Kathy’s first experience with cancer came as a two-fisted punch. When she was 23, doctors found a cancerous melanoma on her left leg. After a 9-hour surgery, her prognosis was good. No follow-on chemo; just rehab to regain strength and mobility.
But just two days after her surgery, Kathy’s father, Bill, died from pancreatic cancer.
Nothing focuses your life priorities like serious illness or the death of a loved one.
Kathy understood her own mortality at a young age. “It occurred to me that I might not have as long on this earth as I’d planned and I better get on with living,” she said. “I thought it would be important to go after all the things I wanted to do and not waste time on things that didn’t make me happy. I wanted to be as happy as I could be for however long I had left.”
Golf was what made Kathy happy. She decided to leave her corporate job in Denver, move back to Plainfield and focus on golf. She became one of the Metro area’s top amateurs and qualified for the LPGA tour in 1975.
Life on tour suited Kathy. She enjoyed traveling the country and staying with host families. She made good friends, including Cathy Duggan. Duggan met Kathy when she was shanking golf balls on the range. Duggan offered to help and became a cherished friend to Kathy and her family. “We had a deep, deep friendship; even more than a sister,” said Duggan.