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Kathlyeen Sponsler
Kathlyeen May Holmes Sponsler was born in Mercer, Missouri at home on June 11, 1919. She passed away 1½ months after her husband, Dean to whom she would have been married 74 years in July. She was the oldest of seven children born to Roy and Marie Holmes. She was called “Katy” by her brothers and sisters and that is the name that she used for the rest of her life. On July 8, 1938 she was married to Dean. They lived in Iowa where their three children were born. After WWII they settled in DesMoines , Iowa , until Dean was recalled for the Korean War in 1951. Because of the Air Force they moved many times, from Maine to Texas and as far away as Japan and Germany . Once the children were old enough Katy enjoyed working as a clerk typist and held many positions. In Washington DC Katy was invited to work with Dean at the Pentagon where she was a valued secretary to the Joint Chiefs of staff. In the 1960’s before computers were common she was proficient on the word processors at the Pentagon. They retired to Iowa in 1974 and settled into Dean’s childhood home. This was the time that she and Dean began publishing books on genealogy. Over the years she had developed a love of painting and several of her pictures won awards. It is not easy to summarize her life. She dealt with life with no electricity, running water, or easily accessible grocery stores. She was especially proud to have been a teacher in a one-room school house with eight different grades. (In the winter she rode her pony to work). Katy was a wife and mother who churned her own butter when necessary, took in foster kids, knew how to wield a rifle, and sew clothing for her family. She raised her own three kids to have a lust for learning and a curiosity about life, while her husband was often away on assignment, sometimes for over a year at a time. At the age of 87 Katy was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. As her memory became more clouded, Dean cared for her and she remained happy and almost unaware of her problem. They were a good team. Katy is survived by her children: Fred Sponsler, Roy Sponsler and Deana Langer, and her brother Lee.   She had seven grandchildren, six great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. Dean had many military honors, but Katy was the hero of the family.
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