Kathryn “Kate” Wills
Thursday, April 30, 1942
Date of Death:
Saturday, August 4, 2018
76 years old
Kathryn “Kate” Wills
Kathryn “Kate” Kilen Wills, 76, of Rochester, died Saturday, August 4 at Seasons Hospice following a long illness.
Kate was born on April 30, 1942, in Windom, MN. In 1964, she graduated from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD where she studied English Literature and Theatre. It was at Augie where she met her future husband and lifelong partner, Jim.
Kate and Jim were married on August 15, 1964 in Sioux Falls, SD. In 1969, they moved to Denver to start a family. They had two children, Matthew (1969) and Jennifer (1972).
In 1973, the family moved back to Minnesota. Throughout the late 1970’s and 1980’s, Kate was very active in civic theatre, performing in major musical productions such as The Sound of Music and South Pacific, among many others. She also performed with the musical ensemble Special D and taught music.
In the 1980’s she founded Communication Training Workshops (CTW) and traveled the U.S. training people and corporations how to build competitive advantage through better interpersonal communication. In the 1990’s and 2000’s Kate and Jim traveled the world meeting new people, exploring new cultures and visiting the homes of their ancestors.
Kate is survived by Jim, her husband of 53 years and 354 days; her son, Matthew (Brenda) and her three grandchildren, Maya, Madelyn and Isaac, for whom her love had no bounds.
She was preceded in death by her mother (Maude), father (Astor), brother (Pete), daughter (Jennifer) and countless beloved aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
A celebration of her life will be held at 1:00 pm Friday, August 10 in the River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home in Rochester. Friends may call one hour prior to the service. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery.
Memorials are suggested to Paws and Claws of Rochester, Mayo Research or Seasons Hospice.
Online condolences are welcome at www.mackenfuneralhome.com.
The family of Kathryn “Kate” Wills has received the following condolences.
Dear Jim and family,
I just learned about the loss of your dear Kate. I remember how spunky she was, her many talents, her keen ability making socializing with her so very delightful.
Love to you all,
We will miss our dear neighbor. Many happy memories. Love to you Jim.
So sorry for your lose.
Kate was a fun high school classmate. Our group of LHS friends had many good times together.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
I am very sorry for your loss. There really aren't any words, so I will just say you and Kate and Jenny and your son's family are all in my thoughts and prayers.
My sincere sympathy to the family of Kate. She was a classmate of mine and thought of very highly. May God comfort you and the family.
So sorry for your loss. I used to own the Paperback Book PALACE- Kate would come into the store- we shared books, shared her love of her travels. Such a nice lady-She also shared her love of her grandchildren. I know you will miss her-Cherish all the good memories.
We shared many good times....have lots of fun memories!
Long time class-mate in the Lakefield school system, Sorry to hear of her Passing.