Life Story Visitation
Thursday, August 25, 2022
4:30 PM to 7:30 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Food, Drinks and Stories will be shared.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
A charity of your choice
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Kathleen was born on August 27, 1945 in an army hospital in Grass Valley, California. Her father, John Thomas Murray, was a 1st Lieutenant in the US Army at the time. Her mother, Marion Jane Murray (DuRoss), brought her first born back to their home in Detroit, Michigan, where she and her 5 younger siblings, Joan, Patricia, Mary, Maureen and Paul were all raised.
Kathleen attended St. Matthews grade school and graduated from Dominican, an all girl’s Catholic high school on the east side of Detroit. There was no shortage of suitors for Kathleen, who would require one of her siblings to sit on the worn spot on the carpet when she would have a date arriving. She shared a bedroom with her baby brother Paul who has never been allowed to forget the day he stuck her coveted hair piece in the fan.
Kathleen was the first in her family to attend college when she left for Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1965. While at WMU, Kathleen made many life-long friends in her dorm and her sorority, Delta Zeta. In 1967 she married James R. Weber, of Kalamazoo, and later that year their daughter Kara Ann Weber was born.
Kathleen always said when she met Jim, that he wasn’t the best looking boy in her opinion, but that she always had so damn much fun with him, and fun they had. Pine River canoe trips, the infamous Barn Parties, Ski trips, trips to Vegas (back when flying was glamorous), Florida, Cayman Islands, Cruises, Mackinac Island and let’s not forgot Fife lake, which the kids dubbed fish-fly lake. There was also the annual summer road trip, which could go in any direction. One time it went to the middle of a field in Colorado where a giant buffalo stuck his head in the car window. Jim was perfectly indifferent to the screaming of “shut the window!! drive away!!” from Kathie and Kara both.
Kathleen started work at Upjohn in 1970, where among her clerical duties, she also modeled for some of their brochures. Once Kara started high school, Kathleen continued to work and returned to night school at WMU where she received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. This allowed her to obtain a professional position at Upjohn, where she worked as a Financial Analyst until she retired. She was very proud of being a part of Upjohn where she made many more life long friends and wore her employee badge on the outside of her handbag even on the weekends.
Being the oldest in a large family was always a treasured part of Kathleen’s life. Her family remained very close and celebrated every major holiday together in Detroit. Any year the Thanksgiving table would hold as many as 22 people, with the clever ones positioning themselves next to a gravy bowl. A favorite appetizer was of course….the famous cheeseball! Kathleen made many trips to Detroit throughout her life to visit her mother, Marion, who lived to be 100 years old.
Kathleen was a devoted Grandmother and spent many hours watching soccer, baseball and cross country events. Her Grandson, Jack Henry Simpson, helped her with many of her latter projects around her home and is taking over the legacy of living in and caring for the home she maintained with pride for nearly 50 years, as well as adopting her beloved cat Moose.
After retirement, Kathleen joined the Schoolcraft Eagles and enjoyed visiting with friends there especially on Burger Tuesday. She was also an active member at the Portage Senior Center, again, making many friends while attending baseball games, visiting museums, magic shows and numerous other “mystery” trips. She was an avid fan of WMU basketball for 40 years and had monthly dinners with her bowling team from the 70’s and her Wise Women’s club dating back to the same era.
Kathleen felt very fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel through Europe, especially Paris, but said if she could recommend any place that a person should make sure they see it was Alaska.
She kept a calendar of birthdays and was known for her creative birthday poems and silly messages in the corners of cards. She loved to dress up on Halloween or any occasion. Her favorite ride at the fair was the tilt-a-whirl, her favorite candy was smarties and her favorite band was The Everly Brothers. She was known as “Boppy” to her nieces and nephew. She loved Bimbo’s pizza and Mr. Bean. She loved to go the zoo on her birthday, do crossword puzzles and take care of her yard. She loved cats and ferns and had impeccable handwriting.
The most frequently used adjectives to describe Kathleen are “Creative”, “Classy”, and “Fun”. She loved her family and friends most of all, and she will be sincerely missed by so very many.