Kathryn Robesky Johnson(1948 - 2013)

Kathryn (Robesky) Johnson 1948 - 2013 A celebration of a wonderful life and amazing courage will be held for Kathy on Saturday, July 20th, at the First Presbyterian Church (1705 17th St) at 11 am. Dr. Glen Thorp, Reverend Bill Ekhardt, and Chaplin Perlita Ascencion will officiate with a reception, hosted by Kathy's Northminster Presbyterian Church family, to follow. Kathy was born in Glendale, Ca. and moved to her parent's home town of Bakersfield while in first grade and remained here her entire life. She attended River Boulevard and Washington Jr. High schools before spending her high school years at her beloved BHS, graduating in 1966. Her father, Ken, was an administrator there at the time, and her uncle, Don, and aunts Margo and Barbara (all Robeskys) taught there as well. She was a varsity cheer leader for the Drillers and also participated in Aquanettes. Kathy went on to earn two AA degrees at Bakersfield College and her Registered Nursing License. Then, she immediately embarked on a lifetime career, and passion, as an RN and Charge Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital. She absolutely loved nursing, and in 2010 she was honored by her peers when they nominated her for the Kern County Nurse of the Year Award for patient care. Kathy was welcomed into Heaven by her grandparents Joe and Dorothy Hughes, and a wonderful bunch of Robeskys that were so much a part of her life: father Ken, brother Tommy, uncle's Don and Tom, cousin Jimmy, and aunties Margo and Barbara. She is survived by: her loving mother Audrey Robesky Cummings, whose tremendous faith has never wavered, her loving husband of 45 years, Don, who spent the entire journey at Kathy's side, daughters Michele Bryant (Bruce), and Norma Nussbaum (Lyle), sons Joey, Zach, and Gabe (Mary), along with daughters-in-law Veronica and Casey Johnson. Her grandchildren were the love and passion of Kathy's life. They are: Ari, Cai, Dylan, Naythan, Gabe, Cole, Jack, Sesca, Ethan, and Maya. She is also survived by numerous cousins, nieces and nephews of the Robesky clan: Sister-in-Law Sharon Robesky Oldfield and family, cousins Sonia De Hazes and family, Donna Robesky Stoll and family, Marsha Robesky Coffee and family, Linda Robesky Murdock and family, and the Nancy Robesky family. There are also many Johnson relatives who loved her so much: cousin Vernon Johnson and family, Don's brother Kenny Johnson and family, and beloved cousins Rosie Giumarra and family, Nancy Groves and family, Onita Di Sieno and family, and all of the wonderful descendants of our lovely departed cousin Anita Morani. There are also so many, many dear friends such as Betty (Strickler) Sellers, Patti Antongiovanni and countless others. We could fill pages with the names of those who provided loving support for Kathy and her family during her valiant fight. But we must mention her fellow nurse and lifelong best friend Jeannie Watson. Jeanie was always just...there... for ALL of us. She made numerous trips, always for several days and nights, to UCLA Medical Center when Kathy needed comfort and loving companionship and was always close during recovery periods in Bakersfield. Whenever we needed something done, including an unscheduled ambulance ride back to Bakersfield to be with her family at the end, as well as the Hospice care that made it all so much more bearable, Jeannie always got the wheels rolling in spite of some obstacles. We also want to thank Kathy's dear friends Stephanie Hartness and BMH Chaplin Perlita Ascencion, who were enormously helpful along with Dr. Robert Laughlin and Hoffmann Hospice. And then, of course, there is her very close "Circle" of friends: Kim, Robin, and Jan (all nurses). They, along with Kathy and Jeannie, have enjoyed numerous trips out of town and countless lunches together over many years. Those of us who have witnessed this bunch of five together, with their hilarious laughter and bantering once they had "circled up", will always remember their ability to bring that remarkable and unforgettable smile to Kathy's face, even during the tough times. When Kathy took her final breath they were all in the room together, with family members, as if Kath was waiting for one more complete circle before finally letting go. We also want to thank the nursing staff and others at UCLA's oncology unit who were so caring and professional. To Don and Kathy's wonderful daughters- in- law, Mary and Veronica Johnson, as well as family friends Pam Sherman and Carolyn Bishop, we are forever grateful that you joined Michele to spend so many nights in Kath's room at UCLA during the rough times, as did other friends and family members. We can't name everybody, but many special friends such as Jeremy Smith and our cousin Dena Bias, the John Gonzales family and others traveled to donate blood and platelets in Los Angeles or donated towards family travel expenses. We are blessed by your love. And Michele, you were our rock, our conscious, and often, our leader. Your father could never have endured without your loving support and that of your brothers and sister. Don would also like to thank the friends of Bill and Dr. Bob who were always in contact and available. And, finally, we want to extend our enormous gratitude to the wonderful nurses from BMH. They lined the hallway to show their love as Kathy was first wheeled from her room there and transported to UCLA back in August, then stayed in close touch during her stays both there and here. Then, lovingly, they donated their free time (24/7) to provide nursing care at home during the final 7 days of Kathy's life. You all know who you are, and so does the Lord. You have given us a renewed faith in the kindness and generosity of people, especially nurses. We are convinced that you were all called to your profession. God needed some of His Angels to be of this world, so He led you to be who you are, as He did with our wonderful Kathy. Please make any donations in Kathy's name to the Kern County Cancer Fund, 6401 Truxtun Ave Suite 280. (661) 862-7136. www.bakersfield.com/obits

Published in Bakersfield Californian on July 18, 2013