Kaye Mary Ronsman

Obituary
  • "So many ways to describe Kaye - calm, cool, collected,..."
    - Lee Crosby
  • "It was my pleasure and honor to work with Kaye at Tucson..."
    - John Jachna
  • " This is part of an email Kaye sent me a couple of..."
    - Nettie
  • "I remember "Big Kaye" as my all-time favorite baby sitter. ..."
    - Shirley (Welter) Jauquet
  • "Kaye, "Thanks a million" for all you've given to those..."
    - Lorraine

Kaye Mary Ronsman 65, of Tucson, Ariz., died April 2, 2014 of lung cancer. As she did with all things in life, Kaye managed her terminal illness with acceptance, practicality, and grace. One of seven children of Rose and Henry Ronsman of Green Bay, Wis., Kaye was a beloved spouse, sister, aunt, and friend. Kaye graduated from Green Bay West High School (1966). She earned her bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh (1975). She earned her degree as a geriatric nurse practitioner (1979) and her master's degree in nursing (1980) from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Throughout her career as a geriatric nurse practitioner, Kaye was a respected teacher and clinician. In both her professional and personal life, her love of the elderly was radiant. In 1979, Kaye met her life partner, Kathy Phelan. In 1981, the couple moved to Tucson where, as one of the first generation of master's prepared geriatric nurse practitioners, Kaye was recruited as a lecturer at the University of Arizona College of Nursing (1981-1987). In 1988, eager to do more clinical work, Kaye joined the Geriatric Extended Care team (now the VA Community Living Center) at Tucson Veterans Hospital (1988 - 2003 and 2008 - 2013), where she had a rewarding and satisfying career. She was proud of her colleagues, their teamwork, and the care they provided. When a family caregiving opportunity took Kaye and Kathy back to Green Bay for a few years, Kaye joined the Nursing Assistant Faculty at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (2006 - 2008). Kaye spent the last months of her life in the loving care of her spouse, Kathy, and her cherished sister, Diane. The three may hold the Tucson record for the most games of Bingo played without a win. Kaye loved to gamble, especially poker. She loved Sabino Canyon, pets, and picking wild blackberries. Kaye was a calm, practical, self-contained person with little time for small talk. She treated people with respect and dignity. If you were lucky enough to listen to her tell stories, she revealed her keen observations of people and her compassionate humor. If you were in the right place at the right time, or over 80 years of age, you would be treated to her smile. Kaye's smile was like a welcoming door opening to you. Kaye was preceded in death by her parents, Rose and Henry; her brother, Tom; sisters-in-law, Mary, Irma, Audrey and Patricia and brother-in-law, Tom Van Veghel. She is survived by her spouse, Kathy Phelan; sister, Diane Olson (David); brothers, Bob (Joan Schleis), Jerry (Denise), Ron and Pat (Sharon) and sister-in-law, Jane. Kaye's nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews and great-great-nieces and nephews total more than 70. The youngest will all miss their Aunt Kaye for the penny candy bag she always brought to the Camp Susan family reunions. The older ones will also miss that candy bag, not for the candy, but for the aunt whose unobtrusive thoughtfulness and generosity was the real gift she enjoyed giving them. Arrangements by DESERT ROSE HEATHER MORTUARY.


Published in the Arizona Daily Star on Apr. 6, 2014
Kaye M Ronsman
Click name above for additional details at:
www.heathermortuary.com.
Arrangements under the direction of:
Desert Rose Heather Cremation & Burial
1040 North Columbus Blvd | Tucson, AZ 85711 | (520) 322-6131
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