Kathleen Marie Nettles Heidtmann
Heaven gained a beautiful soul on Saturday, the 26th of September 2020, when Kathleen Marie Nettles Heidtmann passed away at her home in Houston.
A native Houstonian, Kathy was born to Rose Marie and Charles Nettles on the 28th of August 1951. Attending St. Cecilia Catholic School and St. Agnes Academy coupled with her strong Catholic upbringing instilled in her Christian values and a strong faith in God from the very beginning.
Kathy graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1973, where she was a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority and was named one of the Ten Most Beautiful. She found true love and married Ken Heidtmann on the 3rd of December 1989, and together, they had one daughter, Layne, who was a best friend to her mother.
Kathy was diagnosed with lupus at the young age of 23. For the last 46 years, she experienced daily struggles with this disabling disease. Lupus dramatically affected her eyesight but never took her spirit. Kathy never let her health struggles define her in any aspect of life. She was resilient and never complained about her cross to bear. Though she spent most of her adult life with limited eyesight, Kathy saw so much. She had a keen sense of awareness that allowed her to be very intuitive to the needs of loved ones around her.
While a true beauty on the outside, it was her beautiful heart, mind and soul that captured the love and admiration of so many. Kathy had the gift of creating joy with her humor, intelligence and compassion. She had an amazing way with words, writing beautiful poems and letters for special occasions to family and friends. Giving gifts was Kathy's love language. Kathy never forgot a birthday or anniversary and always went over-the-top with gifts and sweet gestures for others.
Kathy was a great mom, a poet, a performer, a fashionista, a self-proclaimed singer, and the life of every party. She had a way of lighting up every room she entered. However, she was the least punctual person you have ever known. Everyone expected Ken and Kathy to be fashionably late, but when Kathy did arrive, she was the best dressed and the most beautiful woman in the room. And, if there was a piano player in a club or restaurant, she would invariably grab the microphone and attempt to sing-along. She was the person that everyone wanted to be near. Her warmth and charisma created a following of more loyal friends than anyone could believe possible.
One of her favorite outings was to Carrabba's on Voss with her girlfriends. She never failed to tell the server to "please make sure that it was a fresh bottle of wine." Kathy's laugh was contagious, and her storytelling was captivating. She never met a stranger, especially in a restaurant bathroom. She would return to the table 30 minutes later with a new best friend and the woman's entire life story.
Kind, strong, resilient, witty, never judgmental, always affectionate, feisty and never afraid to share her thoughts and opinions, Kathy spent her life advocating for herself, her family and her friends. She was the definition of loyal, and her love will never be replaced.
When Kathy received a cancer diagnosis, one that she knew she could not defeat, she did not allow herself to abandon her deep-rooted faith in the Lord and trust that our Heavenly Father was there to comfort and protect her. It was evident that Kathy's faith was at the center of her life, often mentioning that without prayer she could not face the struggles of her health that she dealt with on a daily basis. Kathy was the eternal optimist, and in those last days, although she was not feeling her best, she still wanted to look her best. Just two days before she passed, Kathy asked Tootsies, her favorite store, to send a rack of clothes so that she could shop from home.
Her family rejoices in knowing that she is now wrapped in the arms of our Savior and undoubtedly dressed to the nines.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Rose Marie and Charles Nettles. She is survived by her loving husband of 30 years, Ken; and their daughter, Layne; her brothers, Gene Nettles and his wife Corliss, Charlie Nettles and his wife Betsy; her sister-in-law, Jill Runion and her husband Bob; and her nieces and nephews, Katie Nettles Lyons, Charlie Nettles III, Paige Nettles Montgomery, Kelly Nettles Henderson, John Tysseland and Paige Tysseland Robbins; as well as her great nieces and nephews, Berklee, Wick, Cameron, Mays, Wells, Perry, Ryan Jr., Rhett, Rivers, Jack, Charlie and Hadley. Kathy also loved her puppies as children – Jake, Jackson, Annabelle, and Penny.
The family wants to thank Marta Schrader who was "Kathy's eyes" for the last few years. She lovingly drove Kathy to all her appointments and errands. Kathy and Marta shared a very special relationship and enjoyed talking about Jesus and their spiritual journeys, as well as their families, friends, and of course, their fur-babies.
The family will gather for a private service and plans to celebrate Kathy's life with friends in the near future.
In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions may be directed to: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Texas Gulf Coast Chapter, 50 Briar Hollow, Suite 300W, Houston, TX, 77027 (or online at www.cff.org/give-today
) or to the Lupus Foundation of America, Texas Gulf Coast Chapter, 3701 Kirby Drive, Suite 700, Houston, TX, 77098 (or online at www.lupustexas.org
); or to the charity of one's choice
Please visit Kathy's online memorial tribute at GeoHLewis.com
where memories and words of comfort and condolence may be shared electronically with her family.