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Kathlyn G. Kaepernick

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Kaepernick, Kathlyn Gail

Kathlyn Gail Kaepernick (nee Sanford), 74, of Iron Ridge, Wisconsin, passed away on May 2, 2014, at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, following a long and tireless battle with cancer with her husband and daughter by her side.

Kathy was born in Wisconsin Rapids, on May 17, 1939, to John and May (Slusser) Sanford. She was the fourth of fifteen children.

She was united in marriage to Kenneth L. Kaepernick on May 1, 1965, at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Neosho, Wisconsin. On that day, they moved to the farm that they have occupied and operated during their entire marriage.

Kathy was a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Neosho, throughout her marriage and served in many capacities including Sunday School teacher, Vacation Bible School teacher, and Altar Guild treasurer.

Kathy graduated from Assumption High School in Wisconsin Rapids in 1957. She furthered her education by graduating from UW-La Crosse in December 1961, with a BS degree in Education, majoring in Science and Mathematics.

During her high school and college years, as well as in adulthood, she taught Red Cross water safety courses, Lifeguarding classes, and Water Safety classes. She swam competitively and won many medals. She also coached swimming teams and gave swimming lessons. She particularly enjoyed teaching swimming to young children, some as young as 18 months.

Professionally, she began her teaching career in Mayville, Wisconsin, in January of 1962. She taught Science at the High School, and designed and supervised the construction of the Junior High School Science Lab when the school was renovated. Following the birth of her daughter, Kristine, she did short and long term substitute teaching in various schools in the area. In 1978, she began a 17-year career teaching at St. Mary's School in Mayville, retiring in 1995.

In retirement she continued the traveling, camping, gardening, sewing, and baking activities that had always been a large part of her life. Retirement also allowed the opportunity for her and Ken to spend extended time in California, visiting her daughter, son-in-law, and her granddaughter, Suzy.

Kathy is survived by her husband of 49 years, Kenneth Kaepernick of Iron Ridge; her daughter, Kristine, (Christopher) Chase, and her granddaughter, Suzanna May Chase of Santa Clarita, CA

She is further survived by her siblings, William Sanford of Sun Prairie, WI; Marilyn (Donald) Slusarski of Stevens Point, WI; Stephen (Emily) Sanford of Huntington Beach, CA; Elizabeth (Thomas) Densch of Port Edwards, WI; Mark (Mary Lou) Sanford of Mosinee, WI; Teresa Dykstra of Wisconsin Rapids, WI; Jeanne (Robert) Mahnke of Gainsville, GA; Constance (James) Sponem of Madison, WI; Margaret (Dale) Ziege of Madison, WI; Peter (Cathy) Sanford of Colesburg, IA; James (Maribeth) Sanford of Madison, WI; as well as by many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; a sister-in-law, Germaine Sanford; and by three siblings, Denis Sanford, Rosalind Sanford, and Joseph Sanford, all of whom died in childhood.

Funeral services for Kathlyn Kaepernick will be held on Wednesday, May 7, at 1 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 132 East School Street, Neosho, WI, with Pastor Robert Pasbrig (substituting for Pastor Joshua Kesting) officiating. Burial will follow the service at St. Michael's Cemetery, Town of Hubbard. A meal at the church will follow the burial.

The family will be receiving guests at the church on Tuesday, May 6, 2014, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., and again on May 7, before services at the church from to 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Memorials may be directed to St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Neosho, WI.

Koepsell Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Mayville is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at

Published in Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune on May 6, 2014
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