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Kathy Johnson-Casper

1955 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
Kathy Johnson-Casper Obituary
KATHY JOHNSON-CASPER (KATHY CASPER) Known to all simply as "Casper," passed away Monday, December 9, 2013 after a valiant battle against Lewy Body Disease. Casper left this world surrounded by those who loved her. Casper was born in Bethel, NC to Lois and Clyde Casper on 12/28/55. She was preceded in death by her beloved Aunt Myrtle, her parents, and her brothers Tommy, Danny and Timmy. Casper is survived by her loving wife, Jill Johnson-Casper (nee Johnson-Young); their daughters Kerry, Charity and Chloe; her siblings Teresa. Tammy, Sandy, Jay and Clyde, and her nephews and nieces and great nephews and nieces in the Greenville, NC area. She is also survived by many dear friends Casper made as a hospice nurse in the Inland Empire, and Jill's extended family, who loved Casper as one of their own. Casper finished school in the Greenville area. She worked in the tobacco fields of North Carolina as a child and teen, worked in factories and in restaurants, then entered road construction as a career, where she operated a road grader. Casper completed her LVN at Concorde Career Institute in 2002. She was a hospice nurse because she believed in the idea of allowing patients to maintain their dignity and comfort in their own homes at the end of life. Casper worked for the VNA and Companion Hospice. She was forced into retirement by Lewy Body Disease symptoms before it could be fully diagnosed. Casper was also a pediatric hospice nurse, and loved the children she cared for, spending time off with them just because she knew they needed a smile. Casper took craft kits to homebound and institutionalized patients and remembered every holiday for them. She loved being a nurse and she took her role seriously in providing comfort and support for families. Casper was the hospice nurse for Jill's late wife, Linda. The two of them became friends, and Linda asked Casper to come back into Jill's life after her death to pick up the pieces and help finish raising the three girls. Fortunately, Linda was right, and Jill and Casper found love and commitment and caring in each other's arms. Casper and Jill held a domestic partnership ceremony in Riverside on 6/5/11. They had a Civil Union in Maui, Hawaii on 1/31/13. They were finally able to be legally married on 10/12/13. Casper used every bit of energy she had to make that day special, and they celebrated a magical wedding together that was fully legal with their children and family surrounding them. A Celebration of Life will be held at noon on Saturday, December 14, 2013 at First Congregational Church of Riverside, on the corner of Mission Inn Avenue and Lemon Street. In keeping with Casper's belief that angels walk amongst us and that death is not the end of life, the family asks that those attending come prepared to celebrate Casper as she was. No dark colors, no sadness. Bring your Hawaiian prints for the place she loved most of this earth; your whale and ocean colors for the magnificent creatures she loved to watch in Hawaii even when she couldn't walk well enough to get outside; the colors of tropical flowers and memories of the Casper who loved pranks, Halloween, Christmas, children, family, and friends. Jill would like to thank her friends and family both in California and North Carolina for their support as they struggled to find a diagnosis for Casper; the Phillip and Carol Traub Parkinson's and Movement Disorder Center at Eisenhower Medical Center for their loving care; Companion Care Hospice and especially Dr. Anil Mall and Jenni Papp, RN for trying to make Casper's last journey comfortable; Jay Casper, for giving up his employment, home, and life in NC to care for his beloved big sister in Riverside; Jill's co-workers at Companion Care Hospice and co-owners at Central Counseling Services of Riverside for their flexibility as Casper's fight with dementia wore on; and the family at First Congregational Church for your love and for making Casper a part of the family. Jill and the girls would also like to thank the Casper family in NC for welcoming them into the family and for believing in the decisions being made for Casper's care. The girls know they have a new and loving family with arms and hearts around them.

Published in Press-Enterprise on Dec. 11, 2013
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