Kathryn (Kay, Katie) M. Larson, 93, Twin Lakes, WI. Born Dec. 3, 1926, in Chicago, IL. Kathryn passed away peacefully while under hospice care with her family on Oct. 16, 2020. Kathryn was the first child of Edward John Brefeld Sr. (1902-1983) and Elsa Cardine Anna (Elsie) nee Steffens (1901-1997). Kathryn’s two siblings were Marion (1928-2016) and Edward Jr. (1934-2005).
Kay attended parochial schools in Chicago. St. Andrews Grammar School and Alvernia High School (all girls). Graduating from high school in 1944. She attended De Paul University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in education and a minor in German (which she was 100%!). In 1962 she received her elementary education certification and began teaching in Chicago eventually becoming a full-time teacher at Lakewood Grade School in Twin Lakes, WI and later she was a Realtor.
Kay enjoyed traveling to many US states and over 30 countries. Favorites: Costa Rica, Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii. Kay was an avid birder, naturalist, and square dancer. She was a member of the 1975 1st place Powers Lake women’s E scow crew!
Kay is survived by her children Dan Ronan and Lisa Larson; cousins: Lois Kasper, Gail Daley, John (Gloria) Brda, Vicki (Larry) Winkelman; nephew Tom (Laurie) Larson; nieces: Chris Mullally, Laura Brefeld, Eva (Dave) Waycie, Karen Wilkens, Helene (Keith) Peterson, Pat Dunn, Melissa (Ken) Raupp; great-nephew Anthony (Kate) Scipione III; great nieces: Brianna Wilkens, Meaghann Mullally, Lillianna Dunn Hayes; great-grand nieces Alyssa and Bella Scipione.
Kay donated over 100 pints of blood. She generously volunteered over 6,600 hours at Aurora Healthcare of Burlington. She was a consultant for the Kenosha County Horticultural Helpline. She volunteered at the Chicago Botanical Garden for 20 plus years. She earned Master Naturalist and Master Gardener certifications and learned how to propagate Ginkgo trees and gave young trees to many friends and acquaintances. For many years Kay gave advice to McCormick Place visitors during the Chicago World Flower Show. She was also a Scout Mother for Boy and Girl Scounts.
Kathryn was preceded in death by her uncle Peter Steffans, grandparents Benjamin and Margaret Brefeld and John and Margaret Steffans, uncles John, Paul, and Joe Brefeld, aunts Tracey Malcor, Mary (Mamie) Kearns, Olga (Ollie) Carpenter, Viola (Vi) Brda, in-laws Larry and Rosalie Theobald, cousins Peter Kasper, Norma Mocogni, and Richard J. Daley, sister Marion Dunn, brother Edward J. Brefeld Jr., nephew Steven J. Dunn, dear friends Audrey Miller, Alice Pierce, and Adaline Waters.
Kathryn’s family would like to thank Lisa, Elaine, Marissa, and Solomon at The Hospice Alliance for loving care. And her caretakers Joy, Annette, Jessi, Anita, Mark, Destiny, Katie, Emily, Tom, Debbie, Sue, Pal, and friends Joan, Nancy, JoAnne, Evelyn, Maureen, Peg, Ruth, and Anna, and especially Tom Smith and the Twin Lakes Rescue Squad.
In celebration of Kay’s life please join us for a Ginkgo tree dedication on Saturday, August 7, 2021 at 11:00am at Lance Park, in Twin Lakes, WI. Rain or shine. Followed by a celebration of her life at Eagle Creek poolhouse, 473 Tindalls Nest, Twin Lakes. Sing, eat, swim!
In lieu of flowers please direct memorials to the Alzheimer Society or Misericordia of Chicago. Or to contribute to Kay’s memorial tree plantings send a check to Kay Larson, C/O Hasse Lockwood Funeral Home, PO Box 310, Twin Lakes, WI 53181. Make tree planting checks out to Lisa Larson with memo “Kay’s Plantings.”
We have created a Facebook page in Kay’s honor with additional information and pictures. In Facebook search Kathryn Larson Remembered. Feel free to bring photos we can scan to add to the page.
“Remember, if you have to choose between planting a tree or eating chocolate always eat the chocolate then plant the tree!”