Born: June 7, 1946
Died: June 12, 2020
Kathleen (Kathie) Westlund joined her beloved husband Ernest (Ernie) Westlund, among the stars in the sky on Friday, June 12, 2020. She was born Kathleen Lusiak on June 7, 1946, in Buffalo, New York to Eugene Edward Lusiak (d.2004) and Myrtle Annetta (Minnick) Lusiak.
She is survived by her mother Annetta, brother Martin E. Lusiak, and two daughters, Jennifer Westlund & partner Paul Matthews, and Sarah Westlund & husband Alex Head. She has two beloved granddaughters, Juni Kathleen Head and Lucia Rose Head. Also three nieces and one nephew. Also one grand-dog Lila, two grand-horses Theo and Jade, and numerous grand-chickens.
Kathleen married her sweetheart Ernie after eloping on September 4, 1971. They were married for 47 beautiful years until Ernie's death in late August 2019. Their long-lasting love, generosity, patience, and devotion was an inspiration to their daughters and made for many happy memories as a family.
After moving to Antioch, IL her senior year of high school, she met many new friends, and perhaps most importantly, the man who would later become her husband. This tight-knit group of friends would last a lifetime, and we are ever-grateful for their love and kindness to our family over the years. Jerry Berke, Dan Hamelberg, and Rick Prosise... this means you!
Kathleen was a true renaissance woman and had many interests and hobbies throughout her life. Growing up in Chicago, she often told many stories about the adventures of living in the big city and especially about her special work with wolves and chimps at Lincoln Park Zoo and later, working with international students at Northern Illinois University before her first daughter was born. After marrying Ernie, her work turned to home-keeping and the renovation of their Victorian home in Genoa, IL to prepare it for family life. Kathie was an excellent cook, and lovingly made many comfort food favorites whether breakfast, lunch, or dinner. When it was time to move once again, the house Kathie and Ernie built for their family in Sycamore, IL had many elements designed by Kathie. She also single-handedly stained all the interior trim work and exterior siding. She enjoyed woodworking and carpentry, sewed many beautiful clothes and toys for her two daughters, and was skilled in embroidery, cross-stitch, and crochet. Later she turned her attention to paper art, designing and crafting dozens of beautiful hand-made embellished 3-D cards for every occasion. Kathie enjoyed keeping in touch with relatives near and far, as well as with friends from way back when. She and Ernie always went to their high school reunions. She was a lover of Christmas, books, crafting, family genealogy, cooking and home improvement shows, crossword puzzles, relaxing, camping (in the old days), and of course, pizza and beer (always together!) She was an ever-loving partner, mother, and grandmother. We will love her to the moon and back forever.
Celebration of life service will be private and at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in Kathie's name to Meals-on-Wheels via Voluntary Action Center of DeKalb or to ElderCare Services of DeKalb are encouraged.
Published in The MidWeek News on Jun. 19, 2020.