SPRINGFIELD - Kathy Conour, 66, of Springfield died Saturday, September 19, 2009 at Memorial Medical Center.
She was born March 22, 1943 in Springfield, IL, the daughter of Eugene F. and Josephine DeRose Conour.
Kathy completed a AA degree at Kankakee Community College, and a bachelor's degree in social work at Olivet Nazarene. She was a member of ARC of Illinois. The ARC of Illinois is committed to empowering persons with disabilities to achieve full participation in community life through informed choices. She was also a member of United Cerebral Palsy of Illinois, the Springfield Center for Independent Living, the Illinois Planning Council and the Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities. She served as editor and writer of various newsletters.
She is survived by her friend of 42 years, Diana Braun; and 5 first cousins including, Mary Conour Erickson of Seattle, George Conour of Springfield and Joseph Conour of Tucson.
Kathy, with Diana, who has Down syndrome, have long been active fighting for the rights of people with disabilities. They gave instruction and inspiration for others with severe disabilities who live independently. Kathy and Diana are featured in the documentary film, "Body and Soul," by Alice Elliott, that tells the story of their life together.
Visitation will be 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. Friday, September 25, 2009, at Blessed Sacrament Church. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. with Reverend David Hoefler officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to ARC of Illinois in memory of Kathy Conour. Please put Kathy's name on the memo line and make the check out to The Arc of Illinois, 20901 LaGrange Rd., Suite 209, Frankfort, IL 60423. The money will be used to fund Diana Braun's continuing travel to conferences and meetings focused on people with disabilities, where she will be showing "Body and Soul," and discussing Kathy and Diana's independent life together.