test in Helena and would say she did pretty good and leave it at that, but later we found out she'd passed with 1596 out of 1600. After becoming an LPN she applied to work at Galen State Hospital on the AA ward and remained there until she retired in 1986.
In the fall of 1986 she and Homer moved to Missoula to set up a home near their second daughter, Michelle. Kathryn always had a green thumb and raised a beautiful garden of flowers and vegetables. She helped Homer with the work that was needed to improve their property. During the winter months she enjoyed knitting, crocheting, macrame and many other crafts to pass the time. She was an avid reader of all types of magazines, books and always the Missoulian. She loved to cook holiday dinners for her family and we gathered often in their new home.
Kathryn enjoyed many trips around Montana and beyond with her daughter Michelle and they enjoyed reminiscing about their adventures even as her health failed. With the help of Hospice of Missoula and her "bath girl" Bev, Michelle was able to keep Kathryn in her home where she was cared for until her death.
Kathryn was preceded in death by her parents, Boyd and Mary, her husband Homer, two sons, Clark and Paul, her daughter Cara and her granddaughter Holly.
Survivors include her daughter Michelle of Missoula, nine grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. Kathryn wished to be cremated and put next to her husband of 67 years. The family has decided to gather and celebrate her life at a later date.