Kristine Jo Ransom, with her family by her side, went home to be with the Lord Oct. 22, 2013, after a 24-year courageous battle with breast cancer.
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Kris was born in Klamath Valley Hospital in Klamath Falls, Ore., June 4, 1950, to Gailen Phillip Putman and Pauline Ruth Butler, better known as Pat.
She was raised in the Klamath Basin and attended Klamath Union High School, where she was involved in cheerleading and swimming.
In 1966, she married Clarence Nealy. They had two children Clarence L. Nealy, Jr. and Tana Marie Nealy. While her children were still young, she moved to Reno, Nev., where she worked as a curator/assistant services supervisor and fashion model for Harrah's Automobile Collection. Showing her attention to detail and amazing work ethic, Kris earned the respect of her peers and was able to personally meet many famous actors and musicians such as John Wayne, Liberace, Kenny Rogers, and Judge Mills Lane.
On New Year's Eve 1980, at the age of 29, she married her life partner William C. Ransom and they blended her two children and Bill's four children, Willie, DeeAnna, Jessica, and Randy Ransom. This family of six children brought many challenges to the young couple, but, with the love and friendship they shared for one another, they faced all of them together and succeeded at building a beautiful family.
After moving back to Klamath Falls, Kris became active in Olympic weightlifting with special friends Luke Klaja, Twila Pellegrino, and Dave and Danelle Markham. She still holds three 1986 state titles and proudly took third place at Nationals. In 1989, she prepared for the Goodwill Games, but was sidelined due to her initial cancer diagnosis. She also continued to pursue her love for running and joined the Blister Sisters running group in 1994, which led to five first place finishes in the Hood to Coast Relay and made numerous friends for life. She maintained close friendships with many of these ladies even after she was no longer able to run; Becky Hoppe, Deb Johnson, Renee Case, Kristy Creed, Shannon Seater, Susie Waugh, Kristi Redd, and Maribeth Schwartz all being a part of these amazing friends. Although she battled cancer many times during her Hood to Coast days, her teammates relied on her smile, strength, courage, inspiration and hugs to get them to the finish line. Because of her undying spirit and ability to inspire, in 2002 Kris was chosen to run with the Olympic Torch on its way to Salt Lake City, Utah, for the Olympic Games. She had the honor to run the last leg and light the cauldron on the train before it left for its next destination.
One of Kris's greatest accomplishments was the success she earned while working for CP National Gas/WP Natural Gas and Avista Utilities. Much of her Avista career was spent working with the company's largest-use customers as Avista's industrial account executive for all of Oregon. It was a big job that involved lots of travel to all corners of the state, but Kris had a tremendous passion for her work and incredible dedication and loyalty to her customers and her Avista teammates - and they loved her for it. Kris also had a long-standing interest in and passion for natural gas transportation. She was developing strategies for the ongoing conversion of Avista's fleet and customer fleets to natural gas when she retired at the end of last year.
Her community service was endless, by choice. Kris was an active member with the Klamath Basin Home Builders Association for many years and served as a charter member and two-time president of the Sunrise Rotary Club.
Kris was such an inspiration to others she was often called upon to contact people diagnosed with cancer to give them hope and encouragement. While accomplishing the success and the endeavors she took on, battling cancer, a full-time career and an active personal life, she still maintained a beautiful home and provided loving care to her husband, children, and grandchildren. This was her true passion!
She loved spending time in the yard gardening, cooking (in particular, Sunday night family dinners) doing crafts, jewelry making, reading, and any holiday decorating and baking with her children and grandchildren. She cherished every moment of every day, especially watching her children, grandchildren and "granddogs" grow.
She is survived by her husband, Bill; children, Tana Hamilton, Randy Ransom, DeeAnna Coleman, Willie Ransom, Jessica Ransom and CJ Nealy; her grandchildren, Madison and Josie Hamilton, Danielle Coleman, Dillon, Whitney, and Kyndal Ransom, Justin and Riley Chavarria, Brandie Hanson and Hunter Nealy; and granddogs, Tucker, Kayo, Sammy, and Mia. Other survivors include her mother, Pat Connell; brother, Jon Putman and his wife, Cynthia; step-brother, Jim and Sue Connell, along with numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and life-long friends who she considered sisters and brothers.
She is preceded in death by her father, Gail "Putt;" step-father, Torrey Connell; aunt, Joan Hollin; uncle, William Asher; beloved "Gram," Ruth Carter and grandfather, John Asher; granddaughters, Lexie and Courtney Ransom; and last but not least, Buster, her best running partner ever.
A special thank you goes out to her longtime oncologist Stephen Kornfeld in Bend, Ore. He provided 17 years of medical care and saw her through every battle! Also Dr. Carol Fellows and Dr. J. Brunswick.
A celebration of life will be at 1 p.m. Nov. 2, 2013, in Bible Baptist Church, 4849 S. Sixth St., Klamath Falls, with a reception following at the Klamath County Fairgrounds.
In lieu of flowers, Kris and the family would love any donations to be sent "In Memory of Kristine Ransom" to the Klamath Humane Society/Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 482, Klamath Falls, OR 97601, or Cancer Treatment Center, 2610 Uhrmann Road, Klamath Falls, OR 97601.
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Published in Herald And News on Oct. 26, 2013