Kathryn George, 93, longtime Morgan County educator, passed away Sunday evening, March 24, 2013, at the Colorado Plains Medical Center in Fort Morgan. Kathryn was born on her grandfather's homestead in Red Willow County, NE, near Danbury, to Clyde and Rita Weyeneth on February 7, 1920.
Kathryn graduated from the Decatur County Community High School in Oberlin, KS, in 1936. She received her B.A. in Elementary Education from Colorado State College of Education, now known as UNC, in Greeley; her M.A. in Special Education with emphasis in Learning Disabilities with a double major in Reading, at UNC; and many additional graduate hours from Denver University, Colorado State University, and the University of New Mexico.
Kathryn started teaching at the age of sixteen in a rural school in Decatur County, KS. She completed more than 50 years of teaching, including kindergarten through college classes. Her teaching career included teaching in Lebanon, NE, Eustis, NE, Danbury, NE, McCook, NE, and Brush, CO. In 1958, Kathryn began her teaching career in Brush, teaching at Thomson School. After 8 years, she transferred to the Knearl School and spent 3 years teaching second grade. She than was recruited to set up the first Special Education classes for the Brush School District. She later worked for BOCES to set up a Resource Center to provide Special Education classes for the Learning Disabled from Wiggins, Weldona, New Raymer, Briggsdale, Grover, Woodlin, Brush and Fort Morgan School Districts. She continued to be a consultant for Special Education classes for BOCES after she retired. Kathryn often referred to her final assignment of teaching Special Education and 5th and 6th grade spelling and reading at the Prairie School in New Raymer as her "whipped cream topping" to a half a century of teaching. During her teaching years, Kathryn spent six summers as a Summer Guest Faculty Member of the Reading Department at the University of Northern Colorado. She also directed Migrant School in Brush and the Summer Remedial programs.
Some of the greatest accomplishments that Kathryn was involved in included teaching the first Adult Basic Education Class in Northeast Colorado. Through the grace of God, and the excellent knowledge and skill of a wonderful surgeon in Denver, she overcame a bout with cancer in 1963.
Her greatest defeat that she ever encountered was the loss of her daughter in 1956. Her other daughter became a victim of M.S., causing her to question her faith in God at times.
Kathryn was a member of Colorado and National Reading Association, Pi Lamda, Delta Kappa Gamma, PEO Chapter T, Past Matron of Eastern Star, and the Fort Morgan Retired School Employee Association. Kathryn was also a charter member of the Blue Horizons Inc. Youth Organization and served as the corresponding secretary and helped with many activities over the years. She had been a very active member of Rankin Presbyterian Church, having served as Elder, Sunday School teacher and Sunday School superintendent.
She was honored as Woman of the Year in both McCook, NE, and in Brush; Educator of the Year in Morgan County in 1978; Outstanding Contributor Award from the Colorado Council of Reading in 1980; Teacher of the Month from BOCES in 1978; Outstanding Special Education Teacher in Colorado in 1978; and earned special recognition at the National Reading Association meeting in New Orleans in 1979. Her greatest honor of all was to see former students still willing to give a hug and recall special incidents in their earlier school days.
Kathryn left Morgan County in 1985 to help her daughter and grandson in Colorado Springs. She returned in the fall of 1992 and picked up her many volunteer activities. She coordinated a Volunteer Program for the RE-2 School District, volunteered with the East Morgan County Auxiliary, and helped coordinate a program of the Living History for the Morgan County Arts Association. She also continued working as a tutor for students from Brush and Fort Morgan.
She is survived by her only grandson, Andrew "Bumper" Lykins and his wife, Kim, from Lafayette, Colorado, and their children, Noah and Jesse Lykins. She is preceded in death by her daughters, Linda Ann and Mary R. Lykins, sisters, Betty Bea and Bonnie Lea, and her parents.
A celebration of life service will be held at the Rankin Presbyterian Church in Brush on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. The service will conclude at the church. Inurnment will be in the McCook Memorial Cemetery.
Memorial gifts may be given in Kathryn's name to the Rankin Presbyterian Church in Brush or to the Blue Horizons Inc. Youth Organization in Morgan County, in care of Heer Mortuary, 222 Cameron, Brush, CO 80723.
The Heer Mortuaries & Crematory are entrusted with the funeral arrangements.