Kathleen A. Gettys, age 49, died at her home on Sunday May 18, 2014, due to complications from an extended illness. A celebration of her life and potlatch will be held on Saturday, June 28, at Providence Hospital's East and West auditoriums from 5:00 - 9:00 p.m.
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Kathleen A. Greeney was born February 20, 1965, in Cleveland, Ohio, to Clarence Andrew Greeney and Mary Brazil. She attended St. Augustine high school in Lakewood, Ohio and graduated from Cleveland State University in 1987, with a bachelor's degree in social work and Northwestern Louisiana State University in 1993 with bachelor's degree in nursing. On June 19,1988, Kathleen married Blake A. Gettys, her high school sweetheart. Blake has been with his "Little One" for 32 years as they moved about during his military career ultimately choosing to settle in Eagle River, AK. She worked at Providence Medical Center as a Registered Nurse in the Progressive Care Unit until leaving her field in 2010. Kathleen served as the nursing union president for six years. Her passion for serving others continued to grow and extended far beyond the hospital floors she walked. Kathleen held endless positions on a distinguished list of professional councils and committees at the state and national levels. She dedicated countless hours in Juneau, Alaska and Washington D.C. in support for nurses rights, ultimately passing a law regarding limitations on mandatory overtime for registered nurses in healthcare facilities to help ensure patient safety. Previously, she had worked for the Lion's Eye Bank and was trained to perform corneal retrievals from donors for transplant. Kathleen will long be remembered as a loving and loyal wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, co-worker, and caregiver. She was also a lover of the nature around her and could often be found standing in Alaskan rivers alongside her husband, family, and friends "competitively" fishing for salmon and rainbow trout. She also became involved in helping rescue dogs and has saved six.
Survived by her husband, Col. Blake A. Gettys of Eagle River, AK; father, Andy (Brenda) Greeney of Kernersville, NC; brothers Andy (K.J.)of Cleveland, OH, and Keith Greeney, of Clemmons, NC; sisters, Becky Light (Derek) of Kernersville, NC, and Elizabeth (Scott) Taylor, of North Olmsted, OH; nieces, Moira and Olivia; and nephews, Chance, Andrew and Lucas. Kathleen was preceded in death by her beloved mother Mary.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to the Alaska Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) thrift store, at 549 Airport Maintenance Road, Anchorage, AK 99518, (907)-562-1092, on Kathleen's behalf. Donations can also be made online through pay-pal.
Arrangements were entrusted to Cremation Society of Alaska. www.alaskacremation.com
Cremation Society of Alaska
7216 Lake Otis Parkway Anchorage, AK 99507
Published in Alaska Dispatch News from June 22 to June 23, 2014