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Katherine Young Widner

Katherine Young Widner

August 21, 1926 ~ May 15, 2021

Katherine Young Widner (Kitty) was born to Charles and Frances Rowan Young at their plantation home in Tensas Parish, Louisiana on August 21, 1926.  During World War II, while a college freshman at LSNC, she met and married a sailor from Idaho who was stationed on campus.  After the war, they moved to McCall where they lived until their divorce in 1966.  

A Louisiana native, Kitty  was selected Outstanding 4-H Club Girl for the state as a teen-ager in 1942.  She moved to McCall with her husband in 1945 where she volunteered with the Girl Scouts, 4-H Club, PTA and the McCall Ski Patrol.  In 1954 she served as president of the Idaho Jay-c-ettes.  She started the first Episcopal Sunday school in McCall and helped start the Long Valley Art Association, serving as its first president.

The couple divorced in 1966 with Kitty and the two children moving to Boise.  She had returned to college in 1965 earning a teaching certification from BSU.  Later Kitty received a doctorate from BYU in Educational Psychology.

She taught one year in New Meadows and one year in Kuna, then moved into the Boise district where she taught 3 years, and was selected to help establish an elementary counseling program in Idaho.  This led to nineteen years of Boise Schools Elementary Counseling and starting a Parent Study Group program.  Kitty, (Dr. Katherine Widner,) later received a doctorate in educational psychology from BYU.

Kitty was honored to be named a Distinguished Citizen by the Idaho Statesman on May 1, 1988, the year she retired.  The article is quoted in part as follows:  “An achiever all her life, Katherine Widner’s accomplishments have benefitted Boise, especially its children for 21 years.”

In 1967 she had married the “love her her life,” Edward Lavelle (Dude) Widner. Together they enjoyed raising her daughter Kandy and son Mark, and his daughter Debbie and son Rocky.   

After Katherine retired from education in Boise, they moved to St. Francisville, Louisiana for thirteen happy years with both friends and family enjoying the culture of Louisiana.  They also did quite a lot of traveling.  They always had a lovely home with doors wide open to the people who brought happiness to their lives.  Kitty was an artist, a writer, seamstress, family historian, and gardener.  But of all her accomplishments, Kitty said that being a wife and mother brought her the greatest joy.

            After the loss of her husband, Dude, in January 2018, Kitty moved into the Spring Creek Ustick Assisted Living home in Meridian where she received loving care for which she was thankful. 

Katherine is survived by son, Mark Campbell, (his children:  Katie Burger and Travis Campbell), stepson, Robert (Rocky) Widner (his children:  Heather Aubery, Ryan Russell, Christopher Widner, and Helen Widner Davis), grandsons, Kevin Culbertson and James Evans, sons of Katherine’s daughter who preceded her in death, Mary Katherine (Kandy) Campbell, and step daughter, Deborah Widner who also preceded her in death. She gave her nieces and nephews many thanks for their love and support. Jeanne Helmich Combest and Rick Rothwell took on most of the responsibilities, but her love went out to all of them.  K.Y.W.

Kitty will be missed, but passed peacefully on May 15, 2021.  The family wishes to also thank the caring staff of All-Care Hospice and Fr. Michael.

Memorial service will be held at Episcopal Church of the Nativity, 828 W. Cherry Lane, Meridian, ID on August 21, 2021 at 1:00 P.M.

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